Monday, October 2, 2023

Thousands of faithful start observing Itikaf

Thousands of faithful start observing Itikaf
May 3, 2021

LAHORE (92 News/APP) – Thousands of dedicated faithful started performing seclusion activities, known as Itikaf at specified and secluded corners of countrywide mosques from Monday afternoon with the pledge to strictly follow Covid-19 guidelines and maintain social distance by avoiding large gatherings.

The faithful have been enjoined to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocol during the Itikaf. According to a notification issued by the government, the Punjab government imposed ban the spiritual ritual of Itikaf (religious seclusion in the Mosque) across the province in the wake of coronavirus epidemic.

The ban will also apply to the seclusion of Itikaf (when Muslims spend the last 10 days of the month in mosques to pray and meditate). However, the government allowed holding of ritual of Itikaf on the limited scale. Instead of collective Itikaf, only four to five people will sit in mosque observe Itikaf on the basis that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government are strictly observed. Meanwhile, the children and old-aged persons will not be allowed to observe the ritual of Itikaf. According to SOPs, in case of non-compliance with SOPs, the responsible will be held accountable

Itikaf is a period starting from 20th Ramadan where Muslims seclude in the mosque for ten days in search for Lailatul Qadr (Night of Majesty) and for seeking forgiveness of Almighty Allah by abandoning their routine business.

“During this period these worshipers would not go out from the mosque for worldly purposes, except for essential needs, and devote their whole time for reading the Holy Qur’an and engage in prayers seeking forgiveness and blessings of Allah,” a religious scholar Qari Jehangir Abbasi told APP.

Itikaf is a Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and carries a multitude of blessings of the Allah Almighty.

In pre covid era, mosques in the Federal Capital and adjacent Rawalpindi used to allocate places to the worshippers on the first-come- first-serve basis because of an ever-increasing number of those willing to observe Itikaf.However, this year very limited number of aspirants have been allowed to perform Itikaf with the condition to strictly adhere to guidelines to prevent the spread of covid-19 pandemic.

In major Masajid of Islamabad, special arrangements have been finalized for the I’tikaf sittings.

Religious discourses were arranged for the stayers to spend their time usefully inside the mosques and believers can spend their time within the mosque premises and also participate in the Qiyamul Layl (midnight) prayers.

Philanthropists and common citizens send food items for Sehri and Iftari to the mosque during Ramzan-ul-Mubarak.

This year, some 25 faithful from twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad would perform Itikaf at Faisal Mosque.

Special arrangements have been made for Motakafeen (Aitekaf observers) to impart them education about ‘Fiqhai’ problems besides lectures from religious scholars.

“Religious scholars would deliver lectures on different issues on daily basis and that programme will continue till the moon sighting of Shawal,” an official of Dawah Academy told APP.