Ramadan is a most blessed month of the year. This is the month in which countless mercy and blessings shower upon us. The objective of the month of Ramadan is to wipe out or erase all the sins whether it is minor sins( Gunah-e-saghira) or major sins (Gunah-eKabira) and it brings a great chance to seek forgiveness from Allah. In the month of Ramadan Muslims commit their soul to good deeds and move closer to Allah. They devout themselves to ibadah during the whole month and stay away from the materialistic world but in the last ashra, their devotion rises to its highest level because in last ashra one night came which is equal to thousand nights ibadah. Allah Almighty says that if anyone did not detach their sins in the month of Ramadan than they will be very misfortune because no one knows that whether they will be able to seek this great opportunity in next Ramadan or not.(Quran Reading)
itikaf is an Islamic event which refers to staying into seclusion in the mosque for certain time and specific motives. It is the Sunnah of Muhammad(P.B.U.H) and the basic purpose of itikaf is to worship, seek pleasure and seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty.
Itikaf is the ritual act of the last ashra of Ramadan it is the sunnah of Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Muslims spend their last ten days of Ramadan in seclusion to pray to Allah Almighty seeking forgiveness of all their past sins which they committed intentionally and unintentionally.
Hazrat Aisha (RA) reports about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the following way:
“He used to perform Itikaf in the last ten days or Ramadan until Allah the Mighty & Majestic, took him.” (Bukhari) Reference
From the above hadith, it is declared that Muhammad (P.B.U.H) always perform i’tikaf throughout his life in the last ten days of Ramadan it was one of the deeds of the prophet which he never goes away he used to observe this practice every Ramadan and he recommend this practice to all Muslims and he allow them and said: if a Muslim can’t observe this practice every year of Ramadan he must observe once in a lifetime or whenever they gets time to perform this special practice to remember Allah and pray for forgiveness.
Virtues of Ramadan I’tikaf:
Muslims celebrate the occasion of itikaf in the last 10 days of Ramadan Muslims takes great advantage from the holy days of Ramadan last ashra they spend these days in seclusion and give their total time to persuade Allah and go for excessive ibadah for the pleasure of Allah such as offer prayer, nafl prayers, saltul tasbeeh, zikar, recitation of quran and they do all the things to do in Ramadan itikaf, the virtue of Ramadan is many more.Following are the virtues of itikaf which Muslims wants to attain some as rewards after the fulfillment of this practice of Muhammad(P.B.U.H).Reference
To maximize rewards:
The immense virtue of the month of Ramadan is that it multiplied our rewards so, the virtue of I’tikaf can be distinguished that whatever ibadah we do in the last ashra it increased rewards. In one of His hadiths, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“He who observes the ten days Itikaf during Ramadan will obtain the reward of two Hajj and two Umrah.” (Bayhaqi)Reference
This hadith cleared that through itikaf we can get the rewards of two hajj and two umrah it means that anyone who practice the special sunnah of Muhammad become momin because the reward of hajj is that Allah make on (free of) sin as on the day his mother bore him”
Protect from hell fire:
The last ashra is known a the mother of all days in the last 10 days of Ramadan Muslims do itikaf for beseeching refuge from hell.Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in His hadith:
“Whosoever for Allah’s sake did even one days Itikaf, Allah would keep him away from Jahannam by trenches.” (Tabarani) Reference
This hadith tells us bout the benefits of itikaf that Allah keeps away his slaves from the hell if they observe only one day’s Itikaf that is sufficient enough to help protect a Muslim from the fire of hell and if they perform itikaf more than one-day it immense the virtue of itikaf.
itikaf rules for Muslims:
Following are some of the rules of I’tikaf for muslims .
- for all worship, it is necessary to make intention(niyath) because every act depends upon niyath the first rule of itikaf is to start the itikaf with intention.e Mu’takif (the one who observes I’tikaf) will must enter the masjid before sunset of the 20th day of Ramadan and should do niyath .
Things that are forbidden in Ramadan Itikaf:
leaving the mosque:
- Muslims must not come out from masjid without any specific reason.they can come out when nobody there to give them iftar or sahri in this case they can leave masjid if they need food to eat and they can come to their home when they need a bath.
Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used not to enter the house except for things that a person needs when he was observing I’tikaf. [Al-Bukhari (2092) and Muslim (297)]
smoking is prohibited in the masjid or during itikaf, if somebody is an addict and he does not feel well without smoking then he can go out for a while to fulfill his needs and should come fast because if he stays extra time outside the masjid than his itikaf will be void.
- sex is also prohibited in itikaf and it is haram in Ramadan when you are observing fast along with that all other activities which motivate sex feeling such as kissing or playing with one’s wife.
- Allaah says:
“And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I`tikaaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques”[al-Baqarah 2:187] Reference
- Discussions and arguments:
- Discussions and arguments both are not permitted during itikaf which scat someone from ibadah and connect him with worldly matter such as politics and social media.the faith-based argument is also not permissible but if a person argue or debate to uphold the truth and destroy falsehood, then it is permissible
Visiting the sick:
it is banned in itikaf to visit the sick unless if it is not one of his parents.if they visits than their itikaf will not be validated.
- Funerals:a person cannot come out from itikaf for a funeral ceremony.If he goes out, his i’tikaf is invalidated. even he is not permitted to come out for the funeral prayer of both his parents but he can go out to the funeral prayer for one of them.
- it is not permissible to talk about business during itikaf because it is the time to peruse Allah and leave worldly desire. buying and selling are not allowed in itikaf if anyone do so his or her itikaf will be invalidated. Reference
- perfume: wearing perfume it is not allowed for you to intend pleasure from it and if you do not have the intention to wear it for derive pleasure, some people around you may have derived pleasure from the fragrance of perfume that will nulify your itikaf.