The proceedings of the first day at the Itikaf City got underway when thousands of people, in attendance, bowed their heads before Allah Almighty in Fajr prayer and offered Durood on the Holy Prophet (S.A.W). The chief highlight of the day was the keynote scholarly speech of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, which was shown live from Canada at 11 a.m.
Shaykh-ul-Islam chose ‘silence’ as the subject of his address. He recited the verse No 10 of Sura Maryam:
“(Zakariyya [Zacharias]) submitted: ‘My Lord, set a Sign for me.’ He said: ‘Your Sign is that despite good health you shall not be able to speak to the people for three nights (and days).”
Shaykh-ul-Islam urged all participants of the Itikaf City to impose silence upon them. This would provide them with company in solitude. He said that after doing so, when you went back home from the Itikaf City, you would go back having been blessed with abundant mercies of Allah Almighty. He said that when someone adopts silence, he utters only the right words and it would get him closer to his Lord.
Shaykh-ul-Islam said that “blessing accompanies silence”. Only that person would listen to the advice, who would adopt silence. Allah Almighty would give him more capacity to listen to the Right Word and enhance his understanding, consciousness and energy for action.
Referring to a Hadith, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) once said that whosoever furnished him guarantee over two things i.e. self & tongue, he would give him guarantee of paradise. Shaykh-ul-Islam said that the indiscrete use of tongue has the potential of depriving believers of paradise. It is the cause of committal of more sins than are committed by other body organs.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the purpose of organizing ‘Itikaf City’ is to enable the participants to seek Allah’s pleasure and remain in state of peace and silence even in the presence of thousands of the people. This is aimed to allow people an opportunity to introspect themselves thoroughly and try to make a fresh start in life. Man chooses to renounce all worldly pleasures and dedicates himself for ten days to the worship of his Lord. Allah pays back his voluntary dissociation with the world by blessing him with His Mercies.
He further said that the collective Itikaf is also a training course, which teaches people how to interact with one another and bear the difficulties with smiling face. People learn to observe patience, which is one of the intended outcomes of the Itikaf and fasting. They also develop finer feelings for their fellow human beings and the lessons learnt during the span of ten days are implemented in the rest of life. Shaykh-ul-Islam advised the participants of Itikaf to avoid useless talk and devote themselves wholeheartedly to worship during these ten days.