Itikaf means to stay in the Masjid with the Niyyah of Itikaf for the sake of Almighty Allah. The purpose of such stay in the Masjid is Ibadah and to gain proximity to Almighty Allah. According to Islamic belief, Itikaf means to go somewhere isolated in Mosques or Masjids during the last ten days of Ramadan for worship, becoming occupied with knowledge about faith and reading and reciting the Qur’an. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said that “Whoever observes Itikaf for ten days in Ramadan that will be equivalent to two Hajj’s and two Umrahs”. Itikaf refers to isolating one’s self in a mosque for the sole purpose of worshipping Allah and attaching the self and one’s heart to worshipping Him. Itikaf provides an opportunity for the believer to get closer to Allah by provisionally freeing oneself and one’s mind from the activities and worries of this world. This provides an excellent opportunity to train oneself to disassociate temporarily from the worries of the world and to instead focus only on Almighty Allah. Itikaf is “isolation in a mosque with the intention of earning the pleas of Allah by following certain rules.” Itikaf as a type of worship has been known since the time of Abraham. Itikaf aims to keep the relationship with the world to a minimum, to maintain one’s solitude, to worship more, to pray for the forgiveness of sins, and to approach closer to God. One who has engaged in this struggle cuts off connections with the outside world and gives oneself to worship and reading the Qur’an, to invocations and thought. During Itikaf in Ramadan the heart shines and the mind slows down.
Individuals who reach inner peace can cope more easily with the troubles of life. Itikaf is a time of purification and spiritual upheaval. Itikaf is being observed to increase subjective well-being and can be especially said to increase confidence in the future and the ability to cope with life troubles.
The Nafs are held in check a certain extent. Signs of worship and servitude are seen from those coming out of Itikaf. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would enter Itikaf for the last 10 days of Ramadan. He would perform worship at night on these last 10 days, wake up his family, and pay attention to his prayers; he worshipped more than at other times and recommended this to other Muslims. Thus, Itikaf is important worship that lifts one from the vortex of globalization and raises one’s level of servitude toward God. Itikaf can be said to contain intense worship and, more importantly, to allow leaving earthly things behind to be left alone with Almighty Allah so that by performing Itikaf the individual can expand the heart and reach spiritual peace. Expanding the heart’s intent means achieving inner peace. Individuals who reach inner peace can cope more easily with the troubles of life. Itikaf is a time of purification and spiritual upheaval. Itikaf is being observed to increase subjective well-being and can be especially said to increase confidence in the future and the ability to cope with life troubles. May Almighty Allah accept our efforts and make every moment of this month a means of receiving His mercy, blessing and forgiveness…Aameen