The Spirit of I’tikaaf 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 

The Spirit of I’tikaaf

As the month of Ramadhaan began, RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi Wasallam entered the Masjid with the Niyyah of I’tikaaf. Many of the Sahaaba radi Allahu anhum joined him. They kept themselves busy in Ibadah and paid little attention to their worldly needs. 
After the tenth of Ramadhaan RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi Wasallam said to the Sahaaba radi Allahu anhum let us remain in I’tikaaf for another ten days. Then on the twentieth of Ramadhaan, RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi Wasallam said to the Sahaaba radi Allahu anhum let us remain in I’tikaaf for the last ten days of Ramadhaan. 
After the last ten nights of Ramadhaan, RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi Wasallam confirmed that each year they should observe I’kifaaf in the last tent nights of Ramadhaan. RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi Wasallam had tried the first ten nights, then the second ten nights and finally the last ten nights. It was during the last ten nights that he found what he was looking for, viz the Laylatul Qadr, and so he advised that each year we should observe the I’tikaaf during the last ten nights of Ramadhaan. -Imam Bayhaqi, Sunan alKubra, adapted- 
The interesting question is what is the relationship between I’tikaaf and the Laylatul Qadr? 
Laylatul Qadr is the night during which the Quran was revealed to RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi Wasallam. RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi Wasallam used to go to the cave of Hira, where he would make solitary Ibadah. He would carry just a little necessities and spend several days in Ibadah. Under these physical conditions of being in a small cave and paying little attention to himself, the Quran was revealed. 
Each year we perform I’tikaaf, seeking the Laylatul Qadr, in circumstances similar to the Laylatul Qadr in the cave of Hira. Whilst I’tikaaf bears great reward, it actually commemorates the lifestyle of RasoolAllah sallAllahu alayhi Wasallam at the cave of Hira. 

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