Ebrahim Moosa – Cii News | 16 July 2014/18 Ramadan 1435
Ibn Abbas R.A. relates that Rasulullah SAW. said, “The person performing I’tikaaf remains free from sins, and he is indeed given the same reward as those who do righteous deeds (in spite of not having done those deeds as a result of having been secluded in the masjid)”. (Reported in Mishkaat from Ibn Majah)
Reflecting on the Noble practice of I’tikaaf which is soon to enliven Masaajid around the globe for the last 10 nights of Ramadan, the respected Shaykh of Tassawwuf, Hazrat Moulana Zulfikaar Ahmed Naqshabandi DB strikes a beautiful parallel.
As related by his Mureed, Moulana Moosa Akoodie , the Shaykh paints the picture of a person in need falling at the door of a giver, making a solemn pledge not to leave until his pleas are heard.
“This is what I’tikaaf is all about,” said Moulana Akoodie. “It is about a person who binds himself, and comes to the House of Allah SWT and pledges: ‘I am not going to leave this House for 10 days. I am going to exert myself, and I want to be pardoned. I want to be forgiven. I want to acquire the closeness and nearness of Allah SWT. I have alienated and divorced myself from the entire world. I desire nothing besides Your Pleasure.”
It used to be the general practice of Rasulullah SAW to perform I’tikaaf in Ramadhaan. At times he used remain in the masjid for the whole month and during the last year of his life he was in I’tikaaf for twenty days. Because he always secluded himself in the masjid for last ten days, the Ulama consider it sunnah mu’akkadah to perform I’itikaaf for that period.
A major objective behind I’tikaaf is the search for Laylatul Qadr. This is evidenced by the Hadith wherein the Messenger of Allah SWT narrates: “It is in the last ten days – whosoever has made I’itikaaf with me should continue for the last ten days”.
Says Moulana Akoodie, “Spend the last 10 nights of Ramadan in I’tikaaf and herein you have a foolproof way of finding this Blessed Night.”
“Nowhere in the world, do you have somebody clinging to another’s door for so long. But here, the beloved servant clings to the Door of Allah SWT for 10 days and 10 nights. And in return, he reaps Allah SWT’s abounding Pleasure”.
Commenting on the sweetness many find in I’tikaaf to the extent that they return to the masjid for the spiritual retreat repeatedly, Moulana observes that this emanates from I’tikaaf having at its essence, a relationship of love.
“Whether it be a legal love or an illegal love, all lovers look for those moments of solitude with their beloved. Even for the relationship of the illicit kind, if sufficient time is spent in solitude, the carnal desires will be satisfied. Now, for a true lover of Allah SWT these moments of solitude totally drown us in spiritual ecstasy. When you taste the sweetness of this here, you will rework your schedule, vacations, leave etc. to relive the experience year on year.”
He said I’tikaaf had its roots in the spiritual excursions the Messenger of Allah SWT would take in the days leading up to his endowment of Prophethood at the Cave of Hira. “You can imagine what peace and tranquility flowed for the Messenger SAW at that particular time. We are not going into the mountains, we just have to come to the House of Allah SWT.”
The aalim advised that everyone attempt to partake from this sweetness, even if work commitments prevented them from spending the full 10 days.
“Make an intention after Taraweeh to spend 2 hours in I’tikaaf, go home and return for some time at night, or even spend the entire night in the Masjid and proceed from there to work”.
HEAR Moulana Moosa Akoodie speak about the wonders of I’tikaaf HERE