Itikaaf

It is reported from Hazrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) that Rasoolullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said:

“Whosoever performs an I’tikaaf of ten days in Ramadaan will receive the reward of two Hajj and two Umrah.” (Shu’abul Iemaan)

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4 Responses

  1. salam brothers and sisters, i have recently started practising islam. please what does itikaaf mean??

  2. WS
    Here is an extract from sunnipath.com which I believe answers your question. If not, then please do ask again.
    Wasalam

    I`TIKAF (retreat)

    I`tikaf means to enter the masjid with the intention of remaining therein (f: in worship).

    Mu`takif: One who makes i`tikaf.

    TYPES OF I`TIKAF: WAJIB, SUNNA & MUSTAHABB

    WAJIB: To vow or pledge to make i`tikaf (on a fixed day) for the sake of Allah upon the fulfillment of some wish or desire. The least duration of a wajib i`tikaf is one day and night and it must be accompanied by a fast.

    SUNNA MU’AKKADA: To reside the last ten nights and days of Ramadan in the masjid is sunna mu’akkada `ala kifaya, i.e. If a person from the community fulfils the obligation of i`tikaf the entire community will be absolved of this sacred duty. Otherwise all the residents will be sinful of neglecting this sunna of our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

    MUSTAHABB OR NAFL: This i`tikaf can be for any amount of time, even for a few minutes.

    No fast is conditional for mustahabb or nafl i`tikaf.

    CONDITIONS OF I`TIKAF:

    Islam.

    Sanity i.e. a person should not be mad.

    Tahara – to be free from hadath akbar (major impurity).

    Intention – intention.

    It is makruh to remain silent intending it to be a form of worship.

    A woman’s i`tikaf is in her area of prayer and `ibada (musalla) in her home. The middle of the house is better than the front part, and the back is better than the middle.

  3. I’TIKAAF – SECLUSION IN THE MASJID
    The meaning of ‘I’tikaaf’ is to seclude oneself in the Mosque, with the express intention (Niyyat)of ‘I’tikaaf’. According to the Hanafi school of thought, this may be of three different types:

    a) Waajib I’tikaaf (Obligatory I’tikaaf)
    I’tikaaf becomes compulsory when a person makes it obligatory upon himself. For example, when a person makes a vow to Allah that if Allah fulfils a certain wish of his, he shall perform so many days ‘I’tikaaf’, in this case, the moment his wish is fulfilled, the I’tikaaf becomes compulsory. Or a person may just make an unconditional vow, whereby he makes I’tikaaf Waajib upon himself for a certain number of days; this becomes obligatory for him from that moment onwards.

    b) Sunnat I’tikaaf
    This was the general practice of the Holy Prophet (SAW). It means to seclude oneself in the Masjid for the last ten days of Ramadhaan.

    c) Nafl I’tikaaf
    For the third category i.e. Nafl I’tikaaf, no special time and no specific number of days are fixed. A person may make a Niyyah (intention) for any number of days at any time, even for his whole life.

    While Imaam Abu Hanifa states that I’tikaaf must be for not less than a full day, Imaam Muhammad states that there is no limit as to the minimum period of time. The ‘Fatwa’confirms this latter view. Therefore, it is desirable for anyone entering a Masjid to make the ‘Niyyah’ (intention) of I’tikaaf for the period that he will remain in the Masjid; so that, while he is in Ibaadah, he also earns the reward of I’tikaaf.

    OBJECTS OF I’TIKAAF AND ITS ADVANTAGES
    In view of the above, it is advisable that everyone entering the Masjid to join the congregational prayer should, on entering the Masjid, make the Niyyat for ‘I’tikaaf’, in thatcase it means that aslong as he remain busy with Salaat, Zikr, listening to lectures or sermons he also receive reward for the I’tikaaf. I always observed that my late father used to make ‘Niyyat’ for I’tikaaf whenever he entered the Masjid. Occasionally, by way of teaching and reminding his followers, he would raise his voice when reciting when reciting the words for ‘Niyyah’. The reward for I’tikaaf is great as indicated by the fact that the Holy Prophet (SAW) always used to perform I’tikaaf. The example of him who resides in the Masjid in I’tikaaf is that of a person who, having gone to a certain place to appeal for something, remains there until it is granted. When someone comes begging at our door and then refuses to leave until he has been granted his request. I am sure that even the person with the hardest heart amongst us will eventually give in to his request. How much more Merciful is Allah, and when someone persistently sits at His door, what doubt can there be in the fulfilment of his wishes. Allama ibn Qayyim, in explaining the significance of I’tikaaf writes that the actual aim is to divert the heart away from everything except Allah, and to make it come near to Allah, thereby forming a complete spiritual connection with the Creator. All wordly connections are thus cut off, for the sake of gaining Allah’s attention and all thoughts, desires, love and devotion become centred around Him. As a result, an attachment with Allah is attained – a love and friendship that will be the only support in loneliness of the grave. One can possibly imagine the great ecstacy with which that time in the grave will be spent.

    In Maraaiqul Falaah, the author writes that I’tikaaf, when properly and sincerely performed, is among the most virtuous deeds. One cannot possibly enumerate all the great advantages and benefits in it. In actual fact, what takes place in I’tikaaf is that the heart is drawn away from everything else except the Creator, while the soul is actually laidat His door-step. All the time, one remains in a state of ‘Ibaadah’, even when one is asleep, one is still in His worship striving for nearness to Him. And Allah says (according to a Hadith): “Whoever draws near to Me (the length of) one hand, then I draw nearer to him (the length of) two hands, and whoever draws near to Me by walking, I draw nearer to him by running.” Moreover, in I’tikaaf one seeks refuge in the house of Allah, and is safe therein from all enemies.

    WHERE TO PERFORM I’TIKAAF
    The best of places for I’tikaaf is the Masjidul Haram in Makkah.

    The next besi is the Masjidun-Nabawiy in Madinah, and the next best is Baytul Muqaddas. Thereafter, comes the Jaama Masjid in one’s own time, and last but not least, the Masjid nearest to one’s home. Imaam Abu Hanifa stipulates that the Masjid should be one wherein the five daily Salaatare regularly performed, while Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammad agree that any Masjid acceptable to the Shari’ah can be entered for I’tikaaf.

    The above applies to the males. As for the females, they should perform It’ikaaf in the prayer room (Masjid set aside in their homes). Where, however, no such demarcated place exists, any one room or part of the house should be set aside for this purpose. I’tikaaf is thus in fact an easier task for women. The domestic duties can be performed by daughters or servants under her supervision and the woman in I’tikaaf, while remaining in a section of her own house, is spiritually rewarded for it. It is so very unfortunate that, in spite of this relative ease, our womenfolk still remain deprived of the blessings of I’tikaaf.

    by Sheikhul Hadith Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya

  4. but some said i’tikaf can only be performed in the 3 best mosques, pls clarify for me with relevant evidence.

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