- Abu Hurayra said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to do i’tikaf for ten days every Ramadan. In the year in which he died he did i’tikaf for twenty days.” [al-Bukhari]
- ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) used to exert himself in devotion during the last ten nights to a greater extent than at any other time. Bukhari 6:6:2644
- The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Whoever stands the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and seeking reward shall have their previous sins forgiven.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
- Ali Ibn Husain RA narrates from his father that Rasullullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “He who observes the ten days I’tikaf during Ramadhan will obtain the thawaab of two Hajj and two Umrah.” (Bayhaqi)
- Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas RA reported that Rasullullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Whosoever for Allah’s sake did even one days i’tikaf, Allah would keep him away from Jahannam by trenches.” (Tabarani)
I’tikaf city documentary – I don’t understand this but amazing to see the turn out for the i’tikaf here.
Benefits of I’tikaf
I`tikaf is a means of great reward. It says in the Fatawa Hindiyya,
“Its excellence is obvious, for the one make such a spiritual retreat:
– Has submitted their entire person to the worship of Allah Most High;
– seeks closeness;
– distances themselves from the worldly distractions that prevent one from proximity;
– drowning their entire time in actual or effective worship, for the basis of its legislation is to wait from one prayer time to the next prayer in congregation;
– it also makes the one is retreat resemble the angels who do not disobey the command of Allah and do what they are commanded, while glorifying Allah by night and day without tiring…” [1.212]
Things permitted during I`tikaf
Everything normally permissible, besides sexual relations, is permitted during i`tikaf, such as eating, drinking, and talk (not during day in ramadan).
What to do during i`tikaf
One should busy oneself with the beneficial as much as one meaningfully can, such as:
1. Voluntary prayer,
2. Reciting the Book of Allah, with reflection, contemplation, and passion,
3. Remembrance of Allah, in all its forms,
4. Gaining beneficial knowledge, and listening to inspiring religious discourses (which is why it is wise to make i`tikaf in a mosque with people of learning, and good company to inspire one towards the good).
One should avoid simply wasting time in things bereft of benefit, let alone the haram, though there is nothing wrong in taking ‘breaks’ in which one relaxes with others, as a means of being able to return to one’s worship with vigor and devotion.
source : seekers guidance
WHAT SHOULD ONE DO DURING I’TIKAF ?
Q: What should one do during I’tikaf?
1)One should engage oneself in tilawat of Quran, durud and salawat upon Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, istighfar and nafil salat.
2)He should abstain from all types of sin and guard his ears, eyes, heart, thus deriving maximum benefit from the I’tikaf.
3)The mu’takif should remember that he is the guest of Almighty Allah, therefore he should be extremely careful of his behaviour in the House of Almighty Allah.
4)The main objective of I’tikaf is to seek Laylatul Qadr, therefore the mu’takifin (brothers in I’tikaf) should exert themselves during the odd nights of Ramadhan.
INTENTION FOR SUNNAH I’TIKAF
Q: In a sunnah I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan, how does one make an intention?
A: Niyyat (intention) could be done in the heart or verbally expressed, eg. – O Allah I am making I’tikaf for the last ten days of Ramadhan.
BATH TO COOL OFF DURING I’TIKAF
Q: Can one leave the Masjid to take a bath just to cool off during I’tikaf?
A: It is not permissible to do so and the I’tikaf will be invalidated.
VENUE FOR FEMALE I’TIKAF
Q: Where should a female make her I’tikaf?
A: According to the Shafi’es, Malikis, Hanbalis, I’tikaf can only be performed in the Masjid. Hence, men will sit in the male section whilst females will perform their I’tikaf in the female section of the masjid. It is not permissible to perform I’tikaf at home according to the above mentioned scholars. However, the Hanafi scholars state that it is permissible for females to perform their I’tikaf at home in a place which is reserved for salat. Cognizance must be taken of the fact that women must not be in menses or post-natal (nifas), similarly she must take permission from her husband to sit in I’tikaf.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALE & FEMALE I’TIKAF
Q: Is there any difference between a male and females I’tikaf?
A: The same rules which apply to a man observing I’tikaf in the masjid, apply to a woman observing I’tikaf in a place of seclusion at home (according to the Hanafis).
LADY DOES HER DOMESTIC DUTIES IN I’TIKAF
Q: Can a woman do her domestic duties whilst in I’tikaf?
A: She can perform her domestic duties in her room, eg. cooking, ironing etc. This is only according to the Hanafi scholars.
LEAVING MASJID WHILST IN I’TIKAF
Q: Whilst performing I’tikaf, forgetfully I left the masjid for a few minutes, is my I’tikaf valid?
A: According to the Hanafis the I’tikaf is broken whilst the majority of the scholars, namely, Shafi’es, Malikis, Hanbalis, state that the I’tikaf is valid.
QADHA OF I’TIKAF
Q: If ones I’tikaf broke then how does one make qadha?
A: In the case of the Sunnah I’tikaf, a person has to make one days qadha from maghrib to maghrib whilst fasting during the day. Only the Hanafi scholars state that qadha is compulsory. This qadha can be kept during Ramadhan or after Ramadhan.
START & END SUNNAH I’TIKAF
Q: What time does the I’tikaf start and end during Ramadhan?
A: The mu’takif (one who observes I’tikaf) should enter the masjid before sunset of the 20th day of Ramadhan. He must remain in the masjid until the sighting of the Eid moon is confirmed.
REASONS FOR LEAVING MASJID DURING I’TIKAF
Q: What are valid reasons for leaving the masjid during I’tikaf?
1.To answer the call of nature.
2.To pass wind.
3.To make wudhu.
4.To take an obligatory bath.
5.To proclaim the azan even if one is not the muazzin.
UNDESIRABLE THINGS DURING I’TIKAF
Q: Which things are undesirable during I’tikaf?
1.To maintain total silence
2.To indulge in idle talk
3.To sleep excessively merely to pass time.
4.To unnecessarily pass wind inside the Masjid.
5.To engage in any occupation, eg. Teaching for a salary.
6.To read books which are not of a deeni nature.
7.To waste time with cell-phones etc.
PERMISSIBLE THINGS IN I’TIKAF
Q: Things that are permissible during I’tikaf?
4.to change clothes, to apply oil and perfume.
5.To walk inside the masjid
6.To cut hair and nails – these should not fall in the masjid.
7.To study deeni books.
JUMMAH BATH IN I’TIKAF
Q: Is it permissible to go to the bathroom for a jummah bath during I’tikaf?
A: During I’tikaf it is not permissible for one to go for a sunnat bath, like the Friday ghusal. If one does so, then the I’tikaf is broken.
WET DREAM IN I’TIKAF
Q: If one has a wet dream, does it invalidate the I’tikaf?
A: Emission of semen in a wet dream does not invalidate the I’tikaf. However, as soon as he realizes that he is in the state of impurity, he should leave the masjid immediately and perform the fardh ghusal.
HUSBAND’S PERMISSION FOR I’TIKAF
Q: I want to sit for I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan, do I need my husband’s permission, and can he and the children visit me?
A: It is compulsory for you to obtain the permission of your husband to sit in I’tikaf. Your husband and children can visit you, however your husband cannot fondle and touch you with lust etc.
CHILDREN IN I’TIKAF
Q: Is it permissible for children to sit for I’tikaf?
A: The venue for I’tikaf is a Masjid. Bulugh (puberty) is not a condition for the validity of I’tikaf. However, the children must understand the meaning of I’tikaf and must maintain the sanctity of the Masjid. Nowadays, some children sit for I’tikaf and one finds a carnival atmosphere prevailing in the masjid which is not permissible.
WUDHU AT ALL TIMES IN I’TIKAF
Q: Is it compulsory for the mu’takif (person performing I’tikaf) to remain in wudhu at all times?
A: It is meritorious to remain in wudhu as far as possible. If his wudhu breaks, it will be permissible for him to leave the masjid for the purpose of wudhu, even if it is not yet time for salat. Similarly it will be permissible for him to leave the masjid to make wudhu at night to enable him to sleep with wudhu.
FAST BREAKS WHILST IN I’TIKAF
Q: If someone’s fast breaks is the I’tikaf valid?
A: It is a pre-requisite for the validity of the I’tikaf that a person must fast. Hence, if the fast breaks, the I’tikaf is also broken according to the Hanafis.
ERECTING CUBICLES FOR I’TIKAF
Q: Kindly explain whether erecting cubicles for I’tikaf is necessary?
A: The purpose of I’tikaf is seclusion in order to maximize ones time in the worship of Almighty Allah. Therefore, the cubicle is conducive to the spirit of I’tikaf. Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam had a cubicle made of straw mats (Mirqaat, vol 4,page 329). However, if the cubicles are causing inconvenience to the musallees, then a portion of the majsid should be cordoned of for those performing I’tikaf without erecting the cubicles.
I’TIKAF IN A MUSALLAH
Q: We wish to make I’tikaf in a musallah (jamat khana), is it valid to do so?
A: The venue for I’tikaf is valid in a Masjid only. Almighty Allah states: “Do not touch your wives whilst you are in I’tikaf in the Masajid.” (surah 2 verse 187) Hence, for men to make I’tikaf in a musallah is not valid. There is consensus on this issue according to all four schools.
CONDITIONS FOR I’TIKAF
Q: What are the conditions for I’tikaf?
A: It must be a masjid. The person must be a sane Muslim and could be a minor or mature adult. A female has to be free from menses and post-natal. Similarly she must take permission from her husband to sit in I’tikaf.
MOBILE PHONE DURING I’TIKAF
Q: Is it permissible to use the mobile phone during I’tikaf?
A: It is permissible to do so when there is a need. However, if the person left the boundary of the masjid to make or receive a call then his I’tikaf is broken. Furthermore, it is not permissible to disturb other people in the masjid with the mobile. Cognizance must be taken of the fact that musical ring-tones are haram.
BEST MASJID TO MAKE I’TIKAF
Q: Where is the best place to sit for I’tikaf?
A: The best place for I’tikaf is the Haram Shareef in Makka Mukarrama, then Masjid Nabawi in Madina Munawwara, then masjid Al-Aqsa in Palestine, thereafter all the masajid are equal.
MUEZZIN RENDERS AZAN FROM MINARET WHILE IN I’TIKAF
Q: Is it permissible for the muezzin, who is in I’tikaf to go to the minaret to render the azan?
A: It is permissible for the muezzin to do so.
MU’TAKIF PROTRUDES HEAD OUT OF WINDOW
Q: Can a person in I’tikaf put his head out of the window of the masjid?
A: It is permissible for the mu’takif to protrude his head out of the window, whilst standing in the masjid.
JOIN BROTHERS IN I’TIKAF FOR MEALS
Q: Can I join the brothers in I’tikaf for iftar and meals?
A: A person who is not in I’tikaf should not join the brother/s in I’tikaf for iftar or meals unless he also makes intention for I’tikaf. This intention will be a nafil and its duration can be for a minute. He should engage in some zikr and then join the brothers for iftar or meals.
VISIT SICK OR PARTICIPATE IN JANAZA WHEN IN I’TIKAF
Q: If one is sitting for I’tikaf, is one allowed to participate in a janaza salat or visit the sick?
A: If one is sitting for nafil I’tikaf, then one may leave the masjid for janaza salat, visit the sick or take a bath to cool off etc. However, if one is sitting for the sunnah I’tikaf, during the last ten days of Ramadhan then according to the Hanafis it is not permissible to leave the masjid for a janaza salat or visit the ill etc. If one does so then the I’tikaf will be broken and qadha will be compulsory. However, according to the Shafi’es, it is permissible to read the salatul janaza as the janaza salat is read in the masjid.
Q: When a person is about to start his I’tikaf can he make a condition that if somebody passes away, he will go for the janaza salat or visit the sick. Are these conditions permissible?
A: According to all the jurists it is permissible in nafil (voluntary) or wajib I’tikaf (when one takes a vow). However, it is not permissible in the sunnah I’tikaf of Ramadhan, according to the Hanafis. Imam Shafi’e RA allows these type of conditions.
MOVE TO ANOTHER MASJID WHILST IN I’TIKAF
Q: Is it permissible to move from one masjid to another whilst in I’tikaf?
A: It will nullify the I’tikaf if one does so. However, if the masjid is flooded or there is a natural disaster etc. then to leave the masjid for another masjid will be permissible provided that one goes straight to the other masjid. Similarly, if one’s life is seriously threatened, eg. criminals, then for one to transfer to another masjid will be acceptable.
For reference: Fathul Qadir by Ibn Hummam RA, vol 3, page 111.
PERFORM I’TIKAF BUT NO STRENGTH TO FAST
Q: I intend observing I’tfikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan but do not have the strength to fast, kindly advise?
A: Fasting is a condition for the I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan. Thus, I’tikaf without fasting will be considered a nafil I’tikaf. If you recover from your weakness then qadha of the fast is compulsory and if you are suffering from a chronic ailment then fidya will be compulsory upon you.
NO ONE MADE THE SUNNAH I’TIKAF IN TOWN
Q: In our town no one made the sunnah I’tikaf, what is the verdict?
A: According to the Hanafi jurists, the I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan is sunnat muakkada alal kifaya. This refers to an insisted sunnah which one person can fulfil. However, if no one performs it then everyone is a sinner and repentance is compulsory. Therefore, every town must make arrangements for someone to perform I’tikaf. According to the Malikis, Shafi’es, Hanbalis the I’tikaf is sunnah. Thus, if someone performs the I’tikaf then he/she will be rewarded, but if no one performs it, there is no sin upon them.
PAY SOMEONE TO PERFORM THE I’TIKAF
Q: Is it permissible to pay someone to perform the I’tikaf?
A: I’tikaf should be performed for the love of Almighty Allah and not for material gain. It is not permissible to pay somebody to sit for I’tikaf.
Ramadhan Q & A -By Mufti Abdool Kader Hoosen
Courtesy of al-Islaah Publications