Rabi-ul-Thani, also known as Rabi-ul-Akhir, is the fourth month of the Islamic calendar. The word Rabi-ul-Thani or Rabi-ul-Akhir literally means “the second month of spring.”
The Shari’ah has not designated any specific forms of worship or gatherings to this month. Nonetheless, some people violate the Shari’ah by commemorating the death of Hadhrat Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani رحمة الله عليه which is said to have taken place on the 11th of Rabi-ul-Thani. The Shaykh رحمة الله عليه was a very prominent Sufi and was among our most pious predecessors. Thus, people cook and distribute special meals on that day, thinking that by doing this they will please the Shaykh’s رحمة الله عليه soul, and, as a result, the Shaykh رحمة الله عليه will aid them in fulfilling their worldly needs and in achieving their spiritual aspirations.
These beliefs are absolutely incorrect. Such commemorations of anniversaries are innovations in the Shari’ah. Even the celebration of Allah’s (SWT) beloved Nabi’s (SAWS) birth is impermissible—how, then, can it be permissible to observe the anniversary of anyone else’s birth or death, no matter how pious they were? (See the article on Rabi-ul-Awwal for further details.)
Additionally, the belief that cooking and distributing special meals pleases the Shaykh’s رحمة الله عليه soul and that he will help people in their worldly and spiritual matters is wrong and can lead to shirk, na’oodhu billah (we seek refuge in Allah (SWT)). Allah (SWT) is undoubtedly sufficient for us in fulfilling our needs and, moreover, He is the only one who can help us. How, then, can we have the audacity of turning to anyone else for help?
On top of that, it is not even certain that the Shaykh رحمة الله عليه passed away on the 11th of Rabi-ul-Thani. According to some historians he died on the 9th, while others say he died on the 17th. No matter what the date was, commemorating the Shaykh’s death day in such a manner is totally impermissible.
There are certain acts taught to us by Rasulullah (SAWS) that can be done to benefit a deceased Muslim. These acts are known as Isaal-al-Thawaab (sending reward to the deceased) and include reciting Qur’an, making du’a for the deceased person, and giving sadaqah (charity). The deceased keenly waits for his loved ones to send him rewards by making du’a for his maghfirah (forgiveness) and giving sadaqah, etc. on his behalf. However, one must be careful to not transgress the limitations Rasulullah (SAWS) has set for us regarding sending reward to the deceased. For instance, many people believe the practice of Fatihah is a necessary part of the deen. This is untrue and is an innovation to the deen, as it has not been reported that Rasulullah (SAWS) ever ordered or carried out this practice. Anything that leads to a possible alteration of the deen is prohibited and is a major sin.
May Allah (SWT) grant all of our pious predecessors and deceased Muslim brothers and sisters maghfirah and Jannat-ul-Firdaus, may He give us the guidance and ability to practice the deen in a manner that is pleasing to Him, and may He protect us from transgressing the limits of the beautiful Shar’iah He has gifted us with. Ameen.