Itikaf Ramadan word derives from the Arabic word AKF which means dedicating to something as a sign of honoring. The Holy Quran has used the word in the same sense.
In Islam, Itikaf Ramadan refers to act of a person who resides in the mosque away from his home. A mutkaf usually remains in the mosque for the period of a week.
The Holy Prophet observed the Itikaf for the twenty days consecutively in the month of Ramadan. He did this to seek the blessings of Shab e Qadr. Similarly, Hazrat Abu seed khudri said, “The Holy Prophet performed Itikaf for first week of the Ramadan month. Then, He performed for another week ahead to seek Shab e Qadr blessings. But, He was ordered to seek the Shab e Qadr blessings in the last week of the Ramadan month.
Therefore, the Holy Prophet used to observe Itikaf for the entire month of the Ramadan. Until he came to know the Shab e Qadr (the blessed night) could be in last week odd nights of the Ramadan month.
Hazrat Aysha has also narrated that the Holy Prophet used to perform Itikaf Ramadan during the last week of the Ramadan till his death. He did this since he came to Madina.
After the death of the Holy Prophet, all of his wives performed the Itikaf in their life. Hence, Immam Zahuri said, “It is strange that the Muslims now have abandoned Itikaf Ramadan, while the Holy Prophet never left the Itikaf every year since he came to Madina.”
FASTING AND ITKAAF
The fasting is a necessary condition for Itikaf. The Holy Prophet never did Itkaaf Ramadan without fasting. Therefore, Hazrat Aysha narrates, “There is no Itikaf except with fasting.”
(Abu Dauood 2473)
He whoever performs the Itikaf for Allah (God) willingness, gets reward of three ditches difference from the Hell. One ditch has width of difference between the Heaven and the Earth.
The reward of performing Itikaf Ramadan for one week is as though one performs two pilgrims to Macca and two Ummrahs.
Similarly, the people who reside in the mosque for the most of the time, they become kneel to mosques. These people become friends of the angles. When they do not come to mosque, the angles search for them. If they get ill, the angles visit them and help if needed.
ASTWANA TAUBA IN MASJID NABWI ITIKAF RAMADAN
Astwana tauba was a pillar in the mosque Nabwi. The Holy Prophet used to perform Itikaf Ramadan behind this pillar in the mosque. Now a day, this pillar has the name of Astwan ul sar par.
The Holy Prophet used bed (Charpai) in the place of Itikaf.
During the year in which the Holy Prophet died, he spent twenty days in Itikaf (AlBukhari 1939). He spent middle ten days and the last ten days of the Ramadan month. The Holy Prophet did this for two reasons.
- In the last year of the Holy Prophet life, Jibreel (Gabrial angel) reviewed the Quran with him twice.
- The Holy Prophet wanted to increase his righteous deeds and do more acts of worship. Because, he felt his time of death was near.
Allah has commanded His Prophet to increase his Tasbeeh (Subhaan Allah- Glory be to Allah) and his Istighfaar (seek the forgiveness of Allah). Therefore, the Holy Prophet used to say in “Subhank allahuma wa bi hamdika, Allahuma igfir li-Glory and praise are for You, Oh Allah! Forgive me”.
The Holy Prophet saw the signs of Lailatullah Qadr in the twenty first night of the Ramadan month. When he saw water and dirt on his forhead.