About i’tikaaf

Reference: Fataawa Ramadhaan – Volume 2, Page 869, Fatwa No.855
Fataawa as-Siyaam libni Jibreen – Page 111

Question: What is the ruling of i’tikaaf, and is it permissible to do it in other than the masaajid (plural of masjid)?

Response: I’tikaaf is sunnah (recommended but not obligatory), and is not correct except in the masaajid.

Firstly: Because Allaah the Majestic the High said:

{…while you are in i’tikaaf in the masaajid} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 187].

He also said:

{…that they should purify My House for those who circumambulate it and make i’tikaaf in it} [Soorah al-Baqarah, Aayah 125].

The “House” is al-Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah].

Secondly: If he were to make i’tikaaf in other than the masaajid, it would lead him to missing prayers with the congregation of Muslims in the masaajid and leaving it is a great sin. Or it would lead him to frequently go to the prayer, and his frequent leaving, going and coming contradicts the i’tikaaf, because the i’tikaaf is that the one doing it attaches himself [to the place of his i’tikaaf].

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. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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