Header Ads Widget

Why Some Muslims Go Into Seclusion In The Last 10 Days Of RAMADAN

Whenever the month of RAMADAN is winding up and it is 10 days to the end of the blessed months, the elite Muslims usually go Itikaf which means seclusion or spiritual retreat.

They spend their days and nights at the mosque in order to ensure that they are there for whichever night Laylat al-Qadr occurs. A good number of them would visit the holy land in Mecca to spend the rest of the month. They use the opportunity to perform the lesser Hajj called Ummurah. This is the best place to observe Itikaf on earth and that is why you see the high and mighty in the society visit Saudi Arabia during this period. 

Those who would not be travelling to Saudi Arabia look for a conducive Central Mosque in town where they could lodge in Ihitikaf for the rest of Ramadan which is considered the most important and rewarding period of the annual Muslim fasting month.

The elites during this period find a quality time to relate with their God without any hindrance or distraction which may come from family, friends, neighbours, and associates. Some even switched their mobile phones off for most of the period they would be in seclusion. They only leave out a particular period as a window to their family and people they wish to talk to. Indeed the last 10 days of Ramadan are a big deal to Muslims particular the elites and they don’t joke with it. Some of them fix their annual leave or vacation during this period to maximize the benefits of the last 10days of Ramadan.

This period is termed the period of Istijabah, a period when Allah answers all prayers. Many Muslim elites don’t miss out of the opportunities therein as every year they use the period to evaluate their level of spirituality and closeness to Allah. They as well pray to Him to grant them their next desires in life which always come to reality.

There are a good number of top mosques in the city of Lagos that are known as suitable places to observe the seclusion. We have the Lekki Central Mosque on the Island, also there is the Syrian Mosque in Ikoyi. On the mainland, there are the Albayan Central Mosque, Daru Naim Central Mosque, Jakande Central Mosque, Oke-Afa and many others. Islamic Organizations also organize a well structured Seclusion programme to accommodate intending delegates. 

The programme is well patronized that people had started booking slots right before the commencement of the year’s fasting. Immediately Ramadan starts the entire available slot would have been bought. Hardly would you be able to secure a slot in any of the aforementioned mosques.  This week City People brings you why the elites don’t miss Ihitikaf and the things they do throughout the last 10 days of Ramadan. Sit back to read and enjoy.

Itikaf is a time to renew their relationship with Allah without the distractions of daily life. It is like a spiritual retreat to renew and energize your soul. In fact, another purpose of Itikaf is that you may fall in love with worshipping Allah such that you will carry that feeling with you once your Ihitikaaf is over. In other words, it helps to strengthen your faith in Allah and helps to further perfect your worship of Him.

Itikaf allows Muslims to take a timeout from the world and focus on the constant worship of Allah. It reminds them of the essence of creation which is to worship and please Allah. It helps them keep their hearts good and on the straight path as we go out in the world. Itikaf helps strengthen and shield them against the tricks and temptations of the evil spirits.

During the last 10 nights of Ramadan, many try to spend the entire time in Itikaf so they will not miss out on the rewards of Laylat al-Qadr. It is not known which night Laylat al-Qadr will occur, except that it will occur on an odd number night. Some choose to spend their days and nights in Itikaf only on the odd number of days of the last 10 days of Ramadan, making their Itikaf intentions with each time they enter the mosque.

Below are the conditions under which a Muslim can observe Ihitikaaf?



The first condition to performing Ihitikaaf is that the person is Muslim. Also, note that children who have not reached an age of discernment do not participate in Itikaf. The child must be able to eat, dress themselves, and wash themselves without assistance. For those who follow the Hanafi School of thought, this is typically around the age of seven for boys and around the age of nine for girls.



What this means is that a person must be able to make reasonable and rational thoughts and decisions. To explain further, a person may not be drunk or under the influence of drugs that may alter their state of mind. Also, a person who has a mental illness where they cannot make decisions on their own does not perform Itikaf.



This means intention. One must have the intention to participate in Itikaf for the sake of Allah, not for the sake of being seen by others. Your intention must be pure and focused on worshipping and pleasing Allah.



Women need to seek permission from their husbands before performing I’tikaf.



It is mentioned in Surat al-Baqarah 2:187 that Ihitikaaf is performed in a masjid. While some may say it is okay to perform Itikaf at home, especially for women, most scholars agree that this is simply not the case at all, because the Qur’an says otherwise.



One must be in a state of wudu (purification/cleanliness) to participate in Itikaf. If a person’s wudu is nullified, such as using the bathroom, then the person must perform ablution before continuing Itikaf. Although, if during sleep, one has what is called a wet dream, one’s i'tikaf is not nullified but one must perform ghusl (full-body purification) before continuing Itikaf.



Fasting is a requirement to perform Ihitikaf. Itikaf is mentioned in the Qur’an in conjunction with the fasting of Ramadan. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) would always fast during the time of his Ihitikaaf. However, some believe that if a person has a medical condition, such as diabetes, that prevents him or her from fasting, it is still permissible for that person to participate in Itikaf. Please note that a medical condition differs from being ill, such as fever or nausea.


The following are the many things a Muslim should do during Ihitikaaf:



It is prescribed that all Muslims pray five daily (obligatory) prayers, so this is obviously expected during Itikaf. It is also suggested that Muslims pray the sunnah prayers (Nafl) with each of the obligatory prayers.



This is the prayer that occurs after the Isha prayer during Ramadan. It can be within the range of 8 and 20 Rakat (units of prayer), depending on who is leading Taraweeh. By participating in Taraweeh, you will hear/recite the whole Qur’an during the month of Ramadan.



During i'tikaf, it is a good time to pray nafl (voluntary) prayers.



Another act of worshipping Allah is to read and study the Qur’an. Don’t just read the Qur’an, study the Tafseer (interpretation) of the Qur’an. Also, take this time to try to memorize and focus on tajweed (proper pronunciation) as much of the Qur’an as you can.



Also, spend time learning and even memorizing Sahih (authentic) hadiths. Also, reflect on their meaning and how to apply them to your daily life.



Be sure to make plenty of du’a (prayer of worship). Compile a list of du’a to learn and recite daily.



Also spelt zikr, dhikr translates to remembrance. Itikaf is all about remembering Allah and raising your level of taqwa (piety/consciousness of Allah).



Although social conversations should be kept to a minimum, there is great reward in not just learning the Qur’an and ways to better worship Allah, but there are also great rewards for anyone who spends time teaching and helping another person perfect their acts of worship and knowledge.




Post a Comment