SHAFAQNA – In a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as), it reads that on Judgement Day, a call from within the throne of Allah (swt) will cry out: “Where are the Rajabiyoon?!” – calling upon those who observed the sanctity of this month. The following is a short reflection and humble reminder from our staff writer, Amir Ghafarian.
The month of Rajab is the month of wilayat and imamat, a month in which the mercy and blessings of God rains on His servants. No matter how much is said about the importance of this month, it will not pay due to its true worth. The coming of this month is a blessing of which we must seek to benefit optimally from–not allowing our days and nights to be cloaked by the garb of negligence.
A heart that’s attached to worldly affairs and concerns itself not with the preparatory preliminaries it must endure through for readiness in the hereafter will not benefit much from the month of Rajab. It’s capacity to benefit is hindered by its worldly yearnings. The finite amount of water a small cup can encapsulate itself with under the rain is proportional to its capacity. Even if gallons upon gallons of water rains, the cup will gather to its own limited capacity. The month of Rajab is an opportunity to expand one’s soul’s capacity, to purify it from all impurities. For creating such a capacity, one ought to first cleanse his heart of impurities, filth, and contamination. When a cancer patient is to be treated, doctors initially target the cancerous cells, and after, and only after, will they attempt to repair the damages caused by cancer. If the reverse hastily route is taken–not dealing with the root issue–the cancerous cells will gladly obliterate any repair as soon as its made. So first, the impurities, worldly attachments, delusional wishes, satanic thoughts and mentality which enshrines the satisfaction of carnal desires unlawfully must be eliminated. Of course, there are levels to this, and the further advanced one is at it, the greater the capacity.
Let’s make an intention in this month to remove the darkness of sin and grudges held against those who’ve wronged us from our hearts, and through righteous acts perfuse our hearts with purity. The making of this intention serves no value if not accompanied by diligent scheduling of one’s time and how one plans to practically achieve those goals.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ
God changes not the condition of a folk until they (first) change what is in their hearts. [13:11]
Dedicate some time for introspection and carefully reflecting about your shortcomings as a follower of Imam Ali (as). What traits should you have that you don’t? What traits shouldn’t you have that you do? Is it your temperament that needs strengthening? Your ego that needs humbling? Your gaze that requires lowering? Your tongue that requires cleansing? Your thoughts that require filtering? Your prayers that requires focusing? Your patience that requires developing? Your relationship with your parents, siblings or friends that requires repairing? Your treatment of others that requires softening? The answers to these and many more questions are only obtained by genuine reflection on your own part. We all have our own shortcomings when it comes to certain sins. These sins, whether to our perception are major or minor, ultimately serve as barriers in our wayfaring to God.
Though the Imam of our time is currently in occultation, it doesn’t necessitate for our personal relationships with Him (as) to also be in occultation. We can, as many have, have a deeper and personal relationship with Imam Mahdi (as), if it were not for the sins we veil our eyes and hearts with.
Until we dissociate ourselves from the filth and treachery of the current sin(s) we’re enslaved by, we will remain stagnant in our closeness with God. Having understood that our servitude of God is the determinant of our success, in all its forms (academically, emotionally, psychologically, financially etc.), the aforementioned hindrance becomes of utmost importance to eliminate.
This holy month, wherein numerous historically and theologically sacred events occurred, provides a phenomenal opportunity for us to rejuvenate our connection with the Beloved, preparing ourselves for the month of Ramadhan. The book Mafatih al-Jinan, written by the great scholar Shaykh ʿAbbass al-Qummi, holistically provides mentions the amal (actions) to be observed in this holy month. Let us not among those who neglect and miss out on the significance of this month.
امام علی علیه السلام:
شهر رمضان شهر الله و شعبان شهر رسول الله و رجب شهرى؛
Imam Ali has said (as):
Ramadhan is the month of God, Sha‘bān the month of Prophet Muhammad, and the month of Rajab is my month. 
The amal which have been narrated for this month can be categorized into two groups; amal that are recommended for every day; like fasting and some of the remembrance (اذکار) and another set of amal that include specific supplications and prayers that are related to particular days.
Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as) said: Propohet Nuh (as) boarded his ark on the first of Rajab and ordered his companions to fast on that day. He said that Hell goes away to a distance of one year from one who fasts on this day. One who fasts for seven days all the seven doors of Hell would be closed for him. One who fasts for eight days all eight doors of Paradise would be opened for him. One who fasts for fifteen days would have his problems solved. One who fasts for more than this Allah, the Mighty and Sublime would grant him a greater reward. 
Imam al-Kadhim (as) said: Indeed, in Paradise. there is a river called Rajab river. Its water is whiter than milk, sweeter than honey, whoever fasts a day in the month of Rajab, Allah will give him drinks from that river. 
Below, links will be provided to numerous websites that mention the amal that are recommended to be observed during this month. Mafatih al-Jinan, too, is an excellent source to refer to. The rain of Rajab is approaching, so to cleanse the filth and dirt that accumulates from our sins, preparing us for the month of Ramadan. One must close his umbrella and prepare for becoming drenched in its blessings. Rajab and Sha’ban are like two canals in which the servants of God must cleanse themselves, in preparation for the month of Ramadan. Dissociating ourselves from sin is the first step towards servitude of the Beloved.
May the most sincere worshipper win
Resources for Recommended Acts and Supplications
– Amir Ghafarian via Islamic Insights