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I'tikaf and Qiyam in Ramadan

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Sheikh Faysal ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz Al Mubarak

I'tikaf in linguistics is: Adherence to something.

In the Shari'ah: It is retiring to a masjid for worshipping Allah according to a specific way. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And sanctify My House for those who circumambulate it, and those who stand up for prayer, and those who bow (submit themselves with humility and obedience to Allah), and make prostration (in prayer, etc.)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 125].

Allah (Exalted be He) says: "And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I'tikâf (i.e., confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques." [Surat Al Baqarah: 187].

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever performs Salah at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, all his previous sins will be forgiven." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

The Hadith is a proof to the virtue of performing Qiyam [Optional Night Salah] during Ramadan. It is desirable to offer it in congregation because it motivates many people. Ibn Battal said: Qiyam in Ramadan is a Sunnah because 'Umar received it from the Prophet's action, but the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not pray it in congregation for fear that it will become an obligation on Muslims. 'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim]. The Hadith is a proof to exerting efforts in worship during the last ten days of Ramadan to seek Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) and because of the approach of the end of Ramadan, and actions are counted by their ends.

'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to observe I'tikaf (retiring in the mosque) in the last ten days of Ramadan until he died then his wives observed I'tikaf after he had passed away. [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

The Hadith is a proof to the legitimacy of I'tikaf for men and women, and its desirability during the last ten days. The objective of I'tikaf is the attentiveness of the heart by seclusion from people, drawing nearer to Allah, and enjoying His Mention and Worship.

'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: "When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) intended to observe I'tikaf, he prayed the Fajr Salah and then entered his place of seclusion." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

The Hadith is a proof to the desirability of the Mu'takif's entering to his place of seclusion after the Fajr (Dawn) Salah.

'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: "Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to let his head in (the house) while he was in the mosque and I would comb and oil his hair. When in I'tikaf he used not to enter the house except for a need. [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim with the wordings of Al Bukhari].

The Hadith is a clear evidence that the exit of some parts of Al Mu'takif's body is valid and will not harm him. It is permissible for a Mu'takif to clean and adorn himself, and he should not leave the masjid except for a need.

'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated: "The Sunnah for one who is observing I'tikaf (in a mosque) is not to visit a patient, or to attend a funeral, or touch or embrace one's wife, or go out for anything but necessary purposes. There is no I'tikaf without fasting, and there is no I'tikaf except in a congregational mosque." [Reported by Abu Dawud, its narrators are trustworthy, but the last portion of the Hadith is not attributed to the Messenger of Allah].

The Hadith explains the manners of I'tikaf and what is not permissible for Al Mu'takif. As for his saying: "There is no I'tikaf without fasting," this is the view of Malik, Abu Hanifah, and one of the two views of Imam Ahmad. As for his saying: "And there is no I'tikaf except in a congregational mosque," it means the masjid in which congregational Salahs are performed and in which Friday Salah is performed.

Ibn 'Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "A Mu'takif may observe I'tikaf without fasting except he ordains it upon himself [by vow]." [Reported by Ad-Daraqutny and Al Hakim, but the more correct is not to attribute it to the Messenger of Allah].

The Hadith contains a proof to the validity of I'tikaf without fasting except when a person ordains it upon himself. The Hadith is supported by the Hadith of 'Umar in which he said: "I vowed in the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance to stay in I'tikaf for one night in Al Masjid Al Haram. The Prophet(peace be upon him)said to him: Fulfill your vow." [Reported by Al Bukhari].

Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: "Some men amongst the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) were shown in their dreams that the night of Qadr was in the last seven nights of Ramadan. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: It seems that all your dreams agree that (the Night of Qadr) is in the last seven nights, and whoever wants to search for it (i.e. the Night of Qadr) should search in the last seven (nights of Ramadan)." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

In another narration: "Some people were shown the Night of Qadr as being in the last seven days (of the month of Ramadan). The Prophet(peace be upon him)said: Seek it in the last seven days (of Ramadan)."

Al Hafizh said: The Hadith contains a proof to the great status of visions and the permissibility of depending on them in proving existential matters that do not disagree the Shari'ah rules. Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan (may Allah be pleased with him narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said about Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree): "The twenty-seventh night of Ramadan" [Reported by Abu Dawud].

Scholars differed about fixing it into forty views in Fath-ul-Bary. The most correct view is that it comes in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan, and the nearest correct night is the twenty-first and the twenty-seventh.

'A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: I said: "O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it? He (peace be upon him) replied: You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun, tuhibbul-'afwa, fa'fu 'anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me)." [Reported by the Five Compilers of Hadith (Imams Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Nasa'y and Ibn Majah) except Abu Dawud, and At-Tirmidhy graded it as authentic and Al Hakim].

At-Tabary said: It is not required to see or hear something in that night. Ibn Al Munir said: We do not believe that Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) is connected with something supernatural because the favor of Allah is ample, and perhaps a person worships Allah in that night without seeing something supernatural, whereas others see the supernatural. The most important is to be straight and adhere to the acts of worship for this is the most important than seeing something because supernaturals may be an honorable thing and may be a sedition. The Hadith contains desirability to frequent invocation in all times, particularly the odd nights in the last ten days. Scholars said: The wisdom of concealing it is to exert efforts in seeking it.

Abu Sa'id Al Khudry (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Do not set out on a journey except for three Mosques: Al Masjid Al Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah), my Masjid, and Al Aqsa Mosque." [Reported by Al Bukhari and Muslim].

Al Hafizh said: The prohibition is for travelling to other masjids. At-Tayby said: It is more eloquent than the explicit prohibition as if he said: It is not proper to travel to visit other than these masjids. The Hadith contains a proof to the virtue of these three Masjids and it is not permissible to travel to other masjids such as the graves of righteous people because it contains polytheism and heresies. Allah is the Only One sought for help.

 

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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