DHAKA – Preparing for the last round in Ramadan, a large number of Bangladeshi Muslims spend have started their annual i`tikaf in mosques throughout the country, amid hopes to meet Laylat Al-Qadr and gain the satisfaction of almighty Allah.
“Main aim of I`tikaf is to gain of Allah’s forgiveness, final mercy and to find Laylat Al-Qadr by staying in the mosque during the last 10 days of Ramadan,” Hafij Maulana Mizanur Rahman, Imam of Baitul Mukarram Mosque, the national mosque of Bangladesh, told OnIsam.net.
I`tikaf is Sunnah in Islam, but Bangladeshi Muslims believe that at least one person must perform i`tikaf in every mosque at every locality as confirmed Sunnah. Significance of I`tikaf
This belief and perception has motivated masses of Bangladeshis to perform i`tikaf estimated by around half a million Muslims in more than two hundred fifty thousand mosques in Bangladesh.
Imam Mizanur Rahman said that i`tikaf means stay in mosque, i`tikaf performer sacrifice their last 10 days of Ramadan for the sake of Allah.
He added that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) had performed i`tikaf last 10 days of Ramadan in every year.
For those who perform i`tikaf, the annual worship has a great impact on their life and society by offering worshippers a better chance to study Qur’an and Hadith during the time they stay at the mosque.
“I have been performing i`tikaf over the last 24 years regularly since 1992 to gain the satisfaction of almighty Allah through worship in the last 10 days of Ramadan,” AKM Rafiqul Islam Bhuiyan, a retired engineer, told OnIslam.net at Baitul Mukarram Mosque where he sits for i`tikaf on Monday in Dhaka.
“A minimum one person should perform i`tikaf at every mosque of every locality as a confirmed Sunnah,” Monsur Miah, Ameer of Muradnagar Upazila branch of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami told this OnIslam.net.
He informed that if anybody doesn’t agree to sit i`tikaf of any locality than they manage other Muslim from another locality to sit in their local mosque to perform for them as an obligatory responsibility.
In the system, all residents of the locality should manage his food and other facilities during his i`tikaf period.
Some Bangladeshi Muslims choose to perform their first i`tikaf this year, tasting the high spiritualities of the last ten days of the holy month.
“This is my first i`tikaf and I get to the Baitul Mukarram mosque from Kishorgonj district, which 125 KM away from Dhaka, to performing the I`tikaf,” ABM Khaled Ibn Masih, told OnIslam at Bitul Mukarram Mosque on Monday evening.
During i`tikaf time, Ibn Masih asserted that Islamic Foundation Bangladesh, a government organization, has arranged iftar and suhoor meals for all participants of i`tikaf in Baitul Mukarram mosque.
“Generally 1-2 person in village areas and 3-4 persons in town areas have to sit in I`tikaf during the last 10 days of Ramadan, so around half a million Muslims perform i`tikaf every year at two thousands and fifty hundred mosques in Bangladesh,” Muhsin Ali, an Islamic activist of Khulna, a Southwestern district, told OnIslam.net.
I`tikaf is a spiritual retreat in the mosque where a Muslim secludes for the purpose of purifying his or her heart.
The ritual aims to get close to Allah by performing extra acts of worship, especially Tahajjud (optional night prayers) and reciting Qur’an.
Most Muslims perform I’tikaf during the holy month of Ramadan, spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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