Itikaf in Ramadan-ul-Mubarak: Stay in Masjid
Itikaf can be defined as Ebadah in which Muslims stay in Masjid for the purpose of worshipping God. In Itikaf a person cuts off himself/herself from the worldly distractions and spend time in the obedience of Allah (s.w.t). Muslims has to sit for Itikaf only to seek pleasure of Allah in a focused environment and engaging wholeheartedly in the acts which bring him closer to the Lord. Itikaf is the Sunnah of RasulUllah (s.a.w) as Hadrat A’isha (radiAllahuanha) reported that
the Messenger of Allah (salAllahualayhiwasallam) would perform i’tikaf in the last ten nights of every Ramadan until he passed away. [Bukhari and Muslim].
Prophet (s.a.w) stayed in Itikaf for 20 days during the year he died (Bukhari).
The supreme noble days of Itikaf when one is disconnected from worldly affairs, give seclusion, clear the mind and allows supplicating to lord from full heart.
The Purpose of I’tikaf
Allah s.w.t told in the Qur’an that purpose of fasting in Ramadan isdevelopingTaqwa (Allah consciousness) so it reaches the peak of Ebadah and effort for taqwa in the last ten days i.eItikaf days. Itikaf is not obligatory to persorm but it is an highly recommended Ebadah to perform in Masjid for every Muslim. Itikaf is an act of worship which brings oneself closer to his Lord.
Reward of performing Itikaf
RasulUllah (s.a.w) said: “Whoever observes i’tikaf for one day seeking thereby the Face of Allaah, Allaah will place between him and the Fire three ditches wider than the distance between the east and the west.” This was classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah, 5345.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever observes i’tikaaf out of faith and in the hope of reward will be forgiven his previous sins.” Classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Jaami’, 5442.
Itikaf period is like an intensive course to develop nearness to Allah and it brings instant positive effects in life of a Mu’takif (one who observes Itikaf).
Prophet (s.a.w) used to seek Layl-tul- Qadr in the last ten days of Ramadan. “The Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months)” [al-Qadr 97:3].
Itikaf with family
It is recommended to do ebadah yourself as well as to encourage your family with you. Wives of RasulUllah (s.a.w) used to accompany him in the last ten days of Ramadan. It comes in a Hadith:
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ يَعْتَكِفُ الْعَشْرَ الأَوَاخِرَ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ حَتَّى تَوَفَّاهُ اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اعْتَكَفَ أَزْوَاجُهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ
‘A’ishah relates that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) used to perform I’tikaf the last ten days of Ramadan until he died, then his wives performed I’tikaf after him. Reported by Bukhari (no. 2026) and Muslim (no. 1172).
Preparation for Itikaf
As a Muslim one should prepare well before sitting Itikaf inRamdan like making your own Dua list, making plans of improving understanding of Qur’an, memorizing new Duas, reading Ahadith books, search for Seerah books to read during Itikaf to derive lessons from life of RasulUllah (s.a.w) to follow them in practical life and so on and so forth.
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