The conditions of i’tikaaf

Reference: Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Fatwa No.6718
Fataawa Ramadhaan – Volume 2, Page 862, Fatwa No.848

Question: What are the conditions of i’tikaaf, and is fasting one of them?

Is it permissible for the person in i’tikaaf to visit a sick person, answer an invitation, fulfil some of his family’s needs, or go to work?

Response: I’tikaaf is prescribed in a masjid in which the congregational prayer is established. If the person in i’tikaaf is from those upon whom Friday prayers are obligatory and the length of his i’tikaaf includes a Friday, then it is better to be in a masjid in which Friday prayers are established. Fasting is not [a] necessary [part of it]. The Sunnah is that he does not visit the sick during his i’tikaaf and that he does not answer the invitation, nor fulfil the needs of his family. He should not witness the funeral [by following it] and he should not go to work outside the masjid. This is due to what has been authenticated on the authority of ‘Aa.ishah (radhi-yAllaahu ‘anhaa) that she said: “…the Sunnah for he who is in i’tikaaf is that he does not visit the sick nor witness a funeral, nor touch a woman (his wife), nor have intercourse with her nor leave to fulfil a need except that which is necessary”.

And with Allaah lies all the success, and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

Abu 'Abdullaah

About Abu 'Abdullaah

– from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee’ah in 2004.