The month of Rajab will soon be upon us and Insha Allah we must make an effort to fast in this blessed month which Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said is the month of Allah Ta’ala. This is the month in which we are supposed to start the preparations for the month of Ramadaan, and one of the Ibaadaat that would definitely help us in this preparation is to keep nafl fasts.
Hazrat Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) narrates that our Beloved Aaqa Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has stated that fasting on the first day of Rajab is the expiation for three years of sins, on the second day is expiation for two years and fasting on the third day is expiation for one year of sin. And fasting on each day of Rajab thereafter is the expiation of one month of sin. [Jaame Al Sagheer]
Subhaanallah! This is the Rahmah of Allah Ta’ala upon the Ummah of the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). We should take advantage of this opportunity and keep as much nafl fasts as possible in Rajab, especially in the first three days of Rajab, because death can come at any moment and we might not get this opportunity again. A few benefits of keeping nafl fasts are given below so that we can see the blessings in keeping such fasts.
Hazrat Sayyidatuna Umme Ummara (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) narrates, “The Leader of the Prophets, our Beloved Rasool Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) once came to my house so I served food in honour of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He requested me to eat as well and I told him that I was fasting. The Mercy unto all Creation (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) then said that while food is being eaten in front of a person who is fasting, the angels make Dua of forgiveness for that person.” [Al Ahsan, Vol. 5]
Hazrat Sayyiduna Bilaal (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) once came in the presence of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). At that moment Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) was eating breakfast and he requested Hazrat Bilaal (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to join him. Hazrat Bilaal (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) humbly replied that he was fasting, to which Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied, “We are eating our daily food and Bilaal’s (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) food is being increased in the paradise. O Bilaal (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), do you know? While food is being eaten in front of a fasting person until they stop eating, the bones of the fasting person as well as the angels make Dua of forgiveness for that person. [Shuabul Imaan, Vol. 3]
From these Ahadith we learn that there are great blessings in keeping nafl fasts especially when there are people around us that are eating. Therefore if we are at work etc. where people around us tend to eat in front of us during the day, we must not feel shy to keep nafl fasts (especially the first 3 days of Rajab) so that firstly, we can gain the blessings as told to us by our Beloved Master Muhammad Mustafa (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and secondly so that we can follow in the footsteps of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) and the Illustrious Sahaabah by fasting while people around them are eating.
Furthermore, Hakeemul Ummat Hazrat Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Naeemi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) states that from the above-mentioned Ahadith it is also evident that if someone comes to you while you are eating, calling that person to join you in your meal is Sunnah. This should be done whole-heartedly and not with an evil intention hoping that the person would refuse to eat and go away. Also, if one is invited to eat and is not fasting, he should not lie and decline the invitation, especially if he is hungry. One should accept the invitation and pray for the host by saying “Baarakallah” (May Allah Ta’ala give you Barkat) before eating, especially if one sees that the host has less food. [Mirqaat, Vol. 3]
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to act upon these few words, especially to fast during the first three days of Rajab, Ameen.