The I’tikaf

1. What is I’tikaf?
I’tikaf is to stay in a mosque for a certain number of days, especially in the last ten days of Ramadan.
2. What was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) regarding I’tikaf?
It was the practice of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to spend several days and nights during Ramadan in the mosque, devoting himself to prayer and meditation, to the exclusion of all worldly activities.
3. What is the purpose of I’tikaf?
The main purpose is to seclude oneself from all worldly activities, and devote one’s whole time and energy to the remembrance of Allah.
4. Mention the kinds of I’tikaf?
There are two kinds of I’tikaf: Sunnah Mu’akkadah and Wajib
5. What conditions control the act of I’tikaf?
Three conditions control the act of I’tikaf:
  1. The Niyyah
  2. 2. To be in a state of purity
  3. Staying in the mosque.
6. What are the commendable things in I’tikaf?
1. To recite the Qur’an and understand its meanings
2. To engage oneself in the zikr (remembrance) of Allah
3. To seek forgiveness of one’s sins
4. To invoke blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
7. What are the permissible things in I’tikaf?
1. To leave the masjid to relieve oneself or to take bath or for any lawful need
2. To leave for salatul jummah, if it is not held in the mosque where one is observing I’tikaf.
3. To eat, drink and sleep in the mosque.
8. Mention the things that nullify an I’tikaf.
1. Leaving the mosque intentionally without any genuine reason
2. Conjugal relations
3. Loss of purity by menstruation in case of women

SAWM – A PILLAR OF ISLAM

1. What is the Arabic word for fasting?
‘Sawm’ is the Arabic word for fasting.
2. What is fasting?
Fasting is to abstain from eating, drinking and conjugal relations; from dawn to dusk for the sake of Allah.
3. On whom fasting is obligatory?
Fasting is obligatory on every sane Muslim, male and female.
4. What sort of people may not fast?
Fasting is not incumbent upon the sick, the travellers, the very old, the very young and the women who are pregnant or have infant children to feed. But the sick and the travellers should make up the days they have missed, when they are able to do so.
5. Mention some of the virtues of fast?
According to a hadith, “Every good of man is granted manifold increase – ten to seven hundred times. But Allah says, ‘Fasting is for Me, and I reward for it as much as I wish”. True fasting leads to forgiveness of all sins.
6. What is a voluntary fast?
It is a non-compulsory fast observed in days other than Ramadan.  Voluntary fast is called as ‘Sawm an-Nawafil’.
7. Mention the days over the year on which Sawm an-Nawafil is commended.
1. Six days of Shawwal
2. Ninth of Dhul-hijjah (that is, Day of Arafah)
3. Tenth of Muharram
4. 13th, 14th and 15th of each Islamic month
5. Mondays and Thursdays
6. In the month of Shaban
7. On alternate days