What are the Rules of Itikaf (Itikaaf or Atakaf) in Ramadan for Muslim men & women
Matters/Rulings relating to Aitikaf in Urdu
Itikaf in Ramadan
What is Itikaf:-
I’tikaf is the pious act of restricting a Muslim in mosque. When a person on entering a mosque, at any time, makes the intention of remaining in that mosque for the sake of Allah, and remains there for a very small period of time, he will get the benefit of having performed the minimum Itikaf. Even a Muslims remains for a period of time which is required perform one ruku with the intention of Aitikaf, he will be rewarded for the sawab of this period being spent in Aitikaf. Men observe aitikaf in mosques while the Muslim women observe Aitikaf may specify a particular place in her home for performance of aitikaf.
Itikaf in Ramadan:-
Remaining in the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan, after the 20th of the month of Ramdan is very praiseworthy. Abdullah bin Umar narrates, “Allah’s Messenger used to practice Itikaf in the last ten days of the month of Ramadan.” (AlBukhari) and in the last year of his life he (peace be upon him) practiced Itikaf for last 20 days of the month of Ramadan.
I’tikaf in the month of Ramadan is a Sunnat-e-Kafaya. It means if one person within the community performs it then all will be absolved from this responsibility and if no-one performs it then all will be held responsible. The person who intends to observe I’tikaf should have to attend the Mosque before Maghrib prayer of 20th of Ramadan. During Itikaf, the Muslims remembers Almighty, exalts His name and offers earnest repentance to Him, cries over his sins and follies, entreats Him for mercy and forgiveness and seeks His countenance and propinquity.
Why Itikaf in Ramadan:-
There is a period within those odd nights of the last ten days when all duas(prayers) will be accepted and sins forgiven. When Itikaf is done on all the ten days, this period is not likely to be missed. The Qura’an was revealed on one such night in Ramadan, and, therefore, we have been commanded to observe fast during the whole of month. The night of power is of great value; it is more meritorious than a thousand months, and all good acts done on that night will have their proportionate rewards.
Imam Ghazali has said that when the first of Ramadan is a Sunday or a Wednesday, Lailat-ul Qadr will fall on the 27th night; when the first is Monday, it will be the night of the 21st; when the first a Tuesday or Friday, it will be night of the 27th; when the first is a Thursday, it will be the night of the 25th; and when the first is a Saturday, it will be the night of the 23rd.
Rulings about Itikaf:-
1. Fasting is the indispensable condition of Itiqaf.
1. When a person has made the intention of remaining in a mosque for ten consecutive days, his leaving the mosque to do any of the following acts will not destroy the validity of his I’tikaf, provided he comes back without undue delay after completing the act concerned:
i. Answering calls of nature.
ii. Observing a Janabah bath.
iii. Taking a meal.
iv. Trading, if the dependent of the person have no meal to eat. However, goods should not be taken to mosque for trading purpose.
2. On the contrary, a Mautikif is not allowed to leave mosque to offer Janazah or Jumah services in a different mosque. However, if Juma prayer is not offered in the mosque where he is performing Itikaf, he can attend the Juma prayer in a different mosque.
3. One should not leave Itikaf to go to an iftar party or to a corner store to buy groceries and so on. Hazrat Aisha, radi Allah-o-Anho said: The Sunnah for the person in itikaf is not to attend the sick or attend funerals, or to be intimate with his wife, so that he could concentrate fully on conversing with Allah and achieving the purpose of itikaf, which is to cut oneself off from people and turn to Allah.” Even violation of Itiqaf conditions unintentionally, makes it void.
4. For men Itikaf should be in a mosque but for women the place where she normally prays Namaz is sufficient to perform Itikaf. It is better to perform Itikaf in a Jamia Mosque, where Juma prayer is offered. Besides, same rules irrespective of gender are applied to perform Itiqaf.
4. Since the basic purpose of I’tikaf is to find out the Lailat-ul-Qadr, the motakif should not sleep at night and recite Quran, Darud Sharif or study Ahadith. Silence is not an advisable act for the person performing Itikaf.
5. Whatever the reason may be for breaking the Itikaf, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the Qaza has to be performed in the next year. It means that the person in the next year it would be mandatory for the person to perform Itikaf.
6. Release of semen in a dream does not invalidate the I’tikaf.
7. Women should get permission for Itiqaf from her husband.
8. Children can also be allowed to perform Itiqaf. However, they should get permission from their guardians first.
Benefits of Itikaf:-
1. Itikaf on the one hand provides protection from the evil consequences of excessive talking and on the other hand allows the person to concentrate towards Allaah by offering Qiyaam al-Layl(Tarawi), reading Quran, making Dhikr, reciting du'aa, and so on.
2. The second benefit of this pious act is; protection from excessive sleeping, as a Mautiqif has to devote his time in doing different kinds of acts of worship
3. Thirdly, a person’s success in freeing himself from socializing, talking and sleeping too much will help him to make his heart turn towards Allaah, and will protect him from the opposite.
4. The Almighty has promised certain rewards for the person who has performed Itiqaf with true heart. For example, certain Ahadeeth say that a Motiqif is entitled for rewards equal to performance of two Ummrahs or even more.
5. When a Muslim restricts himself in the mosque for Itikaf, he is prevented from performing certain acts of which are permissible in common life and in certain cases there is a high rewards for such acts. For instance, he cannot visit the sick or care for them which is a most meritorious act in the sight of God or work for the welfare of the weak, the indigent and the orphan and the widow or bathe the dead body which, is done with sincerity and there is the desire to earn the divine recompense, is a deed of much moral goodness. In the same way, he cannot go out to participate in the funeral service nor accompany the bier to the graveyard in doing which sin are forgiven at each step and good deeds are written in the Scroll of Deeds.
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