A recommendation on I'tikaf by Imam Khamenei

Youth from different social backgrounds and with different appearances had participated in this year's Ehya [keeping vigil] ceremonies -- which were held during the month of Ramadan -- and in different ceremonies for dua and supplication. If a shallow person would see one of the boys or girls in, let us say certain unusual clothes, he would assume that they do not know God.-- But this is not the case. The hearts of our youth seek the truth. Their hearts are pure and enlightened. I do not remember at all, of the past years -- during my youth or teenage years -- if the people ever went to mosques, in the entire country, or Goharshad Mosque in order to participate in I'tikaf ceremonies of Ramadan. During Ayam ul-Beiz [white days], three days in the months of Rajab and Sha'ban, we used to see few people in Qom who engaged in i'tikaf and these people were clerics. It was not common for other people to do so. Today, during I'tikaf days, universities, mosques throughout the entire country, and Jameh mosques are full of people who engage in I'tikaf. What kind of people participate? Older men? Older women? No, the youth and the younger people participate. This is an unprecedented event throughout the world. This is our young generation today. Today, the majority of the people in our society are oriented towards religion and revolutionary values.

Nov 12, 2006 


I'tikaf is a sign we are moving in the right direction

In the days of I'tikaf during the month of Rajab, in many of the mosques all over the country, our youth, men and women of different ages and from different walks of life would go to and stay in mosques. For 3 consecutive days, they would fast and seek to get closer to God. After that, they would leave and bid farewell to the mosque, heavy-hearted and shedding tears, getting ready for the year ahead. My dear ones, this is a good sign for a society. "Those who, if We give them power in the land, establish worship" [Hadj, 41]. It is a sign of divine governance, a correct action, and moving in the right direction. Take this seriously and encourage and reinforce it.

Meeting with the people and students of seminaries in Qom on the occasion of Qom Popular Uprising of January 9th, 1978.

January 8, 1997


Practice self-observation

My advice is to practice self-observation during these 3 days spent in mosques. When you speak, when you eat, socialize, read, think, or plan for the future, always prefer God's satisfaction and will over your yearnings and desires. Do not surrender to your desires. Practicing these observances during the 3 days of I’tikaf can be a lesson for those dear ones performing it and for us sitting here, watching our dear young ones in Itikaf. Teach us with your actions.

Statements made during a Friday prayers sermon in Tehran
August 19, 2005


  • I'tikaf 
  • Month of Rajab
  • Self-observation