Feel Ramadan – 23) Let us dwell in the Houses of Allah
After refraining only from food, drink and whims in the first two tens of Ramadan, I’tikaf is the training to abstain from other three essential elements of our life- home, family and job. Home and family are our life itself. Even though these three are very important for us, we are asked to seclude ourselves from these, temporarily. Indeed, there is a day to come, when we will have to leave all these forever. I’tikaf is also a reminder of that inevitable separation.
Our mind is like a silver pot which always make noise. Our words are like leaves they always fall. I’tikaf is the observance which chains both mind and words. Freed from the ties of all mundane pleasures, when we abide in the corners of masjids, at bottom of our hearts we would be able to establish a close relationship with Allah, The Almighty! The spiritual blossom and protection we would feel, as we dwell in the houses of the Lord, abstaining from all chaos and ties, are the gifts of I’tikaf.
Islam is the religion which does not allow a spirituality by forgetting the bonds of relationships or fleeing from the worldly life or by rejecting the society. However, it encourages us to ‘mediate’ ten days in a year. This is only meant to rejuvenate our mind and body. It is a rare opportunity to come closer to the merciful Lord, through increased ibadaths and introspections. If we are on a long journey, surely our mind and body will get tired. At the end of journey, if we wash our face with some clean fresh water, we would feel indescribable pleasure. After eleven months of long journey we have reached the fresh rain named Ramadan, with soiled life and weary mind. Through I’tikaf we would be able to attain the spiritual blossom and virtues of Ramadan, wholly.
Prophet has taught: The one who secluded himself in I’tikaf, would attain the strength to defend evils. He would attain purification like the one who has done all good deeds.
I’tikaf is a lesson to become the best slave of Allah. We usually loss that craving by excessively involved in the worldly matters. And at the end of the races for the love of the world, we would lose the love of Allah. Ramadan and I’tikaf help us pledge that The Most Merciful Lord is much important for us than anything else in this life. We tend to perceive many trivial things with excessive importance. And we ignore many significant matters and run behind the momentary pleasures of life. I’tikaf calls us back.
Qur’an describes an occasion (6: 75-78) where Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) says “This is my lord; this is greater.” It was meant to teach the meaninglessness of polytheism. As the sun set, the “god” faded away. Prophet Ibrahim(PBUH) was also ridiculing at the attitude of human beings who run behind perishable gains by uttering “This is greater, this is important for me.” Sometimes, we would feel that money, status and children are the most important matters of life. They secure a place much above than the pleasure and promise of Allah. I’tikaf mainly treats the prides that conquered us after achieving some worldly status. By sitting in the corner of a masjid, we declare that I am not the owner but a slave. We don’t even have the ownership of our own body!!
Allah gives opportunities in abundance. Salah, fasting, zakat, hajj, I’tikaf, lailath-ul-Qadar- all these are our opportunities. Opportunities are gifts for those who utilize them with watchfulness and preparation. Prophet(PBUH) has advised us that I’tikaf is equal to performing two Hajj and Umrah.
Look, the people of Prophets Adam (PBUH) and Nuh (PBUH) had longer lifespan to indulge in good deeds. But, we have a very shorter lifespan. However, Allah has given us another great opportunity- whatever they have gained through years of worships, we can attain that in a single night- that’s Lailathul Qadar. Let’s utilize the opportunities at the best. In Sha Allah!
English rendering of article written by Abdul Wadud!
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