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Blessings of the Sacred Calendar
(Courtesy of the Shadhiliyya Newsletter)
http://www.sufimaster.org

Bismillahi-r-Rahmani-r-Rahim


As-salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu
 
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
"Verily, there are presents the days of your Lord. Verily, you should expose yourselves to them."
 
Since the time of our Beloved Master, the Prophet Muhammad the people of Allah have carefully kept track of the sacred calendar, marking the progression of the moon through it stations.  For our ummah (nation, community of Muhammad), this has always been a spiritual act of service as the Prophet said, "The best of Allah's servants are those who observe the new moons and shadows as a means of remembering Allah."  Why, you might ask, is this such an important activity? Because there are certain nights & days throughout the year that are Mubarak (blessed), and that acts of worship performed during them yield immense blessings that other days & nights do not.  One example of this, which most of us are familiar with is Lailatul-Qadr (the Night of Power) where worship in that night is better than 1,000 months (83 years).  Likewise, there are many other times of the year and by keeping track of the calendar we can make use of Allah's generosity, and take from his infinite bounty. Below is a description of the basics of the Sacred Islamic Calendar.
 
The Lunar Year

The mysteries and blessings contained in the Islamic Sufi are rooted in deep spiritual realities that are established by Allah, Knower of the Beginning & End of all things, Lord of the Heavens & the earth. As He says in His book, "The number of the months with God has been 12 since the time He created the heavens and the earth.  Four of them are sacred. That is the right religion." (Qur`an 9:36) Since times reaching back to Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi salaam, the Arabs have followed a lunar calendar.  With the revelation sent to Allah's Last Messenger, the calendar took on its current form.
 
In this lunar calendar there are 12 months:
1.      Muharram                                                           7.     Rajab
2.      Safar                                                                   8.    Sha'ban
3.      Rabi' al-Awwal                                                     9.    Ramadan
4.      Rabi' al-Thani                                                     10.   Shawwal
5.      Jumada al-Awwal                                                11.   Dhul-Qi'dah
6.      Jumada al-Thani                                                 12.   Dhul-Hijjah
 
The Islamic New Year begins with the birth of the moon of Muharram.  Every month people all over the world look to the horizon hoping to witness the "birth" of a new moon. A moon is "born" when the first crescent briefly appears in the sky after Sunset, following the days where no moon is visible.  In our tradition it is very important for someone who is morally upright to actually see the moon being born. Traditionally, it is not considered sufficient to simply predict the arrival of the first crescent by mathematical calculation, but it must actually be witnessed.  SIDI DESCRIBES……  The beginning of the new moon is noted, and Muslims will continue to follow the progression of the moon through its stations until it completely disappears and the next moon is "born".
 
So each of the 12 lunar months begin with the physical witnessing of the newly manifested crescent and end in the dark period when the moon is annihilated before the next crescent.  Interestingly, in the Islamic calendar, the days of any month begin at Maghrib and continue until the Sun sets the following day. In this way, darkness precedes the light, as the hidden precedes the manifest.  Unlike our modern calendar, which begins arbitrarily at midnight, the Islamic day begins with the onset of the Maghrib prayer. This is because Maghrib is the 1st prayer that our Master, the Archangel Jibra`il taught to our Prophet after Allah had ordered the Muslims to pray (during the Night of Israa and Miraj).
 
The Sacred Months

As we noted above, Allah has informed us that in the Spiritual way four of the twelve months are considered "sacred".  This means that during these months one should be especially aware of Allah. Fighting during these months is strictly forbidden, and we are encouraged to engage in abundant worship and charity in thanks to Allah, Glorious is He.  The four sacred months are Muharram, Rajab, Dhul-Qi'dah, & Dhul-Hijjah. (Note that Ramadan is not one of the four sacred months, it is simply a very blessed month with a lot of baraka) If you notice, starting two months after Ramadan, three of the sacred months are in consecutive order:  #11, #12, & #1. Rajab is the other sacred month but it is alone by itself, and begins a precession of months full of special blessings. For all the months from #7 (Rajab) through the end of the year, and the beginning of the following year there are abundant opportunities for blessings & forgiveness in each of the months. Following in other documents, there is information about how to "expose yourself" to the "presents in the days of your Lord".
 

Hidden Blessings During The Month of Rajab
 
Prophet Muhammad said,
"Rajab is the Month of Allah, Sha'ban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my community."
And He said,
"There are 5 nights in which supplications are never rejected: the 1st night of Rajab, the night of Mid-Shaban, the night of Jumu'ah (Thursday night), the night of breaking your fast (before Eid al-Fitr), and the night of the day of slaughtering (before Eid al-Adha)."
 
Rajab is known as "the Single Sacred Month of Allah", & is one of the four sacred months of the Islamic Lunar Calendar.  The other three months (Dhul-Qi'dah, Dhul-Hijjah, & Muharram) run consecutively during the year, leaving Rajab standing alone. It is said that God created the year to be comprised of twelve months, eleven of which are for us & one of which is for Himself alone.  During this month we are highly encouraged to fast as often as possible, which is interesting because the Prophet, informed us that every act of worship we do is for ourselves except fasting, which is only for Allah, and that He the reward for fasting is Himself.  So during this "month of Allah" alone, we are encouraged to perform the only act of worship that is for Allah alone abundantly. Many of the holy people will fast the entirety of Rajab, some the majority, and others just three days.  Most spiritually minded people will fast at least three days because of the immense baraka (blessings) of fasting this month, and because it is something of a warm up to Ramadan which is two months later.
 
Rajab is also known as the "Month of Allah's Pouring" due to the immense amount of Mercy that He gives to those seeking forgiveness through tawba. As such, it is highly recommended to make tawba abundantly during Rajab.


 
In this month there are a number of special activities to be done by a special person during this special time:
·        Fasting all, most, or part of Rajab
·        A special dua that can be recited 3x a day
·        Fasting & 10 raka's of prayer on the 1st night/day of Rajab
·        Fasting & 12 raka's of prayer on the 1st Thursday night (Jumu'ah) in Rajab
·        Fasting & 10 raka's of prayer on the 15th night/day of Rajab
·        Fasting & Observing the 27th Night of Rajab (Israa and Miraj)
·        Fasting & 10 raka's of prayer on the last night/day of Rajab
 
See Below for More Information on Each of these Holy Opportunities

Benefits of Fasting All, Part, or Some of Rajab
 
Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
The month of Rajab is a glorious month indeed. If someone has fasted for one day in Rajab, Allah (Exalted is He) will record it in his credit column as the fast of a thousand years. If someone has fasted for two days in Rajab, Allah (Exalted is He) will record it in his credit column as the fast of two thousand years. If someone has fasted for three days in Rajab, Allah (Exalted is He) will record it in his credit column as the fast of three thousand years. If someone has fasted for seven days in Rajab, all the seven gates of Hell [Jahannam] wil be locked to make sure that he stays out of it. If someone has fasted for eight days in Rajab, al the eight gates of the Garden of Paradise will be held open for him, so that he may enter by whichever gate he chooses. If someone has fasted for fifteen days in Rajab, all his bad deeds will be replaced by good deeds, and a crier will call out from heaven above: "Allah has now forgiven you, so use the opportunity to set about good work anew!"
 
Allah's Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) is also reported as having said:
In the Garden of Paradise there is a river called Rajab, whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. If someone has fasted for one day during the month of Rajab, Allah will let him quench his thirst by drinking from that river.
 
And he said:
"In the Garden of Paradise there is a palace that no one may enter, with the exception of someone who makes a frequent practice of fasting during the month of Rajab."
 
Prophet Muhammad said:
If someone has fasted for three days during the sacred months, on a Thursday, a Friday and a Saturday, Allah will credit him with the worshipful service [ibada] of nine hundred years!
 
 
The Dua' of Sayyidina `Abbas
 
The following dua' was given to us by Awli' Abbas, and is recommended to be read three times per day (in Arabic or English) during this holy month. Some shaykh's have said that it will clean you from all sins and leave you like a new born child, insha'allah.
 
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem
Allahuma innee istaghfiruka min kulli maa tubtu lahu ilayka thumma 'udtu feeh. wa istaghfiruka min kulli maa 'aradtu bihi wajhika wa-khaalatanee feehi maa laysa feehi ridaak. wa istaghfiruk li-ni`am alla-tee taqawwaytu biha `ala ma`aseeyatik. wa istaghfiruka min aadh-dhunub allatee laa ya`lamahu ghayruka wa laa yattali`u `alayha ahadu n siwaak wa laa yasa`uha illa rahmatika wa la tunjee minha illa maghfiratuka wa hilmuka. laa ilaha illa-Anta, subhaanak! innee kuntu min adh-dhaalimeen.
 
Allahuma innee istaghfiruka min kulli dhulmin dhalamtu bihi `ibadaka. Fa ayyaama `abdin min `ibaadik aw `amatin min 'imaa'ika dhalamtu fee badanihi aw `irdihi aw maalih fa `atihi min khazaa'inik allatee laa tanqus. Wa as'aluka an tukrimanee bi rahmatika allatee wasi`at kulla shay wa laa t`uheenanee min `adaabik wa ta`teeayanee maa as'aluka fa-innee haqeequn bi-rahmatik ya arham ur-Raahimeen. Wa salla-Allahu `ala Sayiddina Muhammadin wa `ala alihi wa sahbihi ajma`een. wa laa hawla wa laa qu-watta illa billah il-`Alee ul-'Aadheem
 
In the name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful
O Allah, I ask forgiveness of You for everything for which I repented to You then returned to. And I ask forgiveness of You for everything I displeased You with and all that concerns me with which You are displeased. And I ask forgiveness of You for the favors which I used for increasing my disobedience towards You. And I ask forgiveness of You for the sins which no one knows except You and no one sees except You and nothing encompasses except Your Mercy and nothing delivers from except Your forgiveness and clemency. There is no god except You alone. You are the Most High, and I was one of the [self] oppressors!
 
O Allah, I ask forgiveness of You for the injustice I committed against Your servants. Whatever of Your male or female servants whom I have hurt, physically or in their dignity or in their property give them of Your bounty which lacks nothing. And I ask You to honor me with Your mercy which encompasses all things. Do not humble me with Your punishment but give me what I ask of You, for I am in great need of Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the merciful. May Allah send blessings upon Muhammad and upon all his companions. There is no power and no might except in Allah the High, the Exalted.
 
Du`as for the 1st Night of Rajab:

Traditional prayers of supplication (ad'iya ma'thura) that are particularly appropriate on the first night of Rajab.   When the worshipper has duly performed his salat on the first night of Rajab, he is recommended to offer the following Du'a:
 
"O Allah, to You the applicants apply this night, to You the aspirants aspire, and for Your gracious bounty and beneficence the seekers look in hope. You have special favors [nafahat] to bestow this night, and prizes and gifts and presents. You will bestow them upon whomever You choose from among Your servants, and You will withhold them from those who are not ready to receive Your providential care ['inaya]. Well, here am I, Your servant who is sorely in need of You, hoping for Your gracious bounty and beneficence! If it pleases You, O my Master [Ya Maulaaya], to bestow Your Grace this night upon one of Your creatures, and if You will be so generous as to grant him a favor out of Your kindness, then bless Sayyidina Muhammad and his family, and let me enjoy Your Superabundance and Beneficence, Ya Rabbal-'Aalameen!"
 
 Oue Master the "Door of Knowledge", 'Ali bin Abu Talib (karramallah wajhah) would devote himself entirely to worship during four nights of the year, namely: The first night of Rajab; the Night of the Fastbreaking [Lailat al-Fitr]; the Night of the Sacrifices [Lailat al-Adha]; and the night of the middle of Sha'ban. Here is the prayer of Du'a he used to offer on those nights:
 
"O Allah, bless Sayyidina Muhammad and his family, those Lanterns of Wisdom [masabih al-hikma], Masters of Grace [mawali 'n-ni'ma] and Mines of Virtue [ma'adin al-'isma]! Let them be my protection against all evil. Do not take me by surprise or unawares. Do not cause the outcome of my life's work to be nothing but disappointment and regret. May it please You to view me with favor, for Your forgiveness is granted to the wrongdoers and I am one of the wrongdoers. O Allah, forgive me that which cannot do You any harm, and grant me that which cannot bring You any benefit. You are the One whose Rahmah is all-embracing, the One whose Hikmah is incomparable, so grant me the blessings of comfort and composure, security and good health, thankfulness, well-being, and taqwa. Instill patience and honesty in me and in your Awliya. Let ease [yusr] be Your gift to me, and do not let it come with difficulty ['usr] attached. Extend these same blessings to my wife and children, to my brothers in You, and to all those Muslim men [Muslimin] and Muslim women [Muslimat], those believing men [mu'minin] and believing women [mu'minat], who have helped me to become the man I am today."
 
  Fasting & 10 Rak'as for The 1 st Night of Rajab

One is highly advised to pray thirty rakas of special salah this month. One should fast the 1st, 15th, and last days of the month and pray 10 raka's each of these days/nights (totaling 30 raka's):
 
One day, the Holy Nabi (salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallim) turned to Hadhrat Salman al-Farsi and said:
 
O Salman, Allah will surely erase all the sins from the record of any believing man [mu'min], and of any believing woman [mu'minah], who performs thirty rak'ah in the course of this month, reciting in each cycle Surat al-Fatiha and the Surah that begins with " Qul HuwAllahu Ahad" three times, and the Surah that begins with "Qul Yaa-ayyuhal-kaafiroon" three times. That man or woman will be granted the same reward as a person who has fasted throughout the entire month. He or she will be treated as one of those who continue to perform the salat right through to the following year, and will be credited every day with a deed as noble as that of one of the Martyrs of the Battle of Badr .
  
For every day of fasting [in Rajab], the 'ibadah of an entire year will be recorded in favor of the believer concerned, whose credit will be enhanced by a thousand degrees. If the believer keeps the fast throughout the whole of this month, as well as performing this particular salat-prayer [ i.e., the aforementioned thirty rak'ahs of prayer], Allah will deliver that man or woman from the Fire of Hell and declare that he or she is entitled to enter the Garden of Paradise, therein to dwell in the vicinity of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala.
 
Having heard these words addressed to him by the Nabi (salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallim), Hadhrat  Salman (Radhiyallahu 'anhu) responded by saying: "O Messenger, tell me exactly how I must perform that particular salat-prayer, and exactly when I must perform it."
 
"O Salman," said Sayyidina Rasulullah  (salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallim), "on the first day of the month you must perform ten rak'ahs. In each rak'ahs you must recite Surah al-Fatihah one time only, then the Sura that begins with "Qul HuwAllahu Ahad" three times, and then the Surah that begins with "Qul Yaa-ayyuhal-kaafiroon" three times. When you have pronounced the final salutation [sallamta], you must raise your hands and say:
 
"There is no god except Allah, Alone. No partner has He. To Him belongs the kingdom and to Him belongs the praise. He brings to life and causes death, while He is Ever-Living and never dies. All goodness is in His Hand, and He is Powerful over all things. O Allah, no one can withhold what You have given, and no one can give what You have withheld, nor will the worldly fortune of the possessor of such fortune profit him, if he does not obtain the fortune that comes from You [in the hereafter]."
Then you must rub your face with your hands, for at this point you will have completed the first set of ten rak'ahs.   In the middle of the month you must perform another ten rak'ahs of the salat-prayer.


Special Prayers for The 1 st Thursday Night of Rajab

Allah's Messenger (salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallim) once said:
"Rajab is Allah's month, Sha'ban is my month, and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah."
 
Someone then asked him:
"O Messenger of Allah, what do you mean exactly, when you say that Rajab is Allah's month?"
 
So he (salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallim) explained:
 [I call it Allah's month] because it is specifically associated with forgiveness, because in it the shedding of blood is brought to a halt, because in it Allah (Exalted is He) relents toward His Ambiya, because in it He rescues His Awliya from the hands of their enemies, and because anyone who fasts during this month becomes entitled to receive three things from Allah (Exalted is He). The first and second of these are forgiveness for all the sins he has previously committed, and impregnable virtue ['isma] for the remainder of his life. As for the third, he will be safe from thirst on the Day of the Greatest Review [Yawm al-'Ard al-Akbar]."
 
At this point a feeble old man stood up and said:
 "Ya Rasulullah, I am physically incapable of fasting through the whole of the month,"
 
So Rasulullah (salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallim) went on to say:
"Fast during the first day of the month and during the day that comes in the middle of it, and also during the very last day of the month, for then you will be given the same reward as someone who has fasted through the whole of the month, since one good deed is equal in value to ten of the same kind.
"It is most important, however, that none of you should neglect the first Friday in Rajab, for it is the night that the Malaa-ika call the Night of Wishes [Lailat ar-Ragha'ib]. 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'bah and the area immediately surrounding it. Allah (Exalted is He) 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 Rabb, the request we wish to make is that You grant forgiveness to those who faithfully keep the fast in Rajab," whereupon Allah (Exalted is He) will tell them: " That I have already done!"
 
Then Rasulullah (salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallim) said:
"No one will go unrewarded if he fasts during the daytime on Thursday, the first Thursday in Rajab, and if he then performs twelve extra rak'ahs during the period between Maghrib and 'Isha, i.e., during the first segment ['atama] of the night of Friday. In each rak'ah, he must recite Surah al-Fatihah one time only, then the Surah that begins with " Innaa anzalnaahu fi laylatul-qadr" three times, and the Sura that begins with "Qul HuwAllahu Ahad" twelve times. The twelve rak'ahs must be divided into sets of two, with a salutation [taslima] to mark the conclusion of each pair.
 
When he has completed his prayer, he must invoke blessings upon me, by repeating seventy times:
O Allah, bestow blessings anda peace upon Muhammad, the Holy Nabi, and upon his family.
He must then perform sajdah, repeating seventy times while he is in sajdah:
All-Glorious, All-Holy Rabb of the Angels and of the Spirit!
 
Then he must raise his head and repeat seventy times:
My Rabb, forgive and have mercy and pardon that which You well know, for You are the Mighty, the Supreme.
 
Then he must bow down low for the second time and repeat the words he uttered during the first sajdah.
All-Glorious, All-Holy Rabb of the Angels and of the Spirit!
 
Finally, while he is still in sajdah, he should ask Allah to grant his personal request, for that request will surely be fulfilled.
 
Allah's Holy Messenger (salla'llahu 'alayhi wa sallim) also said:
"By Him in whose Hand is my soul, I assure you that no servant [of His], whether manservant ['abd] or maidservant [ama], will ever perform this particular salat-prayer without Allah forgiving all the sins of which that individual has ever been guilty, even if they are like the flecks of foam upon the ocean, as numerous as all the grains of sand, as heavy as the mountains, and as many as the drops of rain and the leaves on all the trees. On the Day of Resurrection [Yawm al-Qiyama], he will be allowed to intercede on behalf of seven hundred members of his family.

"On the first night that worshipful servant spends in his grave, the reward for this prayer will come to visit him [in the shape of a human being], with a cheerful face and an eloquent tongue. "O my dear friend," it will say to him, "rejoice in the good tidings, for I am here to tell you that you have been delivered from every severe affliction!" This will prompt the servant to exclaim: "Who are you? By Allah, I swear that I have never seen a man with a better-looking face than yours. Never have I heard a form of speech more charming than your way of speaking, and never have I smelled a fragrance more delightful than that of your perfume." So then it will tell him: "O my dear friend, I am the reward for that prayer, the one you performed on whichever night it was, in whichever month it was, in whichever year it was. I have come here tonight in order to fulfill your request, to entertain you in your solitary state, and to banish your loneliness from you. Later on, when the trumpet is sounded, I shall provide you with shade to protect your head from the scorching heat on the Fields of the Resurrection ['Arasat al-Qiyama]. So rejoice in the good tidings, for you will never be deprived of the blessing that comes from your Master.


Fasting & Special Prayers for the 15th of Rajab
 
One should fast the 1st, 15th, and last days of Rajab:
Someone asked the Messenger of Allah, "I am incapable of fasting the whole month [of Rajab]."
 
The Messenger responded, "Fast the first day of the month and the day during the middle of it, and also the very last day for then you will be given the reward of someone who has fasted the whole month since one good deed is equal to ten of the same kind."
 
One should pray 10 raka's of special salah on this night also:
 
In the middle of the month you must perform another 10 raka's of the special prayer like on the 1 st night. In each raka you must again recite Suratul-Fatihah one time only, then the Surah that begins with "Qul Huw Allahu Ahad" three times, and then the Surah that begins with "Qul Yaa Ayyuhal Kafirun" three times.  When you have pronounced the final salutation, you must raise your hands and say:
 
"There is no god except Allah, alone. No partner has He. To Him belongs the kingdom and to Him belongs the praise.  He brings to life and causes death, while He is Ever-Living and never dies. All goodness is in His hand, and He is Powerful over all things.  I worship Him as Allah, Single, One, Everlasting, Alone, & Unique. He takes unto Himself neither female consort nor son."
 
Then rub your face with your hands for you have completed the 2 nd set of 10 raka's.
 
"At the end of the month you must perform the 3rd and final set of 10 raka's [same as before]. 
 
 
Special Prayers for 27th Night of Rajab
 
The 27th night of Rajab is a very special night in the Islamic Sacred Calendar.  Traditionally it is held as Lailat ul-Israa wal-Miraj (the Night Journey and Ascension). On this Night, the Prophet Muhammad made camp to sleep in the hijr (stony area next to the Ka'aba). There he was awakened by Archangel Ji-br'il. He followed Jibr'il out of the Haram ash-Shareef (the sacred precinct of the Ka'aba) and found waiting a mysterious beast looking similar to a horse/donkey with wings and a human head named al-buraq.  He mounted the Buraq and traveled on its back, flying behind Jibra'il. Jibra'il led him from the Haram ash-Shareef (the sacred precinct around the Ka'aba) to Bayt al-Maqdis ( the holy house in Jerusalem).  In Jerusalem, he dismounted and found all of the Prophets assembled to meet him. After leading them in prayer (thus he became the Imam of all the Prophets), he remounted the Buraq and ascended into the heavens while still in his physical body.  On that night, the archangel Jibra'il showed him all of the realities and secrets of the graves, the 7 heavens, the Paradise and the Hell-fire. After that Rasulul'llah was summoned to the peak of proximity to Allah. He ascended to a place that none of the angels nor even the Prophets & Messengers had been allowed. This place is called the Sidhrat al-Muntaha (the Lote tree of Farthest Extent). Here the Messenger of Allah sat "two bows lengths or nearer" to Allah, beholding and conversing with Him, Almighty.  His insight neither looked away nor lied about what it saw even though the light is so strong that even Jibra'il would have been destroyed had he followed Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be upon him.
 
It was in this place of ultimate proximity to Allah that He, Glorious and Exalted is He, commanded the Muslims to pray.  At first, Allah ordered us to pray 50 times a day. As, the Prophet Muhammad descended back to earth, he came across Prophet Musa who told him to go back & plead with Allah because the people were too weak to carry the order of 50 prayers a day.  So the Prophet ascended, and Allah (out of His mercy this month) reduced the number by 10. Prophet Muhammad returned down and again met Musa, who again sent him back to reduce the number of prayers. This happened 4 more times until Allah had reduced the number to 5 times a day.  At that the Prophet Muhammad felt ashamed from Allah to ask anymore, & Allah was so pleased by his adab that He granted the 5 prayers the reward of all 50. Such is the Mercy of Allah in this month.
 
In honor of this blessed night it is recommended to fast and keep a prayer vigil the night leading into the 27 th of Rajab. Our Prophet said, "If someone keeps the fast on the 27th day of Rajab, he will be credited with the same reward as that which is earned by fasting for sixty months."
 
 
Fasting & Special Prayers for the Last Day of Rajab
 
At the end of the month you must perform the third and final set of ten rak'ahs of salat, and in each rak'ah you must again recite Surah al-Fatihah one time only, then the Surah that begins with "Qul Hu-wAllahu Ahad" three times, and then the Surah that begins with "Qul Yaa Ayyuhal kaafirun" three times. When you have pronounced the final salutation [sallamta], you must raise your hands as before, but this time you must say:
"There is no god except Allah, Alone. No partner has He. To Him belongs the kingdom and to Him belongs the praise. He brings to life and causes death, while He is Ever-Living and never dies. All goodness is in His Hand, and He is Powerful over all things. May Allah bless Sayyidina Muhammad and the pure members of his family. There is neither any power nor any strength except with Allah, the Most High, the Almighty."

You should then ask for whatever you need, whereupon He will surely give a positive response to your Du'a. Allah will interpose seventy ditches between you and Hell [Jahannam], and each of those ditches will be as wide as the distance that separates this earth from heaven above. For every rak'ah of salat-prayer you have performed, He will credit you with a million rak'ahs. He will also inscribe on your record an exemption from the Fire of Hell and a permit to cross the Narrow Bridge [sirat]."
 
Finally one should prepare for Sha`ban the "Month of the Prophet".