- Recite Al Quran
- Recite Darood
- Read about Islam
- Make Dua
- Talk/think about the good and righteous things
- Do Taubah (repentance)
- Doing nothing and considering it Ibadah does not count in Itikaf
Leaving your place of Itikaf
Things to avoid
- Foul talking
- Buying or selling things in the Masjid
- Having a quarrel or fight with someone
- Disturbing other people in Itikaf around you
- Bringing in too many items
Things that nullify Itikaf
Going for Namaz-e-Janazah
WHO MAY PERFORM I’TIKAF
- It is necessary for I’tikâf that a person be a Muslim and sane. Hence, the I’tikâf of an insane person or a kafir will not be valid. However, just as a minor child may perform Salâh or keep fast, similary such minor may perform I’tikâf. (Badai).
- A woman may also perform I’tikâf in her home by setting aside a specified place for ibâdahand performing therein such I’tikâf. However, it is necessary for her to obtain her husband’s consent for such I’tikâf. Moreover, it is essential that she is not in a state of menstruation and nifâs (bleeding after childbirth).
- it is a condition of I’tikâf Masnun and I’tikâf wâjib that a person be in a state of fasting. Hence, if a person is not in a state of fasting, he cannot perform these categories of I’tikâf. However, fasting is not a condition in the case of Nafl I’tikâf.
PLACE OF I’TIKAF
TYPES OF I’TIKAF
MEANING AND EFFECT OF MASNUN I’TIKAF
RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS OF AN AREA AND MAIN FEATURE OF I’TIKAF
- It is clear from the foregoing that it is the responsibility of every member of the area or township to ascertain in the beginning whether any person is to sit for the I’tkâf in their masjid or not.
- However, it is not permissible to cause some person to sit by giving him payment or money because it is not permissible in the case of ‘Ibadah to give or take money or wages. (Shâmi)
- If no member of a particular area is able to sit forI’tikâf due to circumstances of necessity, then in that event arrangements must be made to cause some person from another area to sit. (Fatâwa Darul Ulûm Deoband)
- The outstanding pillar of I’tikâf is that a person remains for the duration of I’tikâf within the hudûd of the masjid. Save and except for the necessities of nature (see details later), he must not leave the hudud of the masjid even for one moment. For, if he leaves the hudûd of the masjid for one moment without a valid Shar’î reason (the details of which are dealt with later), the I’tikâf is rendered void.
LEAVING THE MASNUN ON THE GROUNDS OF SHAR’Î NECESSITY
- The need to urinate or defecate, that is, to attend to the call of nature.
- The need for Ghusl of janabah when it is not possible to make Ghusl in the masjid.
- The need to make wudhu when it is not possible to make wudhu while in the masjid.
- The need to bring food and drink when another person is not available to do so.
- The need of the Mu’adhin to go out for the purpose of calling Adhân.
- If Jumuah Salâh is not performed in the masjid wherein I’tikâf is performed, the need to go to another masjid to perform Jumu’ah.
- The need to move to another masjid in the event of leaking, etc. of the the masjid.
CALL OF NATURE
TRANSFER OF MASJID
JANAZAH SALÂH AND VISITING THE SICK
FACTORS THAT RENDER I’TIKÂF VOID
- Apart from the necessities mentioned above, I’tikâf is rendered void if the person performing I’tikâf leaves the hudud of the masjid for any other purpose although such leaving is for one moment (Hidâyah). It is clear that one will be said to have left the masjid when the feet (of the person performing I’tikâf) have been put outside in such a manner that according to custom one will be said to have left the masjid. Hence, if only the head is outside the masjid, then I’tikâf shall not thereby be rendered void. (Al‑Bahr‑ur‑Raiq).
- Similarly, if a person performing I’tikâf leaves for a valid Shar’î necessity, but after completing such a necessity, he waits or stays outside (the masjid) even for one moment, then the I’tikâf is thereby rendered void. (Shâmi)
- If one leaves the masjid without a valid Shar’î reason or need, whether intentionally, in forgetfulness or by mistake, then in such situations the I’tikâf is rendered void. However, one will not sin for rendering the I’tikâf void if the leaving is due to mistake or forgetfulness. (ibid.)
- The I’tikâf will also be rendered void if a person under mistaken belief enters a part of the area of the masjid thinking that it falls within the hudud of the masjid, whereas in fact it is excluded therefrom. Hence, one must properly ascertain the hudud of the masjid before commencing I’tikâf.
- Since fasting is a condition for I’tikâf, if the fast breaks then the I’tikâf is rendered void accordingly, irrespective whether such fast was broken for a valid reason or not, or intentionally or by mistake. In each of these cases, I’tikâf is rendered void. The meaning of breaking fast by mistake is that a person whilst remembering that he is fasting does some involuntary act which is opposed to the requirement of fasting; for example, the person continued eating until the rise of dawn, or made Iftar before the setting of the sun under the mistaken belief that the time for Iftar had passed; or whilst gargling water entered the gullet by mistake although the person remembered that he was fasting. In all these situations, the fast is broken and I’tikâf is correspondingly rendered void.
- I’tikâf is also rendered void by sexual intercourse whether done intentionally or by mistake, and whether done during the day or night, inside the masjid or outside, and whether emission results or not. In all these situations, I’tikâf is rendered void.
- Kissing and cuddling is not permissible during the course of I’tikâf if this causes emission, then I’tikâf is rendered void. However, if no emission results then notwithstanding its illegality, the ’ltikaf is not rendered void. (Hidâyah)
SITUATIONS IN WHICH IT IS PERMISSIBLE TO BREAK I’TIKÂF
- If such a disease emerges during the course of I’tikâf which is not possible to cure except by leaving the masjid, then it is permissible to break the I’tikâf.
- It is permissible to break I’tikâf and go outside (the masjid) in order to save a person who is drowning or burning or to prevent a fire. (Shâmi)
- It is permissible to break I’tikâf because of extreme disease which has afflicted one’s parents, wife or children.
- It is permissible to break I’tikâf if one is compelled to go outside (the masjid), for example, if a warrant of arrest is issued by the government.
- If a janazah arrives and there is nobody else to perform the Janazah Salâh, then also it is permissible to break the I’tikâf. (Fath‑ul‑Qadir)
THE CONSEQUENCES OF BREAKING I’TIKÂF: RULES OF QADHA
- If the I’tikâf Masnûn is rendered void for any of the reasons set forth above, then it is wâjib to make qadah only of that day in which the ’ltikaf’ was rendered void. It is not wâjib to make qadah of the full ten days. (Shâmi). The procedure of making qadha of this one day is as follows:
- If the I’tikaf Masnun is rendered void, it is not necessary to leave the masjid. But one can continue the I’tikâf for the remainder of the last ten days with niyyah of nafl. In this way, the sunnah al‑Mu’akkadah will not be fulfilled but thawab will be obtained for the nafl I’tikaf. On the other hand, if the I’tikâf was rendered void due to some involuntary mistake, then it is not inconceivable that Allâh Ta’âla may bestow in His infinite mercy the reward of the Masnun I’tikâf of the last ten days. Hence, it is preferable in the case of the breaking of the I’tikâf to remain in the masjid as mentioned before though it is permissible to leave on the day that I’tikaf is broken and to commence a nafl I’tikâf with nafl niyyah the following day.
THE ADAB OF I’TIKAF
PERMISSIBLE ACTS [MUBAHAT] IN I’TIKAF
- Eating and drinking.
- Necessary transactions of purchase and sale relating to the necessities of life. However, it is not permissible to make the masjid a center of trade as such. (Qazi Khan)
- Haircut provided the hair does not fall in the masjid.
- Talking and conversation, but it is necessary to avoid unnecessary talk. (Shâmi)
- To contract a Nikâh or other transactions. (al‑Bahr)
- To change clothes, apply scent and oil. (Kulasatul Fatâwa)
- To assist a sick person in the masjid, apply bandage or show him a medicine. (Fatâwa Darul Uloom)
- To give lessons on the Qur’an or ’ilm of Din. (Shâmi)
- To wash and sew clothes provided that when washing the person remains within the masjid and the water falls outside the masjid. This ruling also applies in the case of washing pots or utensils.
- To pass wind in the masjid at the time of necessity. (Shâmi)
MAKRUHAT OF I’TIKÂF
- To adopt complete silence because the adoption of complete silence in the Sharî’ah does not constitute I’tikâf. If one adopts silence with the intention that such silence is I’tikâf, then he will receive the sin of bid’ah. However, there is no objection if one does not regard silence as ibâdah and endeavours to remain silent in order to avoid sin. However, whenever a necessity arises, one must not avoid or abstain from talk. (Durre‑Mukhtâr)
- To indulge in unnecessary and vain talk; some conversation is permissible in accordance with necessity, but it is obligatory to avoid making the masjid a place of vanities and unnecessary talk. (Minhatul Kaliq)
- To bring goods of trade into the masjid.
- To enclose such area of the masjid for the purpose of I’tikâf that other persons performing I’tikâf or Salâh are caused difficulty or hardship.
- To charge a fee for writing, or sewing clothes, or teaching on the part of the person performing I’tikâf has been considered as makrûh by the jurists (Al‑Bahr). However, if a person cannot earn to provide for himself for the fasts of the days of I’tikâf without charging such fee, then it is permissible for him to do so on the analogy of sale. (And Allâh knows best).
- While performing the sunnah to indulge in a makrûh is not correct.
I’TIKÂF MANDHUR (of a Vow)
CATEGORIES OF NADHR AND THEIR LEGAL EFFECT
- The third type ofI’tikâf is Nafl I’tikâf. This form of I’tikâf is not subject to time, fasting, day, night ‑ on the contrary, a person will receive the reward of I’tikâf if he enters the masjid with the intention of I’tikâf at any time and for whatever period even if only for a moment.
- In the last ten days of Ramadân, if a person performs I’tikâf with an intention of less than ten days, then such I’tikâf will be Nafl I’tikâf.
- If a person goes to the masjid for the purpose of Salâh and at the time of entering (the masjid) intends I’tikâf for whatever time he spends in the masjid, then such person will receive the reward of I’tikâf.
- Nafl I’tikâf remains in force for the period that the person is in the masjid. Upon leaving or emerging from the masjid, this I’tikâf ends.
- The person performing Nafl I’tikaf should complete I’tikâf for the period or days that he intended to undergo in I’tikâf.
- However, if he leaves the masjid for some reason prior to completion of the intended period, then he will receive reward for the period he remained in the masjid. For the remaining (that is, uncompleted) period, he is not obliged (that is, it is not wâjib upon him) to make qadah. (Shâmi).
- If a person, for example, made intention to perform I’tikâf for three days and thereafter upon entering the masjid, he commits an act which breaks his I’tikâf, then in such event his I’tikâf is completed, that is, he will receive the reward for the period he spent in the masjid prior to breaking of his I’tikâf, and furthermore, no qada’ is wâjib upon him (for the uncompleted period). In this event, he may leave the masjid if he wishes, or remain therein by making a new intention of I’tikâf. In such a situation, it is preferable that he completes the period for which he had made the intention of I’tikâf.
I’TIKÂF OF WOMEN
- The merit of I’tikâf is not confined to men; women also can take advantage of it. However, women should not perform I’tikâf in the masjid. Their I’tikâf is best done in the house. The procedure is as follows: •Women should sit for I’tikâf in that place in the house which has been set aside for Salâh and ‘Ibadah. If no such place has been previously set aside, then a place must be so set aside prior to the commencement of I’tikâf, and I’tikâf must accordingly be performed therein. (Shâmi)
- If no specific place has been built or set aside in the house for Salâh, and it is not possible for some reason to so build or set aside a place therein, then in such event a woman may at her discretion demarcate any place within the house and perform I’tikâf there. (Âlamghiri)
- It is necessary for a married woman to obtain the consent of her husband for the purpose of performing I’tikâf. It is not permissible for a woman to perform I’tikâf without the permission of her husband. (Shâmi) However, husbands should not without reason deprive their wives of performing I’tikâf by refusing consent. On the contrary, they should grant consent.
- If a woman has commenced I’tikâf with the permission of her husband and thereafter he endeavours to prohibit or prevent her from completing same, then he cannot do so. If he succeeds in preventing her, then the woman is not obliged to complete I’tikâf. (Alamghiri)
- It is necessary for a woman to be free from menstruation and Nifâs (bleeding after childbirth) in order to performI’tikâf ‑ that is, she cannot perform I’tikâf in a stage of menstruation and Nifâs.
- Consequently, a woman should, prior to the commencement of Masnun I’tikâf, determine whether the date of her menstruation will coincide with the period of I’tikâf. If the menstruation is expected to occur towards the end of the last ten days of Ramadân, then she must not perform Masnun I’tikâf. However, she may perform Nafl I’tikâf for the period until the arrival of her menstruation.
- If a woman has commenced I’tikâf, and thereafter menstruation commences during the duration of I’tikâf, then it is wâjib upon her to immediately abandon I’tikâf, as soon as her menstruation commences. In such a situation it is wâjib upon her to make qada I’tikâf of only the day in which she abandoned the I’tikâf (as a result of the intervention of menstruation). The procedure of such qadah is as follows: •After the woman becomes pure of such menstruation, she keeps fast on any day and performs I’tikâf. If the days remain in Ramadân, then she may make qadha in Ramadân in which case the fast of Ramadân will be sufficient. However, if Ramadân has terminated at the time of her becoming pure from such menstruation, then she must thereafter specifically keep fast qadha I’tikâf for one day. (Commentary to Behesti Zewar)
- The place within the home demarcated by a woman for the purpose of I’tikâf will for the duration thereof fall within the hukm of the masjid. It is not permissible for her to move from such place without a Shar’î necessity. She cannot leave such place and enter any other portion or area of the home. If she does so, her I’tikâf will break.
- The rules applicable to men relating to moving from the place of I’tikâf are also applicable to women. For those needs and necessities in relation to which it is permissible for men to leave the masjid, it is similarly permissible for women to leave the place ofI’tikâf for such needs and necessities (excluding Janazah). For those works in relation to which it is permissible for men to leave the masjid, it is similarly permissible for women to leave the place of I’tikâf for such works. Accordingly, women should, prior to commencing I’tikâf, thoroughly acquaint themselves with the rules relating to I’tikâf Masnun which have been discussed earlier under the heading “I’tikâf Masnun”.
- During the I’tikâf, women may, whilst sitting in their place of I’tikâf indulge in sewing and knitting. They can advise and guide others in regard to matters affecting the home. However, they cannot leave the place demarcated for I’tikâf. Moreover, it is preferable if they concentrate during the I’tikâf on Dhikr, Tasbihat, Tilawat al‑Qur’an and ‘Ibadat. They should not spend too much time on other matters.