Taking out time to introspect

Students and professionals converge at mosques for itikaaf

June 09, 2018 11:14 pm | Updated 11:14 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Seeking peace: Some offering prayers while others are seen contemplating their life at a masjid in the city on Saturday.

Seeking peace: Some offering prayers while others are seen contemplating their life at a masjid in the city on Saturday.

Fasiullah Sheik, a media start-up founder, was posting a countdown on social media since the beginning of Ramzan. It ended on the first day of the last daha , ten days of the holy month. On the intervening night of 19th and 20th of Ramzan, he left for Rahmania Masjid at Gulshan Colony to observe itikaaf , and posted the same in his account.

Like Mr. Sheik, hundreds of professionals, students and businessmen converge at several masjids in the city to sit in contemplation, prayer and dua (supplication) and to establish a connection with God. The idea, they say, is to temporarily suspend oneself from the worldly connections and to emerge spiritually rejuvenated.

“A person who sits in itikaaf does not go out of the masjid for a period of one, three or ten days, unless absolutely necessary. I have taken 10 days of time for this practice with the aim to introspect, reset goals and to motivate myself for future endeavours,” Mr. Sheik says.

He says he has scheduled daily tasks for his colleagues and automated some others so that his start-up runs smoothly.

While the Rahmania Masjid, on account of its size, has fewer moutakifeen (those who sit in itikaaf ), the Masjid-e-Azizia at Humayun Nagar is a major centre for the practice. According to its managing committee member Abdul Raheem, as many as 150 people have converged at the masjid this year.

The first storey of the masjid has a large number of such people. There are ropes tied to pillars from which dangle the sheets of cloth giving moutakifeen their personal space. Some are reading the Quran while others are engaged in N amaz . A few others are kneeling with palms cupped, facing skywards, busy making supplications.

“We have a mix of people. From old-timers to newer faces. People here are from all walks of life – students and professionals,” Mr. Raheem says. The masjid has a significant number of moutakifeen from West Asian and African countries as well and most of them are students.

At a masjid at Banjara Hills sits 19-year-old Mohammed Saleem. A student of engineering, he says he intends to sit in itikaaf for three days.

“I have wanted to do this for a couple of years. Those who sat in itikaaf told me that it gives one peace of mind,” he says.

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