In view of the above, it is advisable that everyone entering the Masjid to join the congregational prayer should, on entering the Masjid, make the Niyyat for ‘I’tikaaf’, in thatcase it means that aslong as he remain busy with Salaat, Zikr, listening to lectures or sermons he also receive reward for the I’tikaaf. I always observed that my late father used to make ‘Niyyat’ for I’tikaaf whenever he entered the Masjid. Occasionally, by way of teaching and reminding his followers, he would raise his voice when reciting when reciting the words for ‘Niyyah’. The reward for I’tikaaf is great as indicated by the fact that the Holy Prophet (SAW) always used to perform I’tikaaf. The example of him who resides in the Masjid in I’tikaaf is that of a person who, having gone to a certain place to appeal for something, remains there until it is granted. When someone comes begging at our door and then refuses to leave until he has been granted his request. I am sure that even the person with the hardest heart amongst us will eventually give in to his request. How much more Merciful is Allah, and when someone persistently sits at His door, what doubt can there be in the fulfilment of his wishes. Allama ibn Qayyim, in explaining the significance of I’tikaaf writes that the actual aim is to divert the heart away from everything except Allah, and to make it come near to Allah, thereby forming a complete spiritual connection with the Creator. All wordly connections are thus cut off, for the sake of gaining Allah’s attention and all thoughts, desires, love and devotion become centred around Him. As a result, an attachment with Allah is attained – a love and friendship that will be the only support in loneliness of the grave. One can possibly imagine the great ecstacy with which that time in the grave will be spent.
The meaning of ‘I’tikaaf’ is to seclude oneself in the Mosque, with the express intention (Niyyat)of ‘I’tikaaf’. According to the Hanafi school of thought, this may be of three different types:
a) Waajib I’tikaaf (Obligatory I’tikaaf)
I’tikaaf becomes compulsory when a person makes it obligatory upon himself. For example, when a person makes a vow to Allah that if Allah fulfils a certain wish of his, he shall perform so many days ‘I’tikaaf’, in this case, the moment his wish is fulfilled, the I’tikaaf becomes compulsory. Or a person may just make an unconditional vow, whereby he makes I’tikaaf Waajib upon himself for a certain number of days; this becomes obligatory for him from that moment onwards.
The Holy Quran has fixed eight categories of recipients in verse 60 of the Surah Taubah.
“The Sadaqat (prescribed alms) are (meant) only to be given to the poor, the needy, to those employed to collect them, to those whose hearts are to be won, in the cause of the slaves and those encumbered with debt, in the way of Allah and to a wayfarer. This is an obligation prescribed by Allah. Allah is All Knowing, Wise.” (60)
There is a consensus amongst the jurists that the disbursement of Zakah is solely confined to these eight recipients. The Holy Prophet was once asked by a Companion to give the latter Zakah. The Holy Prophet replied:
Lexically, the word Zakah covers two meanings.
2. Growth and increase
In the terminology of the Quran and Sunnah, Zakah is the portion of asset that is made mandatory to be spent in the ways specified by Allah Ta’ala.
Benefits of Zakah
Zakah has two straightforward benefits.
Firstly, the payer himself gets purified from inner germs of the spiritual diseases.
Secondly, Zakah helps those who are not able to fulfill their needs independently. For e.g. orphans, widows, handicaps, poor people etc.
Allah Ta’ala says in Surah Taubah:
Ibn Umar (Radhi Allaho anho) relates: Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: ‘Verily Allah and His Malaa’ikah send Mercy upon those who eat ‘Sehri’ (sower-Suhoor).”
Why Irreligiousness Succeeds:
But how did this new faith infiltrate the Islamic World? How did it come to acquire the strength to engulf Muslims within their own homes; what can explain the mighty hold it enjoys over the hearts and minds of men? All these questions require careful examination.
The Religion of Irreligiousness:
What, then, is this new faith —however shy its protagonists may feel in giving it the name of a faith? It consists of, as we have said earlier, the rejection of that All-Knowing, Well-Informed Being who is the Creator of the Worlds, the Owner of Destiny and the Architect of the life of Futurity, the Last Day, Heaven, Hell, Divine Reward and Punishment, Prophecy, Apostleship and the Holy Law, of the Truth that God has ordained for all mankind, and of obedience to the Holy Prophet. It rejects the idea that all salvation and enlightenment are dependent on that loyalty, rejects the principle that Islam is that final and eternal Message from the Divine which enfolds all that is good in this world and the Next, and embodies a programme of life which is higher and superior to every other system, and of the fact that the world has been created for man and man for God.
(Speech of Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi delivered in connection with the Birthday Anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad at Lucknow on 2nd May, 1975.)
“We sent thee not save as a mercy for the peoples.” (XXI:107)
My belief regarding Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) is that he is not merely a human being, in fact, he is the best and the leader of the human species. He is not merely an offspring of Hadhrat Adam (alaihi salaam), he is, in fact, the best of all the children of Hadhrat Adam (alaihi salaam) – sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam – Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) himself said:
“I will be the leader of the children of Adam on the day of Qiyaamah.”
The fact that he (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) is the best of man and humankind is not only a matter of honour and pride for himself, in fact, his being from amongst the human nation is a matter of envy for the angels.
In most other books, the manner of Ziyaarat, its proper etiquette, the words to recite have already been noted. In the following lines we intend mentioning only some of the points to bear in mind. This should actually not be necessary, as:
‘The love that is borne for him;
Itself should teach respectful honor for him.”
1.The ulama disagrees as to whether Ziyaarat should precede Haj or vice versa. (See chapter eight, hadith three)