Purpose of I’tikaaf

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Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Salejee Saahib (daamat barakaatuhum) mentioned:

All ‘ibaadaat are performed for one to get connected with Allah Ta‘ala. However, there is one ‘ibaadat that is carried out specifically for this purpose and that is i’tikaaf, where one sits in seclusion and gains a connection with Allah Ta‘ala.

Prior to receiving nubuwwat, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) used to go into seclusion and it was something that was beloved to him. There is no doubt that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had the best connection with Allah Ta‘ala, but he felt the need for attaining a special connection.

Thus, the purpose of i’tikaaf is to create mental seclusion with the Beloved (i.e. Allah Ta‘ala). This is the beginning of spiritual progress. The mind has to be completely free from all other worries, concerns, desires and aspirations. Like a reserved parking, the mind doesn’t only need to be paak (pure), but also needs to be reserved solely for Allah Ta‘ala.

(Stepping Stones to Reformation, pt. 1 pg. 8 & pt. 2 pg. 49)

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