MADINAH: ARAB NEWS
Published — Tuesday 2 July 2013
Last update 2 July 2013 4:25 am
The Department for Prophet’s Mosque Affairs has outlined a comprehensive plan for the annual ritual called “itikaf”.
Itikaf essentially refers to the stay in a mosque for prayer and meditation.
In a statement posted on its website, the department has listed the terms and conditions for people who wish to perform itikaf.
According to the plan, those interested must ensure that the holy mosque is kept clean, other worshippers are not disturbed and that they should end their itikaf after Isha prayers on the eve of Eid.
Prospective individuals intending to perform itikaf have been advised to only bring in a cover and a cushion, and not to place their personal belongings onto windows, in shoe boxes and in the bookshelves that have been especially set aside for copies of the Qur’an.
Those performing itikaf are also asked not to sleep in prayer rows and to only do so in designated areas located in the northern side of the mosque.
Itikaf is an Islamic practice consisting of a period of spiritual retreat in a mosque for a certain number of days.
It is most common during the month of Ramadan, especially during the last 10 days, and is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Muslims who perform itikaf are encouraged to spend their time reading the Qur’an, performing prayers and seeking blessings from the Almighty Allah.