KABEER YOUSUF –
Ali Ahmed al Hamdani, a septuagenarian living in Mawaleh was accompanied by his grandchild Husain when he started staying over at the Masjid to gain the blessings of ‘I’tikaaf’ special prayers for the last ten days of the holy month.
Along with Ali, scores of others are seen at the mosques at night prayers and for ‘I’tikaf’ which is seeking the ‘Lailatul Qadr’ the night on which the Holy Quran has descended down to earth.
Prophet Muhammed (May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) did I’tikaaf during the first ten days of Ramadhan, then in the middle ten days, seeking Laylat al Qadr, then it became clear to him that it was in the last ten days, after which he always spent them (the last ten days) in I’tikaaf.
Religious scholars advise believers to keep more time for Masjids and stay awake during the night praying and weeping and seeking mercy from the hellfire. Now the question is, when should one weep? One has to keep time for that long Sujood and you need to ask what you want again and again till you connect. Remember to feel small and tiny in front of your Creator and understand that we are helpless if not for His help.
It has been reported quoting Abu Sa’eed al Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that “The Messenger of Allah, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, used to do I’tikaaf during the middle ten days of the month, and when the night of the twentieth had passed and the twenty-first had begun, he would go back to his home, and those who were doing I’tikaaf with him also went home.
Then one month he made I’tikaaf on that night when he used to go home. Then he addressed the people, commanding them as Allah willed, then he said: ‘I used to spend these ten days in I’tikaaf, but now I want to spend these last ten days in I’tikaaf, so whoever used to do I’tikaaf with me, let him stay in his place of I’tikaaf. I was shown that night (Laylat al-Qadr) then I was made to forget it, so seek it during the last ten nights, in the odd-numbered nights.’
“In the material world, when we converse with people, we open up only after sometime of conversation with the person and just like that, we need to give time to open up to Allah. Ask again and again till you feel your heart is connected and till you break down”, says Ali. “You will feel tears oozing out irresistibly and relieved of your burdens after sharing with Almighty Allah”.
Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) has said that: “The Prophet, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, used to spend the last ten days of Ramadhan in I’tikaaf until he died, then his wives continued to do I’tikaaf after he died.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1921; Muslim, 1171).
During the year in which he, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, died, he spent twenty days in I’tikaaf (al-Bukhaari, 1939), i.e., the middle ten days and the last ten days.
“So glorify the Praises of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives.” [al-Nasr 110:1-3]