Saturday, July 4, 2015

I'tikaaf: Du'a for 'Laila-tul-Qadr'

Ramadan: Supplications to Allah


Du’a is an act of worship which also acts as one of the most important and powerful weapons of a believer in this world. Du’a can help a person defend himself from any type of evil, be humble knowing that he is weak and vulnerable without Allah’s help and thus get closer to Allah (swt). A believer knows that without Allah he is nothing, and to accede to peace from every and any direction, he needs to equip himself with such spiritual weapon which shall grant him access to the Lord of the Worlds, and Ultimate Protector of mankind, so that this weapon, i.e. Du’a becomes effective as and when he uses it in his everyday life. As we are living the blessed days of the Holy month of Ramadhan, it is good to know that du’a can be of a great avail to us, and we Muslims should make use of this spiritual weapon and means for peace to accede to the stages of honour and pleasure which Allah grants to those who seek him through prayer and supplications.

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran, right after the verse of the prescription of fasting in Ramadhan:

“And when My servants ask you, (Oh Prophet), concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me that they may be (rightly) guided.” (2: 187)

When we take into account the place this verse occupies in the Holy Quran, we will find that it is between the verses concerning fasting. This alone brings on the importance of Du’a when fasting, as fasting holds a very great importance and significance in Islam.

Abu Said narrates from the prophet (pbuh) that: “No Muslim supplicates to Allah with a Du’a that does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb (i.e. the blood/family relations), but Allah will grant him one of the three things. He will either hasten the response to his supplication, save it for him until the Hereafter, or would turn an equivalent amount of evil away from him.” 

They (the companions) said, “What if we were to recite more (Du’a).” 

He said, “There is more with Allah.” (Ahmad)


This Hadith tells us that the believer who asks Allah (swt), his Du’a is definitely answered, either immediately, in the Hereafter or by keeping him away from evil. And with the arrival of Ramadhan, we know that it is in our own interest that we should keep on asking/supplicating Allah (swt) because Du’a is a protection from evil, it adds to our good deeds and is an investment for us in the Hereafter.

In this light, we should seize the opportunity to devote a good amount of time making Du’a. There are numerous Hadith that support this fact. Among which, Abu Huraira narrates that: 

“The Du’a of three persons are not rejected; they are (those of) the person fasting, the just ruler and the oppressed.” (Tirmidhi)

The auspicious times for asking Du’a are numerous: Between the Iqaamah and the Azaan, in prostration (Sajda) when we are showing ourselves completely submissive to Allah, at the end of the obligatory prayers (optional for those who want to do this, being immersed in the remembrance of Allah and adding to their acts of worship), the last part of the night (i.e., the Tahajjud prayers and other Zikrullah and Du’a), on Fridays and before a person breaks his fast in the evening (just before the Maghrib prayer) after having fasted for Allah during the whole day either in Ramadhan or any other fasting day which the believers observe to get receive Allah as reward.

Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-Aas narrated that the Prophet of Allah Muhammad (pbuh) said that: “The one fasting has a supplication (Du’a) at the time of breaking fast that will not be rejected.” (Ibn Majah)

As we are nearing the last ten days of Ramadhan, it is necessary for us all Muslims and all those who have made the intention of ITIKAAF to immerse themselves in Du’a, be it in their obligatory (Farz) prayers, Sunnah prayers (prayers regularly performed by our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh)) or other voluntary (Nafl) prayers.

ITIKAAF

Ramadhan is indeed a unique month wherein Allah (swt) multiplies our rewards and opens the doors of goodness. It is a month surrounded by mercy, forgiveness and salvation from the fire of hell. A unique act of worship which is associated with this month is that of Itikaaf.

WHAT IS ITIKAAF?

Itikaaf means to remain confined in one place by closing off all relations to the outside world and remaining completely engaged in the remembrance of Allah (swt). Hazrat Aisha (ra) reported that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to sit in Itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhan and after the death of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) his wives used to sit in Itikaaf. Itikaaf is a very virtuous deed and Muslims are encouraged whenever possible to perform Itikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan.

TYPES OF ITIKAAF

Itikaaf is of 3 types:

1)    Waajib: This type of Itikaaf becomes obligatory on a person when for example a person took a vow to sit in Itikaaf if a certain need was fulfilled. When this need is fulfilled, Itikaaf now becomes Waajib (compulsory).

2)    Sunnah: This refers to the Itikaaf performed during the last 10 days of Ramadhan as observed by our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh).

3)     Nafl: There is no special time or specific number of days for this Itikaaf. A person may perform Nafl (voluntary) Itikaaf at any time, even if it may be the period of performing the Farz Salaah (Obligatory prayers).

IS THE PERMISSION OF A GUARDIAN (QAWAAM) NECESSARY?

It is necessary for a woman to seek the permission of her husband prior to sitting for Itikaaf as Itikaaf performed without the permission of her husband is incorrect.

WHEN DOES ITIKAAF BEGINS AND IS AN INTENTION NECESSARY?

Itikaaf commences from sunset on the 20th of Ramadhan and terminates when the moon is sighted for Eid. It is necessary to make an intention for Itikaaf prior to seclusion.

WHAT MUST BE DONE IN ITIKAAF?

Whilst in Itikaaf, one should engage in reading of the Quran, Zikr, Nafl Salaat and any other Ibaadah for the pleasure of Allah and for the good of our own soul.

OBJECT OF ITIKAAF

The object of Itikaaf may be understood from this similitude: when someone comes begging to our door and refuses to leave until his request is fulfilled, by the will of Allah the hardest hearted will even succumb to his request. Similarly a person sitting in Itikaaf is begging for Allah’s mercy and there can be no doubts that his plea will be accepted provided that all conditions of his Itikaaf as well as his intention are respected and done with a sincere heart; not for the eyes of people and for grandeur.

The benefits of remaining in Itikaaf during Ramadhan are numerous; the main benefit of Itikaaf being the seeking of the blessed night of “Laila-tul-Qadr” (Night of Decree), which is worth a thousand months of divine blessings.


So, Ramadhan is the right time to make a list of all the things we wish to ask Allah (swt). We have to jump on this opportunity to ask for the things we have never asked for, be it for ourselves, our family, our friends, our community or the world, and even for the believers who have left this world. So, let us resolve to make Du’a as much as we can during this blessed month and make the most of it, and to continue with this good practice even after the Ramadhan.

 May Allah (swt) accept our Du’a and our good deeds, and may He give us the blessings of all the months of Ramadhan and Laila-tul-Qadr of our lifetime and enrich us with His infinite blessings, especially in this era of great divine grandeur when Allah has sent down His Messenger with the Ruh-il-Quddus to bring the people of the world, in particular the Muslims from darkness into light. Insha-Allah. Ameen.

-Friday Sermon of July 03, 2015 (16 Ramadan 1436 Hijri) delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius. 

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