Thousands take part in “I'tikaf” in the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah, other cities
Thousands of Muslims started their “I'tikaf” (meditative seclusion) inside the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah as well as in various grand mosques in different cities in Saudi Arabia from Tuesday following their first "Qiyam" (after mid-night) prayers in the respective mosques.
The worshipping act of “I'tikaf” can be observed at any mosque and need not be confined to the Grand Mosque.
Itikaf is a spiritual retreat and Islamic ritual in which a believer secludes his or herself from others to engage solely in acts of worship and keep away from worldly dealings, especially during Ramadan.
Two grand mosques in the capital have made extensive arrangements here for Muslims who would like to perform “I'tikaf” during the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramadan.
The management of the Al-Rajhi mosque at Exit 17 and King Khalid Mosque in Umm Al-Hammam, had instructed the mosque authorities to make arrangements for those men and women who want to perform 'I'tifkaf' to provide accommodation and meals during their stay in the mosques.
Those who stay in the mosques for the purpose of "I'tikaf" will be given accommodation and meals during suhoor and Iftar. Religious discourses have been arranged for the stayers to spend their time usefully inside the mosques.
"The entire city of Makkah is holy; believers may go to other mosques in Makkah for seclusion. They should not abandon their duties toward their families; we urge them to take care of their wives and children, while also engaging in nightly prayers and engaging in acts of worship", General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said in Makkah .
The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, has made preparations to accommodate 14,000 worshippers in the mosque for seclusion. The administration has doubled the facilities for worshippers and prospective stayers were registered online.
Muhammad Amhar Jabir, a young Sri Lankan expatriate youth, who is currently performing the ritual in the holy mosque in Makkah told Riyadh Daily that he made a reservation for his ten-day stay in the Holy Mosque in Makkah by online. "The mosque authorities have made excellent arrangements for our stay and they also supply the necessary food such as a Suhoor and iftar", he added.
Those performing the act of seclusion in Makkah, have been advised to take 3-4 pairs of clothes for 10 day period. For ladies, to carry an extra abaya and hijab in case yours gets dirty. Though it's hot in Makkah, you might get chilly if your clothes are too thin, and you happen to be in an air-conditioned hall. Try cotton which keeps you cool during the day and warm at night.
Personal care: deodorant, oud, hand wipes, lots of tissues, small shopping bags, comb, small mirror, extra pair of glasses, tablets for headache and flu, face masks, tooth brush, tooth paste have to be taken for their personal use.