التوحيد at-Tawhid

Author Topic: THE PURPOSE & SPIRIT OF I’TIKAF (SECLUSION)  (Read 741 times)


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« on: 24.06.2016, 09:25:54 PM »
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
The Purpose and Spirit of I’tikaf (Seclusion)
Ibn’ul Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Zaad’ul Ma’ad, 2/82-84

Ibn'ul Qayyim (rahimahullah) said the following in the beginning of the chapter regarding the Guidance of Rasulullah regarding I’tikaf:

فَصْل فِي هَدْيِهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي الِاعْتِكَافِ
Chapter Regarding the Guidance of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) Regarding I’tikaf

"Since Salah’ul Qalb (righteousness of the heart) and its Istiqaamah (going straight upon) the path which leads to Allah Ta’ala is dependent upon its being totally dedicated to Allah and completely focused on approaching Allah Ta’ala -for the muddled affairs of the heart cannot be set in order except by approaching Allah Ta’ala- and since excessive eating and drinking, socializing with people, sleeping and talking are things which increase the confusion in his heart and distract him in every way and prevent him from proceeding on the path to Allah Ta’ala, and weaken him or hinder him and stop him, Rahmah (the Mercy) of (Allah;) Aziz (the Almighty) and Rahim (the Most Merciful) necessitated that He legislate for His worshipers fasting which will remove Shahawaat (the desires) for of food and drink and empty the heart of the distraction of desires, which are obstacles to its reaching Allah Ta’ala. And so He has legislated in accordance with Maslahah (benefit), so that Abd (the worshiper) might benefit thereby in Dunya (worldly life) and in Akhirah (the Hereafter) and not be harmed by it (now or later).

And He (i.e., Allah) legislated I'tikaf for them, the purpose and spirit of which is to cause the heart to be devoted to Allah Ta’ala and Khalwah (occupy) with (worshiping) Him Wahdahu Subhanahu while cutting off from material affairs, so that his intimacy is with Allah and not with people. With it the worries and delusions of the heart replaced with the Dhikr (remembrance), love of Allah and heading to Allah. It will invade the heart so that worries will only be for Dhikr of Allah, thoughts will be only for attaining the consent of Allah and for things which will leads to get closer to Allah. Friendship with Allah takes over the friendship with the people. This will prepare him for his intimacy with Him on the day of loneliness that no friend other than Allah makes one happy, when he is in his grave. This is the greatest purpose of I’tikaf.

And since this goal is only achieved when it is accompanied by fasting, I'tikaf  was legislated during the best days of fasting; and they are the last ten days of Ramadan; and it was not narrated that Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) performed I’tikaf except while fasting. Rather Aishah (radiyallahu anha) said:

لَا اعْتِكَافَ إِلَّا بِصَوْمٍ
"No I’tikaf (is accepted) without fasting."
(Abi Dawud, Hadith no: 2473; Bayhaqi, 4/317; Hakim, 1/440; Daraqutni, 2/200; Daylami, Hadith no: 7981; Tahawi, Mushkil'uth Athar, 4/20; Ibnu Hajar, Bulugh’ul Maram, Hadith no: 702)1

Allah Subhanahu has not mentioned I'tikaf except with fasting and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) did not perform it except while fasting.

The Rajih (preferred) Dalil (evidence) that the Jumhur (majority) of the Salaf (predecessors) is: Fasting is a condition for I’tikaf. This is also the Rajih view of Shaykh’ul Islam Abu’l Abbas Ibnu Taymiyyah (rahimahullah).

As for Kalaam (speech); He has legislated for the Ummah (the Muslim nation) that they check their Lisaan (tongues) from all speech which does not benefit them in the Akhirah.

As for excess of sleep, He has legislated Qiyam’ul Layl (the Night Prayer) for them, which is the best form of wakefulness, with the most benign result. And it is the middle form (i.e., neither too much nor too little) of wakefulness, which benefits both the heart and the body and does not prevent the worshipers from attaining his needs (i.e., working during the day). Riyaadhaah (Spiritual Retreat) of Arbabu Riyaadhaatu wa’s Suluk (Masters of Spiritual Retreat and Journey) is upon these four Arkaan (pl., Rukn; pillars i.e., eating less, less intimacy with the people, speaking less and sleeping less). And the happiest of people are those who perform them in the manner prescribed by Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and do not deviate in the way, nor fall short in the way that those who go extremes."

Quote from: Footnotes
1- It was also narrated from Aishah (radiyallahu anha) the wife of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) that she said:

أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يَعْتَكِفُ الْعَشْرَ الأَوَاخِرَ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ حَتَّى تَوَفَّاهُ اللَّهُ، ثُمَّ اعْتَكَفَ أَزْوَاجُهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ
"Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan till Allah took him (i.e., died) and then his wives used to practice I`tikaf after him."
(Bukhari, Hadith no: 2026; Muslim, Hadith no: 1172; Abi Dawud, Hadith no: 2462; Abd’ur Razzak, Hadith no: 8038)

The following was narrated from Abdullah Ibnu Umar (radiyallahu anhuma):

حَدَّثَنِي يَحْيَى، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّهُ بَلَغَهُ أَنَّ الْقَاسِمَ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ، وَنَافِعًا، مَوْلَى عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ
Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that al-Qasim Ibnu Muhammad and Nafi, the Mawla (freed slave) of Abdullah Ibnu Umar (radiyallahu anhuma) said:

قَالاَ لاَ اعْتِكَافَ إِلاَّ بِصِيَامٍ بِقَوْلِ اللَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى فِي كِتَابِهِ
"You cannot do I’tikaf unless you are fasting, because of what Allah, Tabaraka wa Ta’ala, says in His Book:

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ وَلاَ تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنْتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ‏
"And eat and drink until the white thread becomes clear to you from the black thread of dawn, then complete the fast until night-time, and do not have intercourse with them while you are doing itikaf in mosques." (al-Baqarah 2/187)

فَإِنَّمَا ذَكَرَ اللَّهُ الاِعْتِكَافَ مَعَ الصِّيَامِ
Allah only mentions I’tikaf together with fasting."

قَالَ مَالِكٌ وَعَلَى ذَلِكَ الأَمْرُ عِنْدَنَا أَنَّهُ لاَ اعْتِكَافَ إِلاَّ بِصِيَامٍ
(Imam) Malik said: "That is (the ruling) in our presence. No I’tikaf (is accepted) without fasting."
(Malik, Muwatta, Hadith no: 696)
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said:

إِنَّ النَّاسَ دَخَلُوا فِي دِينِ اللهِ أَفْوَاجًا، وَسَيَخْرُجُونَ مِنْهُ أَفْوَاجًا

"Verily, the people have entered into the religion of Allah in crowds and they will also leave it in crowds." (Ahmad, Musnad)


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« Reply #1 on: 06.06.2018, 11:09:36 PM »

just a reminder...
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said:

إِنَّ النَّاسَ دَخَلُوا فِي دِينِ اللهِ أَفْوَاجًا، وَسَيَخْرُجُونَ مِنْهُ أَفْوَاجًا

"Verily, the people have entered into the religion of Allah in crowds and they will also leave it in crowds." (Ahmad, Musnad)


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