I`tikaf or ten days of solitude and prayers

My late father, Sheik Mohamad Zafrudin @ U Aung Min love I`tikaf and stay for ten days of solitude and prayers in the Mosque every year in about the last two decades of his life. Later my brothers inherited that good tradition and “sit” the I`tikaf. I am the only black sheep who failed to do so. During the student days I was busy studying and once become a Medical Doctor, I was being busy with the patients.

KLANG: For the last 10 days of Ramadan every year, it is common for members of Masjid India in Tengku Kelana here to leave their families and stay at the mosque.

This period is dedicated to completely immersing themselves in prayer and turning their backs on worldly needs and desires.

“It is a time for them to cut themselves from the outside world and concentrate only on offering prayers,” said the mosque imam Ahamed Hussein.

He added this was a common practice among the Indian Muslims and in other South-Asian Muslim communities.

Seeking merit: (From left) Ahamed, Ehsan-Vl-Haq, 27, from Pakistan and Mohamed Anusdeen, 42, from Sri Lanka reading verses from the Quran at Masjid India in Klang Thursday.

The men only return home to their families on the eve of Hari Raya.

This year, four men — two foreigners and two locals — have embarked on the rigorous prayer session, which even prohibits them from coming out of the mosques’ main prayer hall.

They also do not speak much, do not meet family and friends and leave their mobile phones behind during this period.

The 10-day session was carried out in commemoration of the Lailatul Qadar night, one of the 10 final nights of Ramadan where the Angel Jibrail revealed the first verses of the Quran to the Prophet.

Mosque chairman Md Yousoff Noor Mohamed said there used to be more than 10 people observing the practice before the rebuilding of the mosque began two years ago.

The mosque is scheduled to be officially opened later this year.

The Star,”Four men embark on ten days of solitude and prayers”

These days of Ramadan are highly special in the sense of their falling in one of the most blessed months of the year; the month of Ramadan, the month of the Quranic revelation. May Allah Almighty help us get closer to Him in this month and may strengthen our faith in Him in a way that Satan will not be able to drive us away from His Path, Amen.

Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Power) is described in the Quran as, {better than a thousand months}. Any action done on this night such as reciting the Quran, remembering Allah, etc. is better than acting for one thousand months which do not contain the night of Qadr.

Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Whoever prays during the night of Qadr with faith and hoping for its reward will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah).

Here are some tips of things we can do on the Night of Power and the time before and after it:

1. Take a Vacation for Allah

We take a break from our jobs for almost everything in life. Why not this time to focus on worshipping and thanking our Creator.

If this is not possible at least take a few days off if you can. This can make it easier to stay awake at night to do extra acts of worship, not having to worry about getting to work the following day. This will also make I`tikaf easy.

2. I`tikaf

It was a practice of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadan in the mosque for I`tikaf.

In I`tikaf one makes a spiritual retreat in the mosque all the time, performing various forms of Zikr (the remembrance of Allah), like doing extra Salat, recitation and study of the Quran. One does not go outside the mosque except in case of emergencies. I`tikaf of a shorter period of time, like one night, a day or a couple of days is encouraged as well.

3. Make This Special Dua’

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: ‘O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?’ He said: ‘Say: O Allah, You are Oft-Pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.'”(Narrated by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).

4. Recite the Quran

Perhaps one can choose Surah’s or passages from the Quran which one has heard in Taraweeh this past Ramadan to recite.

On attending a class for Quranic recitation, this is a great time to put one’s knowledge into practice.

5. Get Your Sins Wiped Out

Abu Hurairah quoted Allah’s Messenger as saying: “Whoever stands (in prayer) in Laylatul-Qadr while nourishing his faith with self-evaluation, expecting reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).

6. Evaluate Yourself

Ask yourself those questions that need to be asked. Do an evaluation of where you are and where you are going. Let this evaluation lead you to feel happiness for the good you have done and remorse for the bad you have done. This latter feeling should make it easier to seek Allah’s sincere forgiveness when invoking Allah and supplicating to Him in these blessed nights.

7. Make Long, Sincere and Deep Dua’s

One of the best times to do this is during the last part of the night.

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, quoted the Prophet as saying: “When the last one-third of the night remains, our Lord, the Glorious One descends towards the lower heaven and proclaims: Is there anyone supplicating to Me, so that I grant his supplication? Is there anyone begging of Me for anything so that and I grant him his wish? Is there anyone who seeks My forgiveness, so that I forgive him?” (Narrated by Bukhari, Muslim).

This means for instance, waking up one hour before Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) time to invoke Allah for anything and everything is something recommendable. This can be done using the Dua’s (supplications) recorded in the Sunnah, but one is also allowed to say Dua’ in one’s own language, with sincerity and conviction.

8. Have Iftar with the Family

If you’ve spent Iftar time on weekdays in your cubicle at work alone with a couple of dates, now is the last few days you’ll have this Ramadan to spend with your family. Use it wisely.

9. Take the Family to Taraweeh

Have your spouse and kids missed Taraweeh most of Ramadan because you weren’t there to drive them to the mosque, which is too far away to walk to? If so, do all of yourselves a favor and bring everyone for Taraweeh in these last ten nights.

10. Attend the Dua’ After the Completion of the Quranic Recitation

Almost all the mosques where the Imam aims to finish an entire reading of the Quran in Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan will now be approaching the end of the task in these last ten nights. They may try to end on one of the odd nights and read the Dua at the end of reading the Quran. Attend this particular night’s Taraweeh prayer with your family. See if you can attend different mosques Taraweeh prayers the night they finish reading the Quran.

11. Finish Reading a Book on the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him:

Read about the Prophet’s life, which can increase your love for him and Islam by seeing how much he struggled for Allah’s sake. It may inspire you to push yourself even harder during these last ten nights. This community is built on sacrifice.

All these are just some hints on what is recommended for a Muslim to do in during the last ten nights of Ramadan. May Allah Almighty accept our worship and devotions, Amen.


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One Response to “I`tikaf or ten days of solitude and prayers”

  1. drkokogyi Says:

    U Than Win Monsoon
    19 hrs · Yangon, Myanmar ·
    မြတ္ စ လင္မ္ မ်ား ဥ ပုသ္ လ ၏ ေနာက္ ဆုံး ၁၀ ရက္ ကုိ ေရာက္ ပါ ၿပီ…
    အ ထူး အား ျဖင့္ တရား အား ထုတ္ လုိ သူ မ်ား သည္
    ဗ လီ တ လုံး တြင္ ပ်မ္း မွ်..၁၀ ေယာက္ ခန္႔ မွ်…( တ ေယာက္ စာ ေန ရာ ခန္း ဆီး မ်ား ကာ ရံ လ်က္)
    “ေအသကဖ္”…ေခၚ တရား အား ထုတ္ မႈ ျပဳ ၾက ပါ သည္။
    ပုံ မွန္ တရက္ ၅ ႀကိမ္ ဝတ္ ျပဳ မႈ အ ျပင္..ညဥ့္ သန္း ေခါင္ ယံ ဝတ္ ျပဳ မႈ ၊ ဝတ္ ျပဳ ခ်ိန္ မွ လြဲ လွ်င္ အိပ္ ခ်ိန္ ကုိ ပင္ အ နည္း ဆုံး ထား ၍ တရားထုိင္ ဘဝနာ စီး ျဖန္း မႈ မ်ား ျပဳ လုပ္ ၾက ပါ သည္။ စ ကား အ ပုိ တ လုံး မွ် မ ေျပာ မ ဆုိ ဝစီပိတ္ နီး ပါး ေန ထုိင္ ၾက ပါ သည္ ။ ေလာ ကီ ကိစၥ အား လုံး ကုိ မ်က္ ကြယ္ ျပဳ အဆက္ ျဖတ္ ထား ၾက ပါ သည္ ။
    တ ခ်ဳိ႕ ဗ လီ မ်ား တြင္ အ မ်ဳိး သ မီး မ်ား ကုိ လည္း
    ” ေအသကဖ္” တရား အား ထုတ္ ရန္ ခြင့္ ျပဳ ပါ သည္ ။
    ဗ ဟု သု တ ရ ႐ွိ ရန္ ေဝ ငႇ တင္ ျပ ျခင္း ျဖစ္ ပါ သည္ ။

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