Ramadan: A Spiritual Retreat

Ramaḍān: A Spiritual Retreat – Delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on Sunday 14th May 2017 at Al Kawthar Academy, Leicester (UK)

Ramaḍān is a very blessed month wherein our main objective is to achieve a closer relationship with Allah. Our preparation for Ramaḍān should be physical, mental and spiritual. Rasulullah ﷺ spoke to the Sahabah before Ramadan not only about the virtues of Ramadan but also about practical preparation so that they would make the most of the month and not to let it go to waste.

Practically, we should look at ways of freeing up time for the month of Ramadan e.g. completing chores and other work in advance. Mental preparation includes readying ourselves for the ibadah of Allah with focus and devotion.

The reason why the month of Ramaḍān is considered a spiritual retreat is that it is a form of I’tikaf for an entire month. Iʿtikāf is a form of seclusion and retreat where we stay in the masjid for a number of days, devoting ourselves to the ibadah of Allah and staying away from worldly affairs. The original meaning of i’tikāf was not just restricted to this. It meant to devote oneself and focus oneself on something to the exclusion of everything else. Ramaḍān is a form of iʿtikāf for the entire month. We should treat the whole of Ramaḍān as a spiritual retreat where we devote ourselves to, and focus on, the ibadah of Allah to the exclusion of everything else. In daily worship, it can be very difficult to reach elevated states of spirituality. However, in Ramadan the whole environment and climate changes drastically which can help us reach higher levels of spirituality.

This lecture beautifully explains how we can spiritually enhance ourselves during the month of Ramaḍān by looking at the examples of the past nations and those of the Prophet ﷺ.

Below are some of the timecodes and topics relating to this talk:

9:08 – Ramadan is a spiritual retreat
18:24 – I’tikaf (seclusion) before receiving revelation
25:37 – Solitude being made beloved to Rasulullah ﷺ
31:34 – Distancing oneself from sin
43:32 – What did Rasulullah ﷺ do in the Cave of Hira?
51:15 – What is the sanctuary of Allah?
1:06:08 – The sacred state of fasting
1:11:40 – How to observe I’tikaf correctly
1:19:57 – Why did Rasulullah ﷺ stop trading after becoming a Nabi?

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