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Adab of `Itikāf


Itikāf in the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) was done in the last 10 days of Ramadan. The most important aspect of `itikāf  is to separate yourself from your spouse. That is the primary characteristic in `itikāf– that there are no intimate relations  when you are in `itikāf. Therefore they used to go to the mosque as that is theonly place to achieve that aspect while in the presence of the Prophet (ﷺ).

People today like to do `itikāf in their home. In that case husband and wife can stay in separate rooms. That is `itikāf. It means you have decided to enter into a heavy training seeking to always be in the Divine Presence, not to be in the dunya.

`Itikāf is a step before khalwah and it trains us to be able to be in khalwah for 40 days. The intent is to be in the Divine Presence. That is your goal: It is Allah (ﷻ) and his Prophet (ﷺ). So your shaykh will assign some awrād for you to do in order that you can achieve some kind of polishing of yourself to enable you in the future to enter khalwah. If you keep `itikāf well it enables you to reach a true understanding of khalwah.

Itikāf is very important because it will put you on that journey towards Allah (ﷻ). `Akafa `alaa shay in Arabic means to turn towards that thing and keep it without changing , being constant in doing it. When you say `aakiftu ākul ath-thamr, It means I turned to the decision of always eating dates. `Akafa is to do something constantly, non-stop. So for that ten days the intention of `itikāf is “I decide to turn towards my Lord in these ten days and be away from any disturbance or any connection with other than the Divine Presence.”

Rules of `Itikaf

The Sahaba used to stay in the mosque, but if there was something important to attend to, for which they had to go to their houses, they would do so. Thus, it is not full-time seclusion. If they needed to take a shower, they would go home, take a shower and return. SImilarly, we observe this rule.

The most important aspect of` itikāf  is that there be no marital relations between husband and wife. As for food, they can eat anything in `itikāf, it is not restricted, whereas in khalwah you eat only one thing – lentils.

The person in `itikāf must busy himself or herself in the last 10 days or Ramadan in excessive worship, day and night. They must be very knowing in ways to protect themselves from all negative whispering of Shaytan in the ears.

The first principle to observe is to avoid talking as much as possible. Mu`takifeen are allowed to talk about anything Islamic. They can listen to talks on Islam, ask questions, listen to hadith and so forth, but it must be dedicated to non-worldly, non-dunya aspects. There is no need to talk about going to Wal-mart or to talk about the toys you will buy your children for Eid. All the focus is Allah and His Prophet (ﷺ).


One begins the first day before Maghrib, as in the view of Awliyāullah a day, 24 hours, begins at Maghrib. Therefore two hours before Maghrib make ablution on the niyyah of `itikāf.

The day before the last 10 days of Ramaļān at `Asr time make the following niyyah:

“I am intending to do `itikāf on behalf of myself, my ncestors, and my children asking Support from the Prophet (ﷺ), Grand Shaykh Abdullah Daghestani (ق), Mawlana Shaykh Nazim al Haqqani (ق), from Shaykh Hisham (ق), and from Awliya.”

Then present the reward of the `itikaf as a gift  to Prophet (ﷺ), to Ahl al-Bayt, to Awliya, Grand Shaykh, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and Shaykh Hisham, and further to anyone you wish.


Then enter and sit in the mosque and begin the awrād assigned to you. The ‘standard’ wird assigned to everyone is to read 1-3 juz per day if they know how to read Quran. If they don’t know to read they can read the meaning in English. Then they should read one juz of Dalail al-Khayrat every day. If they don’t know Arabic, then they can do 100 salawat on Prophet (ﷺ) in place of reading Dalail al-Khayrat. If they don’t know to read Quran they can recite 100 times Qul hūw allāhu āħad thus 3 juz consists of 300 times Qul hūw allāhu āħad.