′Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth; the year is twelve months, four of which are sacred. Three of them are in succession: Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Al-Muharram and Rajab of Mudar [a title of Rajab], which stands between Jumada (ath-Thani) and Sha‘ban’. [Bukhari]
Allah has chosen Rajab above other months to be sacred, so of course, we must pay special attention to this period and ensure we are acquainted with its virtues!
We have now entered one of the most holiest months of the year. Alhamdulilah we are in month of Rajab- the month of God begins.
Rajab is the month of seeking forgiveness, Sha`ban is the month of bestowing prayers upon the Prophet, and Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an. Thus it is recommended to seek much forgiveness in Rajab. I was sent a most brilliant email by Ihsan Alexander, where he guides us through the month of Rajab. Please find his email below.
The Importance of Spiritual Routine in Recovery: How habits Help You Stay Sober
For most people in early recovery, learning how to navigate daily stressors without relying on learned ED habits the ultimate test. Without behaviours as a vice, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the smallest of life’s challenges. Fortunately, there are tools you can use to help minimize this discomfort and manage your emotions, including establishing and following a daily routine. Following a daily Islamic routine is highly effective for people in treatment and recovery.
ED recovery is a time of change and restoration. While this often leads to positive growth, it can also be draining and overwhelming. For this reason, many people lean on their spirituality during addiction recovery
For me following a spiritual routine was a key to breaking away from negative learned ED habits. In 2010, I came off many topical medications, which I was using to balance my mental and physical health. In 2012, I discovered Islam and art of Islamic Meditation, I found a teacher who helped me to navigate through personal challenges of life. I learned to pray and to believe in Qadr and have Tawakul. Soon I was replacing all the activities related to the dark world of Eating Disorder with activities of light and blessings. It was hard, initial years of being on this journey were hard but today in 2023 I can say with staid conviction Alhamdulilah, so worth the struggle. I wouldn’t be a person I am today of it wasn’t for my illness and the journey to recovery and healing.
I’m often asked by people, how to break out of ED loop and my answer is turn your heart, mind, soul and body towards Allah. Allow the faith to take hold of your life, travel the path of oneness and soon you’ll discover the strength you were born with, you’ll discover the strength within you that will shock you.
Disclaimer: The benefits of spirituality in ED recovery are many. Each person’s expression of spirituality is unique and personal to their life experiences.
Please make most of this month. ED recovery is a leap of faith to challenge harmful thoughts and beliefs and you cannot do that without help of Allah. People suffering from Eating Disorders soon will be facing the challenges of being in Ramadan, therefore I highly advice get spiritually strong. Spirituality can provide guidance for better ways of living. Allow the faith to lead the way and Inshallah you’ll experience nothing but love, light and blessings.
The Rajab Istighfar
The following is a compilation of istighfar, known as Istighfar Rajab, compiled by Habib Hasan, the son of Imam Abdullah bin ‘Alawi al-Haddad. It is traditionally read every night in the month of Rajab.
Rajab the Month of God Begins
Best and most blessed greetings of divine peace, light, strength and support.
Praise be to Allah Almighty, for He has given us life and opportunity to now enter into the sacred lunar month of Rajab, which is traditionally known as the “Month of God.”
It is in the month of Rajab that students and seekers upon the path of spiritual awakening and self-development normally work to deepen their awakening practices and disciplines.
Rajab begins a blessed three month period of heightened spiritual focus, energy and light, and the sincere upon the path seek to take advantage of this time in preparation for reception of the divine grace that manifests and culminates in the Night of Power and Destiny, which occurs towards the end of Ramadan.
This s is a brief reminder that this is an opportune time to focus on your spirituality and self-development, for this world is fleeting and our time is limited, and only Allah Almighty knows what other opportunities we may be given.
As a reminder first and foremost to myself and then to you who are seeking to progress spiritually, following are a few suggestions to begin making the most of this sacred and blessed period.
Take on one or more of these and you will be blessed, for when you take even a single step towards Allah Almighty, He takes the next ten towards us. It will enable you to break out of daily ED routine or rituals you may still be following.
1. Khalwa—Time Alone.
It is extremely beneficial to spend at least a few minutes alone and undisturbed in seclusion during which you can focus on yourself, and on your relationship and connection with God. I recommend a minimum of twenty minutes per day, and the most blessed and beneficial time is the last third of the night just before the fajr morning prayer begins. Other sacred times are between the asr and maghrib prayers, and also between the maghrib and isha prayers.
This is the best time to establish a consistent daily dhikr practice, which is essentially a litany that includes the meditative repetition of sacred phrases and Names of God. These can include the statement of faith, la ilaha il Allah, the Name of God, Allah, and salawat upon the holy Prophet ﷺ.
It is extremely important to spend some time in pure stillness and surrender doing nothing other than be-ing and breathing. Such a practice cultivates the capacity to empty the self of the self, and to become a surrendered and peaceful servant of the Almighty. Meditation helps us to develop the state of Islam, which is the key to spiritual development and the pleasure of God.
The blessed and noble Messenger of God ﷺ fasted extensively during both Rajab and the following month of Shaban in preparation for Ramadan, the blessed month of fasting in which occurs the Night of Power. Ideally, we will use this period in preparation to receive the divine light, power, peace and presence of God in Laylat al-Qadr by progressively purifying and emptying ourselves through the sacred practice and discipline of fasting, as did the noble Prophet ﷺ.
We spend so much of our lives devoted to the pursuits of the fleeting world that this sacred period now becomes even more important to focus on the study and application of knowledge that truly benefits, i.e. sacred knowledge. Of sacred knowledge, that which is most valuable is that which supports us in the evolution of ourselves, for the goal of learning is not the accumulation of information, but rather the quickening of transformation. As a suggestion, use this time to commit to learning even for a few minutes daily, and your consistent studies will aggregate to great change.
Maha, I pray that Allah Almighty guides us each to making this the best and most blessed period of our lives, and a foundation for future growth, development and awakening that brings us closer to He and to the purpose for which we have been created.
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Maha, to your divine and eternal success.
Research shows that the right amount of organization and predictability helps the brain combat stress. This can undoubtedly go a long way toward helping you achieve long-term recovery. Here are some easy ways to build spiritual structure into your daily life during Rajab – and beyond.