بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
Prayer on the Night of Rewards
The a'malof Layla-tur-Raghaa'ib, the Night of Wishes or Rewards, takes place on the first Thursday night of Rajab.
According to some traditions, the benefits of the a'mal will come to the rescue on the first night in the grave. Making an appearance in a beautiful form, the reward of the a'mal will greet, "My dear one, glad tidings that you have found salvation from every hardship and horror [of the grave]!" The appearance of the reward will be so pleasing and relieving that the deceased will ask, "Who are you? Indeed, I have never seen a face better than yours; nor have I heard words sweeter than the words from your tongue; nor have I smelled a perfume more refreshing than from you!" The entity will then reply, "I am the reward of the prayer that you offered on Friday night in Rajab in [this year] at [this location]. I am now here so as to settle your right, to entertain you in your loneliness, and to save you from this cheerless situation. When the Trumpet shall be blown, I will cast a shadow over your head in the Court of Resurrection. So be happy for you shall never be deprived of goodness." (Iqbal al-Aa'mal)
Once again, we are given such a generous opportunity by the Most Merciful to return to Him!
After fasting on the first Thursday of Rajab, the a'mal takes place between Maghrib and Isha prayers. 12 rak'ats are to be performed in sets of two. The specific method of what to recite in and after the 12 rak'ats can be found here. After those recitations, any personal prayers can be made to the Almighty.
Prophet Muhammad has also said: "It is most important, however, that none of you should neglect the first Thursday night in Rajab, for it is the night that the angels call the Night of Wishes. 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'ba and the area immediately surrounding it. Allah 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 Lord, the request we wish to make is that You grant forgiveness to those who faithfully keep the fast in Rajab,' whereupon Allah will tell them: 'That I have already done!'"
It is apparent that these prayers are highly beneficial when recited on the first Thursday of Rajab; however, yet another example of His mercy is that we can do this exercise on other days as well!
Preparing for What is to Come
The Holy Prophet said: "Verily, the month of Rajab is the Great Month of Allah. No other month can be as sacred and as virtuous as this month…Therefore, if one observes fasting on one day of this month, he will bindingly win the grand pleasure of Almighty Allah and will be taken away from the displeasure of Almighty Allah, and the gates of hellfire will be closed in his face."
Rajab and Sha'ban serve as spiritual preparatory months before Ramadan. Just as we ready ourselves before going to visit someone, we are preparing ourselves for when we will be the guests of Allah during the month of fasting. By spending our time worshiping Him and disassociating ourselves from whatever we have gotten caught up in, we strengthen our focus on Him.
Our intention is crucial when it comes to the acceptance of our deeds. When doing all of these prayers and reciting these invocations, we must remember why we are doing it: not necessarily for the rewards promised to us, but for attaining nearness to our Lord. He has given us Rajab as a most beautiful gift – let's not let it come and go without receiving His blessings in this special month.