As our last lesson prior to going into Itikaaf, the Sheikh addressed questions from the sisters and gave general guidelines of action in the last ten days specifically and the habits of Akhlaaq and ebadah to be inculcated into daily life.
Here they are in the raw, forgive the formatting errors as the ten nights have started and I am getting ready for them:
ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF OUR LIFE AS A MUSLIM:
There are two major components:
- TAWHEED TILL IT BECOMES WIJDANI ( active awareness of Allah’s tawheed)
- IKLAAQ WITH ALLAH TILL IT BECOMES CONSISTENT WITH RASOOL ALLAH (pbuh_) IKHLAAQ, WHO IS DESCRIBED IN THE QURAN BY ALLAH HIMSELF AS KHULUQ AL AZEEM, HE IS THE SOVEREIGN KING OF IKHLAAQ
One must pay attention to these at all time, Do not ignore our imperfections, the message of our Deen is very active, it is a very active moral faith. Be watchful of our Ikhlaaq at all times and in all environments.
- Heya (modesty in words and demeanor)
- Sidq (truthfulness)
- Shukr (gratitude to Allah )
- Rahma (merciful love)
- Ikhlaas’(purity of inner self)
- Sabr (Patience)
- Muhabbah for Allah (love of Allah)
- Tawakkul( forbearance and acceptance of Allahs decree)
- Taubah ( to return to Allah from the inside)
- Guard against kasal (laziness, losing the drive for what Allah loves)
- Guarding against Ghafala which is a lack of tawheedi and khuluqi vigilance
- Stillness inside ( not high tempered, not restless): said ibn said : if the heart of the person is still, his limbs would be still. It is
- Cleanliness, neatness, orderliness (is part of Husn e Ikhlaaq) in all environments and contribute to towards keeping it as such.
- Allah is clean and loves cleanliness, everything he created he did so in due measure, he does not love what is not done in such a way. Allah has hub love for you when he does anything.
- Remain impeccable and aspires towards perfection. Our adab (etiquette ) is integral to our faith reflected in how we walk, how we speak, how we dress, how we comport ourself. We must learn when to speak how to speak, how to sit.
- KIBR/ARROGANCEbelittles others it is inside you, the root of takabar is kabeer (grand) one makes oneself kabeer, one wants to be looked at as kabeer. One raises oneself to look down at others., No one who has even a mustard seed of kibr will not be able to enter Jannah.
- UJUB SELF ADMIRING, CONCEITED( DOESN’T WANT TO BE IGNORED OR CRITICISED. When we have khulluqi deficiencies our response is we do not change, and this is because of the presence of this khuluq of conceitedness ( you who is criticizing me do not see the good in me. Ujub leads to Kibr.
- GAROOR :DELUDED One assesses oneself more than others.
How to approach itikaaf? For sisters (hanafi)
- The Itikaaf is at her home
- Space dedicated to Salah, which is the mesjed of the woman’s home
- Necessities that occur can take place at home.
- Focusing on ebadah, Salah, dhikr dua, recitation of the Quran, pondering on our own deficiencies, our past present and future with tauba, and our relationship with Allah. Lot of Salah alan nabi,
- Keeping quiet
- Spend some time in munajaat personal spiritual moment of dialogue with Allah and express the most secret and deepest emotions to Allah and implore him for succor and implore him for his help.
- Learn being alone, to sit still, to be still inside and not indulge the bahemi nafs and the predatory and shaitani nafs.
- In Ramadan I am helped not to be a slave to my stomach , and to my shahwaat, drives in general .
- Suhoor:two dates and water
- Do not rush to open the fast
- Eat moderately , one dish, bread and salad, satisfied but not full
- Learn to do with less and less till you only have water in suhoor.
- In iftar decrease amounts: intent is that my drives don’t rule me: dates and water until suhoor.
- No iftar till suhoor time try atleast once
- No coffee, no tea, one should not be addicted to anything except Allah’s love, these are disciplinary measures to improve our self. If you feel the urge to have it all the time, stop it for a month. The more we disengage from these aspects in this way, we are opening the spiritual space within us. If we focus on the material things we are narrowing the spiritual space with space for maghfirah, of rahma of spiritual strength.
- Itikaaf cannot be a get together, a sleep over or lectures and talk.
- Itikaaf teaches us to give up things for the one we love “Love requires evidence” part of the evidence is what have you given up for that love? What patience have I practiced in the face of this love.
- Doing something beyond my usual: raising the bar; doing 50 rakah per day.
- I pour all my energy (askifto) into one thing, Him and Him alone
- General : dedicate any time you can make the niyyah of itikaaf, enter the masjed with the reverent awe of the moutakif.
- Itikaaf can be any number of days, outside or inside of Ramadan, rasoolAllah performed ten nights and the last year it was 20 nights .
- Communicating with family: depends on need. Deal with practical issues. ( no whatsupping)
ADVICE OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EBADAAT
- NIGHT: SALAT AL TAHAJJUD: ISTIGHFAAR AT SEHER TIME, SITTING IN CONTEMPLATION AND PONDERING ONES RELATIONSHIP WITH ALLAH WITH TAUBA AND IMPLORING ALLAH
- DAY: BEFORE ASR: PERFORM 40 RAKAH BETWEEN MORNING AND ASR. READ THE HIZB EARLY IN THE AM, OR SPREAD IT DURING THE DAY AND SOME AFTER ASR. LOT OF DHIKR, SALAH ALAN NABI, INCREASE THE TYPE OF DUA ACCORDING TO WHAT YOU NEED,.
- Do not spend anytime by not being in ebadah, spend alone time in munajah
- Taraweh: stay at home, pray taraweh at home, no exit for reason that is not necessary.
- Itikaaf, restricts the nafs, it is mustaheb, and a sunnah.
Blessings and Dua for each of you going into the ten blessed nights, may you be rewarded manifold.
Please keep me and my family in your duas