Minhaj-ul-Quran International Annual Collective Itikaf
The Itikaf is the annual ten day seclusion which takes place in the last ten days of the Holy Month of Ramadhan. This practice is optional for Muslims and can be performed alone or collectively. It is an advance form of self purification and spiritual uplift which takes the performer into a domain which is not in the scope of fasting which is a lower form of this spiritual venture.
Collective Itikaf is performed all over the world with the most famous venues being the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid Nabavi in Madinah. The collective Itikaf is the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) and holds higher reward and benefit.
The collective Itikaf performed by the Holy Prophet SAW in Masjid Nabavi with the Sahabah was a unique spiritual training camp which consisted of the Holy prophet (SAW) lecturing, teaching and practically training the Sahabah with special regards to gaining a high spiritual status.
The Collective Itikafs present in the world today, are only considered to be collective due to the large numbers of people performing the practice at one venue. They do not possess the attributes of the collective Itikaf which was performed by the Holy Prophet (SAW).
The annual collective Itikaf organised by Minhaj-ul-Quran International in Lahore is based upon the collective Itikaf model of the time of Holy prophet (SAW). The ten day Itikaf is organised as a spiritual training camp with the main features of the Itikaf being the lectures and sittings of Shaykh-ul-Islam Prof. Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. Together with the practical methods of advancing ones spiritual status through various sequences of the remembrance of Allah which those in the Itikaf adhere to under the guidance of Shaykh-ul-Islam.
Approximately twenty thousand people take part in the MQI collective Itikaf every year who travel from the lengths and breadths of Pakistan with scores making a special journey from around the globe.
Having the opportunity to perform the collective Itikaf in the company and spiritual guidance of one of the greatest Sufis and Shaykhs alive is a privilege which attracts drove upon drove of worshippers.
The collective Itikaf is used by MQI as a training camp to spiritually charge individuals to prepare them to carry out the Islamic propagational work of MQI.
Minhaj Itikaf 2005: Detailed Report
Like every year Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri performed Itikaf with thousands of people at the annual Minhaj-ul-Quran Collective Itikaf in Lahore.
Alongside the unprecedented numbers of mutakifeen performing this annual Collective Itikaf arranged by Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI) from within Pakistan, scores of people have also come from over 40 different countries such as Britain, France, USA, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, China, West Indies, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Al-Ain, Dubai, Sharjah, Abhu Dhabi, Oman, India.
The itikaf was shown live on a local television channel and also shown on tv.minhaj.org.
Lectures of Shaykh-ul-Islam
This year, the lectures of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri during Itikaf were on 'Love'; gaining the true love of Allah and His Prophet SAW.
The lectures on Ishq-e-Rasool are totally amazing. You can listen to them here:
A summary of each lecture is given below:
Lecture 1: "...Differences between Ibadah, Abdiyyah and Abudiyyah..."
Lecture 2: "...Ishq-e-Rasool compensates for big sins (Gunah-e-Kabeerah)..."
Lecture 3: "Enemy of your beloved should be your enemy otherwise there is no love..."
Lecture 4: "...mountains of actions are no subsitute to Ishq-e-Rasool nor do they guarentee Iman"
This lecture discusses the effects of true love. How the companions used to respect the Prophet SAW. Shaykh-ul-Islam explains that the only limit with regards to how much the Holy Prophet SAW can be respected is that there is no limit. He also explains how many sahabah including Ali ibn Abi Talib and Jafir ibn Abi Talib did raks and wajd i.e.dancing arround the prophet SAW in a state of ecstasy.
International Spiritual Conference
This was the lecture delivered to the International Spiritual Conference held every year on the 27th of Ramdhan . This lecture was on the destruction of loving the world and being a slave to it. This lecture is perfect for anyone who is not religious or is more worried about gaining materialistic needs of the world more than working for the Deen. Another great unmissable lecture.
Shaykh Abu Bakr as-Sudani
Shaykh Abu Bakr Babikir Ahmed Babikir as-Sudani who is the Imam and Director of Yusuf Islam's Islamia school in London and also founder of the UK based charity Ulfaaid, was a special guest at the Itikaf. He also delivered a lecture at the International Spiritual Conference.
This lecture was on 'Ruju ilal Quran'- returning to the Quran. The importance of the Holy Quran playing a vital role in our lives. The benefits and rewards of reciting, taking guidance from the Quran and acting upon it. The destruction and defeat which will result if the Quran is not recited regularly and acted upon.
The last lecture of Itikaf 2005, was on The Reality of Tasawwuf. Basically this lecture was on what Taswwuf is not. Shaykh-ul-Islam explained that Taswwaf has got nothing to do with 'peeri mureedi' but everything to do with having good manners, being humble, helping others, being kind to your family and relations etc.
One of the great Mefil-e-Naats of the Itikaf , was attended by Shaykh-ul-Islam and Shaykh Abu Bakr as-Sudani that lasted all night. It was a very spiritual and ecstatic experience for those who were there.