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I’itikaaf (Staying in the Musjid)

Abu Saeed Khudri (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) once performed i’itikaaf for the first ten days of Ramadhaan. Thereafter, he made i’itikaaf in a Turkish tent (inside the Musjid) for the middle ten days. Thereafter, he raised his head out of the tent and said, “Verily, in search of Laylatul Qadr did I perform i’itikaaf for the first ten days, then for the middle ten days. Then someone (an angel) came and told me, ‘It is in the last ten days. Whoso­ever has made i’itikaaf with me should continue for the last ten days.’ I had been shown that night and was then made to forget, which is how it shall be. I saw myself making sajda to Allah I with my forehead on mud the next morning. Look for Laylatul Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadhaan. Look for it among the odd nights.”

Abu Saeed (Radiyallahu Anhu) says; “That same night it rained. The roof on the Masjid leaked. I looked at Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) eyes and forehead and there were remains of water and mud. This was on the morning of the 21st after performing sujood in muddy clay”. (Reported in Mishkaat)

Commentary

It used to be the general practice of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) to perform i’itikaaf in Ramadhaan. At times he used to remain in the Musjid for the whole month and during the last year of his life he was in i’itikaaf for twenty days. Be­cause he always stayed in the Musjid for last ten days, the Ulama’ say that it sunnah-e-mu’akkadah to perform i’itikaaf in last ten days.

From the above Hadeeth it can be understood that the main object of i’itikaaf was to search for Laylatul Qadr. What better way of searching can there be than to be in i’itikaaf, because we are considered to be in ibaadah all the time, whether we are awake or asleep.

Furthermore, one in i’itikaaf is free from all daily works and thus has all the time to spend in zikrullah, (the remembrance of Allah I) and meditation. Throughout Ramadhaan, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) worked very hard at increased his ibaadah and when the last ten days came along, he had no limit in pushing him­self. He himself remained awake throughout the night and awakened his family for the same purpose.

Aa’isha رضي الله عنها reports: “During Ramadhaan, Rasullullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) tied his lungi tightly around him, staying awake all night and waking his family (for the purpose of ibaadah).” ‘Tied his lungi tightly means that he spent all his time in ibaadah.

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