Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Abbaas (ra) Leaves His I’tikaaf to Fulfil a Need of a Muslim
Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Abbaas (ra) was once observing I’tikaaf in the Masjid of Rasulullaah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam when a man came to him. After the man had greeted with Salaam and sat down, Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Abbaas (ra) said, “It seems that you are extremely concerned about something?”
“That is true, O cousin of Rasulullaah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam !” the man replied, “I am indebted to someone and I swear by the honour of the occupant of this grave (Rasulullaah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) that I am unable to settle it.”
“Should I speak to him on your behalf?” Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Abbaas(ra) offered.
“if you please,” the man replied.
Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Abbaas (ra) then put on his shoes and left the Masjid. The man called out, “Have you forgotten what you were engaged in (your I’tikaaf)?”
“NO,” Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Abbaas (ra) replied, “It is something that I heard from the occupant of this grave and it was not a long time ago.” His
eyes then welled with tears as he continued, “I heard him say, ‘Whoever walks to fulfill the need of a Muslim and applies himself in this regard, it will be better for him than ten years of I’tikaaf.
As for the one who spends a single day in I’tikaaf for the pleasure of Allaah, Allaah will place between him and the fire of Jahannam three trenches larger than the distance between the heavens and the earth.“
Tabraani, Bayhaqi and Haakim, as quoted in Targheeb wat Tarheeb (Vo1.2 Pg.272).