Friday, October 10, 2008

Concerning Itikaf

Its amazing how the Musjid changes in just a few hours. From the period between Asr and Maghrib. At first (Asr time) it embraces you, but once you make your niyyat and walk in (maghrib time), it kinda contains you. And in this containment I think I found myself again.
I sat with two old guys, which was perfect as it allowed me to spend the maximum time alone to reflect on my life and my faith. The clarity you get at half past one in the morning when you are sitting alone in the centre of the Musjid is unparalleled. A sort of contradiction that makes sense. Alone. But comforted.
This was probably the best Itikaf ive had yet. I didnt waste time speaking about any worldly affairs, and while I didnt get as much reading in as I wanted to (last year I read the Entire Fazaail Amaal as well as completed Maududis translation of the Quran) I felt the quality of my Itikaf was better.
For me the biggest thing in the world is not to do anything with pride in my heart. So im constantly questioning everything I do. So at first I used to sit outside my tent five minutes before the Azaan (didnt want to 'show' the musallees I was sitting for Itikaf. But after a few days everyone kinda figured out - three things gave it away - My moustache was growing, My hair was greasy from not washing it and I was there every morning for fajr Salaah!
I managed to finish a Tafseer of the Quran which I had started last Ramadan so that was cool, but what I really enjoyed was a compilation of Hadith called Al Hadis by Moulana Karim (published in 1939) and what this chap did was he took the Sitah Sharif (the six authentic books of hadith) and he compiled a set of books with different chapters in them outlining specific issues.
I remember reading the chapter on the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه وسلم) character and it really made me reflect. Before I used to read durood sharif and send salaam to the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) because it was something I grew up with, institutionalized in a sense. At Madressah I was taught to say it, mum and dad kept reminding me, then I read that according to the madhab I follow it is waajib to say it (the first time) so maybe I started saying it a bit out of fear, But after reading that chapter I felt as if I knew him intimately and it created a sort of love where I wanted to send as many Durood upon him as I could (I know that I benefit more by sending Durood) I know you might be thinking that its a bit late in my life to come to this realisation ( I just turned 26 and ive been a Muslim my entire life) but hey, its never too late.
The way that Itikaf works is that if they spot the moon on the 29th Night, we leave the Musjid after esha, but if they dont spot the moon, we leave after the Maghrib the next night. I remember reading my Nafl salaah (Maghrib) on the night we were leaving the Musjid (night before Eid) and then it hit me - Just a day ago, this salaah gave me the Reward of a fardh act, but now its just giving me the usual reward.
The reason for sitting for Itikaf is to look for Laylatul Qadr which is to be found in the last ten days of Ramadan. I have a problem with musjids who say they are observing Laylatul Qadr on the 27th night because what this does is that people only come to the musjid on this one night and theres no guarantee that the 27th night is Laylatul Qadr. We should move away from this type of thinking. I also think that the Katamul Quran should take place on the 29th Night, but its 'convenient' to have it on the 27th night so I dont see this changing anytime soon. Also- I know that we are supposed to search during the Odd nights, but what if Saudi had Laylatul Qadr on say the 25th Night, which is our 24th Night - How does it work then? best thing to do - Look within the ten days.
Ive been out for over a week now and i'm still feeling awesome. So this ones for all my friends who make me feel special. MJ feels loved =). I feel recharged and content. I
Love, Peace and Pista Burfee
I made pepperoncino last night and it tasted just like Caminettos :) Will post the recipe up on the food blog in a few days.
I havent shaved my beard yet - I've grown rather attached to it and it pleases dad so i'l keep it for a few more days.


Waseem said...

I think the same way, but its hard, very hard.

I think laylatul qadr is on 21st, i dunno why, its just my theory.

Shafinaaz Hassim said...

peaceful writing:)
thanks for this!
good reflections sprinkle good energies... so sorely lacking in the world. may you be guided always...

Az said...

I went to the White Mosque in Cairo a few years ago and I tell you, the peace I felt just walking through the corridors and contemplating life is something I haven't experienced EVER! I will never forget that feeling.

I wish I could sit for Itikaf too (in a mosque)...I think I would really like that.

And so we all tread through life with our own demons to fight and battles to win. Glad you 're in a good spot now :)

Nafisa said...

I'm glad you're more cheerful and happy now and have resumed blogging properly. Sounds like Itikaf was just what you needed.

Time heals all wounds... and its looking like you're getting there.

PS Have you made anything other than the nachos from my blog? ;)

Zahera said...

Lovely post Emmy :-) i really felt what you were trying to convey. Glad Itikhaaf helped you and i pray the peace and contentment achieved from it lasts with you for a long time to come.

Keep the beardddd man :-D Beards rock!

Anonymous said...

I feel like I've lost my way recently...

Thanks for this post Junaid. It helped me somewhat .

M Junaid said...

Waseem - theres no 'set night' for it. Its very hard my friend. But we try nonetheless:)

Kimya - Ameen :)

Azra - Wish you get the opportunity as well . It really is a wonderful experience

Nafisa - not yet - but next week im going to tackled something from there :)

Zesty - remember last time when you called me a caveman and some anon took off with you :D

Anon - I feel like that too. It feels weird to be called Junaid by an anon because anons know me as MJ, but im glad my post helped. I do wonder what people take from my pieces though. For instance - I was chatting to waseem about this post a few minutes ago - it has references, inside jokes and stuff, so its always interesting when anons appropriate it. Glad my post helped you :) even if it is somewhat.

Zahera said...

looooolll! yeh, i do remember! where is that post? :-P
I think youd look like one of those thoughtful musing professors with a beard :-D (ok im just cracking up at that image of you)!

qk said...

i'm glad you got your blogging mojo - among other things - back. :) and i agree, there's nothing quite like a good dose of spirituality to get us out of our ruts.

M Junaid said...

Zesty - heres the post

have a chuckle.
People say i look like jesus with the long hair beard combo :D

QK - Man i'm digging the template. And im also digging your 'i love my spouse posts'. Its quite endearing. Insha Allah I will have that too one day :)
Dam birds are chirping so early.

Anon - do we know each other?

Zahera said...

LLOOLLL! thanks for the link Emmy- made me laugh! Seems like ages ago now :-D

Anonymous said...

Yes .

M Junaid said...

ok. Then why be anon? Is this worms?