*Comparison Between I'tikaaf/Jamaat.*
 Bismihi Ta`ala

*COMPARISON BETWEEN I`TIKAAF/JAMAAT.*
Hamidan Wa Muswalliyan,
 
The Shariah of Allah is defined by the texts and contexts of Qur-aan, Sunnah, Ijma` and the practice of Sahabahs and Tabi`een. The Shariah is not what some ulamas ‘’clicks’’ define as Shariah nor what some great personality`s opinion be as Shariah. Respect and esteem is in its place, but Shariah cannot be camouflaged nor changed on account of respect and esteem of a great personality`s opinion. In any case what your thesis may be, respect and esteem to great personalities will bring barakah in your deeni comprehension and you would attain your respective goal of dunya and aakhirah.
The beauty of Ulamas deoband is that even a small student in class may express a questionable point on any theme of shariah in front of his very Teacher. This very democracy is sunnah. That is why I call Darul Uloom deoband as an unaltered sunnah stream.
A very highlighting example during the past era is that when M Hussein Ahmad Madani r.a. started the practice of Tahajjud jamaat during the last 10 days of Ramadhaan. At that time, Mufti Shafi` r.a. got the question on the issue. He gave the task to Hazrat Mufti Taqi Usmani d.b. He was still a student and not yet qualified an `alim yet. *And yet he wrote the historic thesis that Tahajjud with jamaat is makrooh according to Hanafis.* Only Farzs, Eids, Sun eclipse salaah, rain salaah, Janazah, Taraweeh and Witr during Ramadhaan are to be read with jamaat. So all besides these are to be read individually. *The thesis concluded that the Tahajjud jamaat done during Ramadhaan is Makrooh.*

This thesis hold the landmark of not only democracy of expression but also that Shariah is not what the leader of ulamas define as such, even if he is followed by many ulamas. M Hussein Madani r.a. was head of Darul Uloom Deoband and head of Jamiat of India. And yet a student earmarked that practice of his as. Makrooh. 
Until qiyamah, Sharia will be what the the adopted ways of aimmah who have dive in the extreme depth of understanding of Qur-aan, Sunnah and practice of sahabahs during the best of eras ever and brought the best to us. 
 
Democratically, fuqahas expressed the comparison between a haji going for a nafil Hajj or to give the money in Sadaqah to the poor. They concluded that it is better to go for a Nafil Hajj. There no one intervened to say that that was not the time to ask for sadaqah during Hajj season. Because the sawaab and reality of actions of high ranks in aakhirah have been opened in front of Rasouloullah Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam. Some actions have been more virtuous than others:
فروع: حج الغني إفضل من حج الفقير.
حج الفرض أولى من طاعة الوالدين، بخلاف النفل.
بناء الرباط أفضل من حج النفل.
واختلف في الصدقة، ورجح في البزازية أفضلية الحج.
لمشقته في المال والبدن جميعا، قال: وبه أفتى أبو حنيفة حين حج وعرف المشقة.
 شامي
 
Likewise the issue of choosing between I`tikaaf and 10 days jamaat also are comparable in sawaab and rewards. There is no Fiqhi ugliness in doing so.
Provided that there are people sitting for I`tikaaf in your local masjid, then going in jamaat for 10 days excels over I`tikaaf.
*Provided that you accept that going in jamaat is ‘Fi sabilillah’. The crux of the ikhtilaaf is here.*
Anyhow, the prophet SAW did leave I`tikaaf those years that he went in the path of Allah.
If you are in doubt with jamaat as fi sabilillah, then know that Habib Najjaar in surah Yasin went to give da`wat and not to fight with anyone. When assassinated, Allah Ta`ala instantly gave instruction for him to enter Jannah: 
قيل ادخل الجنة قال ياليت قومي يعلمون 

A shahadah and martyrdom of the highest rank such that his expression after his death is mentioned in the Qur-aan: 
‘How would it be good if my people would know(my rank)’(Surah Yassin)
This is a Coranic proof that going to spread deen is Fi sabillah. Should you die in there, there is highest rank of Martyrdom reserved for you. 
I am not here to discuss but to ascertain certain points of Shariah.

Nontheless, after choosing I`tikaaf or Jamaat, none should criticize the other or to belittle the other because this is, in fact, against Shariah.
 
Mufti Mackoojee
 +23057921333
 
 
     
 
 
 
 
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