So you’ve heard the great virtues of i’tikaaf and made a decision that you want to try it out this year. Now comes the big question: what should you take with you on i’tikaaf, and what should you leave behind??
The basic answer is take as little as you need and try to live the life of seclusion with Allah to its fullest.
Here’s an expanded list of things to pack/not pack:
Things to pack for I’tikaaf:
1. Personal Copy of Quran
2. Pen and Paper (a journal-type notebook is great, ideally a Moleskine)
3. Dua Books/Fortress of a Muslim
4. Change of Clothes
5. 1 Siwak per day of I’tikaaf
6. Oral Hygiene pack (See Beating Bad Breath Article)
8. Basic mobile phone handset with few features
10. Pack of Dates
What NOT to take with you:
2. MP3/CD Player/Mini-DVD Player
4. Super smart phone with 101 applications
5. Anything that can access your e-mail/Facebook/etc.
6. Non-Islamic books/novels/magazines
The reason I don’t recommend to take technology on an i’tikaaf (see The Ramadan Technology Diet), is that even if you plan to use it to listen to Islamic talks and watch Islamic videos, it’ll distract you from your core purpose of doing I’tikaaf. Remember your purpose in I’tikaaf is not to spend time alone, rather it is to spend time alone WITH Allah , worshipping Him and focusing on getting closer to Him, inshaAllah.