I'tikaaf - An Analogy

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I’tikaaf – An Analogy

“When a car has been badly smashed and damaged, it is taken to the panel-beater. It is repaired using different skills until it is back in shape and to its pre-accident condition. The procedure involves removing, repairing and replacing damaged parts, spray painting, etc. Special equipment is also used.
After the hammering, welding and so forth, the car is in show-room condition. However, the car is not meant to remain in the panel-beating workshop; it is to be driven out on the roads.

Similarly, we come into I'tikaaf with our spiritual hearts smashed and damaged with sins. The I'tikaaf – as well as our time at the Khanqah, in Jamaat or Hajj – is that opportunity to panel-beat the heart back into its original sound and pure state. The time in I'tikaaf gives us the opportunity to make sincere Taubah and engage in various Ibaadaat to get back into our pre-accident condition. However, we will not be staying in the Masjid, in I'tikaaf, all year round. We will have to leave, go back to our families, go out and do our work of dunya as well. Insha-Allah, with the correct intention and effort, we will leave the I'tikaaf with a heart which is in a sound and strong condition.

We should also keep in mind that no one sends his car for panel-beating and intends that the moment he drives it outside, he will smash his car again. He will take great precaution after his first experience. Similarly, we will take more precaution that we do not commit sins and damage the heart again!”