I'tikaf has brought us to the mosques, not to pray and leave but to pray, stay and engage in many acts of worship.
All the big mosques in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria have become mini meccas as Muslims men and women, young and old abandoned the comfort of their homes to commit themselves to the worship of their Lord.
The latter part of Ramadan has certainly ushered in I'tikaf, which has brought us to the mosques, not to pray and leave but to pray and stay; and engage in many other Ibadaat.
To enjoy and achieve the maximum goals of I'tikaf, it is very important we do away with anything that may distract us from these spiritual exercises.
At I'tikaf, you'll meet new friends that will not only see you as a friend but also as a brother or sister. You'll need to encourage one another to increase your worship acts and refrain from vain talks.
In the mosque, there would be those who are not so good at making and keeping friends. These set of people may find great companions in their mobile devices. To keep themselves busy instead of engaging in one act of Ibaadah or the other, they log on to social media and forget themselves there.
By the time these people hop from Facebook to Instagram and comment on a trending video on Youtube, you would have lost a substantial time you could have spent reading a Juz of the Qur'an. This may cause you to forget the essence of abandoning your home for the mosque.
More so, the very friendly Mutakif (someone performing I'tikaf) could also lose or get carried away because he loves to be with people and starting a conversation is as easy as breathing for him.
This is a good quality though, but if this quality finds expression during I'tikaf, the friendly brother could end up spending the whole 10 days and nights chatting and discussing with people like him
Talks about football, sports, music, politics, fashion or any argument can derail your I'tikaf focus. Avoid them.
Again, when you are tired as a result of prolonged Ibadaat like Tahajud, Qur'an recitation and so on, you may take a nap and make sure you don't sleep for too long so as not to miss important time for some voluntary acts like solat duha. Rest a little and continue your worship.
There may be some other things that may distract your acts of worship during I'tikaf, just make sure you avoid them and concentrate on your worship of the Lord.
Don't forget I'tikaf is a good time to pray to your Lord and ask for your needs. Do not forget to do this. As you pray for yourself, try to pray for others too.
May Allah accept our Ibaadah. Ameen.