Benefits of Iktikaf (Seclusion) in Ramadan

In these last 10 days of Ramadan, one of the amals (good deeds) that is highly recommended is a practice called Iktikaf (seclusion). The Prophet’s (saws) wife Aisha (ra) said, “He used to perform Iktikaf during the last 10 days of Ramadan until Allah (swt) took him.”

Iktikaf allows people to break away from the hustle and bustle of the daily worldly life, and spend some quiet time in the masjid with the intention of gaining nearness to Allah. This calms the mind and body, and brings about the much needed rejuvenation to the soul.   

Taking time out to make Iktikaf (seclusion) in the masjid during the last 10 days of Ramadan is a wonderful opportunity to get away from daily grind of dunya (wordly affairs) and sit to think and reflect on our self and making the connection with Allah (swt). Iktikaf can be performed anytime during the year for whatever length of time you desire, whether for a day, two days or even a few hours. However, the best one is that which is performed while fasting during the last ten days of Ramadan.

Iktikaf in the Arabic language means staying – any stay in the masjid for the sake of Allah with the intention of drawing closer to Him. It refers to going into seclusion in the masjid for the sole purpose of worshipping Allah and attaching oneself and one’s heart to His worship.

Iktikaf provides a channel for us to get closer to Allah by cutting off for some time the worldly concerns and activities. It’s a great opportunity to free ourselves from the stress and worries of daily life, and go inward.

What corrupts the heart most is distractions and preoccupations – such as food, drink, talking too much, sleeping too much and socializing too much, and other distractions – which divert people from turning to Allah and cause the heart to be unfocused and unable to concentrate on worshipping Allah.

Fasting deprives a person of food and drink during the day, and this denial of excessive enjoyments is reflected in the heart, which gains more strength for seeking Allah and frees it from the chains of these distractions which distract a person from thinking of the Hereafter by occupying him with worldly concerns.

Just as fasting is a shield which protects the heart from the influences of physical distractions such as excessive indulgence in food, drink and intimate relations.

People making Iktikaf at Masjid Nabawi in Madinah. It is estimated that 10,000 Muslims make Iktikaf at Masjid Nabawi. Prince Faisal bin Salman, Amir of Madinah and chairman of the Haj Committee in Madinah
approved the committee’s recommendation to make arrangements for making Iktikaf on the roof of the Prophet’s Mosque and allocating the ground floor of the mosque for prayer only.

Iktikaf offers a protection from the effects of excessive socializing. It has a similar effect on a person to the effects of over-eating, as the poet said “Iktikaf also offers protection from the evil consequences of talking too much.”

This is because a person usually does Iktikaf on his own, turning to Allah by praying Qiyam al-Layl, reading Qur’an, making zikr, reciting du’a, and so on.

It also offers protection from sleeping too much, because when a person makes Iktikaaf in the mosque, he devotes his time to drawing closer to Allah by doing different kinds of acts of worship; he does not stay in the mosque to sleep.

Undoubtedly a person’s success in freeing himself from socializing, talking and sleeping too much will help him to make his heart turn towards Allah.

Iktikaf can be done in any masjid, preferably done at a masjid where the Jummah salat is performed. It can also be done any time. You can begin Iktikaf any time you like and end it when you like, for whatever duration of time you like.

However, it is recommended to practice Iktikaf in Ramadan and especially in the last ten days. If doing 10 days, it is recommended that the person should pray the Fajr prayer of the 21st of Ramadan then enter the place of his Iktikaf and stay in the masjid till getting out for Eid prayer. This is the desirable time for ending the Iktikaf.

Reading of Quran is a highly encouraged activity during Iktikaf in the masjid. Other recommended activities include performing nafl salats, reading and memorizing hadiths, making dua’s, zikir, teaching and learning. Discouraged activities include indulging in talking too much with other people in the masjid on non important issues, sleeping too much and eating too much.

When performing Iktikaf, we should be engaging in performing many supererogatory acts of worship and to occupy ourselves with prayers, reciting the Qur’an, glorifying and praising Allah, extolling His oneness and His greatness, asking His forgiveness, sending salams on the Prophet (saws), etc.

Also included among these actions is studying and reading books of tafsir and hadith, books on the lives of the Prophets (peace upon them), books of fiqh, and so on.

If you wish to do Iktikaf with a couple of other people, it’s a good idea to choose people who will help you in the obedience, supports you, cares for the good and invests the time in the worship. Avoid choosing people who will end up wasting the time in the idle talks and conversations.

For more information or to schedule an HijamaHerbs appointment for healing physical, emotional or sihr/jinn ailments and also counseling for married couples, contact Amin Shah at 617-787-5151 or email – aminshah@shahclan.net.

HijamaHerbs sessions for ladies is performed by Nusrat Shah. For children, we normally do not perform hijama, however herbs, homeopathic remedies and emotional healing is performed.

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