Itikaf

Among other observances which are exclusive to Ramadhan, Itikaf can only be performed during the last ten days of the month. Literally, itikaf means to be still at a place. The main purpose of Itifkaf is to remember Allah, residing in the corner of a mosque, aloof from all the worldly matters. The whole time of a believer during Itikaf is spent praying and worshipping, cutting out his ties from the outside world. It is the time devoted in the remembrance and seeking the pleasure of Allah alone. No time could be more appropriate to devote oneself to performance of Itikaf than the holy month of Ramadhan.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to spend several days in the cave of Hira for solitude and meditation. So to speak, it was the first Itikaf performed by the Holy Prophet (pbuh). During the last ten days of his (pbuh) stay, on Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Power), Hazrazt Jibrael (as) brought the revelation to the Holy Prophet (pbuh). It was indeed in the month of Ramadhan. Thus, the last ten days have been set aside for the purpose of Itikaf in Ramdhan. It is related on the authority of Ayesha (RA) that “The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) observed I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadhan, till the end of his life. After his death his wives continued with it.” Also, at another place it is narrated by Anas (ra); “The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) observed I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan. One year he could not do the I’tikaf, and so in the next year he did it for twenty days.” The performance of Itikaf was regularly observed by the Holy Prophet (pbuh). A believer should also strive to follow the Sunnat and devout all his energy towards Allah during the last ten days of Ramadhan. It is Sunnat to observe Itikaf for ten days but it is also encouraged for a shorter period of time.
During Ramdhan, a believer develops his soul and strengthens his resolve towards subduing carnal appetite. The abstinence from worthless and sinful acts is also observed during the month and all the believers go through fasting to please their Lord, and to become better Muslims. The performance of Itikaf is for forging an even closer bond between a believer and his Lord. A person limits himself to the confines of the mosque and is not allowed to leave for anything unless it’s an emergency or to answer nature’s call. The whole time is spent on the remembrance of Allah, seeking for his forgiveness, worshipping the Creator and Cherisher of the worlds, the Master of the Day of Judgment. Itikaf purifies the soul of a believer and brings him closer to his Lord.