A murid requested sayyidi wa sanadi Hadhrat Mawlana Mohammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him) to consider a programme for the ‘itekaf (seclusion) in the last 10 days of Ramadhan. He elaborated that it will be of utmost benifit for the murideen. They will be in the company of their Shaykh and pious fellow seekers, able to better utilize their time in worship and listen to spiritual discourses gaining the essential understanding of religion and learning the arts of its application in personal life.
Hadhrat listened to it attentively and then commented,
“It is a very good idea. However, eventually people involved in this will lose focus and it will take a form of a religious carnival. This has happened a lot in our history. Things start simply but over time they are elevated to be akin to essential and compulsory actions (faraidh, wajibat).
The blessed moments of Ramadhan are not for communal activities. They are to establish and reinforce one’s relationship directly with Allah, Most High. This is best achieved in seclusion. That is the reason it is best to perform all the supererogatory (nafil) worship in private. Where the slave (abd) is in front of his Lord alone, acknowledging his short comings, asking for forgiveness, thanking for the bounties, seeking protection from all that is discomforting and begging for the burning desire of his heart. That is, Allah’s pleasure in the exact foot steps of His Beloved Prophet!”
Jeddah International airport, May 2005