Rallying around the Rulings for Itikaf


• Itikaf linguistically means to isolate oneself in a place or devote oneself to an act whether it is good or bad.

• The Islamic term for this word means a person stays in the masjid obeying Allah for a specific time period.

Itikaf is legislated by the (1) Quran, (2) Sunnah and (3) the Consensus of the scholars from Ahulus Sunnah.

1. Quran: We commanded Ibrâhim (Abraham) and Ismâ’il (Ishmael) that they should purify My House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (I’tikâf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer).[ Al-Baqarah 125]

2. Sunnah: Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to do Itikaf during the last ten days of Ramadan until he died. And after his death his wives did the same action.” [ Bukhari and Muslim]

3. The consensus of scholars from Ahulus Sunnah:  Ibn Munthur, Ibn Hazm, An-Nawawee, Ibn Quddamah, Ibn Taymeeyah and Al-Qurtubi and others (may Allah be pleased with them all) narrated that Itikaf is Sunnah.

• There isn’t anything authentic narrated about the virtue of Itikaf. Abu Dawud asked Imam Ahmed if there were any hadeeth about the virtue of Itikaf? Imam Ahmed said, “ No, all the hadeeth about Itikaf are weak.”

Ruling for Itikaf:
Itikaf is a Sunnah according to the consensus of the scholars from Ahulus Sunnah. However if a person vows to perform Itikaf then he must do so according to Ibn Munthur.

The Time Frame to Perform Itikaf:
Itikaf can be performed anytime throughout the year. Imam Al-Bukhari and Imam Al-Muslim collected a hadeeth from Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her). She said , “ The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did Itikaf during the first day days of Shawwal and in another narration “ During the last ten days (of Shawwal )

However performing Itikaf in Ramadan is a stressed Sunnah. This is based on the practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) .He (peace and blessings be upon him) did Itikaf during the middle of Ramadan; as collected by Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudiree (may Allah be pleased with him)

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) performed Itikaf during the entire month of Ramadan.

It is better to make Itikaf during the last ten days; since this was the way the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) observed it until his death.

When Does a Person Begin his Itikaf:
• The majority of the scholars view that a person should enter the masjid before sunset on the 21st night.

When Does the Person Doing Itikaf Leave the Masjid:
• He leaves after Maghrib on the last night of the last ten days.

How Long can a Person Stay in the Masjid for Itikaf:
• The least amount of time a person can stay in the Masjid is a complete day or complete night. Umar (may Allah be please with him) said,” During the times of ignorance I made a solemn pledge to do Itikaf for a night in the masjid.” The Prophet (*peace and blessings be upon him) said,” Fulfill your pledge.”

The most amount of time a person can perform Itikaf is unlimited.

The conditions for a person to do Itikaf:
1. Islam, a person has to be a Muslim
2. Sound mind
3. Be at the age of discernment
4. Intention
5. The masjid should be one where congregational prayer is observed.Allah says, “while you are in I’tikâf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the masjids.” [Al-Baqarah 187]

• In reference to the authentic hadeeth collected in Al-Bayhaqi in his Sunnan. “ There is no Itikhaf except in three Masjids.” Refers to a complete itikaf however it is okay to perform Itikaf in other than Masjid Al-Aqsa, Haram Mecca and the Prophet’s masjid.
Does a person doing Itikhaf have to be fasting:

A person doesn’t have to be fasting in order to do Itikhaf. This is derived from the verse where Allah says, “While you are in I’tikâf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the masjids.” [Al-Baqarah 187]
• “

The Etiquettes of Itikaf:
• A person should spend his time praying, reading Quran, and sending salutations on the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)
• He should avoid all speech and actions that don’t concern him.
• He should avoid all arguing, quarreling, cursing and the usage of foul speech.
• He should only say words that are good

Prohibitions during Itikaf:
• Sexual relations.
• Leaving the masjid, unless there is a dire need.

Permitted acts during Itikaf:
• Sleeping
• Eating and drinking in the masjid
• Pitching a tent in the masjid
• Staying a fixed place
• Wearing nice clothes and perfume
• Washing and brushing hair
• Getting married and marrying someone off

DID YOU UNDERSTAND?

1. What are the five conditions for Itikaf ?
a………………………………………..
b………………………………………..
c………………………………………..
d………………………………………..
e………………………………………..

2. What does Itikaf mean linquistically?
…………………………………………..

3.What is the Islamic usage for Itikaf?
…………………………………………….

4. Sexual relations during itikaf are allowed (T / F )

5. Mention three permissible acts while in Itikaf?

1……………………………………………….
2……………………………………………….
3………………………………………………

6. A person can only do Itikaf during Ramadan. (T / F)

7. Sisters aren’t allowed to perform Itikaf ( T / F )

Taken from Al- iltifafu howle Ahkamee Itikaf by Abu Ammar Yasir Al-Adenee (may Allah increase him good and bless him)

Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle. Ramadan 1430

Source: “Rallying Around the Ruling for Itikah” from Aloom.net

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