Laylat al-Raghāʾib (Arabic: ليلة الرغائب) is the first Thursday night of Rajab which has especial rituals.
Al-Ragha'ib is plural form of al-Raghiba (Arabic: الرغيبة) which means "great donation", either because of its desirability or because of its large extent.
It is said that Prophet Muhammad (s) used to fast on the first Thursday of the Rajab and recite twelve rak'as of prayers in six sets of 2 rak'ats between al-Maghrib prayer and al-'Isha prayer. In every rak'a, after reciting Sura al-Fatiha (Qur'an, 1), recite 3 times Sura al-Qadr (Qur'an, 97) and 12 times Sura al-Ikhlas (Qur'an, 112). After completing the full prayers:
- Recite 70 times: «اَللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلي مُحَمَّدٍ النَّبِيِّ الاُْمِّيِّ وَعَلي آلِهِ» (Translation: O Allah, send blessings on Muhammad, the Ummi prophet, and on his descendants).
Then do sajdah (prostration) and recite 70 times: «سُبُّوحٌ قُدُّوسٌ رَبُّ الْمَلائِکَةِ وَالرُّوحِ» (Translation: Holy and the most Holy is the Lord of the Angels and the spirit).
Next sit and say 70 times: «رَبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَتَجاوَزْ عَمّا تَعْلَمُ اِنَّکَ اَنْتَ الْعَلِيُّ الاَعْظَمُ» (Translation: O Lord! Forgive, have mercy, and be indulgent about that which Thou know well, verily Thou are the Sublime, the Mighty).
Afterwards, do sajdah again and recite 70 times: «سُبُّوحٌ قُدّوُسٌ رَبُّ الْمَلائِکَةِ وَالرُّوحِ»
Now, it is time to ask God whatever you wish.
The Prophet (s) has said, these prayers are means of forgiveness and on the first night in our grave, God will send the reward off this prayer in the best and the most enlightened form. When it is inquired, it will reply, "my Beloved, glad tidings to you that you have found salvation from every hardship and horror." When it is asked, "who are you? I have not seen any one more beautiful than you, I haven't heard a word sweeter than yours, and a fragrance better than yours?", the reply is, "I am the prayer which you offered on the eve before the first Friday of the month of Rajab. I have come to you, to be your companion in this loneliness and to remove from you your fright and horror. Rest assured that my shelter will be with you until the blowing of the Horn of the Day of Judgment."
Authenticity of the Hadith
This hadith has not been mentioned before Iqbal al-a'mal by al-Sayyid b. Tawus; and there is no mention of chain of narrators for this hadith in the aforementioned book. Sayyid Muhammad al-Mishkat believes al-Sayyid b. Tawus has taken this hadith from sunni works. Ayatollah Fadil Lankarani, one of shi'a Marja's, rejects prayer of Laylat al-Ragha'ib as mustahab and only permits performing it with the hope of reward.
In sunni works this hadith has been also introduced as a fabricated one. Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Mawzu'at explicitly mentions to its fabrication, and Muhyi al-Din al-Nawawi in his commentary on Sahih Muslim also regards prayer of Laylat al-Ragha'ib as a dirty Bid'a and a Bid'a that some scholars, as he says, has written books to reject.
- Rāghib al-Iṣfaḥanī, al-Mufradāt
- Shaykh ʿAbbās Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-janān
- Ibn Ṭāwūs, al-Iqbāl b-l-aʿmāl al-ḥasana, vol. 3, p. 186.
- Shaykh ʿAbbās Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-janān
- Ibn Ṭāwūs, al-Iqbāl b-l-aʿmāl al-ḥasana, vol. 3, p. 185.
- Mishkāt, Introduction of Munājāt-i ilāhīyyāt, p. 34.
- Fāḍil Lankarānī, Jāmiʿ al-masāʾil, vol. 2, p. 172.
- Ibn Jawzī, al-Mawḍūʿāt, vol. 2, p. 125.
- Nawawī, Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, vol. 8, p. 20.
- Fāḍil Lankarānī, Muḥammad. Jāmiʿ al-masāʾil. Qom: Intishārāt-i Amīr-i Qalam, n.d.
- Ibn Jawzī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAlī. Al-Mawḍūʿāt. Edited by ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Muḥammad ʿUthmān. Medina: al-Maktabat al-Salafīyya, 1966.
- Ibn Ṭāwūs, ʿAlī b. Mūsā b. Jʿfar. Al-Iqbāl b-l-aʿmāl al-ḥasana. Edited by Jawād Qayyūmī Isfahānī. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1376 Sh.
- Mishkāt, Sayyid Muḥammad al-. Introduction of Munājāt-i ilāhīyyāt-i ḥaḍrat-i Amīr. Tehran: Nashr-i Wizārat-i Farhang wa Irshād-i Islāmī, 1378 Sh.
- Nawawī, Yaḥya b. Sharaf al-. Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿArabī, 1407 AH.
- Qummī, Shaykh ʿAbbās . Mafātīḥ al-janān. Qom: Uswah, n.d.
- Rāghib al-Iṣfaḥanī, Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Mufradāt fī gharāʾib al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Dār al-ʿIlm, 1412 AH- 1992.