Day 24 #Ramadhan - Step 27 - Sufi Secrets & Gems of Ramadhan by ~Sajad Ali~
Benefits of Iti'kaf (seclusion) and also what is better then that Iti'kaf (seclusion). The word Iti'kaf means to enter the Masjid with the intention of residing therein or (period of retreat) to worship Allah non stop or much as they can manage. Mu'takif - One who makes I`tikaf. For Men Iti'kaf is done in a Masjid for women Iti'kaf is done at home in a designated room, its 10 days but if one cannot manage that even 1 day of Iti'kaf (seclusion) has great blessings.
This is extra ibadah or Nawafil (voluntary deeds) in the Month of Ramadan, lest we forget the reward for reciting each letter of the Qur’an during Ramadan is 700 hasanah or more so how about dedicated 10 days of ibadah to Allah? "And My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary deeds) until I love him". Hadith
And Rabi’ah said: "I ask of you to be your companion in paradise." The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: "Or anything else?" Rabi’ah said:" That is it." The Prophet Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam said to him: "Then help me by making many prostrations (i.e. Nawafil prayers)."
"Allah’s Messenger used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time.” -hadith And with the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) & used to pray all the night, & used to keep his family awake for the prayers.
“He who observes the ten days Iti'kaf during Ramadhan will obtain the reward of two Hajj & two Umrah.” -Hadith “Whosoever for Allah’s sake did even one days Iti'kaf, Allah would keep him away from Jahannam by trenches.” -Hadith
What action is better then Iti'kaf that is worth 10 years of Iti'kafs?
"O Messenger of Allah, who are the people whom Allah loves most?" He answered: "The people whom Allah loves most are those who are always ready to help others in any way they can, and the deeds that Allah loves most are the deeds that make a Muslim happy by relieving him from distress, trouble or crisis, repaying his debt, or feeding him. The mere walking of a Muslim in order to do something to help his brother is better than Iti'kaf (seclusion) in this mosque (Al Madina Mosque) for a whole month." -hadith
"When a person makes efforts to help his brother, he earns the reward for performing I`tikaf for ten years. Whomsoever performs Iti'kaf for a day, thereby seeking the pleasure of Allah, Allah will spread three trenches between him and the fire of Hell, the width of each trench being greater than the distance between heaven and earth." -hadith
Thus Khidma-serving others; or helping your fellow Muslim in need, with words or actions it maybe advise they need, in the Month of Ramadhan is worth 10 Iti'kafs. 1 Iti'kaf is 10 days of fasting all day and worshipping all night and 10 is thus;100 days of Fasting and 100 days of all night worshipping that is what Khidma-serving others for the sake Allah amounts too. And this is the reason why i help people with my posts.
"And assisting a man to ride upon his beast, or helping him load his luggage upon it, is a Sadaqa; and a good word is a Sadaqa." - hadith
The basic purpose of Iti'kaf is spiritual openings for the heart, so it gets attached to Allah and, with it, one attains inner composure and serenity; and pre-occupation with the mundane things of life ceases, and focus on the eternal reality develops in its place. And such a state is reached love and remembrance of Allah and make alive their souls and vert beings
As for women Iti'kaf
It permissible for a women to do Iti'kaf at a designated place in her home because if her prayer is preferred at home then surely her Iti'kaf should also be preferred at home. They state that a woman sitting Iti'kaf at home can perform her domestic duties in her designated room for Iti'kaf for eg. cooking, ironing etc. But it is best if she takes care of all her responsibilities and that she can devote as much time as possible to worship. She may not leave her designated room unless it is necessary. The same rules apply to women sitting Iti'kaf as they do for men. Even a women on her menses is permitted to sit Iti'kaf at her designated place at home. She can do dhikr, dua, listening to Qur’an recitation & read, learn & ponder over the words & meanings of the Qur’an.