I’tikaf to enter the Masjid with the intention of residing therein. Mu’takif – One who makes I’tikaf.
The basic purpose of I’tikaf is that the heart gets attached to Allah ﷻ and, with it, one attains inner composure and equanimity, and preoccupation with the mundane things of life ceases, and absorption in the eternal reality takes its place. And the state is reached in which all fears, hopes and apprehensions are superseded by the love and remembrance of Allah ﷻ.
Rasulullah ﷺ always observed I’tikaf and the Muslims have on a whole adhered to it. It has become a regular feature of the month of Ramadhan and a confirmed practice with the devout and the faithful. Ayesha رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ relates that “Rasulullah ﷺ regularly observed I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan till the end of his life. After him, his wives maintained the tradition”.
To vow or pledge to make I’tikaf (on a fixed day) for the sake of Allah ﷻ upon the fulfilment of some wish or desire, the least duration of a wajib I’tikaf is one day and night and it must be accompanied by a fast.
To reside the last ten nights and days of Ramadhan in the Masjid is Sunnat-Muakkadah ‘alal Kifayah, i.e. If a person from the community fulfils the obligation of I’tikaf, the entire community will be absolved of this sacred duty. Otherwise all the residents will be sinful of neglecting this Sunnah of our Nabi ﷺ.
- MUSTAHAB OR NAFL:
This I’tikaf can be for any amount of time, even for a few minutes.
N.B. Fasting is not conditional for Mustahab or Nafl I’tikaf.
NIYYAH FOR SUNNAH I’TIKAF
NIYYAH FOR NAFL I’TIKAF
CONDITIONS OF I’TIKAF:
- Niyyah: Intention.
- Taharah: To be free from Hadathul Akbar for entry and all hadath for acquisition of reward.
- Sanity: i.e. a person should not be mad.
THINGS PERMITTED DURING I’TIKAF:
- Discussing matters of Deen or necessary talk.
NOTE: It is Makruh to observe complete silence as a form of Worship this does not however permit worldly talk.
ONE IS PERMITTED TO LEAVE THE MASJID:
- For wajib ghusl.
- For wudhu.
- To answer the call of nature (toilet).
NOTE: Leaving the Masjid without a Shar’i reason will nullify the I’tikaf
THINGS TO DO DURING I’TIKAF:
A Mu’takif should engage himself in the following:
- Ibadah (any form).
- Recital of the Holy Qur’an.
- Nafl Salaah and dhikr.
- Salawat (Durud) and Istighfar.
- Remembrance of Allah I.
- Learn or teach the knowledge of Deen.
I’TIKAF FOR WOMEN
Ladies may also perform I’tikaf by designating a portion of their house; wherein they normally pray salaah. This is not a Shar’i Masjid, none of the rulings applicable to Masjid’s apply.
The purpose behind this designation is merely for I’tikaf purposes for the ladies. Any lady is at liberty to perform I’tikaf for the last ten days of Ramadhan in this specific room and thereby acquire the same reward as the menfolk in the Masjid.
Ladies should remember, that for them to perform this I’tikaf of the last ten days of Ramadhan; purity (from Haydh) is essential. It should also be noted that for I’tikaf of the last ten days of Ramadhan, ladies will not be able to undertake household duties. These domestic chores will be performed by daughters under her supervision while in I’tikaf.
REWARD OF I’TIKAF
Ibn Abbas رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ narrates Rasulullah ﷺ
related ‘Whomsoever performs I’tikaf for a day: Allah ﷻ will spread three trenches between him (or her) and the fire of hell. The width of each trench being greater than the distance between the Heaven and earth.’
In addition: to perform I’tikaf of the last ten days of Ramadhan is equivalent to the reward of two Hajj and two Umrah!