As I walked into the women’s area of the masjid, I noticed that the back area had been sealed off and women were filling up only the wider front area. The extra space had been designated for men observing I’tikaf to store their baggage. A Mu’takif is not allowed to leave the masjid except in case of extreme need, so they must have all their essentials with them.
I felt a pang in my heart as jealousy seared through me; THEY ARE SO BLESSED!
I’tikaf literally means to stick to something and block everything else out. In Shari’a, I’tikaf is a Sunnah; it is to retreat into a masjid with the intention of coming closer to Allah by being devoted in worship without any worldly distractions.
The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam observed I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan, Abdullah ibn Umar radhiallahu ‘anh narrated,
كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يعتكف العشر الأواخر من رمضان
“The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would observe I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan.” (Bukhari)
I can just begin to list the benefits! A person has a lot of time to think about the concept of ‘Ibadah in Islam because he is free from distractions that may block his heart from truly immersing himself into worship. He is protected from talking, sleeping, and eating too much. He has to practice patience in being away from his family and the material things he is used to in his daily life.
I think spending ten nights in the masjid would make Eed day even more special. It would be a bittersweet happiness, bidding Ramadan farewell and welcoming Eed.
اللهم تقبل من المعتكفين اعتكافهم يا رب العالمين
– The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)