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Kashmiris’ I`tikaf Bids Ramadan Farewell

Published: 25/07/2014 03:53:41 PM GMT
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SRINAGAR – As the Holy month of Ramadan is drawing to an end, Muslims in trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir have started special prayers in last ten days of the holy month, with some of them choosing to enter into i`tekaf locally known as ‘Chulla’ in local Masjids. “I`tikaf has great importance in Islam and even Muslim women can perform ...(more)

SRINAGAR – As the Holy month of Ramadan is drawing to an end, Muslims in trouble-torn Jammu and Kashmir have started special prayers in last ten days of the holy month, with some of them choosing to enter into i`tekaf locally known as ‘Chulla’ in local Masjids.

“I`tikaf has great importance in Islam and even Muslim women can perform i`tikaf,” Moulvi Javid Ahmad of Pampora in south Kashmir told OnIslam.net.

Ahmad added that during the last days of Ramadan, mosques in the valley are found occupied by Muslims performing special prayers till late evening.

“We all pray for the peace in the region as we have suffered badly during these years of turmoil,” he added.

“During all odd days from the 21th of Ramadan people perform night prayers trying to find Laylat Al-Qadr (Shab-e-Qadir) as it is said that from 21th night the night can be witnessed on all odd days though the night is traditionally observed and celebrated on 27th of Ramadan,” he added.

It is said that praying or offering du`aa during the month of Ramadan is considered as a great deed during these days.

“I have almost completed 24 parts of Qur’an during these 20 days and will Inshallah complete the whole Quran before `Eid,” Mohd Ishfaq Shan a private teacher told OnIslam.net.

He said, these days every Muslim offers special prayers both at home and in mosques, besides organising seminars on the importance of the holy month of Ramadan and the reward Allah has kept for all practising Muslims.

I`tikaf begins on the evening of 20th of Ramadan after the sunset and continues till the sighting of Moon of `Eid Al-Fitr.

“Those performing i`tikaf stay in the masjid for day and night and only went outside the masque for natural call,” Mashkoor Ahmad Wani, member of Jamat-e-Islamia, told OnIslam.net.

He said, most of the time is spend in prayers, reading Qur’an but the daily routine work is not allowed during these days for those who perform i`tikaf.

“Usually it is said that no woman should see or be seen by a person sitting inside the masjid for observing i`tikaf”, he added.

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.

Bidding Ramadan Farewell

Bidding the holy month farewell, Kashmiri Muslims are keen on performing more worshipping, charity, recitation of the Qur’an and good deeds during i`tikaf.

“It is now for the third time that I have entered for ten days i`tikaf,” Moulvi Mohd Jabbar of South Kashmir’s Kokernag area told OnIslam.net, adding that the last ten days are important for the muslims keeping fast to find out the day ‘Shab-e-Qadir’.

“Whoever offers i`tikaf with full zeal, ALLAH will defend him from the fire of Hell, and performing i`tikaf for full month is not Bid’ah but has full authority in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah,” Moulvi Jabbar added.

Performing special prayers during the month of Ramadan brings the Muslim Ummah closer to ALLAH and the i`tikaf can be performed any time during the year but it recommended especially during the last 10 days of Month of Ramadan, Jabbar told OnIslam.net.

Serving food to the Muslims who observe i`tikaf has been a village tradition and after completing their i`tikaf, they are provided with cloths and money.

“Those who observe i`tikaf bring Allah’s blessings for their family and Muslims Ummah in general throughout the year,” he told OnIslam.net.

He said, special prayers are offered during these ten days while people offer gifts to those who enter for i`tikaf.

“One keeps himself away from the outer affairs while observing special prayers during the month of Ramadan,” he added.

Mufti Tawsif Ahmad opines that such type of special prayers can be offered even for the shortest time just to get closer to Allah.

“One who intend to go closer to Allah can perform or observe special prayers during the night hours or after every prayer during the month,” he added.

As people perform i`tikaf, masques are decorated, women prepare to celebrate `Eid washing all the clothes, painting houses and inviting the close relatives are all common features till the `Eid moon is sighted, Says Mohd Ashraf a student of local Darsgah.

“During the last ten days of Ramadan every person including the women and children are busy in `Eid preparations, everybody doing his job according to his duty,” he told OnIslam.net.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here

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