Itikaf is one of the most significant worship Muslims do during Ramadan, which is the month of performing cults. Muslims during Ramadan do their best to be closer to Allah, ask his forgiveness, and stay away from distractions that divert them from the worship for Allah’s sake.
When it comes to performing Itikaf, we need to know its definition, rules, types, invalids, and virtues. So check out this article to get all you need about Itikaf.
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What is the meaning of Itikaf in Islam?
In Arabic, Itikaf means the commitment to doing something and isolation.
Itikaf in Islam refers to a special worship that Muslims do during Ramadan. They dedicate their time only to praying and remembering Allah by staying in the mosque until the end of Ramadan.
Throughout the Itikaf period, Muslims should pause their daily activities and spend the last days of Ramadan worshipping Allah by isolating themselves in the mosque.
Itikaf is a spiritual worship Muslims perform in the last ten days of Ramadan by isolating themselves inside the mosque and dedicating their time to worship.
Performing Itikaf means following the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH).
Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) reported about the prophet Muhammed (PBUH): “He (SAW) used to perform Itikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan until Allah the Mighty & Majestic, took him.” (Bukhari)
On the night of the 20th of Ramadan, after sunset, Muslim begin Itikaf in the mosque, where they should stay until the last night of Ramadan, whether it is 29 or 30, according to the sight of Eid’s crescent.
When you intend to perform Itikaf, you should bring some items you’ll need while staying in the mosque: the Quran, iftar and suhoor food, tafsir and hadith books, a pillow, and a blanket.
Muslims who need to do Itikaf should adhere to some rules like performing wudu and avoid its invalids such as leaving the mosque for no reason. Through Itikaf, Muslims get several benefits like being closer to Allah and gaining major rewards.
What are the Types of Itikaf?
Thre are three types of Itikaf in Islam, which are:
- Sunnah Itikaf
Itikaf becomes Sunnah when Muslims do it in the last ten days of Ramadan, as the prophet Muhammed (PBUH) did.
- Nafl Itikaf
Itikaf is voluntary if Muslims perform it on any day of the year.
- Wajib Itikaf
Performing Itikaf is obligatory if a Muslim makes a vow to do this worship.
How to Do Itikaf?
To perform Itikaf in the masjid, you need to do the following steps:
- Begin with making intention by saying: “I am performing ten days Sunnah Itikaf to please You, O Allah. Therefore, accept my Itikaf and pardon all my sins.”
- Be on the state of wudu before going to the mosque.
- During Itikaf, perform obligatory and voluntary prayers, remember Allah by dhikr and dua, fast, and recite the Quran.
- Throughout the day, you can take a break to get rest and then resume worshipping.
- In Itikaf, you can listen to religious lessons inside the mosque.
- You’re allowed to perform wudu or ghusl and go to the toilet.
- On the last day of Ramadan, you can end Itikaf by leaving the mosque to resume your activities.
What are the rules of Itikaf?
Itikaf likes any other worship. It has rules that Muslims should adhere to throughout its period. Here are its rules:
- Men should perform Itikaf in the mosque.
- Before Itikaf, Muslims should make their intention for Allah’s satisfaction and pleasing.
- Those who act Itikaf should be Muslim and reasonable.
- Muslims should fast throughout the Itikaf time during Ramadan.
- While staying in the mosque, Muslims should do other worship, which includes: praying, remembering Allah (dhikr), making dua, reciting the Quran, and doing tahajjud prayers.
- Muslims should perform ablution (wudu) before starting Itikaf. They also need to be cleansed and nested throughout Itikaf.
What are the Itikaf Rules for Females?
Itikaf Rules for Females are the same as for men except for special rulings, as follows:
- Women can do Itikaf at home, not in the mosque, in the last ten days of Ramadan.
- For wives, they should do Itikaf after getting permission from their husbands.
- They should allocate a specific space for Itikaf at home where they can do all the worship. This space should be quiet and comfortable.
- They should stop Itikaf if they get menstruation. But they should make up the missed days after menstruation.
- During Itikaf, they can get out of their place if they need to get food.
- They should avoid unnecessary talking with others during Itikaf.
Can a Woman Talk to Her Husband During Itikaf?
According to Muslim and Al-Bukhari, Ali ibn Husayn narrated that the wife of the Messenger of Allah, “Saffiyah” (RA), came to him during Itikaf to talk to him.
Therefore, scholars stated that it’s permissible for wives to talk to their husbands during Itikaf.
Moreover, prophet Muhammed (PBUH) talked to anyone who visited him in his tent during Itikaf, and his talk was brief and in a low voice.
Some scholars stated that talking about worldly matters during Itikaf is makruh except for necessities.
Is Itikaf Compulsory?
The scholars stated that Itikaf is not compulsory in Islam. It’s a voluntary worship in which Muslims follow the Sunnah of the prophet Muhammed (PBUH).
The only condition that makes Itikaf obligatory making a vow to Allah to observe Itikaf.
Umar Ibn Khattab (RA) said: “O Messenger of Allah, during the Jahiliyyah I vowed to observe Itikaf for one night in al-Masjid al-Haram.” He said: “Fulfill your vow.”
Furthermore, prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said:” Whoever vows to obey Allah, let him obey Him, and whoever vows to disobey him, let him not disobey him.”
What are the Top Itikaf Benefits and Virtues?
Itikaf is worship that requires keeping a spiritual side. Here are its benefits:
- Muslims be closer to Allah as they dedicate their time to worshipping.
- Itikaf lets Muslims the opportunity to try to be a better version of themselves by refraining from bad habits and faults.
- Itikaf develops the spiritual side and makes Muslims less interested in worldly matters.
- While performing Itikaf, Muslims have enough time to understand the Quran verses they recite and know the meaning beyond them through tafsir books.
- Itikaf is a practice of abstaining from gossiping and backbiting by avoiding idle talking.
- Muslims appreciate the blessings they have as they cut off themselves from their social life and other activities to be in a state of spirituality.
- Itikaf teaches Muslims to stay pious and be with a strong bond with Allah after Ramadan.
- Muslims gain major rewards from Itikaf.
- Performing Itikaf strengthens faith in Allah.
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What are the Itikaf Nullifications?
Itikaf nullifications should Muslims commit to throughout the worship’s time. Here are the things that nullify Itikaf:
1. Not Avoiding sins, especially major sins
Throughout the ten days of Itikaf in Ramadan, Muslims should only focus on worshipping Allah and avoid committing sins, whether they are major or minor.
2. Leaving the mosque
While staying in the mosque, you shouldn’t leave it except for necessities such as getting food for the suhoor and using the bathroom.
3. Unconscious – suffering from mental disorders
Itikaf won’t be accepted if the Muslim who performs it suffers from mental disorders that make him unaware of his actions and behaviors, in addition to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
4. Committing Disbelieving
Being a Muslim believing in Allah as the only God is a must to do Itikaf. This worship won’t be accepted if a disbeliever who is a polytheist performs it.
5. Intimate intercourse
Muslims who perform Itikaf should avoid intimate intercourse during this time. It’s not permitted for married men to touch their wives.
6. Major Illness affected
Doing Itikaf requires being in good health to complete it. In case of being sick, ill should get some rest at home and get health care until recovery.
7. Commercial transactions
Muslim during Itikaf should only dedicate their time to worshipping Allah. Itikaf won’t be accepted if they sell or buy.
8. Wearing perfume
When Muslims intend to do Itikaf, they should avoid wearing perfumes while staying in the mosque to avert the savory and pleasure that distract them.
9. Unnecessary Discussions
Throughout Itikaf, it’s not permissible for Muslims to discuss with others about non-religious matters. However, they can discuss religion without raising their voice.
Moreover, Muslims should avoid these matters:
- Fighting with the others.
- Raising voices in the mosque and disturbing the others.
- Performing Itikaf to show off.
- Idle talk.
Best Islamic Studies Courses
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- Comparative Religions Course
- Purify Your Soul – Tazkiyah Course
- Hadith Courses