What Are The Lessons Behind Itikaf And What Can Invalidate It

Itikaf means staying mosque for a certain number of days devoting one self for ibadah and stay away from worldly affairs during these days, and it is always performed every last ten days of Ramadan. Allah in the Qur'an:Itikaf means staying in the mosque to worship Allaah Q2:187

It is prescribed according to the Quran and Sunnah and scholarly consensus. al-Baqarah 2:125, 187 al-Bukhari, 2026 and Muslim, 1172.

It is Sunnah, not obligatory unless one made a vow to do it, in which case it becomes obligatory. al-Bukhari, 6696. al-Ijmaa’ (p. 53), Fiqh al-I’tikaaf, al-Mushayqih, p. 31.

It is Sunnah for both men and women. Al-Bukhari (2026) and Muslim (1172)

The best places to do i’tikaf are the three mosques– al-Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah), al-Masjid al-Nabawi (in Madinah) and al-Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), and it is valid in mosques other than according to the majority of scholars but it is essential that the mosque in which it is observed in a mosque in which prayers are held in congregation. Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 15/444.

It is better to stay in a mosque where Jumu’ah prayer is observed if the period of i’tikaaf will include a Friday. Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas, Fataawa al-Lajnah, 10/410.

Women must seek permission from their husband before they can perform itikaf,if the permission is granted the woman can proceed but if permission is declined is haram for the woman to perform itikaf 

What can Invalidate Itikaf

If the person observing i’tikaaf goes out of the mosque, his i’tikaaf is invalidated unless for an unavoidable reason, such as to relieve himself, to do wudoo’ or ghusl, or to bring food if he does not have anyone to bring food to the mosque for him, and other similar matters which cannot be avoided and which cannot be done in the mosque. Al-Bukhaari (2092) and Muslim (297) al-Mughni (4/466) Abu Dawood, 2473. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/410.

If a woman observes i‘tikaaf in the mosque, then gets her menses, she must leave the mosque. She can continue when she cleanses.

Coming out will be after sunsets on the last day of Ramadan. Fataawa al-Siyaam, p. 502. Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/441.

If one chooses to stay until he has prayed Fajr and then depart from his place of i’tikaaf to the Eid prayer, there is nothing wrong with that. al-Majmoo’, 6/404, 6/514 (6/323); al-Mughni, 4/456; Sharh al-‘Umdah, 2/711, Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 15/437

In conclusion,  

The majority of scholars are of the view that the minimum length of time is a moment. Thus, it can be a night or a day or more. al-Durr al-Mukhtaar (1/445); al-Majmoo’, 6/489; al-Insaaf, 7/566.

Remember, night comes before the day, I’tikaf start before sunset of 20th of Ramadan. The 1st night while in the I’tikaf will be the night of the 21st. [al-Fajr 89:2], Haashiyat al-Nasaa’i. al-Mughni, 4/489. scholars of the Standing Committee (10/114), Ibn Baaz (15/442), Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 501)

May Allah grant us an understanding of His religion and accept it as an act of ‘ibadah

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