Laylatul Raghaib, Suggested Practices and Amaal

Islamic spirituality is designed to provide continual opportunities to cultivate a greater level of consciousness and intention, for remembrance, awakening and presence. One such occasion is Laylatul Raghaib (also spelled Ragha’ib), which falls on the evening of the first Thursday of the Holy Month of Rajab.

Such opportunities are not only valuable for spiritual development, but they are essential, for they provide unique occasions for disrupting monotony, the bane of progress and awakening, as well as events to celebrate the gifts of guidance, light, wisdom, honor, nobility, excellence and life.

In this article, you will learn what is Laylatul Raghaib, the Night of Hopes (also known as the Night of Wishes or Desires), and how you can take advantage of this opportunity to cultivate a deeper connection with the Divine Presence of God and the Way of the Prophet Muhammad (S).

Laylatul Raghaib Rajab Crescent Moon

Laylatul Raghaib: What Is It?

Laylatul Raghaib, which falls on the evening and night of the first Thursday of the Holy Month of Rajab, is the night during which the essence of the Prophet Muhammad (S) was passed from his father to his mother, i.e., the night of his conception.

Given that the Holy Prophet (S) is regarded as the culmination of prophecy and honored as Khatm al-Anbiya, or the “Seal of the Prophets,” as well as the “Mercy to the Worlds,” Rahmatan lil-‘Alameen, understandably, Laylatul Raghaib is an Islamic Holiday of special importance.

Consequently, many Muslims throughout the world take this opportunity for superogatory worship, ‘ibadah, in the practice of cultivating a greater degree of consciousness and awareness of the imminent Divine Presence of God, as well as for cultivating a greater degree of gratitude.

Laylatul Raghaib: Superogatory Opportunity for ‘Ibadah

In Islam, acts of superogatory worship are considered of great value and importance towards the goal of drawing nearer unto the Divine Presence, for the provide the seeker with unique opportunities to intentionally cultivate awareness through spiritual practice.

Like all other Islamic holidays, Laylatul Raghaib is yet another opportunity to interrupt monotonous practice with a special occasion for celebrating spiritual awakening through Islamic spirituality.

“God has stated, ‘My servant draws not near unto Me with nothing more loved by Me than the spiritual practices I have enjoined upon him, and as My servant continues to draw near unto Me with supererogatory spiritual practices, I shall love him. When I love him, I become the hearing with which he hears, the seeing with which he sees, the hand with which he strikes and the foot with which he walks. Were he to ask something of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant it.'”

— Prophet Muhammad, Hadith Qudsi [Bukhari]

It is important to note here that “love” is simply another word for oneness, and that through proper spiritual practice, a human being dissolves the self, the ego, which is the veil between he (or she) and the Creator, the Source, the Divine, in effect “becoming one,” annihilated in the Divine Presence, awakening to pure consciousness and harmony with the Universe.

Laylatul Raghaib — Return to Your Source

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Islamic Spirituality

For more information on this aspect of Islamic spirituality, and to discover how you can apply these principles towards the cultivation of a greater level of consciousness, the experience of the divine destiny for which humanity has been created, please visit the Islamic Meditation Program.

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Laylatul Raghaib: Suggested Practices — Fasting

It is recommended to observe the day of Laylatul Raghaib by fasting on the first Thursday of Rajab. During a fast, one abstains from intake of any food or drink from sunrise until sunset (in addition to avoiding intimacy with one’s spouse).

Laylatul Raghaib: Suggested Practices — Salah of Raghaib

The reward of he who offers this prayer is that a great amount of prior errors are forgiven, and that on the first night in the grave, God sends to His servant the reward of this prayer in the form of a beautiful being who will say, “Good tidings! You have found salvation from hardship and horror.”

The servant of God will then ask, “Who are you? I have never seen such beauty, nor hear such eloquence, nor smelled such a pleasant scent!” And he or she will then be answered, “I am the reward of the prayer that you offered on the eve of the first Friday of the month of Rajab. I am here now to support you, to be your companion from loneliness and to save you from fear. When the Trumpet shall be blown, I will cast a shadow over your head upon the Plains of Resurrection. So be happy, for you shall never be deprived of goodness!”

— Mentioned by Sayyid ibn Tawus in his book, Iqbal al-A’mal, and also by Allamah al-Majlisiy in Ijazat Bani-Zuhrah

Salah Raghaib

In between the Maghrib and Isha prayers, perform Salah Raghaib by offering six additional cycles of prayer (for a total of 12 iterations, or raka’).

In each raka’, recite from the Holy Qur’an:

  • Al-Fatiha (Surah 1) Once
  • Al-Qadr (Surah 97) Three Times
  • Al-Ikhlas (Surah 112) Twelve Times

After the prayers have been completed, one can then recite the following seventy times:

  • Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin al-nabi al-ummi wa ‘ala alihi.

Translation

“Oh God, send blessings upon Muhammad, the Unlearned Prophet, and upon his family.”

Then go into sajda, prostration, and recite the following seventy times:

  • Subbuhun quddus, rabb al-mala’ikatihi wal-ruh.

Translation

“Glorified is He, the Holy, Lord of the angles and Spirit.”

Then, again sitting in jalsah, recite the following seventy times:

  • Rabbighfir warham wa tajawaz amma ta’lamu, innaka anta al-aliyyul ‘azhamu.

Translation

“Oh my Lord, forgive me, have mercy upon me, overlook my wrongdoing, for surely, You are the Most High, the Greatest.”

And then go into prostration once more and recite the following seventy times once more:

  • Subbuhun quddus, rabb al-mala’ikatihi wal-ruh.

Translation

“Glorified is He, the Holy, Lord of the angles and Spirit.”

Afterwards, feel free to make supplication as you like, seeking and affirming goodness from God.

Note Regarding Laylatul Raghaib

Please note that these practices are entirely optional, not compulsory in any way, and are provided only as an opportunity to take greater advantage of the Islamic holiday of Laylatul Raghaib. One should not feel any degree of guilt, shame or unworthiness if they miss these practices for any reason (or are able to complete only a portion thereof), as that would be counter to a proper and productive approach to spiritual practice!

Laylatul Raghaib: Additional Suggested Practices

In addition to fasting during the day and observing Salah Raghaib in between the Maghrib and Isha prayers in the evening, the following practices are also recommended, particularly in congregation.

  • Dhikr (Such as the Khatm ul-Khawajagan)
  • Salatul Najat
  • Salatul Shukr
  • Salatul Tasabih

Laylatul Raghaib Practices Amaal

Comments 11

  1. assalamualikum ihsan bhai
    shukria for sharing such a valuable information with us. i will do this and will guide my family to do the same inshallah..
    once again thank you. may allah bless you.. allah hafiz

  2. Salam alaykum,
    Can u please tell me about any source of this celebration?
    I am very confused about the subject. I have read some opinions the day is not special and it is bidah.
    Please explain me.

    1. It’s very authentic and full hadith is related in Gunyatul Talibeen by Sheikh Abdul Qadir r.a. is also related in Kitabul Amal bis Sunnah by Abu Anees Barkat Ali qsa. This hadith book is used as a text for students at Medina University and Al Azhar and other Islamic universities throughout the world

  3. Salam Aleykum,
    I also would like to know the source.. I am new in the religion.. well more or less (5 years).. and I always get emails from sisters telling me about the celebrations.. but i never heard about this.. is it bidah?

  4. Post
    Author

    Greetings of peace and light, asalaamu’alaykum!

    I realize that unfortunately there is some conflicting and confusing information out there, so regarding the issue of bida or innovation, please refer to the article itself in which I expressly state that the observance of superogatory occasions such as Laylatul Raghaib is entirely optional and purely for encouraging spiritual awareness and excellence.

    Additionally, it is precisely superogatory worship, nafl, that which is not required, that is of extreme value in the Divine Presence, as is also evident in the Hadith Qudsi quoted above.

    Please note that nothing is being added to the requirements of Islamic practice, only that we are encouraging members of our community to take advantage of opportunities to increase their level of love, piety and awareness. This was the practice of the Prophet (S), who for example when he learned that the Jewish tribes were fasting on the day of Ashura, encouraged the faithful to do so as well as it was a day of special significance for Muslims.

    Bida, or “innovation,” would be the case if such suggestions were presented as requirements in any way, shape or form.

    The real question is, rather than encourage piety, why would anyone discourage it, and that in the name of Islam?!

    Islam is simple, beautiful and obvious. Its holy teachings are there not to replace what is simple, obvious and true, but to accentuate such. In other words, rather than get lost in rules and regulations, always keep in mind the goal and purpose of Islam itself, lest all worship and superficial observation of rituals be rendered not only null, but in error and thus detrimental, as is the case with misguidance, its chief example, Iblis himself.

    Allah Almighty is simply interested in your spiritual development. Your intention is what is most valuable, as the Prophet (S) said, “Your intention determines the value of your actions.”

    To your divine success.

  5. Assalamu alaikum, Thank you for your wonderful posts–I just discovered your blog and I find your style, content, and spiritual energy amazing and beautiful. I am pressed to write for something perhaps rather small. Your post of Laylat al-Raghaib and its justification requires rethinking. You suggest you are not adding anything to the recommended worship, yet also single this time out for special worship based on the premise that the Prophet, alaihi afdal al-salat wa atamm al-taslim, was conceived that night. The reasoning those who oppose this as a bid’a (some often do so in an ugly fashion) offer is that there is simply no evidence for it, and even you suggest that the Prophet a.s. did not connect any worship to this specific occasion, even if its time and date could be established. I am aware of the debate on whether pious acts of worship can be initiated based on weak or fabricated reports, and personally strongly reject the initiation (as opposed to recognition of merits) of an act of worship based on such acts. As someone interested in the history of the medieval period, I also am aware of the tremendous misuse of weak reports to justify just horrible practices in Muslim societies. So I invite you to think about it. Second, your rhetorical question, which is what really got my attention, that why is it that people oppose adding occasions of worship and spiritual nearness to God? I admit that many people today do so in a very ugly fashion and without replacing innovated practices of spiritual rejuvenation with those well-established in the Sunnah, and so I do not entirely disagree with your point. I do want to suggest that there is something misleading about this logic, because there indeed are many established occasions of worship, both that are required and others that Sunna and others, so many that most of us do not even know let alone take advantage of them. So why single out such an unprecedented practice? Incidentally, the rejection of salat al-raghaib as a bi’da is not a “wahhabi innovation” nor limited to the Hanbalis, but is the standard opinion of most ulama from all the schools: Imam al-Nawawi, a Shafi’i, Ibn `Abidin, a Hanafi, Ibn al-Haj al-Maliki, to name a few, condemn it and use very strong language against it. So why single it out? Why not spend your beautiful energy and blessed writing to write more about, as you did, obligatory occasions, such as the Fajr prayer, Laylat al-Qadr, the first ten days of Dhi al-hijja, etc. (Note: I looked hard for your personal address before writing this, and will be happy to discuss–may Allah bless your effort).

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