Iteqaaf in Ramadan Kareem is a spiritual act in a mosque. It is performed in last ten days of Ramadan. A person who performs iteqaaf spends the evening and night in mosque and devout their entire time to worship Allah Almighty and reading Holy Quran. The name ‘Iteqaaf’ comes from an Arabic word which means to ‘adhere’ or ‘stick to’ to something as in stick to worship of Allah without distractions.
Iteqaaf is done as a group in many mosques. Hundreds of people from the community gather together for Allah Almighty’s worship throughout the night, eats Suhoor together and offer fajr prayer. Following are these several basic rules during Iteqaaf:
- Enter Mosque before sunset on the day you are going to sit for Iteqaaf
- Separate yourself from worldly affairs and clear your mind of all distractions.
- Never leave the place of Iteqaaf except for any urgent or genuine needs.
- Iteqaaf is voluntary act unless you have vowed to do it and wants to keep your promise. Only then it becomes an obligation for you.
- You can engage in visits and conversations but it should only be productive and not futile.
- Duration of Iteqaaf is normally 10 days of Ramadan but technically it can also be performed for only one day which can be from 2nd last roza to last one.
- You must exit iteqaaf and attend the Eid with the community at the end of this holy month.
- Those who sit for Iteqaaf should perform additional prayers.
- One must spend his/her time in recitation of Holy Quran and understanding the words of guidance from Allah Almighty in Quran.
- Remember and thanks Allah SWT for all His blessings upon you and your family.
Purpose of Iteqaaf in Ramadan Kareem is to purify the heart and soul and clean the mind from distractions and any negative thoughts. Both men and women can sit for Iteqaaf. It is narrated that wives of Hazrat Muhammad SAW continue to practice this activity even after he passed away. Holy Prophet PBUH said:
"In the body there is an organ which if it is sound, the entire body will be sound, and if it is corrupt, the entire body will be corrupt. That organ is the heart”