The time for I’tikaaf is here. While i’tikaaf can be done at any time, it is best done during Ramadhan and better still during the last 10 nights.
To make your time away from home go as smoothly as possible, you will need to put some thought into what to take to the masjid. Here is a list of things you may need for your stay. You will also need a large container/duffle bag to store your items.
First, print out 2 copies of the I’tikaf Checklist. Then gather the items on the list that are relevant to your situation.
To use the checklist, place a mark next to each item you have put in your container/bag. There are blank spaces for you to write in items special to your needs. Once you have created your check list for the first time, save it and use it for future i’tikaafs. Leave the other checklist blank for now.
Store all of the items on your list, including two completed checklists in a large plastic storage container(s) or duffle bag for easy transport to the masjid. Kids can use a backpack.
When i’tikaaf is over, return items to the storage container before leaving the masjid. Once home, do an inventory using the checklist as a guide. Placing cedar shavings or lavender essential oil on cotton balls into the storage container will keep insects away.
Then next year, pull your i’tikaf box out of its storage, go through the checklist, toss in snacks and simply load your i’tikaaf container in the trunk of your car.
PACK THE TEN ESSENTIALS
1) A multipurpose tool: A small one will do depending on your needs.
2) First aid kit: These are available almost every where for purchase. However, by making your own, you will know exactly what is in your kit and can customize it for this particular adventure. Most small kits include a few adhesive bandages, hand sanitizer, aspirin or some other kind of pain reliever, and a zip lock bag to store everything in.
3) Extra clothing: Pack two more sets of clothing than you think you’ll need. Toss in extra socks too.
4) Flashlight: Bring along a bright and reliable flashlight and extra batteries. Keep it inexpensive and small.
5) Duct tape small ball of twine: These may be useful for emergency repairs or rigging shelters.
6) Water bottle: Pack a water bottle to drink extra water in the evenings. Bringing your own canister will help reduce the costs and waste associated with styrofoam or paper cups.
7) Tent: If there is room in your masjid, it is permissable to pitch a tent.
8) Blanket and pillow: If you intend to sleep in the masjid, you will be sleeping on a concrete surface covered by a carpet. You will want to stay warm and comfortable when you sleep. The blanket and pillow will also give you something comfortable to sit on while awake.
9) Sleeping Bag: No need for a blanket if you are carrying a sleeping bag. It rolls up for easy storage.
10) Food: Bring more than you think you will need. There may be an opportunity to share with others. When packing snacks, foods high in protein are best, like string cheese, meat jerky, nuts. Avoid items loaded down with salt or sugar as they promote water retention in the lower extremities. Sweets should also be limited because they cause the blood sugar levels to quickly rise and fall sharply leading to mood swings.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to send them in!