Friday, October 8, 2010

Perform I’tikaf -Spiritual retreat

( بسم الله الرحمـٰنِ الرحيم )

Good Deed: #19 Perform I’tikaf -Spiritual retreat

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* Abu Hurayra said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to do i’tikaf for ten days every Ramadan. In the year in which he died he did i’tikaf for twenty days.” [al-Bukhari]

* ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time. Bukhari 6:6:2644

* The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Whoever stands the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and seeking reward shall have their previous sins forgiven.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

* Ali Ibn Husain RA narrates from his father that Rasullullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “He who observes the ten days I’tikaf during Ramadhan will obtain the thawaab of two Hajj and two Umrah.” (Bayhaqi)

* Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas RA reported that Rasullullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Whosoever for Allah’s sake did even one days i’tikaf, Allah would keep him away from Jahannam by trenches.” (Tabarani)

Benefits of I’tikaf

I`tikaf is a means of great reward. It says in the Fatawa Hindiyya,

“Its excellence is obvious, for the one make such a spiritual retreat:

- Has submitted their entire person to the worship of Allah Most High;
- seeks closeness;


- distances themselves from the worldly distractions that prevent one from proximity;
- drowning their entire time in actual or effective worship, for the basis of its legislation is to wait from one prayer time to the next prayer in congregation;
- it also makes the one is retreat resemble the angels who do not disobey the command of Allah and do what they are commanded, while glorifying Allah by night and day without tiring…” [1.212]


What to do during i`tikaf

One should busy oneself with the beneficial as much as one meaningfully can, such as:

1. Voluntary prayer,

2. Reciting the Book of Allah, with reflection, contemplation, and passion,

3. Remembrance of Allah, in all its forms,

4. Gaining beneficial knowledge, and listening to inspiring religious discourses (which is why it is wise to make i`tikaf in a mosque with people of learning, and good company to inspire one towards the good).

One should avoid simply wasting time in things bereft of benefit, let alone the haram, though there is nothing wrong in taking ‘breaks’ in which one relaxes with others, as a means of being able to return to one’s worship with vigor and devotion.

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