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[tell us about `itikaaf].

`itikaaf is the last 10 days of Ramadan mainly. Today is the 21st.

[can I gift `itikaaf to my mother {who is living}?]

You can gift the `itikaaf to Prophet (s), then to Sahaba then to all awliya and Naqshbandi Shaykhs and then to Grandshaykh and Mawlana Shaykh and then to your people…

`itikaaf, ..

Bismillahi 'r-Rahmani 'r-Raheem

Nawaytu'l-arba`een, nawaytu'l-`itikaaf, nawaytu'l-khalwah, nawaytu'l-riyaada, nawaytu's-salook, nawaytu'l-`uzlah lillahi ta`ala fee hadha'l-masjid.

Add to normal niyyah: nawatu as-siyaam... [add this to normal intention]

Itikaaf in the time of the Prophet e was the last 10 days, the most important was to separate yourself from your husband or wife. That is the main thing from `itikaaf is that you don’t have a relationship when you are in `itikaaf. And that is why they used to go to the mosque as there is no other place to do that in presence of Prophet e. People today how like to do `itikaaf, usually, can do in their home even, you can be in a separate room from your husband. That is `itikaaf. You decide to enter into a heavy training that you want to be always in the Divine Presence, not to be in the dunya.
This is `itikaaf is a step before khalwah, so it trains us to be able to be in khalwah for 40 days so you want to be in the Divine Presence; that is your goal. It is to be with Allah I and his Prophet (s).
So your Shaykh will assign for you some awraad to do in order that you can achieve some kind of polishing yourself to enable you in the future, if you keep `itikaaf it enable you to reach a real understanding of khalwah. `itikaaf is very important because it will put you on that journey.
`Akafa in Arabic means `akafa `ala shay is to turn towards that thing and kept it without changing, constantly doing it. You say `aakiftu aakul ath-thamr, I turned to the decision of always eating dates. `Akafa is to do something constantly non-stop.
So that 10 days `itikaaf is to decide to turn towards my Lord in these 10 days and be away from any disturbance or any connection with other than this Divine Presence.

So Sahaba used to stay in the mosque, but if there is something important that they have to go to their house and do something they do that, it is not fulltime seclusions.

If they need to go take shower they go take shower and come back. Most important is not to have contact with wife or wife with husband, relationship with the spouse.

They can eat anything in `itikaaf, not restricted. In khalwah you have to eat only one thing, lentils and they will have to be busy in these last 10 days in excessive worship day and night. They have to be very knowing how to protect themselves from all negative whispering of Shaytaan in the ears.

First as much as they can, they don’t need to talk to anyone. Although they can talk, anything Islamic is ok. In `itikaaf it is ok, you can listen to talks, ask question, listen to hadith, but it must be dedicated to non-worldly goals, no need to talk about going to Wal-mart and talking about “what toy I will buy my son.” All the focus is Allah I and His Prophet e.

So you being the day before by Maghrib, the 24 hours begins at Maghrib for waliullah.

So if you decide to go, one day has gone, and you go before Maghrib by 2 hours and make ablution on the niyyah of `itikaaf, and then you go in and sit there and begin the awrad assigned to you the normal awraad assigned to everyone is to read one juz to 3 a day if they know how to read Quran.

If they dont know to read they can read in English the meaning. Then Dalail al-khayrat every day one juz. If they don’t know then what they can do is 100 salawat on Prophet (S) in place of Dalail al-khayrat. And if they don’t know to read Quran they can do 100 times qul huwa Allahu ahad and 3 juz will be 300 times qul huw Allahu ahad.

And then as time passes you do adab of tariqat, which you know. And then you sit for dhikrullah from 10,000 to 48,000 to 74,000, it is up to you if you can finish. Then after dhikrullah is salawat on Prophet e from 2,500 to 24,000 as much as you can. I know that will not finish quickly.
For example salawat—to do 24,000 takes for experienced person 1 to 1.5 hours. To make 20, dhikrullah might take 1/2 hour or let us say without experience 2 hours. So these are 4 hours, still having a lot of time. Or it might be with people takes 6 hours. So you pray Maghrib and then Isha, then taraweeh, if still not sleep then do more awraad.
If you finish and need to do extra, you might sleep by 12 or 11 and you must wake by 2 am.
Then pray Salat an-najaat, Salat ash-shukr... at the time we begin to pray in congregation.
In that time before you pray 8 rakaats tahajjud and then wait for the others. In the meantime recite 1,000 la ilaha ill-Allah, 1,000 Ikhlas, and break them into 100s, finish one set, then do next. For example:

100 tahlil,

100 qul huwa Allahu ahad,

100 subuhun qudoos rabbuna wa rabb ul-malaikati war-ruh,

100 hasbunAllah wa ni`amal wakeel.

100 SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi subhanalla il- `adheem istaghfirullah

100 bismillah ir-rahmanir-raheem

100 dhaalika taqdeer ul-`azeez il- `aleem

100 subhanAllah

100 alhamdulillah

100 Allahu akbar

100 la hawla wa la quwatta illa billah

100 la ilaha ill-Allah

100 then qul huwa Allahu ahad.

Then recite the la ilaha ill-Allah and qul huwa Allahu ahad to 100 times.

Then 500 ya Samad

Then 500 istaghfirullah on intention that from day Allah I created to today Allah I forgive you.

Then another 500 for from this day until Judgment Day, for Allah I to protect you.

Then 500 alhamdulillah that Allah I created you from Ummat an-Nabi (s) and made you from students of Shaykh Nazim قدس سرّه.

Then 500 alhamdullillah that Allah I did not create you from other Ummahs.

Then if you have time [guidebooks is not correct on reasons for Alhamdulillah] then do the awrad that I mentioned always connecting your heart with Mawlana Shaykh Nazim قدس سرّه, rabita we call it and muraqabah, to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim قدس سرّه. It has to be to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim قدس سرّه, rabita and muraqabah day after day you will see a big struggle with yourself trying to let you to run away as it will be very difficult to sit. You can sit in the maqam and do it there.
Who wants to do partial can do part of it. Who wants to do the 10 days they must do 24 hours, they can sleep 5-6 hrs. Who is doing partial will do from `Asr to Maghrib, Maghrib to `Isha and from early morning to Fajr.

Most important is no relationship with husband and wife. You eat with us and where we go for dinner you go. Eat sahoor downstairs. Who likes can do for the days they are here.