Itikaf is the practice of secluding oneself during the final 10 days of Ramadan, in a Masjid for men or at home for women with the intention of solely dedicating your time to the worship of Allah (swt).
It is a great Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and is highly virtuous and rewarding, and an act that we should strive to perform at least once in our lifetime.
During the days spent in Itikaf, a person remains solely focused on the worship of Allah (swt) and leaves worldly concerns behind. This environment free of distractions provides the opportunity to strengthen one’s relationship with Allah (swt) in a way that one usually would be unable to.
Imam Bayhaqi has reported the words of the Messenger of Allah:
“He who observes the ten days of Itikaf during Ramadan will obtain the reward of two Hajj and two Umrah”.
Simply being in the masjid and amongst the company of others who are also focused on worship results in positive energy to exert even more effort during this time.
Allah (swt) states that “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” [Quran 97:3]
Being in a state of Itikaf means you are able to dedicate yourself to dedicating as much time as possible on a night when every deed performed during this night is greater in virtue and reward than 1000 months – that’s 30,000 days or roughly 83 years! More than an entire lifetime for many of us so if our worship is accepted during this night, it’ll be as if we have worshipped our whole life!
It’s a long time to spend in isolation so we’ve provided a list below on how you could spend your time and gain the most.
One of the most rewarding acts during Ramadan and particularly in the last ten days is giving charity but this can’t be done whilst on Itikaf so it’s a really good idea to ensure you’ve made all your donations before you go to Itikaf.
Remember Itikaf starts after sunset on the 20th of Ramadan and ends when the moon for Eid is sighted so make sure your donations have been paid ahead of starting Itikaf. This includes Zakat Ul Fitr (Fitrana) which must be paid before the Eid prayer.