There are two common types of I’tikaaf which are observed by many Muslims:
- Sunnah I’tikaaf
This was the general practice of Nabi Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. This I’tikaaf is observed during the last ten days of Ramadhaan.
- Nafl I’tikaaf
There is no special time or a specific number of days for Nafl I’tikaaf.
With regards to the rules, Masaa’il etc. of I’tikaaf, a reliable Kitaab should be studied. A Kitaab written by The Majlisul Ulama is available on this link: CLICK HERE
Ibne Abbas Radhiyallahu anhu relates that Nabi Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said, “The person performing I’tikaaf remains free from sins, and he is indeed given the same rewards as those who do righteous deeds.”
A Brief Explanation
In this Hadith, Nabi Sallallahu alaihi wasallam briefly explains the great rewards a Mu’takif (person who is observing I’tikaaf) receives. Despite being confined to the Masjid, a Mu’takif enjoys the rewards of good actions which are normally done outside the Masjid. This is truly the Karam (generosity) of Allah Ta’ala.
Regarding the good actions done outside the Masjid, we will mention a few Insha Allah:
- To visit a sick
- To attend a Janaazah
- Giving Sadaqah to a poor person
- To remove an obstacle from the pathway
- To accept a Halaal invitation (which is within the barometers of the Shari’at)
- And any other good action
On the other hand, a Mu’takif is saved from the sins, vice, evils and Haraam which have become so common nowadays. Music on every corner, liquor on every corner, Zina on every corner, shamelessly dressed women prowling on the streets, Haraam TV, and the list goes on. This fortunate Mu’takif is saved from all of the above and more evils.
Once, after the demise of Nabi Sallallahu alaihi wasallam, Hazrat Ibne Abbas Radhiyallahu anhu said in Madinah Munawwarah, near the Raudhah Mubaarak, “The time is still fresh in my mind, (when) I heard the esteemed master of this Qabr saying, “Whosoever performs I’tikaaf for a day, thereby seeking the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, Allah Ta’ala will distance him from the Fire of Jahannam by three trenches, the width of each being the distance between the heavens and earth.”
A Brief Explanation
The rewards and benefits of I’tikaaf are clearly mentioned in this Hadith. Allah Ta’ala will reward with so much to such a person who has sacrificed his time, home, company of his family and luxury to confine himself to the boundary of the Masjid. So valued is this action of man that Allah Ta’ala will grant him the mentioned huge benefit per day of I’tikaaf.
We make Du’a to Allah Ta’ala that He grants the Mu’takifeen (those in I’tikaaf) Ikhlaas as this (Ikhlaas) is a condition for the mentioned benefit.
We also make Du’a to Allah Ta’ala that He accepts all the Ibaadaat of the Mu’takifeen and accepts all their Du’as, Aameen.