Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ahekam-e-Aitikaf by Hazrat Molana Taqi Usmani

A spiritual retreat in a mosque (masjed), usually performed during the last ten days of Ramadan. A person "making i'tikaf" will spend the evening and night in the mosque, devoting his or her time to worship and reading the Qur'an.
In many mosques, i'tikaf is done as a group. A large group of people from the community gathers together for worship throughout the night, eats suhoor together, and then leaves from the masjed after fajr (morning) prayers.

There are a few conditions for the person who wishes to partake in the Divine blessing of I’tikaf:
1. Intelligence (Aql): Thus, the person must not be mentally unstable;
2. True Faith (Iman): Thus, although a Non-Muslim can perform the I’tikaf and it may be correct from the point of view of the outer actions, however to earn the Divine Reward, he or she must be a true believer;
3. Intention (Niyyat): I’tikaf must be performed for the purpose of seeking closeness to Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) and not to show off or due to societal or family or peer pressure;
4. Fasting (Sawm) During I’tikaf: The person who is not able to fast, for whatever reason, is deprived from the Divine grace of being able to perform I’tikaf. He or she may still gain a reward from Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) for having the intention to perform this act of worship, however can not directly participate in this act as will be mentioned. Therefore, if a person is a traveler or one who is not able to fast due to some danger to his life, he can not partake in I’tikaf. However, if the traveler who wants to perform the I’tikaf makes an oath that he will fast for three days on a trip, then he can perform the I’tikaf even though his salat may be prayed as that of a traveler. In addition, if one needs to perform any sort of fasting whether it be obligatory, recommended, a penitence for a missed fast, on behalf of someone else, etc… then one’s I’tikaf will be correct with the performance of this type of fast.
6. Place: One must stay inside the Masjid for the entire period for his I’tikaf to be correct (the rules of this will be explained in more detail later…)

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