In this article i would love to write an article on act (sunnah )which was loved by Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which is called I’tikaf which was practiced by him and his family especially during Ramadhan.
First let us understand what is I’tikaf ?
I’tikaf is retiring to a Masjid for worshipping Allah Almighty. It is one of the Sunnan that are authenticated in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (prayers peace and of Allah be upon him).
Allah Almighty says: “And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I‘tikâf (i.e. confining oneself in a Masjid for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the Masjids” [Al-Baqarah 2:187]
Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to observe I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan until Allah took his soul, then his wives observed I’tikaf after he was gone. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2026; Muslim, 1172.
I’tikaf is has become a forgotten sunnah of these days,but this suunah has more value during Ramadhan than the rest of the year, but I’tikaf can be practiced even in normal days. The Muslim could begin his I’tikaf whenever he likes and end it whenever he likes. However, it is better to practice I’tikaf in the last ten of Ramadhan.I’tikaf is done to devote oneself for worshipping Allah in one of His Masjids to gain His grace and reward. And best during last ten days of ramadhan because he can be away from worldly affair and seek Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power) and devote to worship Allah in Lailatul Qadr!
How can a person perform I’tikaf?
The scholars are unanimously agreed that for a man, i‘tikaf is not valid unless it is done in the mosque, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I‘tikaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques” [al-Baqarah 2:187]. So i‘tikaf is to be done specifically in the mosques.
I‘tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhan is Sunnah and mustahabb for men, and also for women if there is no danger of fitnah and there is a place that is only for women, and so long as it will not keep her away from her obligatory work, and it is done with the permission of her husband.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to stay in the mosque the whole time, and not leave it except to relieve himself. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “He would not enter his house for anything except for a need when he was observing i’tikaf.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2029; Muslim, 297.
‘Aa’ishah said: The Sunnah is for the person in i’tikaaf not to visit the sick or attend funerals, or to be intimate with his wife. But there is nothing wrong with his going out for essential needs. Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2473; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
You are allowed to get out the Masjid for fulfilling your urgent needs such as going to the water closet or bringing food and drink, if there is no body to bring it to you. The same is applied to going to the doctor, if you became sick during your I’tikaf.
Note: it should not done for purpose of boasting.
“The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended” [Agreed upon]
May Allah comfort our eyes with His worship and make us among the successful and accepted people. And may Allah forgive us and our parents and all Muslims. And peace and prayers of Allah be upon our prophet, Muhammad, and all his family and companions.