Today marks the beginning of the three holy months in Islamic World
The three months are a trio of months celebrated by Muslim communities around the world.
The three months consist of Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramadan. As a preparation to Ramadan, many Muslims start spiritual and physical resilience at the beginning of three months. Also, each month contains holy nights;
Laylat-ur Raghaeb, the night of wishes, marks the beginning of three holy months. Muslims believe that if, on the first Thursday of Rajab, they recite a special set of prayers, they will be rewarded by the fulfillment of their wishes.
The belief is based on the oft-quoted passage attributed to the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH):
“It is most important, however, that none of you should neglect the first Thursday night in Rajab, for it is the night that the angels call the Night of Wishes. This is because, by the time the first third of the night has elapsed, there will not be a single angel still at large in the heavens, nor in any region of the earth bar one. They will all be gathered together in the Ka'ba and the area immediately surrounding it. Allah will condescend to notice that they have assembled there, and He will say: 'My angels, ask Me for whatever you wish!' Their response to this will be: 'Our Lord, the request we wish to make is that You grant forgiveness to those who faithfully keep the fast in Rajab,' whereupon Allah will tell them: 'That I have already done!'”
The Israʾ and Miʿraj are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam, the Islamic prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took during a single night around the year 621. He met with other prophets and spoke with God. It is celebrated on the 27th day of the month of Rajab in the Islamic calendar. It is celebrated on the 27th day of the month of Rajab in the Islamic calendar.
The Night of Forgiveness, (Berat Kandili or Leylet-ul-Bera’at) celebrated on the 15th night, the night between 14 & 15 of the month of Sha'ba. The Night of Forgiveness is spent reciting the Quran and performing special prayers as well as visiting the graves of deceased relatives.
Laylat al-Qadr, variously rendered in English as the Night of Decree, Night of Power, Night of Value, Night of Destiny, or Night of Measures, is, in Islamic belief, the night when the Quran was first sent down from Heaven to the world and also the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). According to many Muslim sources, it was one of the odd-numbered nights of the last ten days of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Since that time, Muslims have regarded the last ten nights of Ramadan as being especially blessed. Muslims believe that the Night of Qadr comes with blessings and mercy of God in abundance, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who carry it out according to God's plan.
How do Muslims observe three holy months?
Muslim spirits are covered with a different atmosphere in this phase of time, which is known as “Shuhur’u-Salasa” – Three Holy Months – in religious literature; because, divine mercy is at its merit within these months. If merits and religious services are rewarded tenfold in other times, they are rewarded more and more in the months of Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramadan.
For instance, while one is rewarded with one sawab for each letter of Quran he reads in other times, he is rewarded with a hundred sawabs in the month of Rajab, with more than three hundred sawabs in the month of Sha’ban and a thousand sawabs in Ramadan. It is more than a thousand sawabs in Friday nights in Ramadan and if we consider that it reaches thirty-thousand sawabs at the Night of Power, we can comprehend what a precious opportunity the holy times in the three holy months are in terms of trade of hereafter.
In this sense, the three holy months have been described as “a sacred market for the trade of the hereafter earning plentiful gains for it, and an exceptional exhibition for the people of reality and worship.” As it is known, markets and exhibitions are important places for trade. People can meet all kinds of their needs in markets which are organized once a week. It is possible to benefit from the cheap goods of the market from morning till evening that day. However, one who could not go to the market that day has to wait one more week in order to do shopping under the same conditions; because the market is there only for one specific day.
Similarly, three holy months are also markets which are organized only once a year for trade of hereafter. Those, who know how to take advantage of them, earn a lot from them. They increase the number of their deeds which are related to the hereafter when compared to other times. They read Quran more; spend more time with learning religious knowledge, with contemplation, with worship and religious services, by sacrificing their sleeps. They challenge each other in good deeds. Therefore, they emerge from these “months of worships with lots of sawabs” with lots of benefits and gains. In a sense, religious services performed in these holy times are actually the most-ever profitable “investments” one does for his eternal life.
On the contrary, those, who are unaware of the virtues and preciousness of the three holy months and who do not spend them the way they should, miss the opportunity of a very profitable trade which is open for everyone to benefit. Those people will have to wait one more year in order to regain the same opportunity.
So, this is why spending these three holy months and holy times, within them, properly with a great enthusiasm is so important. Actually, they are amongst the symbols and signs of Islam.
In this sense, spreading knowledge of them bears some significant and wise reasons such as showing Islam’s honor and setting examples for people who lead a life alienated from the true meaning of Islam.
The mosques are full of believers at times of prayer, especially on Fridays and Holy Nights, that Quran and mawlid are recited on TV channels and radios, that mosques are adorned with nice quotations written with lights between two minarets, and even that kandil simit’s (a special salty cookie with sesame for Holy Nighs) are sold are tranquilizing events which present the symbols of Islam.
With the help of these, all believers tend towards earning for their hereafter. Everyone does all they can do to please Allah. And this metaphysical atmosphere gives peace to a whole community. Everyone benefits from this peaceful atmosphere on proportion to their degrees. Religious duties that are performed, Quran recitations, sincere prayers ascending to the highest sky and other Islamic services that are performed with a never-ending enthusiasm enable Divine Mercy upon people. Moreover, these services which are performed sincerely and only for Allah’s sake clean our metaphysical atmosphere which is polluted by sins, cruelties and dissoluteness.
In this sense, we must benefit from this unmissable opportunity which is offered to us once in every year. We can come together with our believer brothers and sisters for religious conversations more often. We can share Quran to each other and start performing daily or weekly hatims (reading the whole Quran from beginning to the end). We can recite supplications and invocations more often. We can spend more time with Islamic works. We can make more efforts on spreading the truths of Islam and explaining them. Even the slightest effort that we make on this purpose will earn us sawabs more than a hundred compared to other times.
By the way, we should keep in mind that three holy months and holy nights should be spend with a different meaning in our houses with our family members. Our children should grow up breathing in that spiritual atmosphere. For this reason, making them happy with presents and taking them to mosques with us are very useful.
Moreover, it has got an infinite virtue and value to try to stay awake at dawn just before the morning breaks and to supplicate for Islamic world and our believing brothers and sisters. The probability of supplications performed at that virtuous time to be accepted is quite strong.
In this sense, we are provided with an infinite source of consolation and an unwavering support against troubles and calamities by supplicating to Allah the Supreme for both ourselves and other believers to emerge from trials successfully and by asking for help from Him.