I’tikaf is an extremely important Sunnah.
According to Aishah (RAA), the Prophet (PBUH): “Used to perform i’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan until Allah the Mighty & Majestic, took him.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
Itikaf is the most amazing way to end your Ramadan and a great opportunity for us to gain immense rewards and strengthen and boost our imaan.
The following are six ways in which we can maximize benefits from our i’tikaf:
1. Purify your Intentions
The reward for every action we take depends on our intentions. This is why when sitting in I’tikaf we should purify our intentions. Although we may think that because we are going for i’tikaf our intention is clear, think about it just more time: Am I really going to worship Allah, or to have fun with my friends?
Am I going for the sake of Allah, or to show off my religiousness to friends and family?
It is very important that we understand this and purify our intentions before going to i’tikaf or everything we do in those 10 days may just go to waste!
2. Schedule & Monitor Your Daily Worship
Prepare a schedule for worship. Set targets and plan what you want to do every day, down to every hour. This will help you spend your time more efficiently and effectively.
What you can do is to make a check list of daily tasks and check them off when completed.
3. Recite Qur’an Abundantly
Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an. It is the month in which Allah revealed the Qur’an and thus this is the month we need to spend more time with the Qur’an than any other time of the year!
Our pious predecessors used to increase their Quran recitation during the last 10 days of the Ramadan. We should make it a point to recite the Quran in excess during our i’tikaf.
4. Dua & Repentance
During i’tikaf a person has all the time in the world and is devoid of all the daily distractions. So what better way to spend that time than by making dua and asking Allah for forgiveness?
Allah loves when His slaves repent to Him. He wants His slaves to ask Him for everything he or she wants or needs. I’tikaf is the perfect time to ask Allah for what you want (make sure it is halal!). You could even make a list of your dua’s so you don’t forget.
5. Refrain from Sinfulness and Idle Talk
A person sitting in i’tikaf must refrain from immoral behavior. The mu’takif should keep in mind that he is a guest in the house of Allah and should thus be extra careful of his behavior. Sinfulness, idle discussions, debates and arguments should be avoided at all cost!
6. Exert Yourself!
Once again brothers and sisters, the last ten nights of Ramadan are the most blessed nights of the entire year! During i’tikaf a person is completely free of any distractions and has a lot of time on their hands and can exert themselves in worship easily. This is why we need to do as much as possible to get in as much worship as possible; especially during the nights of the 21, 23, 25, 27, 29!