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Observing I’tikaf

By Kazeem Ategbeshe

We are now in the last lap of the month. The most important part of Ramadan is said to be the last 10 days. The revelation of the Qur’an, the night of majesty, the blessings, among others, had been perfected in it.

The last 10 days of Ramadan should be spent in prayer, seeking His mercy and asking for forgiveness, doing I’itikaf, searching for Layalat-ul-Qadr, good deeds, reflecting on your actions and reading of Holy Qur’an.

I’tikaf means to stay in the Mosque with the intention of abiding in it for the sake of Allah (SWT). What is important in this period is to obey the commandments of Allah (SWT), to refrain from the things which He has prohibited and to be in His service.

But before you embark on this seclusion, there are some conditions that must be considered. These are:

Sound state of mind: Thus, the person must not be mentally unstable;

True Faith (Eeman): Belief is the only thing that distinguishes the non-Muslim and the Muslim performing Itikaf.

Permission: I’tikaf could infringe on the man’s marital rights with his wife and other members of the family if their consent was not sought. It becomes necessary for the Mutakif to seek permission from  his spouse or family before embarking on it. Similarly, if one’s parents are not happy about his absence for days, then the Muslim is not permitted to go forth for this act of worship. One must have the permission of the person or family whom he is responsible to.

Intention (Niyyat): I’tikaf must be performed for the purpose of seeking closeness to Allah and not to show off or due to societal, family or peer pressure.

Fasting (Sawm) during I’tikaf: The person who is not able to fast, for whatever reason, is deprived from this act of worship. Therefore, if a person is a traveler or one who is not able to fast due to some impediments, he cannot partake in I’tikaf.

Place: One must stay inside the Mosque for the entire period for his I’tikaf to be correct.



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