1) The seasons of righteousness are many.
2) The stance on ‘Arafaat and Ramadhaan is that they are from the seasons of righteousness.
3) Worshipping Allaah must only be according to what He legislated.
4) Good intention does not justify innovating matters in religion.
5) The innovation during the month of Rajab.
Allaah bestows favors and grants bounties upon His slaves during all times, to help expiate their sins, elevate their ranks and make up for their shortcomings. Allaah legislated for us a month during which we observe fasting, another which we perform pilgrimage in, and one or two extra days to fast during the remaining months. He also legislated prayer during the night and the Witr prayer, the Udhiyah, and the ‘Aqeeqah, and many other virtuous deeds. All of these are ways of opening different channels for righteous deeds and methods to energize us by shifting from one form of worship to another, and therefore, not become weary, and continue to worship Allaah. This is indeed a great favor from Allaah upon us.
Among the things He legislated for us is fasting. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said, “He who fasts the month of Ramadan out of sincere belief and seeking the reward of its fasting, will be forgiven for all the sins he has committed prior to it”. (Bukhaari & Muslim)
Allaah legislated for us performing Hajj during the months of Hajj, which are, Shawwaal, Thul-Qi’dah, and Thul-Hijjah. Allaah promised those who perform Hajj as He has commanded them to perform it, forgiveness and Paradise. Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: “He who performs Hajj and does not have sexual relations with his wife (while at Hajj), nor commits sins, will come out of Hajj just as the day his mother gave birth to him” (Muslim). He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam also said, as was narrated by Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, “A perfect and complete Hajj will have Paradise as a reward” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
Allaah legislated for us the fasting of the days of ‘Arafaat and the day of ‘Aashooraa’ in addition to a day before it and a day after it. Abu Qataadah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: “Fasting ‘Arafaat expiates the sins of the previous and the coming year, and fasting ‘Aashooraa’ expiates the year before” (Muslim).
Allaah legislated Udhiyah on the day of ‘Eed, and many Ahaadeeth in the books of Imaam Bukhaari, Muslim and others relate that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam sacrificed on behalf of himself and his wives, as well as the poor amongst his nation. ‘Aqeeqah was also prescribed, which is a sacrifice slaughtered for the new born baby; two sheep for the male and one for the female.
Slaves of Allaah! We find that any act of worship which causes the slaves to come closer to Allaah is mentioned in His Book or in the Sunnah of His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam. The problem is in those people who try to come close to Allaah and gain His reward by looking outside these two sources, and thus, divert from the right path.
Allaah dispraised the Arabs during the pre-Islamic period because they interfered in that which they had no right in, and started changing what is lawful to unlawful, and what is unlawful to lawful, and recommending that which Allaah did not. They used to shift around the times of the sacred months and change the names of the months because they did not want to wait for this long period to finish.
Allaah says which means, “Indeed, the postponing (of restriction within sacred months) is an increase in disbelief by which those who have disbelieved are led (further) astray. They make it lawful one year and unlawful another year to correspond to the number made unlawful by Allaah and (thus) make lawful what Allaah made unlawful. Made pleasing to them is the evil of their deeds; and Allaah does not guide the disbelieving people” (At-Tawbah: 37). IbnKatheer, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, ‘Dealing with the legislations of Allaah with one's corrupt mind and reasoning, and changing the rulings of Allaah according to their desires, and deeming lawful what is unlawful, were some of the things for which Allaah dispraised the disbelievers’.
Allaah also dispraised the ignorant disbelievers when they forbade that which Allaah did not forbid from the meat of camels. Allaah says which means, “Allaah has not appointed (such innovations as) ba'heerah or sa'ibah, waseelah or 'haam. But those who disbelieve invent falsehood about Allaah, and most of them do not reason” (Al-Maa’idah: 103).
The Arabs had forbidden upon themselves slaughtering certain animals, by setting some laws which Allaah did not legislate, so Allaah dispraised them for that. Thus we know that worshipping Allaah is something which is not permitted except through that which He has legislated Himself and through His messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam, and anyone who wants to draw closer to Allaah and gain His reward, love and pleasure through other channels, will get the contrary result, because Allaah does not accept from people except that which He legislated for them.
Honorable brother! During this month of Rajab, which is one of the sacred months, Muslims have many wrong practices through which they intend to come closer to Allaah and gain His forgiveness, love and pleasure. But they seek that through acts of worship which He did not permit nor legislate, and although they are seeking something good, they do not achieve it.
The point is not only in having a sincere and good intention, but the deed itself must be legitimate, or else it will be rejected. Who dare say that a deed is rejected by Allaah? Who told him that the deed is rejected? The one who told us this is the truthful sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: “He who introduces any deed into our matter (Islaam) which is not from it then it is rejected.” (Bukhaari & Muslim). ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: “He who performs any deed which is not according to what we are upon (i.e., the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam and his companions) then it is rejected.” (Muslim). Therefore, any deed which is not in accordance with what Islam has come with is rejected.
One of the practices during the month of Rajab which was done during the pre-Islamic period, is to offer sacrifices and call it ‘Far’a and ‘Ateerah. The Muslims scholars said Islaam voided this practice. Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: “No Fara’. No ‘Ateerah” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
Ar-Raghaa’ib prayer is another thing which people innovated which was never legislated by Allaah nor His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam. The scholars said, ‘There is no authentic Hadeeth regarding a special prayer during the month of Rajab, and all the narrations concerning Ar-Raghaa’ib prayer are fabricated lies’. They also said, ‘This prayer was innovated after the fourth century and was never known before that, and no one from the scholars during the first virtuous generations ever mentioned it’.
People fast during this month more than they do in other months, although there is no authentic Hadeeth in this regard and so this practice should be abandoned. On the other hand, those who are in the habit of fasting regularly, even in during other months, may fast. Moreover, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam, never fasted any month in full other than Ramadhaan, as narrated by ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, ‘The Prophet used to fast so much until we would think that he always fasts, and would stop fasting until we would think that he never fasts. I never saw the Prophet fast a full month except during Ramadhaan, and he never fasted more than fasting during the month of Sha’baan’ (Bukhaari & Muslim).
It was narrated that ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, used to hit men’s hands until they would start using them to eat during the month of Rajab, and he would say, ‘What is the virtue of Rajab? It is a month which the people during the pre-Islamic period used to honor, but when Islam came, people gave this up’.
Abu Bakrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, saw his household preparing during the month of Rajab, and said to them, ‘Did you make Rajab like Ramadhaan?'. Then he threw the baskets and broke the cups.
Another innovation is what they call the Rajabiyyah, which is a ‘Umrah during Rajab which has no evidence proving it. As a mater of fact, the only month during which ‘Umrah would have a certain prescribed reward is the month of Ramadhaan. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: “’Umrah during Ramadhaan, equals performing Hajj”, in another narration he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said, “Equals Hajj with me”.
Therefore, anyone who performs ‘Umrah during Rajab for the sake of Rajab has committed a big mistake. Moreover, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam never performed ‘Umrah during Rajab even though he has performed ‘Umrah four times.
Slaves of Allaah! A Muslim who seeks reward and virtue should seek it in the Book of Allaah and the authentic Sunnah of the prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said during his farewell pilgrimage, “I have left with you that, which if you adhere to, you will never go astray, the Book of Allaah”. Allaah says that which means, "And what Allaah restored to His messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allaah and for the Messenger and for (his) near relatives and orphans and the (stranded) traveler – so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allaah; indeed, Allaah is severe in penalty” (Al-Hashr: 7).
A Muslim should know that if he seeks the pleasure of Allaah, and wants to adhere to obedience, he would find many acts to perform, so there is no need to add to what the Prophet instructed us to do; let us perform what he sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam taught us, and he who does that, is guaranteed to succeed and prosper in this life and the Hereafter.
Ibn Mas’ood said, ‘Imitate and do not innovate’. Therefore, we should not add anything to the religion baselessly, and we should adhere to the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam. Some of the scholars said, ‘Sunnah is like to Noah's Ark, anyone who sticks to it would be rescued’.