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Iteekaaf in ramzaan for a women

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

salam, i was just wonerdering whether or not a female is allowed to sit itekaaf in her house instead of the masjid or is she only permissable to sit itekaaf in the masjid? jazakallah-hair

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Iteekaaf in ramzaan for a women

The general and preferred Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was to dedicate himself to the worship and remembrance of the Lord in isolation in the masjid for a period of ten days in the month of Ramadan. In the year the Prophet (saws) died, he (saws) observed ‘itikaf’ for twenty days of Ramadan. 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.260         Narrated by Abu Huraira

The Prophet (saws) used to perform ‘Itikaf’ every year in the month of Ramadan for ten days, and when it was the year of his death, he (saws) stayed in ‘Itikaf’ for twenty days.

The scholars and jurists in Islam are absolutely unanimous in their opinion that there is absolutely no minimum period one may intend to observe the worship of ‘itikaf’… long as one makes the intention to observe the ‘itikaf’ and dedicates oneself to the worship and remembrance of the Lord, even if it be for a day or a night, or a part of the day or the night, one would be considered to be in the state of ‘itikaf’.

Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 3.152a

Topic: Permisible Acts for the Mu'takif

  • The following acts are permissible for one who is performing the worship of ‘itikaaf’:
  • Combing and cutting one's hair, clipping one's nails, cleaning one's body, wearing nice clothes or wearing perfume are all permissible.
  • The person may go out for some need that he must perform. The scholars agree that the one who performs ‘itikaaf’ may leave the mosque in order to answer the call of nature, for this is something that he personally must perform, and he cannot do it in the mosque. Also, if he needs to eat or drink and there is no one to bring him his food, he may leave to get it. If one needs to vomit, he may leave the mosque to do so. For anything that he must do but cannot do in the mosque, he can leave it, and such acts will not void his ‘itikaaf’, even if they take a long time. Examples of these types of acts would include washing one's self, cleaning his body or clothes from impurities, attending the Friday prayers, witnessing a funeral, etc. 
  • The person may eat, drink, and sleep in the mosque, and he should also keep it clean.
  • Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 3.154
  • Topic: Actions that nullify the worship of ‘itikaaf’:
  • If a person performs one of the following acts, their ‘itikaaf’ will be nullified:
  • Intentionally leaving the mosque without any need to do so, even if it is for just a short time. In such a case, one would not be staying in the mosque, which is one of the principles of ‘itikaaf’.
  • Abandoning belief in Islam, as this would nullify all acts of worship.
  • Losing one's reason due to insanity or drunkenness, or the onset of menstruation or post-childbirth bleeding, all of which disqualifies a person for ‘itikaaf’.
  • Sexual intercourse.

Your Question: ….my mum would like to know how you do "etteqaf" at home.

At the time of the Prophet (saws), his noble and chaste wives would perform the worship of ‘itikaaf’ in the masjid; and if one finds a masjid which has arranged for women to perform ‘itikaaf’ in the masaajids, it is permissible for the believing women who wish to fulfill the worship of ‘itikaaf’ to do so in the masaajids.  

But in this day and age, the absolute majority of the scholars and jurists, including the great Imam Abu Hanifah, are of the opinion that it is permissible for the believing woman to perform the worship of ‘itikaaf’ in their homes.

A believing woman may isolate and dedicate oneself in a corner of a room, or even a room in the house if available to the sole remembrance and worship of Allah Subhanah for a fixed period of time. 

Your Question: ….are you allowed to speak to people on the phone to see how they are? to what extent can you speak to people that live with you?

If one has an absolutely genuine need, or one wishes to enquire about the health or state of a loved or dear one, there is absolutely no harm if one speaks either personally or through the phone to fulfill their genuine need. 

What is not permitted is that one talk casual or vain talk for hours on end about all and sundry when they have isolated and dedicated themselves to the remembrance of Allah in ‘itikaaf’.  But if one communicates either personally or through the phone for a genuine need, there is absolutely no harm and it does not affect the validity of their worship of ‘itikaaf’.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your Brother in Islam,


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