I’tikaaf


SalamuaLaykum.

As we all know, the ‘last ten days of ramadan’ is here!, the most important part of which is a night, the Laylatul Qadr, a night greater than a thousand months !We, as Muslims are encouraged to seek this night by staying in seclusion.. This seclusion is I’tikaaf. This write-up is aimed at providing the basic things to know of I’tikaaf in order to get the full benefit of it. May Allah help us!

I’tikaaf

I’tikaaf literally means to stick to something and block out every other thing. In this context, it means seclusion, intending intimacy with Allah.
It is Mustahab(desired) but becomes Waajib(compulsory) on anyone who made a vow to perform it.
It can be performed at any time of the year but is of much importance in Ramadan because of the seek for the Laylatul Qadr.

Conditions for I’tikaaf

  • It has to be in a mosque, all kinds of mosque is acceptable.
  • It may or may not be accompanied by fasting.
  • The least period for it is a night but is best done for the whole of the last ten days.
  • The best time to enter it is after solatul subh(say, on the 21st day of ramadan) and the prophet would leave it after subh on eid day.

what nullifies I’tikaaf

Sexual intercourse (…but do not associate with your wives while you are in retreat in the mosques.. Q.2:187)

Desirable acts

  • All the acts of worship are encouraged at this time- voluntary prayers, Qur’an recitation, repentance.
  • Give charity, increase in good deeds.
  • The prophet especially taught us to say-Allahuma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fafuanni.

Don’t forget

This is the time to ask Allah for all the things you want. Don’t be too shy or reluctant  to ask and don’t you think your sins can prevent you from asking. Remember, he knows you in and out and he is the oft forgiving, most merciful!

WHat Allah says

3- the night of power is better than a thousand months

SuratulQadr(97):1-5

Related articles-

checklist- The Last Ten Nights and Days of Ramadan…

peaking at the last ten

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OURS is the religion of PeaCe- what is yours??


31st July, 2011
Since it wasn’t announced by the wee hours of today that the moon was sighted, it is obvious that tonight is the first taraweeh and fasting starts tomorrow. HURRAYY!!!!!!!!!!

I am in a village, starting a one week posting on Primary health care (PHC). I had felt bad at the thought of fasting here but on arrival, the thought faded, replaced by the awesome feel of the blessed month!

I had shed some tears earlier today because of the thoughts of how very hopeful I was at the beginning of the last ramadan, and how much  I believed I was going to continue with my good deeds after it and how much I did not succeed in doing that. But then, alhamdulillah that I have been given the grace to be alive now with the opportunity to be forgiven, get great rewards, work for aljannah and probably make better, more achievable resolution for the months before the next ramadan.

At d time for solatul Ishai, I felt so good, in my newly sewn Jilbab(I was going to be praying in this!). I walked towards the mosque happy, joined the many Muslims in the congregation in Observing Ishai and then taraweeh.

I did notice a lot here, but the most interesting to me was the kids I saw. The inner part of the mosque is for the men while the women and children are at the outer part, children in front and women at the back. I saw the children were in really lovelly clothes, I could have called new but wasn’t sure they are. One particular boy was donning a spotless white jalabiyya, I couldn’t but admire. This is a village but the sense of dressing well, even if occasionally is definitely not eluded.

Looking at this innocent children takes me back to the good old days (old?? Can’t believe am already talking dat way!!) when I was very young and together with my siblings and other children around, was Innocently devoted to Allah.
Our dressing was never without hijab and the boys would occasionally wear caps. We already could perform ablution, pray salat, recite certain verses of the Qur’an off hand. We particularly knew the stories of the prophets, thanks to ’the rope of Allah’(a series of textbooks on primary school Islamic studies curriculum).We would compete on our knowledge of these and  on the number of days we fasted.

I can remember I made a resolution to never break my fast again when while in JSS2, my younger brother who was in pry 5 fasted throughout ramadan. It was painful hearing him boast of that while I looked on, ashamed to mention how many I missed.

We would go for Arabic/Quranic  classes(ile keu) after school and during holidays attend Islamic vacation course(IVC)..hmmn d good childhood days!!!! How Important IVCs were! Majority of the day to day supplications we use now were learnt there.

we looked like this

If you didn’t know ‘bismillahi wa ala barakatullah’, You did not attend IVC, I assure you :)!

These days, it is rare to see children go to these kind of Arabic schools and the number of people who go for IVC is in decline. So many reasons are given by parents for this but I tell you, not justified.

The basics of Islam we learnt, at a time when our minds were not filled with how the day to day affairs of the world are run, when we didn’t know if anything became expensive nor were we aware of anything called terrorism.

Our Islam was the religion of peace, one that teaches good neighbourliness, good character, respect for parents, teachers and the elderly. One that provides solution to even the biggest of our problems.

Afterall if an ant was to attack you, all you have to say is-
‘Audhubikalimatillahitamat min sharri ma khalaqa’
And it did work and still does.

These learnt early on, am sure have kept many of us in the deen. We have been able to differentiate the Islam we knew from the one the world is making us see, d minstream media trying to make us believe.

We have remained steadfast and protective of our own because ours is the religion of PEACE!

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