Detailed Rules of I’tikaf

salah itikaf 480x328 Detailed Rules of I’tikaf


(1) I’tik’af means to stay in the Musjid with the niyyat of I’tikaaf for the sake of Allah Ta’ala. The purpose of such stay in the Musjid is Ibaadat and to gain proximity to Allah Ta’ala.

The types of i’tikaaf

There are three types of I’tikaaf.

Waajib, Sunnatul Muakkadah and Nafl

Waajib i’tikaaf

An I’tikaaf of Nathr and a Qadhaa I’tikaaf are wajib (compulsory) I’tikaaf.

Nathr i’tikaaf

  1. I’tikaaf of Nathr is an I’tikaaf undertaken as a result of a vow made to Allah Ta’ala.
  2. The validity of Nathr I’tikaaf requires the verbal expression of the niyyat or intention. It is, therefore, essential to verbally say, for example: ‘I am undertaking (or making) I’tikaaf for Allah Ta’ala for three days’., or any other similar statement in which it is declared that I’tikaaf has been undertaken or is presently being undertaken. The expression of an intention should not relate to the future, e.g. “It is my intention to perform I’tikaaf, etc. For the purpose of Nathr I’tikaaf only a niyyat in the mind/heart is not sufficient.
  3. Saum (fasting) is a condition for the validity of Nathr I’tikaaf. Nathr I’tikaaf without fasting is not valid even if one vows to observe I’tikaaf without fasting.
  4. There are two types of Nathr I’tikaaf. Nathr Muayyan and Nathr Ghair Muayyan. Nathr Muayyan I’tikaaf is an I’tikaaf, the observance of which, one vowed to keep on specific days, e.g. on the 13th, 14th and 15th of Muharram. If one failed to observe the I’tikaaf on the particular days stipulated in the niyyat, the I’tikaaf has to be discharged at another time, i.e. Qadha will have to be made of the I’tikaaf.

Nathr Ghair Muayyan I’tikaaf is an I’tikaaf, the observance of which is not pledged for any specific days. One merely vows to observe I’tikaaf for two days (for example). Such an I’tikaaf may be executed at any time of one’s choice.

  1. If in the niyyat the number of days is expressed in the plural, e.g. ‘I shall observe I’tikaaf of two days (three or four days etc.), and no specific meaning was given to the word ‘days’, then the word ‘day’ will mean 24 hours. Thus, I’tikaaf of the days as well as the nights will be obligatory.

When expressing the niyyat, if the intention is to observe I’tikaaf only during the day and not during the night, only the days will become Waajib.

If it is specified in the niyyat that I’tikaaf of only the nights will be observed, then such I’tikaaf is not obligatory.

  1. Similarly, if in the niyyat the term ‘nights’ was used, e.g. I have made obligatory on me an I’tikaaf of three nights’, and by the term ‘nights’ no particular meaning was intended nor specified, then I’tikaf of both the night and day will be wajib.
  2. If the vow was for an I’tikaf of one day only, then it will mean the day commencing from Subah Sadiq until sunset. However, if the intention was a 24 hour period, then ‘one day’ will mean from one sunset to another sunset, i.e. 24 hours – night and day.
  3. If the intention is to observe I’tikaf of only one day (i.e. minus the night), one should enter the Musjid just prior to Subah-Sadiq and leave at any time after sunset.
  4. If the intention is to observe I’tikaf for 24 hours or for several days with nights included, one should enter the Musjid before sunset and leave at any time after sunset of the last day of the I’tikaaf.

10. When Nathr (vow) is made to observe I’tikaf for several days (i.e. days including nights – 24 hour period), it will be waajib to execute the days of the I’tikaaf consecutively – one after the other without interruption. However, if at the time of the niyyat it is specified that the I’tikaaf will be interspersed, then it will be permissible to spread the number of days of the Nathr I’tikaaf over a period. It will then not be wajib to observe the I’tikaaf in consecutive order of days.

11. In a Nathr I’tikaaf in which the nights have not been included in the niyyat, it will be permissible to intersperse the days of the I’tikaf. Consecutive order in this case is not wajib.

12. A Nathr Muayyan I’tikaf (in which a specific month or particular days have been specified for the I’tikaaf) may be executed even before the specified period.

13. If it is expressed in the vow that the Nathr I’tikaf will be undertaken in Musjidul Haram, it will be permissible to observe it in any Musjid.

14. Nathr I’tikaaf may be discharged even with the Sawm of Ramadhaan. Thus, if a vow was taken to observe I’tikaaf during Ramadhaan (i.e. other than the I’tikaaf of the last 10 days), then such I’tikaaf will be valid and the fasting of Ramadhaan will suffice for the I’tikaaf.

15. Nathr I’tikaaf will be valid with any type of wajib fasting even if the Saum is Qadha or Kaffarah fasting. Thus, if one is keeping Qadhaa fasts, one may observe a Nathr I’tikaaf on such days.

16. Nathr I’tikaaf will not be valid with Nafl fasting. Thus if one intends Nathr I’tikaaf after having commenced a Nafl Saum, the Nathr I’tikaaf will not be valid.

17. The minimum period for a wajib I’tikaaf is one day, i.e. from Subah Sadiq to sunset.

Qadha of i’tikaaf

  1. Qadha will be made of Nathr and Masnoon I’tikaaf. There is no Qadha for Nafl I’tikaaf.
  2. Qadha of Nathr Muayyan I’tikaaf will be made if the I’tikaaf was not observed on its specific days or if it was rendered void while observing it.
  3. Masoon I’tikaaf (i.e. the I’tikaaf of the last ten days of Ramadhaan) will be made Qadha if it was rendered void after having commenced it. It is necessary to make Qadha of only the day or days which were rendered void. When making Qadha of the I’tikaaf, Saum (fasting) is obligatory. Qadha of the I’tikaaf will be valid only if fasting is also observed on the day/s when the Qadha is being made.

Sunnatul muakkadah i’tikaf

I’tikaaf of the last ten days of Ramadhaan is the only Masnoon I’tikaaf. This Masnoon I’tikaaf is Sunnatul Muakkadah alal Kifaayah. If a few or even just one person observes this I’tikaf in a particular area/neighbourhood, the duty will be discharged on behalf of the entire community of that locality. On the other hand, if no one observes this I’tikaaf, the whole community will be guilty of neglecting a Sunnatul Muakkadah obligation. Such neglect is sinful.

  1. The Mu’takif (the one who observes I’tikaaf will enter the Musjid before sunset of the 20th day of Ramadhaan.
  2. The Mu’takif will remain in the Musjid until the sighting of the Eid Hilaal is confirmed.
  3. Niyyat (making intention) is a necessary condition for Masnoon I’tikaaf as well.
  4. If the Masnoon I’tikaaf is broken or nullified, Qadha of it is obligatory.

The venue for i’tikaf

  1. For men. I’tikaaf is valid in only a Musjid in which Athaan and Iqaamah are proclaimed for the five daily Salaat. In other words it has to be a Musjid in which the five daily Salaat are performed with Jamaat.
  2. Females can observe I’tikaaf in a place in their homes, set aside for Salat or specially cordoned off for the purpose of I’tikaaf.
  3. It is not permissible for women to come to the Musjid to observe I’tikaaf or to perform Salaat or to listen to lectures.
  4. The Musjid here refers to the Musjid proper and not to the annexures or adjacent buildings erected for the needs of the Musjid or Musallees.

The Musjid proper is that section of the building which was intended by the Waqif to be the Musjid.

(Waqif is the person or organization who erected the Musjid and demarcated the Musjid boundaries).

  1. Most Musaajid have a section at the back, which in most cases is under the same roof, but is excluded from the Musjid proper. Janazah Salat and sometimes a second Jamaat by latecomers are performed in this section. Since this section of the building is excluded from the Musjid proper, it is not permissible for the Mu’takif to venture unnecessarily into that area. If he does, his I’tikaaf will be rendered void.
  2. The Mu’takif should ascertain from the Mutawallis (trustees) the exact boundaries of the Musjid.
  3. The Wudhu Khanah, courtyard, store-rooms and any other adjacent buildings are all excluded from the Musjid.
  4. It is essential that the Mu’takif remains inside the Musjid or inside the special place set aside at home (for women) throughout the duration of the I’tikaaf. Leaving the place of I’tikaf unnecessarily for even a minute will render the I’tikaf null and void.

Valid reasons for leaving the musjid and which will not break the i’tikaf

It is permissible to leave the Musjid for the following acts of need:

  1. To answer the call of nature – to go to the toilet.
  2. To pass wind.
  3. To take an obligatory bath
  4. To make wudhu
  5. Juma’h Salat, if Juma’h Salaat is not performed in the Musjid where the I’tikaaf is being observed. In this case the Mu’takif should leave the Musjid at such a time to enable him to reach the other Musjid in time to perform his Sunnah Salaat. He should leave immediately after having completed the six raka’ts Sunnats after the Fardh Salat. He should not delay for Dua and Dhikr.
  6. To proclaim the Athaan, if he is the Muath-thin. This is permissible for even a Mu’takif who is not the permanent Muath-thin.
  7. To bring food if there is no one to tend to this need of his.
  8. If one is compelled to leave the Musjid either because of danger or forceful eviction, one may immediately proceed to another Musjid to continue with the I’tikaaf. An unnecessary delay in the process of changing Musjids is not permissible and will break the I’tikaaf. When leaving the Musjid for the above mentioned reasons, the Mu’takif must return to the Musjid immediately after having fulfilled the need. An unnecessary delay of even a minute will break the I’tikaf.

The mufsidat or the things which invalidate (break) the i’tikaf

Only wajib and Masnoon I’tikaaf are rendered invalid. Nafl I’tikaaf is not rendered void by any act. It is merely ended by engaging in an act which is not permitted for the Mu’takif.

Unnecessarily leaving the Musjid for even a minute whether intentionally, unintentionally or under compulsion, will invalidate the I’tikaf. All acts and reasons besides the valid reasons (see above) will be regarded as ‘unnecesessary’ in the context of I’tikaf. Thus, leaving the Musjid due to illness, although permissible, will invalidate the I’tikaf To leave the Musjid for Janazah Salat, visiting the sick or for any other permissible activity besides the VALID REASONS (see below), will render the I’tikaaf null and void.

The I’tikaaf will also become void (break – be invalid) if the Mu’takif’s fast breaks.

The mubahaat or the things which are permissible during i’tikaf

During I’tikaf, the following acts are mubah (permissible):

  1. To eat and drink.
  2. To sleep.
  3. Necessary conversation.
  4. To change clothes and apply perfume and oil.
  5. To cut hair and nails. These should not be allowed to fall in the Masjid.
  6. To walk inside the Musjid.
  7. To sit anywhere inside the Musjid.
  8. To tend to a sick person inside the Musjid.
  9. If necessary, to buy and sell goods provided that the goods are not brought into the Musjid nor is payment made inside the Musjid.

10. To teach Deeni lessons.

11. To sew clothing.

12. To study Deeni books.

13. To get married and to perform a Nikah.

14. All such acts which are lawful and allowed in the Musjid are permissible for the Mu’takif.

The makruhat or the things which are detestable and not permissible for the mu’takif

The Makruhat during I’tikaf are as follows:

  1. To maintain total silence.
  2. To indulge in idle talk.
  3. To sleep excessively merely to wile away the time.
  4. To unnecessarily pass wind inside the Musjid.
  5. To sew garments or engage in any occupation for a fee.
  6. To read books and magazines which are not of a Deeni nature.
  7. To erect the mu’takaf in a way which inconveniences the Musallees. (Mu’takaf is the area which is enclosed for the sleeping and eating of the one who observes I’tikaf).
  8. To engage in any worldly activity unnecessarily.

What to do during i’tikaf

The Mu’takif should engage himself in Ibadat to the best of his ability. Nafl SalSt, Tilawat, Durood, Istighfar and permanent Thikr in general should be the Mu’takif’s occupations throughout the duration of his I’tikaaf.

When the Mu’takif speaks, he must speak only what is virtue or what is necessary.

The Mutakif should not do anything which conflicts with the spirit of I’tikaf. He should guard his heart, mind, ears, eyes and limbs against all evil, thus deriving maximum benefit from his seclusion in the Musjid.

The Mu’takif is the guest of Allah. He should therefore, be careful of his behaviour in the House of Allah.

Masaail (rules) pertaining to i’tikaf

  1. The same rules which apply to a man observing I’tikaaf in the Musjid, apply to a woman observing I’tikaaf in her place of seclusion at home.
  2. When necessity, e.g. Juma’ Salaat in another Musjid, compels the Mu’takif to leave his Musjid, it will be permissible for him to enquire about a sick person or generally engage in good conversation without departing from the road. He must not unnecessarily stop on the road.
  3. During I’tikaaf it is not permissible to leave the Musjid for even a Sunnat ghusl.
  4. It is permissible for the Muath-thin who is in I’tikaf to enter the minaret for the Athaan.
  5. Whilst standing inside the Musjid it is permissible for the Mu’takif to protrude his head out of the window.
  6. Emission of semen, e.g. in a wet dream, does not invalidate the I’tikaaf
  7. A woman’s I’tikaaf is proper if she has the consent of her husband.
  8. The I’tikaf of a child who understands the meaning of I’tikaaf, is valid. Buloogh (puberty) is not a condition for the validity of I’tikaaf.
  9. It is permissible to sleep on a bed in the Mu’takaf (the place cordoned off for sleeping and eating).

10. A person who is not in I’tikaf should not join the Mu’takif for Iftar or eating unless he also makes a niyyat for I’tikaaf. Such an I’tikaaf will be Nafl and its duration can be even for a minute. The person should make niyyat of I’tikaaf, then engage in some thikr and Salat. Thereafter he may do as he pleases, e.g. join the Mu’takif in eating.

11. The Mu’takif should remain at all times with wudhu. If his wudhu breaks, it will be permissible for him to leave the Musjid for the purpose of wudhu, even if it is not yet time for Salaat. After making wudhu, he should perform at least two raka’ts Tahiyyatul-wudhu. Similarly, it will be permissible for him to leave the Musjid to make wudhu at night to enable him to sleep with wudhu.

If for some reason the I’tikaaf of Ramadhaan was rendered void (broken), it will not be necessary to leave the Musjid. The remaining days may still be observed and Qadha of the day/s rendered void should be made.

Lessons from Ramadan

It is always good to ponder the true meaning of our religious practices. The month of Ramadan has started and almost 1.5 billion Muslims around the globe are fasting, taking part in an individual and spiritual journey as well as a communal religious celebration. Ramadan is a time to come back to our selves; to come back to our families, our communities, and our societies. It is time for meditating on and for assessing our lives. Beyond being a religious obligation—and often a family tradition—fasting is a school with different levels of knowledge, understanding and commitment.

For every single believer, fasting is an opportunity to think deeply about the meaning of life, its priorities and objectives. We stop eating and drinking during the day, the better to master ourselves to hold in check the human features of our being while we attempt to touch the positive aspiration within us, like a divine spark in our hearts. There is nothing easy about Ramadan: it demands physical effort to gain spiritual achievement. Here lies the meaning of education (tarbiyya) in Islam, as the Lord is the Supreme Educator (ar-Rabb).

Thus, the main objective is to reform and purify ourselves, our bodies, our minds, our hearts through demanding exercises, such as praying, fasting and paying zakah (the purifying social tax). It is not enough not to eat, not to drink and to avoid sex: to fast is to rediscover a philosophy of life that demands constant effort to improve, and to reconcile ourselves with the values and the objectives we have set for our lives. To fast is to rediscover the meaning of mercy (rahmah) and compassion, starting with our own selves. It implies that we remain trustful, optimistic and stop being overcome with guilt. The month of Ramadan is the month of mercy and peace (salam), inner peace as well as peace in the community. It is a month of love, when we show our love to the Most Loving One (al-Wadud) and spread love around us towards our parents, our children, our fellow human beings and especially the poor. This is the way the Most Loving will love us, reminding us by saying “Call me I shall respond to you”, “come to me walking I shall come running to you.” The One God is closer to every one of us than our jugular vein. He is so near (Qareeb) that He is the caring and loving Witness (Shaheed) to all that we do.

Ramadan is the time when the search for life’s meaning, for self-restraint and discipline should prevail over superficial desires, illusions and artificial appetites. It is time to eat less; to meditate and give more. Unfortunately, the statistics are cause for concern: Muslims tend to eat more during the month of Ramadan, ending the fasting days with large and festive meals, or even banquets, turning the month of spiritual restraint into a month of material opulence and excessive consumption. Some Christians have expressed concern about Christmas becoming a kind of family tradition, losing its spiritual meaning and justifying, with a spiritual veneer, the consumerist system of capitalism. People give more during Christmas because people spend more on food, fashionable products, etc. It has become a period of buying and selling: good for the marketplace but not very good for the soul. Muslims should be aware that they might end up doing the same with Ramadan: many are more interested in Ramadan’s nights (of eating and even partying) than in its days of restraint and moderation. Many Muslims are transforming Ramadan into a copy of Christmas: they end up spending more, eating more and forsaking the spiritual objectives of their fast. Reform must start with our selves, by controlling our consumption and deepening our understanding.

Ramadan is also a month of human solidarity. While we may experience hunger until sunset, people are starving to death in many countries and especially in Somalia over these last weeks and months. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was always generous but even more so during the fasting days. To fast signifies to become closer to the Only One, the First, and to care for the last ones, the poor, the disenfranchised, and the excluded. This is the time to give of one’s time, one’s money, and one’s heart. The spiritual meaning of solidarity is nurtured by the way we deal with our own selves: we should not give to justify, or to excuse our laziness, our lack of commitment, our contradictions or even our lies. The spiritual quality of our giving depends on our personal struggle to be better and more dignified individuals. Our personal self-discipline during Ramadan teaches us that the way we give is as important in the sight of God as what we give. He calls upon us to remain dignified and to give to people with dignity, be they Muslims or people of other faiths, whose dignity we respect profoundly, dearly. This is the meaning of the Qur’anic verse: “We (God) assuredly gave dignity to human beings” (Al-Isra’ 17: 70), female, and male, white and black, rich and poor, Muslims or not.

Fasting also involves justice, as we pay attention to our heart’s rights and to our spiritual needs. To fast is an act of justice towards the self. It should also be an act of justice towards human beings around the world, those who are oppressed and unjustly treated. God is the Just and He commands justice, as the Qur’an tells us. This is the message we Muslims should never forget as we watch Syrian and Bahraini civilians being killed while they demand justice, freedom and dignity. Our hearts and prayers should be with the oppressed, acknowledging that resistance against the oppressors is legitimate, especially in non-violent ways, and especially during Ramadan. To fast is to make ourselves aware of the implications of how we behave and of what we consume. Supporting the people of Syrian and the ongoing protests throughout the Arab world is consistent with this month of love, compassion, solidarity and justice. It also means we must check what we eat, to avoid and boycott products coming from occupying countries or occupied territories. How could we fast and at the same time eat dates exported by Israel, stained with the blood of so many innocent Palestinians. Fasting is awareness, commitment to justice and peaceful resistance.

Between an individual’s spiritual experience and that of the community, there is one common dimension that defines fasting. To fast is an act of liberation. To fast is to liberate one’s self from one’s ego, one’s selfishness, and one’s illusions in order to reach the true inner freedom of those who are at peace with themselves. To fast means to free society from artificial collective emotions, consumerism, insane competition and love of power in order to set ourselves free from injustice, oppression and war. Eventually to fast means to learn individually and collectively to give, to resist and to serve. In the light of our love of the One, and from our human perspective, to serve is to be spiritually freer than to be served.


How can I achieve spiritual growth in Ramadan amid such busy and hectic life?

I can’t concentrate while I read Quran because I’m so tired of work and the roads are always noisy and crowded?

I face some difficulty as well concentrating in prayers as they are either performed during work allowances or at night after work while I’m totally exhausted and mind-occupied with family burdens.

This really makes me sad. Any ideas or supplications to help me overcome this and enhance my spirituality?

Thank you,  for your question.

What you mentioned in your question is the concern of most people today. Work, kids, family, money, etc. occupy everybody’s mind. But if we surrender and give up, we will miss a lot.

Try to free yourself from such burdens for a while.

Forget everything else and think of God and standing before Him.

In your prayers, try to mediate on the verses you are reading if you are praying alone, or you are hearing from the imam if you are praying in a congregation.

Try to sleep for a while before you go the mosque to pray the Tarawih prayer so that you do not lose track with the imam.

While reading the Quran, feel the presence of God. Feel that God is addressing you with the verses you are reading.

I can tell you about something that will work out insha’a Allah.

Make a lot of du`aa (supplication) to God and surely He will answer you. Ask Him to relieve you from such thoughts and help you concentrate in your prayers.

Source: On Islam/Live Dialogue

Near at Hand

Al Naba (The Tiding) – Chapter 78: Verse 40 (partial)

quran issue646 Near at HandLo! We warn you of a chastisement near at hand…”

In the Quran it is said that divine chastisement is near at hand. This statement was made over fourteen hundred years ago, and countless people had died prior to its revelation. Moreover, even now it cannot be said with certainty that the Last Day will occur after how many hundreds, thousands or even millions of years. Given this, how can this chastisement be described as something “near at hand”?

Time is actually relative to man’s life. As long as he is alive, he is fully aware of it. After his death, only his soul survives, which does not any consciousness of time. So, when man is resurrected on the Day of Judgement he will think that he has been woken up only after a few hours’ sleep. It will not occur to him that he had been lying dead for thousands of years.

Compiled From:
“Towards Understanding The Quran” – Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi, Part 30, p. 16

Source: Friday Nasiha

Young Muslim Girls 480x411 Can women go for job according to Islam

Women in Islam are granted numerous rights, as their status is considered equal to men. Women are suppose to be given the right of getting higher education, to attend mosques, the right to marriage by their own consent, to do jobs and even business. Women have the right to go outside home and in the community.

Nowadays when we look around the world we see that those countries are progressing where there is less gender discrimination and where women are working side by side with men. Women are the ones who turn out to be the best teachers. They mold the young minds of today for a better tomorrow. Islam doesn’t prohibit women from working. In fact Islam allows them to even do business and keep all the money to themselves and spend it the way they like. Islam only asks that a woman should be modest in her dress and protect herself and her chastity.

Women suffered a lot before the advent of Islam but slowly and gradually they were granted rights and freedom as Islam spread in the vast corners of the world. Women started to know their rights and started to live their life the way they want to. Women however,are still suffering in some parts of the world, and it is the duty of the Muslims to help and support their sisters.

Many religious scholars speak in the favor of women rights but if you take a sneak look at their household, you may find their own women cladded and wrapped in the veils in the name of so-called Islam within the boundaries of their home or inside the four walls. It is not Islamdevoid the woman of any of her rights. The so-called Muslims have used Islam to suppress the women. What needs to be changed is this thinking and of course, women can do this if they get united and trained. A good mother can bring about change in the society by giving proper training and guidance to her male children. She can put good seeds in their minds and teach them from day one to respect and honor the women. These boys when turn into adult males would bring about change in their own perspective and treatment towards the opposite gender as well as that of the society. Unless the women could know themselves thequalities, they posses thatthey could manipulate with these attributes Allah given them they can never expect any thing changing for them in the social setup where they exist.

Dua for Sighting Moon

moon dua Dua for Sighting Moon

When your eyes fall on the new moon, turn yourself towards the Qibla, raise both your hands towards the sky, and address the moon with the following words:

“O Allah, let this moon (month) pass over us with blessings, Iman, safety, and in the belief of Islam. Grant us the ability to act on the actions that You love and Pleases You. (O moon) My Lord and Your Lord is Allah”.

moonsight Dua for Sighting Moon

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