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I’tikaaf related issues

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Comments from Mufti Ebrahim Desai:

Moulana Ismail Dawoodjee is a first year student of the Darul Iftaa from Zambia. As his thesis for the first year, he chose the topic of ie’tikaaf in which he compiled various fatawa on the topic.

This compilation will be very useful for anyone who wishes to learn the laws of ie’tikaaf. I have read this compilation in detail and made some adjustments for easy understanding.

May Allah accept this compilation and grant barakah in the Uloom of Moulana Ismail Dawoodjee Hafizahullah.

Ebrahim Desai.



The following is a compilation of Fatawa regarding ie’tikaaf from the

Fatawa of our Akabereen. The references of the various Fatawa are attached with the Fatawa.

Ismail Dawoodjee (19/06/2014)

Virtues of Ie’tikaaf

Ie’tikaaf (secluding oneself in the masjid to worship Allah) invokes the special mercies and bounties of Allah.  When Moosa (Alayhi Salaam) sat in ie’tikaaf, Allah blessed him with the Towrah. When Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam was in ietikaaf in the cave of Hira, Allah blessed Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam with prophet hood and the Quraan.

It was the noble habit of Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam and the sahaba to sit in ie’tikaaf. Our pious predecessors would take great pride and joy in making ie’tikaaf.

The act of ie’tikaaf exhibits humbleness and humility as one entraps himself in the house of Allah to ensure the forgiveness of Allah as a mutakif is like a beggar who refuses to leave the doors of the palace unless his need is fulfilled.

Alhamdulillah, in the month of Ramadhan, we observe many people taking an interest in performing sunnah ie’tikaaf. This is a great bounty and favour of Allah.

FATAWA MAHMOODIYYAH (Maktaba Mahmoodiyyah)

Q. Explain the difference between fardh, sunnah and nafil ie’tikaaf.

A. There is no such thing as fardh ie’tikaaf. If a person takes an oath to perform ie’tikaaf, then it becomes wajib. The ie’tikaaf of the last ten days of Ramdaan is sunnah and performing ie’tikaaf whenever one wishes to is nafil. (p251)

Q. Do the rulings of sunnah e muakadah ie’tikaaf also apply on one performing mustahab (nafil) ie’tikaaf?

A. The rulings of sunnah e muakadah do apply in nafil ie’tikaaf. However, in a nafil ie’tikaaf fasting is not a prerequisite. As for sunnah e muakadah ie’tikaaf, it only takes place during the last ten days of Ramadhan and fasting is a prerequisite. Secondly, in nafil ie’tikaaf, if one leaves the masjid without a valid reason his ie’tikaaf period will automatically end and it won’t break. However, the sunnah ie’tikaaf will break. (p252)

Q. Can ie’tikaaf be nafil? If a man goes to the masjid with the intention that as long as he is in the masjid he will be in the state of ie’tikaaf. Will he get the reward of nafil ie’tikaaf? Can one perform nafil ie’tikaaf at home as well?

A. One will be rewarded for performing ie’tikaaf in the masjid with the intention of being in ie’tikaaf while being in the masjid. However, a male will not get the reward of performing ie’tikaaf at home. (p253)

Q. How is it to perform ie’tikaaf during the whole month of Ramadhan? If a person performs ie’tikaaf for the whole month of Ramadhan, will he be rewarded? Ten days have been proven by hadith. Those things that haven’t been proven to have rewards, how is it to do such things and expect to be rewarded?

A. Ie’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadan is sunnah e muakadah alal kifayah. Ie’tikaaf throughout the whole moth of Ramadhan in search of laylatul Qadar was also the practice of Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam. Even 20 days is an established sunnah of Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam. It is not an innovation.

عن عائشة رضى الله عنه ان النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم يعتكف العشر الاواخر من رمضان حتى توفاه الله ثم اعتكف ازواجه من بعده متفق عليه مشكوة ص183 ج1

Aisha Radiyallahu Anha narrates that Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam would perform ie’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan until Allah Taala took him away, then his wives performed ie’tikaaf after him.

عن ابى هريرة رضى الله تعالى عنه قال كان يعرض على النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم القران كل عام مرة فعرض عليه مرتين فى العام الذى قبض و كان يعتكف كل عام عشرا فاعتكف عشرين فى العام الذى قبض مشكوة ص183 ج1

Abu Hurairah Radiyallahu narrates that the Quraan would be presented to Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam once every year. It was presented to him twice the year he passed away and he would perform perform ietikaaf for ten days every year and he performed ie’tikaaf for twenty days the year he passed away.

عن ابى سعيد الخدرى رضى الله عنه ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم اعتكف العشر الاول من رمضان ثم اعتكف العشر الاوسط فى قبة تركية ثم اطلع راسه فقال انى اعتكف العشر الاول التمس هذه اليلة ثم اعتكف العشر الاوسط ثم اتيت فقيل لى انها فى العشر الاواخر متفق عليه (مشكوة شريف)

Abu Saeed Khudri Radiallahu Anhu Narrates that Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam would perform ie’tikaaf of the first ten days of Ramadhan, then he would perform ie’ttikaaf of the second ten days in a Turkish tent, then he would take his head out and say “I performed ie’tikaaf of the first ten days loking for this night (night of power), then I performed ie’tikaaf of the second ten nights, then I was told that it is in the last ten nights.”

Q. Zaid was performing ie’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan. All of a sudden after 3 days news came that he has go for hajj, because of which he had to leave. Does he have to make up his ie’tikaaf of the last 10 days? If he has to, then how will he make them up? Can he join the qadah of last year with the ada of this year?

A. Most preferably after Ramadhan he should perform ie’tikaaf of the full ten days and fast during the period of ie’tikaaf as well. However, this is not compulsory. If he wishes to, he may only make up the day that he broke his ie’tikaaf, that too will be enough. Making up the qadah of the previous year with the ada of the present year will not suffice. The qada will not be fulfilled. (258)

Q. Can a mu’takif teach Quraan or not? If the children learn Quraan from him even out of ie’tikaaf.

A. It is permissible to teach children Quraan in ie’tikaaf, however if the children are such that they do not understand the laws of purity, then such children should not be brought into the masjid. (262)

Q. Can a mu’takif eat paan that has tobacco in the masjid?

A. It is permissible as long as it doesn’t have a strong smell. (263)

Q. Zaid is addicted to cigarettes and he can’t do without them. The question is that can he smoke cigarettes outside the masjid or inside the masjid? No one else in our community is prepared to sit for ie’tikaaf apart from Zaid. In such a situation should he be allowed to sit for ietikaf or should the ie’tikaaf be left out? Please also mention what things fall under human needs. Please explain in detail.

A. The virtues of ie’tikaaf are numerous and so are its benefits.  A lot of importance should be given to ie’tikaaf. When one goes out to answer the call of nature, then the need of smoking etc. may also be fulfilled after which the mouth should be thoroughly cleansed by doing wudu and miswak. Do not go into the masjid with foul smells of the mouth. (264)

Q. A mu’takif has diarrhoea due to which he has to go home 15/20 times to relieve himself. What is the ruling?

A. The above will not invalidate the ie’tikaaf. (266)

Q. If a mu’takif goes into the house after answering the call of nature and speaks to his wife and children, picks up a book to bring back to the masjid, picks up bills, reads letters, speaks to visitors, takes a bath or washes his clothes or replies to letters. Can one do such actions in the state of ie’tikaaf?

A. After relieving one’s self, one shouldn’t specifically attend to the above duties. Whilst one is leaving the house, one could greet his family members and visitors on his way out. One could bring the rest of the mentioned things into the masjid and read the letters in the masjid and reply to them. (267)

Q. A mu’takifs house is a few steps away from the masjid. Can he do sehri, iftar and answer the call of nature at home?

A. In all conditions one will answer the call of nature outside the masjid. And so will be the faradh ghusal. sehri and iftar is permitted in the masjid, hence it won’t be permissible for one to leave the masjid. If no one can bring food for the mu’takif, then he will be permitted to go and collect the food from home. If one is habituated with answering the call of nature at home, then he may do so. (268)

Q. During ie’tikaaf whilst one is awake or sleeping ones wudu keeps breaking. Will it be necessary to always keep on making wudu? How is it to read tafseer and fiqhi books without wudu?

A. It is preferable to stay in the state of wudu, it is not  wajib to be always in the state of wudu. It is also preferable to read books of tafseer and fiqh with wudu. (268)

Q. Should the ie’tikaaf of a woman in the house be nafil or sunnah?

A. She can do nafil or sunnah ie’tikaaf. (270)

Q. If no one in the community sat for ie’tikaaf. Will only the mature males be sinfull or mature males, females and children will also be sinful.

A. Immature children aren’t answerable. A woman cannot perform ie’tikaaf in the masjid, she should ascertain a portion in her house for ie’tikaaf. If no one performs ietikaa, then everyone that is mature will be answerable for leaving out the sunnah of ie’tikaaf. (271)

Q. If an immature child sits for ie’tikaaf what is  the ruling?

A. He will also be rewarded for the ie’tikaaf. (271)

Q. If a mu’takif kisses his wife’s foreheadout of love without lust, will this invalidate the ie’tikaaf?

A. It is not advisable to do such things during ie’tikaaf, however nor is the ietkaaf or the fast nullified and nor is it necessary for him to make up the ie’tikaaf. (273)

Q.1. Can a mu’takif go out of the boundaries of the masjid to give the athaan? 2. Even though he can make wudu from the masjid with a utensil, can a mu’takif go out of the masjid to make wudu just so that he doesn’t make the masjid dirty?

A. 1. If a mu’takif climbs the minaret of the masjid to give athaan and the door of the minaret is outside the masjid, this will not invalidate the ie’tikaaf (badaye, raddul muhtar, bahar and fath). However, I haven’t come across the ruling of giving athaan outside the masjid, but in sakbul anhur it is stated that one could leave the masjid to give the athaan and there is no mention of the minaret. (280)

Q. A mu’takif was in ie’tikaaf, unexpectedly there was a janazah. The community requested the mu’takif (trying to seek blessing from his ie’tikaaf) to perform the janazah salah. The reason being that none of them would manage to perform the janazah salah correctly. According to shariah can the mu’takif perform the janazah salah or not?

A. If a mu’takif leaves the masjid for janazah salah, his ie’tikaaf will break. (286)

لو خرج لجنازة يفسد اعتكافه و كذا لصلاتها و لو تعينت عليه (هندية ج1 ص211)

Q. If the courtyard of the masjid is not regarded as part of the masjid can a mu’takif come out of the masjid and perform taraweeh salah there?

A. If salah with jamaah doesn’t take place in the covered area, then ie’tikaaf won’t be valid there. The reason being that the mu’takif will have to leave the masjid for jamaah. Ie’tikaaf should only be done in a masjid that has salah with jamaah. So that the mu’takif won’t have the need of leaving the masjid for jamaah. (289)

Q. Is ie’tikaaf in a village which doesn’t have the conditions of jummah sunnah e mukadah alal kifaya or not? If it is muakadah, then does the mu’takif have to go for jummah salah to an area where jummah takes place or not? Will the muakadah ie’tikaaf break if he goes?

A. It is not  necessary to perform ie’tikaaf in a city and nor are the conditions of jummah necessary for ie’tikaaf. It is masnoon alal kifayah in any place, however, the masjid should be such that jamaah takes place in it. Jummah is not  faradh on people living in villages nor is it sunnah e mukadah. Hence, it won’t be permissible for him to go to a city for jummah. If he leaves for jummah, his ie’tikaaf will be invalid. (292)

Q. There are certain situations in which the mu’takif has to leave the masjid. In such situations how will the sunnah muakadah ie’tikaaf be fulfilled? If a mu’takif passes away, gets mad, gets arrested, the masjid caught fire or there was some sort of turmoil due to which the mu’takif had to run for his life. Or the mu’takif got sick, had to go to court or either his wife or children passed away.

A. If in every masjid and locality ie’tikaaf takes place and if one was effected by such unforeseen circumstances, then the rest of the ie’tikaafs will suffice and sunnah alal kifayah will be fulfilled. If a masjid catches fire or some sort of difficulty arises and a mu’takif comes out of that masjid and immediately goes into another masjid, then his ie’tikaaf won’t break. (293)

Q. Who can sit in ie’tikaaf from amongst the following: 1.Slave 2.leper 3. Blind 4.Ignorant 5.hermaphrfrodite 6.Transexual 7.One that doesn’t pray salah 8.One that is not fasting 9.Deaf 10.Semi-insane 11.Poor 12.Asetic 13. Debtor 14.Open sinner 15.Pregnant woman when she is close to delivery

A. (The simple principle for the above is that) If a person’s body releases some kind of fluid or smell or people dislike something about him. He shouldn’t come to the masjid nor should he sit in ie’tikaaf (hence, if this applies to any of the above then they shouldn’t perform ietikaaf). (295)

Q.A mu’takif needs to take fardh ghusal and there is not any water in the masjid. What should he do? Should he make tayamum then go out and make ghusal?

A. He should make tayamum, then go out and make ghusal. (298)

Q. A mu’takif left his shoes outside the masjid. After a while he realised that they could get stolen. Can he go and pick them up?

A. If they are close to the boundary of the masjid then he may do so. (302)

Q. A mu’takif keeps on talking about his business with people in the masjid, although he adheres to all the other laws of ie’tikaaf.

A. His ie’tikaaf is valid although he will be deprived of the spiritual benefits of ie’tikaaf. (303)

Q. A mu’takif phones from the masjid, the whole time he keeps informed of his business, wife and children. What is  the ruling?

A. There’s nothing wrong in keeping informed according to necessity. (303)

Q. If a mu’takif mistakenly leaves the masjid what will the ruling be?

A. His ie’tikaaf will be nullified. (305)

Q. Can a mu’takif performing ie’tikaaf in his local masjid go to the Jamee masjid of that locality for jumah salah?

A. It is permissible for him to go (if no jummah takes place in that masjid).)306)

Q. If a mu’takifs one leg is in the masjid and the other outside the masjid will his ie’tikaaf break?

A. No it won’t (322).قوله الخروج الخ المراد بالخروج انفصال قدميه  

Q. Can a mu’takif light candles and lamps in the masjid?

A. If the candles do not emit awful smells, then it will be permissible. (322)

Q. If hot water is far away and only cold water is available. Can one go to collect hot water?

A. If by making wudu with cold water one would have to endure extreme difficulty or would get sick, then one could go and get hot water. (323)

Q. Can a mu’takif make tayamum on the mat of the masjid (straw mat) or wall or not?

A. If the mat (straw) has dust, then tayamum will be permissible. However, some books of fiqh mention that it is makroo to make tayamum on the walls of the masjid. (323)

Q. Can a person sit for ie’tikaaf on the 20th after maghrib athaan?

A. One ought to sit for ie’tikaaf just before sunset because as soon as the sun sets at the end of the month the month ends. Hence, if one sat for ie’tikaaf on the 20th after sunset, the amount of time that he delays will have an effect on the 10 days and it is sunnah to perform ie’tikaaf for full ten days. (324)

Q. Is it permissible for one to perform ie’tikaaf in a masjid that is not waqf? How is the condition of ie’tikaaf only being in a masjid that is mentioned in behishti zewar?

A. A masjid can only be a masjid in shariah if it is waqf. If the masjid is not waqf it can’t be a masjid. Although performing jumah and five times salah in it will be valid. However, a masjid that is waqf has virtues and ie’tikaaf should be done in a masjid that is waqf. (328)

Q. If a person of one locality performs ie’tikaaf in another locality during the last ten days of Ramadhan, will his ie’tikaaf surfice for the rest of the people of his locality? Or does a person have to perform ie’tikaaf in the masjid of the locality?

A. The masjid in which a mu’takif does his ie’tikaaf the obligation of ie’tikaaf will only be fulfilled for that masjid. The people of the locality should personally try and perform ie’tikaaf in their masjid instead of depriving themselves from the blessings of ie’tikaaf by calling someone else from another locality. (329)

Q. Can a mu’takif put a bed in the masjid or not? Can he sleep on a bed or not? Can women put beds when they perform ie’tikaaf in their houses? Can she move around in the rest of the house without any need?

A. A mu’takif could put a bed for ie’tikaaf on his spot and sleep on it. However, in today’s times putting beds in masjids is regarded to be disrespectful, hence precaution should be taken. This objection (of putting a bed in the place of ie’tikaaf) is not faced by women, hence permissible. If a woman leaves her ie’tikaaf area without any valid reason, then her ie’tikaaf will break. و للمراة الاعتكاف فى مسجد بيتها و هو محل (333)لصلوة فيه و لا تخرج منه اذا اعتكفت فلو خرجت بغير عذر يفسد واجبه و ينتهى نفله كذا فى مراقى الفلاح و الطحطاوى

Q. Can a woman performing ie’tikaaf in her house cook food? If she has permission to go for Azaan and wudu then this is against the text of كافى which is: و يخرج لغائط او بول او جمعة شامى

A. If there is not anyone else to cook the food then she can cook in the area designated for ie’tikaaf. All the laws of a masjid do not apply to the

masjid of the house (area designated for ie’tikaaf). (335)

Q. What is the ruling regarding a person that performs ie’tikaaf in a different locality for money? If ie’tikaaf is done in such a manner will the sunnah be fulfilled on behalf of the people of the locality or not? If the sunnah is not fulfilled, then will his ie’tikaaf be valid? Will he get rewarded for it?

A. Making ie’tikaaf a business is not permissible. Taking money in lieu of performing ie’tikaaf is like selling it, which is impermissible. Such an ie’tikaaf is void of reward and nor has the sunnah ie’tikaaf been fulfilled on behalf of the people of the locality. (336)

Ahsanul Fatawa (H.M.Saeed)

Q. Performing ie’tikaaf during the last 10 days of Ramadhan is sunnah e muakadah alal kifayah. What is the meaning of alal kifayah? If ie’tikaaf is performed in only one masjid will it suffice the whole town or will it only be counted for that locality? Is it necessary that every locality should perform ietifaak?

A. We couldn’t locate any specific reference on the subject. However, Shami has mentioned the sunniyah of ie’tikaaf to be similar to that of the performance of taraweeh. Three opinions have been narrated in the chapter of taraweeh of which preference has been given to the opinion that at least one masjid in every locality should perform taraweeh in order to fulfil the sunnah e kifayah. From this we deduce that ie’tikaaf also has the same ruling. (509) (أي سنة كفاية) نظيرها إقامة التراويح بالجماعة فإذا قام بها البعض سقط الطلب عن الباقين فلم يأثموا بالمواظبة على الترك لا عذر ولو كان سنة عين لأثموا بترك السنة المؤكدة إثما دون إثم ترك الواجب (2-442)

أفاد أن أصل التراويح سنة عين فلو تركها واحد كره بخلاف صلاتها بالجماعة فإنها سنة كفاية فلو تركها الكل أساؤوا أما لو تخلف عنها رجل من أفراد الناس وصلى في بيته فقد ترك الفضيلة وإن صلى أحد في البيت بالجماعة لم ينالوا فضل جماعة المسجد وهكذا في المكتوبات كما في المنية وهل المراد أنها سنة كفاية لأهل كل مسجد من البلدة أو مسجد واحد منها أو من المحلة ظاهر كلام الشارح الأول واستظهر ط الثاني ويظهر لي الثالث لقول المنية حتى لو ترك أهل محلة كلهم الجماعة فقد تركوا السنة وأساؤوا ا(2-45)

Q. Can a mu’takif leave the masjid for in the state of ie’tikaaf to make wudu for fardh, nafil or recitation of the Quraan?

A. If the masjid has a place in which water can flow out of the masjid, then it won’t be permissible to leave the masjid. Otherwise it will be. If wudu is done for fardh, nafil, zikar or recitation of the Quraan, then the same ruling applies. (510) لااطلاق الطهور في عبالراتهم على انه صرح بجواز الخروج لوضوء النفل فى اشعة اللمعات عن الامداد…الخ

Q. If a mu’takif left the masjid to answer the call of nature and the toilet is occupied. Should he wait outside the toilet or should he go back to the masjid and then come back after a while? Sometimes a person has to come back and forth a number of times.

A. In such situations it is permissible for one to wait outside the toilet. (511)

Q. Can a mu’takif walk around in the masjid?

A. He can if there is a need to. (511)

Q. If a woman experiences menses during ie’tikaaf, then will she have to make up the days she had menses or not?

A. She will only have to make up the first day that she experienced menses. (512)

Kifayatul Mufti (Darul ishaat) 

Q. Should a mu’takif make zikar extensively or should he recite the Quraan extensively?

A. Recitation of the Quraan, salah and the zikar are all very good acts. (244) و يلازم التلاوة و الحديث و العلم و التدريس و سير النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم (1-212)

Q. If a mu’takif has the need to do fardh ghusal, when he goes to make fardh ghusal, can he quickly wash he’s soiled clothes and can he bring water back with him on his way to the masjid? If he does these things will his ie’tikaaf break or still be valid?

A. If the ie’tikaaf is wajib i.e. (if one takes an oath to make ie’tikaaf) one will only be allowed to go out of the masjid for a period in which he can perform ghusal. It won’t be permissible for him to spend time washing his clothes or fill water. If he does so, then he will have to make up his ie’tikaaf again. However, if it is ie’tikaaf e nafil or sunnah i.e. (last ten days of ramadhan) then, it will be permissible to wash his clothes and fill up water as long as he left the masjid to make ghusal. (246) و يرجع الى المسجد كما فرغ من الوضؤ و لو مكث فى بيته ساعة فسد اعتكاف عند ابى حنيفة (1-212) و ليس كالمكث بعدها ما لو خرج لها ثم ذهب لعيادة المريض او الصلاة جنازة من غير ان يكون خرج لذا قصدا فانه جائز (2-445)

Imdadul Fatawa (Maktaba Darul Uloom Karachi)

Q. It is written in various books of fiqh and in bahishti gohar that silence during ie’tikaaf is makroo e tahreemi (severely disliked). Hence, how much of silence is makroo e tahreemi? It is my habit that after esha when I go to sleep I carry out the pass anfaas zikar. Which I learnt from hazrat. So will this also be counted as silence? Will reading deeni books or bayan books also be regarded as silence? Can a mu’takif talk if he has to? If one remains completely silent and uses signs or wrights down what he needs, won’t this be a difficulty upon him?

A. فى الدر المختار و يكره تحريما صمت ان اعتقده قربة و الا لا لحديث من صمت نجا و يجب اى الصمت كما فى غرر الاذكار عن شر و تكلم الا بخير

From the above maxim it is clearly understood that the silence you are practicing is not makroo but instead it is good. However, if one regards silence to be an act of worship, then it will be makroo (disliked). (184)

Q. 1.If person suffers from weakness and can’t sit in ie’tikaaf for the entire 10 days and decides to sit only on the 3 or 5 or a few days between 21-30. Then, will he receive the rewards of sunnah ie’tikaaf? 2. During the last 10 days of sunnah ie’tikaaf, can a mu’takif take a bath for jummah or to cool one’s self? If he leaves for the mentioned reasons, then will he’s ie’tikaaf break or facilitate or is it permissible while not invalidating? What is regarded as coming out of the masjid? Is it the boundary of the masjid or is it that area that has been ascertained for salah? If the bathroom is within the main door, then will bathing in it or bathing outside be equal?

A. 1.Sunnah ie’tikaaf is conditional on 10 days, if the condition is not  found, that which it is conditioned upon won’t be found. And 10 days is the sunnah. A part of the sunnah in the condition of infirad (single practice) doesn’t constitute a part of the sunnah in the state of ijtimaa with the rest of the parts and nor has it been established. 2. It will invalidate the day the ie’tikaaf started however for the rest of the day’s it will be an apprehension and a facilitator. However, for oaths the total will be invalid and the masjid will be regarded to be the area in which salah is performed and not the whole boundary. (185)

Imdadul Ahkaam (Maktaba Darul Uloom Karachi)

Q. An Alim that keeps on travelling has settled down in our area since the past 2 years. He mentioned in his lecture “the sitting of people in ie’tikaaf during the month of Ramadhan is a very good thing. If that is not possible for everyone, then at least one person should sit, even then it will suffice on behalf of the rest of the people. People think that why doesn’t he sit himself. I would love to sit but I can’t due to a few factors: 1.There is not any one to stay in my house 2.Nor do I have any relatives or family 3.In front of my house there’s an empty field due to which my wife and children are always scared and feel uneasy that is why I can’t sit for ie’tikaaf”. I also feel that the reasons the molana has given are valid and I also know that stones fall on his house at night. Are the reasons he has given valid according to shariah?

A. The above mentioned excuses are valid. In such situations it is not advisable for him to sit in ie’tikaaf. (143)

Q. In the state of ie’tikaaf after eating sehri a mu’takif went out to gargle his mouth. At the particular time there was water in the masjid as well. He didn’t remember that there was water in the masjid nor did he remember that he was in ie’tikaaf. As soon as he gargled he immediately returned to his place in the masjid. In this condition is his ie’tikaaf valid or not? After eating sehri is gargling a natural need or not. If his ie’tikaaf broke does he have to make it up or not?

A. It is a shari need to gargle ones mouth after sehri.لما فيه من صيانة الصوم عن بقايا الطعام فى الفم. For this reason it is permissible for him to leave the masjid as long as there is no water in the masjid or it is not possible for one to gargle from the masjid. If there is water in the masjid and it is possible for him to gargle from the masjid, then if he leaves his nafil/sunnah ie’tikaaf it will end and ie’tikaaf e wajib (ie’tikaaf due to an oath) will be nullified. It is mentioned in maraqiyul falah فان خرج ساعة بلاعزر معتبر (فى عدم الفساد) فسد الواجب و انتهى به غيره اى غير الواجب و هو النفل اذ ليس له حد اه . Hence, leaving the masjid to gargle will be a valid excuse and the presence of water in the masjid invalidates this excuse if the mu’takif knows that there is water in the masjid. If the mu’takif is unaware of water being present in the masjid, then his coming out of the masjid doesn’t invalidate the ie’tikaaf if it is ie’tikaaf e nafil or sunnah. (144)

Q. A mu’takif chooses a spot in the masjid, is he only supposed to stay in his spot or can he sleep, eat, recite the Quraan and perform salah in any other area of the masjid without any genuine need?

A. It is not necessary to stay in ones ie’tikaaf spot. It is better to stay there for nafil acts of worship and zikar. Apart from that one can go to any other area of the masjid at any given time. (145)

Q. Can a mu’takif shave and trim his hair whilst in ie’tikaaf?

A. It will be permissible as long as the barber is outside the masjid. (146)

Q. A mu’takifs nature is such that he doesn’t want to ask someone else to bring water for him. Hence, is it better for one to leave the masjid and bring water or tell others to bring water?

A. If he can tell a second person to bring water for him without inconveniencing him, then he should send that person. However, if the second person will be inconvenienced, then he should go and get it himself. (146)

Q. The masjid in which Zaid is performing ie’tikaaf has a Jamee masjid close by (and no jummah takes place in the masjid in which he sits for ie’tikaaf). And another Jamee masjid is just a bit further than the first one. Zaid has a habit from the very beginning of going to the Jamee masjid that is a bit further away. Can Zaid go to the masjid that is slightly further away?

A. I haven’t come across any clear maxim pertaining the issue however, Alamghiriyah has the following: اى للخلاء الى البعيد فان مضى بطل اعتكافه كذا فى السراج الوهاج. From this we understand that the maslah has a difference of opinions. The most precautious view would be that he should pray in the masjid that is near him. (148)

Q. Can Zaid stay over after jummah to listen to a lecture?

A. It will be makroo (disliked) for him to stay over. It would be best for him to leave right after he performs his sunnah prayers after jummah salah. (148)

Q. Is it permissible for one to clean the masjid and give athaan whilst in ie’tikaaf?

A. The rulings for a mu’takif in giving athaan and takbeer is just like a person that is not in ie’tikaaf. However, he shouldn’t do anything that would cause him to leave the masjid (meaning that he could clean the masjid as long it doesn’t cause him to leave the masjid). (150)

Q. A person that has the habbit of exercising, can he exercise in the masjid whilst in ie’tikaaf?

A. Exercising in the masjid is disrespectful and coming out of the masjid in the state of ie’tikaaf is impermissible. Therefore, one shouldn’t exercise in the state of ie’tikaaf. However, if one feels uneasy then, he may exercise in seclusion. (150)

Fatawa Raheemiyah (Darul Ishaat)

Q. During the last 10 days of Ramadha ie’tikaaf is sunnah e muakadah alal kifaya. If one breaks it due to an excuse or if one mistakenly breaks it, then will qada be necessary or not?

A. In the above mentioned situation the day the ie’tikaaf broke one will have to makeup that day only with a qadah fast. However, it would be preferable that one should take precaution and stay away from differences of opinions (amongst ulama) and should makeup up 10 days with fasts after Ramadhan. (275) فيقضى اليوم الذى افسده لاستفلال كل يوم بنفسه شامى (2-180)

Q.  A mu’takif is already in the state of wudu and has already performed acts of ibadah in this state. He wants to perform wudu again. Can he leave the masjid for this?

A. If a mu’takif is in the state of wudu, then he won’t be allowed to leave the masjid to make a fresh wudu. (277)

Q. A person in ie’tikaaf is not in the state of wudu and wishes to sleep in the state of wudu. Zaid says that a person can’t leave the masjid for masnoon or mustahab ghusal, then he may certainly not leave the masjid to make wudu for the sake of sleeping in the state of wudu.

A. When one doesn’t have wudu and he wishes to sleep in the state of wudu. And it is advised that a mu’takif ought to have wudu most of the time and also sleeping in the state of wudu is encouraged, then he may do so. After making wudu one should at least perform two rakats of tahiyatul wudu, then sleep. Analogising it with the ghusal of jumah and ghusle mustahab is incorrect as jumah salah is valid even without ghusal. (277)

Q. The Imam of the masjid is in ie’tikaaf. Can the Imam of taraweeh who is not  in the state of ie’tikaaf join him in iftaar?

A. It is preferable for the hafiz (Imam of taraweeh) to break his fast outside the masjid in his room. If he makes the intention of nafil ie’tikaaf, then he may break his fast with the mu’takif. When entering the masjid with the dua:

 اللهم افتح لى ابواب رحمتك (oh Allah open your doors of mercy form me)

 One should also say نويت الاعتكاف ما دمت فى المسجد (I make the intention of ie’tikaaf as long as I am in the masjid). (278)

 It is mentioned in Alamghiri:

و يكره النوم و الاكل فيه لغير المعتكف و اذا اراد ان

يفعل ذالك ينبغى ان ينوى الاعتكاف فيدخل فيه و يذكر الله تعالى بقدر ما نوى او يصلى ثم يفعل ما شاء. كذا فى السراجية (6-215)

Q. During the last 10 days of Ramadhan people perform ie’tikaaf and they erect tents (small rooms) on their sleeping spots. These sheets belong to the masjid. Every tent has a light bulb inside. What is the ruling concerning using the masjids property and concerning those people in ie’tikaaf who spend the day sleeping in the masjid and the nights conversing with each other?

A. It is preferable to erect tents for the people in ie’tikaaf and there is nothing wrong in using the sheets of the masjid as long as it was given to the masjid for that purpose. If the sheets were bought from the money of the masjid, then it won’t be permissible to use them. People should use their own sheets. Using the electricity of the masjid is permissible as long as long as it is during the hours it is normally used, it shouldn’t be used after the set usage time. Therefore, if electricity is used in access then, the mu’takifeen should contribute towards the electricity so that the masjid may have no claims against them. A mu’takif can speak if necessary. It is inappropriate to speak about unnecessary worldly things in the masjid even if it is not  something that has to do with sin. It is mentioned in a hadith that when a person talks about worldly things in the masjid the the angels say اسكت يا ولى الله (be silent oh friend of Allah) if he doesn’t stay quiet and he keeps speaking, then the angels say اسكت يا بغيض الله (be silent oh whom Allah hates) if he carries on talking worldly talks then he says اسكت لعنة الله عليك (be silent may Allahs curse be on you).

The people in ie’tikaaf are there to worship Allah and earn Allahs pleasure and to earn rewards.  By engaging in worldly talks, there are attaining only the curses of the angels rather than rewards. It is therefore best for the mu’takifeen not to gather together. They should rather stay in their tents and individually engage in tilawat, dua, nafwafil, zikar, durood and sleep as is necessary. Those worldly acts that aren’t suitable outside the masjid for non-mu’takifeen how can they be permissible for a mu’takif in the masjid. Hence, it is mentioned in Majlisul-Abrar: و يلازم قرأة القران و الحديث و علم الدين و سير النبى صلى الله عليه و سلم و قصص الانبياء و حكايات الصالحين و كتابة امور الدين و اما التكلم بما ليس بخير فانه مكروه لغير المعتكف فما ظنك للمعتكف فى المسجد. People in ie’tikaaf should recite the Quraan, the ahadeeth,books of deeni knowledge, the biography of Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the stories of the Ambiyaa (Alayhimusallam). And futile talks are makrooh for people not in ie’tikaaf, how much more will it be for people in ie’tikaaf in the masjid? (279)

Q. What do the Ulama of deen and the Muftis have to say about concealing one’s self in the corner of the masjid in ie’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ranadhan? Is it an act of sunnah or bidah to conceal one’s self with a cloth? Please reply with references.

A. It is mustahab for a mu’takif to erect a tent for himself in the corner of the masjid, using a sheet or something else. It serves the purpose of allowing him privacy together with other benefits. It is not an act of bidah as it has been established that Rasulullah Salalllahu Alayhi Wasallam erected a tent using straw mats. However, the mu’takifeen should bear in mind that they do not occupy more space than necessary and that they do not cause any harm to the people performing salah. They shouldn’t make an obstacle for the rows (saffs). It is mentioned in Mirqaat عن عائشة رضى الله عنها قالت كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم اذا اراد ان يعتكف صلى الفجر ثم دخل فى معتكفه رواه ابو داود و ابن ماجة (قوله صلى الفجر ثم دخل فى معتكفه بصيغة المفعول اى مكان اعتكافه الى قوله وتاولوا الحديث بانه صلى الله عليه وسلم دخل فى المعتكف و انقطع و تخلى بنفسه فانه كان فى المسجد يتخلى عن الناس فى موضع يستتر به عن اعيان الناس كما ورد انه اتخذ فى المسجد حجرة من حصير (4-329). It is mentioned in Mazahir e haq: When he (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) would complete his morning salah, he would go in to his enclosure made of straw so that he could seclude himself from the rest of the people. It is mentioned in Majlis e Abrar:و اصل ما فى الصحيحين انه عليه السلام اعتكف العشر الاول من رمضان ثم اعتكف العشر الاوسط فى قبة تركية ثم اطلع رأسه . Rasulullah Salalahu alayhi Wasallam sat for ie’tikaaf in the first ten days of Ramadhan. Then, he sat for ie’tikaaf in the second ten days of Ramadhan in a Turkish tent. Then he took his head out of the tent and said… From this we understand that making a tent from cloth was the sunnah of Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam. Therefore, one cannot deem it as a bidah. (280)

Q. Can a mu’takif sleep on a bed in the masjid?

A. A person in ie’tikaaf may sleep on a bed in the masjid.كما فى سفر السعادة و ابن ماجة ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان اذا اعتكف طرح له فراشه او يوضع له سريره وراء اسطونة التوبة (6-18)

Q. Must a mu’takif perform two rakahs tahiyatul wudu and tahiyatus salah after every wudu?

A. He should pray tahiyatul wudu, tahiyatul masjid will suffice once a day.و تستحب التحية لداخله فان كان ممن يتكرر دخوله كفته ركعتان كل يوم (الاشباه) و فى الحموى و فى السراج الوهاج فان قيل هل تسن تحية المسجد كلما دخله ام لا قيل فيه خلاف قال بعضهم نعم لانه معتبر بتحية الانسان فانه يحيه كما لقيه و قال بعضهم مرة واحدة وهذا اذا كان نائيا (اى بعيد) ام اذا كان جار المسجد لا يصليها كما لايحسن لاهل مكة طواف القدوم (الاشباه-559) (282)

Q. There’s an area that doesn’t have a masjid, but theres a house in which five times salah takes place. Will the ie’tikaaf be valid in this place and will this ie’tikaaf be regarded as sunnah e muakadah ie’tikaaf? In the event that the ie’tikaaf is not performed will the whole locality be sinful? Or what other option is there?

A. Since there is no masjid in the area, then ie’tikaaf should take place at the place where five times salah with jamah is performed. It is hoped that the reward of sunnah e muakadah will be attained. If the ie’tikaaf is not done, then the sin will remain. Therefore, an effort should be made to observe the ie’tikaaf, because acceptance lies in the hands of Allah.و قالو لما سقط عن المراة فى صلوتها المسجد الجامع كذالك سقط فى اعتكافها المسجد الجامع (رسائل الاركان 229) (282)

Note: Although one will get the reward of jamah by performing salah in a place other than the masjid, the reward of performing salah with jamah in a masjid will not be attained. For this reason effort should be made to build a masjid. (282)

Q. Although we had a masjid in the area, it has been demolished and salah now takes place in a madrassah. Can ie’tikaaf be observed there? By observing ie’tikaaf will sunnah e muakadah ie’tikaaf take place?

A. If it is not possible to observe ie’tikaaf in the demolished masjid and there is another masjid in the area, then ie’tikaaf should be done there. Ie’tikaaf in the madrassah will not be valid. If there is not any other masjid in the area then the ie’tikaaf will valid inshallah. (283)

Q. Working people here in England seldom sit in ie’tikaaf.  Most of those that sit are those that don’t work in factories, but they receive a weekly allowance. They need to present themselves at the government office and sign for the allowance. If they do not present themselves at the office, then they do not receive their allowance. Can one leave the masjid to sign the allowance form or not?

A. If they are unable to support themselves without the allowance then they may leave the masjid and as soon as they sign the forms they should return to the masjid. Thereafter, they should repeat a day of ie’tikaaf out of precaution. If ones sustainability does not rely on the allowance, then it won’t be permissible for one to leave. If he leaves, his ie’tikaaf will break and he will be sinful of nullifying the ie’tikaaf. (283)

Q. The people sitting in ie’tikaaf erect tents in the centre rows due to which people can’t stand there and they have to stand behind that row. What is the ruling pertaining obstructing people in such a manner?

A. If the space occupied by the Ie’tikaaf tents is needed at the time of salah, then opening the tents will be necessary. If they do not open the tents then they will be sinful. (287)

Fatawa Mufti Mahmood (Ishtiyaq A Mushtaq Press)

Q. I took a vow to sit for ie’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan. I didn’t manage to sit in ie’tikaaf but intend to do so after consulting the Ulama during a good season. Some of the Ulama are of the opinion that I can only sit in Ramadhan. For me the most appropriate would be to sit during a good season (weather). Please give me your opinion.

A. You had taken an oath to sit during Ramadhan for ie’tikaaf and you didn’t. Now you may sit for ie’tikaaf during any month or season that you like in the state of fasting. Fasting will be necessary and making up the Qadha of the vow will also be necessary.كما فى الدر المختار و شرط الصوم

 صحة الاول اتفاقا فقط على المذهب و ايضا قال فيه و ان لم يعتكف رمضان المعين قضى شهرا غيره بصوم مقصود الخ (2-142) (521)

 Fatawa Haqaniyyah (J.D.U.Haqaniyyah)

Q. If a mu’takif mistakenly breaks his fast, will his ie’tikaaf be valid or not?

A. Fasting during masnoon and wajib ie’tikaaf is a condition, hence if ones fast breaks due to some reason the ie’tikaaf will get invalidated as well. However, if he remains seated in ie’tikaaf, then it will be invalid.

لما قال العلامة الحصكفى و شرط الصوم لصحة الاول اتفاقا على المذهب قال العلامة ابن عابدين قلت و مقتضى ذالك ان الصوم شرط ايضا فى الاعتكاف المسنون لانه مقدر بالعشر الاخير حتى لو اعتكفه بلاصوم لمرض او سفر ينبغى ان لايصح عنه بل يكون نفلا (2-442) (196)

Q. If a mu’takif dies whilst in ie’tikaaf, then will someone else have to take his place to complete his ie’tikaaf?

A. Performing ie’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan is sunnah. Ie’tikaaf for just a few days will not fulfil the sunnah. If a mu’takif dies in the state of ie’tikaaf his ie’tikaaf is incomplete. If there is not  any other person in ie’tikaaf apart from him then all the rest of the locality will be answerable. (198)

قال العلامة ابن عابدين (قوله اى سنة كفاية) نظيرها اقامة التراويح بالجماعة فاذا قام بها البعض سقط الطلب عن الباقين فلم ياثموا بالمواظبة على الترك بلاعذر و لو كان سنة عين لاثموا بترك السنة الموكدة اثما ترك الواجب(2-442)

Q. Can a mu’takif lead janazah salah? Will his ie’tikaaf be effected if he leads?

A. Leaving the masjid during wajid or sunnah ie’tikaaf without a shari need invalidates the ie’tikaaf. However, if one makes a condition that he will leave, then in such a situation leading or praying janazah salah will not invalidate the ie’tikaaf. However, leaving the masjid without putting the condition at the beginning of the month will invalidate the ie’tikaaf. The rulings of nafil ie’tikaaf are more relaxed, hence one in nafil ie’tikaaf can do so even without putting a condition and his ie’tikaaf won’t be nullified. (199)

لمل قال العلامة عالم ابن العلاء ولا يخرج لاكله و شربه ولا لعيادة المريض ولا لصلوة جنازة …ولوشرط وقت النذر والالتزام ان يخرج الى عيادة المريض و صلوة الجنازة و حضور مجلس العلم يجوز له ذالك…و اما فى الاعتكاف النفل فلاباس بان يخرج بعذر و بغير عذر(التاترخانية )

Q. A masjid in which salah doesn’t take place constantly with jamah or doesn’t have jamah at all. In such a case what is the ruling if a mu’takif goes to another masjid for jamah?

A. It is necessary for men to sit for ie’tikaaf in masjids that have jamah. However, for some reason if jamah doesn’t take place in the masjid, then it will be permissible for a mu’takif to go to another masjid to perform salah with jamah. However, if he doesn’t go then it won’t have any effect on his jamah. (200)

قال العلامة علاء الدين الحصكفى فى مسجد جماعة هو ماله امام و مؤذن اديت فيه الخمس ام لا و عن الامام اشتراط اداء الخمس فيه صححه بعضهم و قال لايصح فى كل مسجد و صححه السروجى و اما الجامع فيصح فيه مطلقا اتفاقا قال ابن عابدين و ان لم يصلوا فيه الصلوة كاها… و ايضا قال الحصكفى حرم عليه الخروج الا لحاجة الانسان طبيعة كبول و غائط و غسل…او شرعية كعيد و اذان لو مؤذنا و باب المنارة خارج المسجد (2-440)

Q. If the masjid in the area doesn’t have jummah salah, how far can a mu’takif go to perform jummah salah?

A. A mu’takif may go to a city to perform jummah. If the city is far then one may not leave the masjid before zawal. One should leave for such a destination that one can reach on time and easily perform fardh and sunnah salahs. As soon as one prays the fardh salah, one should return to the masjid. However, if one performs the sunnahs after the salah then the ie’tikaaf won’t break. (201)

قال فى الهندية و يخرج للجمعة حين تزول الشمس لاتفوته الخطبة و الجمعة و اذا كان بحيث تفوته لم ينتظر زوال الشمس لكنه يخرج فى وقت يمكنه ان ياتى الكامع فيصلى اربع ركعات قبل الاذان عند المنبر و بعد الجمعة يمكث بقدر ما يصلى اربع ركعات او ستا على حسب اختلافهم فى سنة الجمعة(1-212)

Q. Due to the family being sick or due to some incident, can one leave ie’tikaaf or not?

A. It is permissible to leave ie’tikaaf due to some certain danger which would afflict one’s life, wealth or family. In such cases if a mu’takif exits the masjid his ie’tikaaf will be nullified, but he won’t be sinful. If the masjid is demolished or if one is forced out of the masjid, one should immediately go into another masjid. In such a case the ietikaaaf will be intact. (202)

لما قال العلامة فخر الدين الزيلعى و كذا لو خرج للجنازة يفسد اعتكافه و كذا لصلوةها لو تعينت عليه او لانجاء الغريق او الحريق او الجهاد اذا كان النفير عاما او لاداء الشهادة كل ذالك مفسد بخلاف الخروج لحاجة الانسان لانها معلومة الوقوع فتكون مستثناة و لهاذا لو انهدم المسجد الذى هو فيه فنتقل الى مسجد اخر لم يفسد اعتكافه لضرورة لانه لم يبق مسجدا بعد ذالك ففات شرطه و كذا لو تفرق اهله لعدم الصلوة الخمس فيه و لو اخرجه ظالم كرها او خاف على نفسه او ماله من المكابرين فخرج لا يفسد اعتكافه (تبين 1-351)

قال العلامة الحصكفى لو شرط وقت النذر ان يخرج لعيادة مريض و صلوة جنازة و حضور مجلس علم جاز ذالك فليحفظ (الدر 2-146)

قال الغلامة الحصكفى اما ما لا يغلب كانجاء غريق و انهدام مسجد فسقط للاثم لاللبطلان و الا لكان النسيان او لى بعدم الفساد كما حقق الكمال خلافا لما فصله الزيلعى حيث جعل الخروج لعيادة المريض و الجنازة و صلوتها و انجاء الغريق و الحريق و الجهاد اذا كان النفيلر عاما و ادء الشهادة مفسدا بخلاف خروجه الى مسجد اخر بانهدام المسجد او تغرق اهلها لعدم الصلوة الخمس فيه و اخراج ظالم كرها و خوفه على نفسه او ماله من المكابرين(رد2-449)

Q. If one mistakenly leaves his place of ie’tikaaf by mistake, what is the ruling?

A. Leaving ones place of ie’tikaaf mistakenly doesn’t invalidate the ie’tikaaf according to Sahibayn. However, according to Imam Abu Hanifa the ie’tikaaf breaks. There is more precaution in acting on Imam Abu Hanifas view. (203)

قال برهان الدين ولو خرج من المسجد ساعة بغير عزر فسد اعتكافه عند ابي حنيفة رحمه الله تعالى لوجود المنافى و هو القياس و قال لا يفسد(الهداية ج1-212)

Q. Can a mu’takif read newspapers and articles during ie’tikaaf? In a similar manner can one keep a radio so that he can listen to the news? Newspapers normally have unbefitting pictures, when radios only have voices? Is listening to news also an act of worship or worldly act? The person that does these things has been warned. But because he is a retired teacher, hence he thinks of himself to be a mujtahid and is not ready to stop. Please inform us of the correct etiquettes of the masjid.

A. The sole purpose of ie’tikaaf is to gain the pleasure of Allah. For this reason one ought to busy themselves in those forms of worship that lead to the pleasure of Allah Taala. The Fuqha have advised recitation of the Quraan, Ahadith, Deeni books and lots of nawafil. Therefore, a mu’takif should busy himself in doing those things and shouldn’t waste time reading newspapers and listening to the news. It is not permissible to take pictures or devices of futile play into the masjid. Therefore, it won’t be permissible for a mu’takif to read newspapers or listen to the news during ie’tikaaf. (208)

لما قال العلامة حصكفى رحمه الله تكلم الا بخير وهو ما لااثم فيه و منه المباح عند الحاجة اليه لا عند عدمها…كقرأة قران و حديث و علم و تدريس فى سير رسول عليه الصلوة و السلام و قصص الانبياء عليهم السلام و حكاية الصالحين و كتابة امور الدين (الدر2-449)

Khairul Fatawa (Maktaba Imdadiyyah)

Q. When we go out for jamaat, then people involved in jamaat say that we should also make the intention of ie’tikaaf even though we do not know how long we will be sitting in the masjid for.

A. It is correct to make the ie’tikaaf as you have explained and you should also make the intention that as long as you are in the masjid you will be in ie’tikaaf. (128)

ليس لاقله تقدير على الظاهر حتى لو دخل المسجد و نوى الاعتكاف الى ان يخرج منه صح هكذا فى التبين اه (عالمغيرى 1-211)

Q. Is it necessary for a woman to take the permission of her husband if she wishes to sit for nafil ie’tikaaf?

A. A woman should take permission from her husband before sitting in ie’tikaaf. (128) فيصح من المرأة و العبد باذن المولى و الزوج ان كان لها زوج كذا فى البدئع (عالمغيرى 1-211

Q. A person sits for ie’tikaaf e wajib for 3 months. If he doesn’t cut his pubic hair, then will he be sinful? If he does this, then what should he do?

A. روى مسلم عن انس بن مالك رضى الله تعالى عنه وقت لنا فى تقليم الاظفار و قص الشارب و نتف الابط ان لا نترك اكثر من اربعين ليلة نقله فى الشامية و فى الدر المختار و كره تركه (اى تحريما) وراء الاربعين (5-269)

From the above hadith and the fiqhi maxim it is understood that it is necessary to shave ones pubic hair within 40 days. Hence it is a shari need and needs that cannot be fulfilled in the masjid allow a person to leave the masjid. Therefore, if a mu’takif leaves the masjid to shave his pubic hair, it will be permissible. Other than that, nails and other hairs may be cut in the masjid. The nails and the hair may be wrapped in a cloth and disposed from the masjid. It would be best for a person not to specially leave the masjid to shave ones hair, instead when one feels like answering the call of nature, then one should also shave. It would be best for one to practice on this because we could not locate a clear maxim. The permissibility of visiting a sick person at the time one leaves the masjid to relive himself has been mentioned in bahar from badayi and it is from this that we have deduced the maslah.(131)

Q. How should a woman ascertain a place for ie’tikaaf in her home? If a woman takes a vow to sit in ie’tikaaf and at night it gets hot inside, and if she does it outside it gets hot there during the day?

A. After one (woman) ascertains a spot for ie’tikaaf it is not  permissible for her to change that spot regardless of whether it is inside or outside. If it gets hot on should use a fan. If it is uncontrollable then one can even end the ie’tikaaf or one shouldn’t sit in ie’tikaaf at all. (143)

Q. Is ie’tikaaf for woman just as emphasized as it is for men? If women don’t sit will they be sinful as well?

A. It is also sunnah for women to sit in ie’tikaaf and if there is someone sitting for ie’tikaaf in the locality then, they won’t be sinful. (143)

Q. There is a hakeem (doctor) that sits for ie’tikaaf every year during Ramadhan. He sits by the masjid window and gives medicines to his patients. He also takes money there. Is this permissible?

A. A doctor may examine his patients and prescribe medicines. However, one shouldn’t sell medicines. (145)

لانه منقطع الى الله فلاينبغى له ان يشغل بامور الدنيا (شامى 2-186)

Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband (Darul Ishaat)

Q. Without any necessity if a person performing nafil ie’tikaaf leaves the masjid before one day and night (24 hours), then will it be wajib for him to make up the ie’tikaaf? If he stayed in the masjid for more than a day and a night, then he came out, but this was before Ramdhan could end. Then will this also be sufficient or will one have to make up the whole month?

A. If a person breaks ie’tikaaf e nafil, then one doesn’t have to make it up regardless of whether he broke the ie’tikaaf before one day and night or after. Whatever amount one does will be regarded as nafil ie’tikaaf. The reason being that the least one can sit in ie’tikaaf is one minute and nor is fasting a condition as opposed to wajib, which if one breaks it will be necessary to makeup and fasting is a condition.(504)

Q. Will the courtyard, veranda of the masjid be included in the masjid?

A. The intention of the builders of the masjid will be taken into consideration. If they regarded the courtyard or veranda to be part of the masjid, then it will be part of the masjid. However, if they didn’t, then it won’t be part of the masjid. Normally it is understood that the veranda that is joint to the carpet of the masjid is and that which is not joint to the carpet of the masjid is not part of the masjid.  (507)

Q. If a person decides to sit for ie’tikaaf on the 21st just after eating sehri before subah saddiq, then will his ie’tikaaf be valid.

A. It is sunnah that one should sit for ie’tikaaf on the 20th of Ramadhan before sunset. Rasulullah Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam would sit for full ten days during the month of Ramadhan which would commence from the evening of the 20th. However, in the above mentioned situation the ie’tikaaf will be valid (but it will be nafil). (508)

Q. A person sat for ietikaf during the last 10 days of Ramadhan and he fell sick due to which he broke his ie’tikaaf. After he gets better should he repeat his ie’tikaaf or not? While he was sick he missed out 5 of his fasts. Can he make up those fasts with his ie’tikaaf?

A. It is mentioned in Durr:

و شرط الصوم لصحة الاول اتفاقا فقط على المذهب قوله لصحة الاول اى المنذور شامى. فلو شرع فى نفله ثم قطعه لايلزمه قضاءه لانه لايشترط له الصوم على الظاهر من المذهب الخ اما النفل فله الخروج.قوله اما النفل اى الشامل للسنة المؤكدة طحطاوى شامى الخ.

From the above it is apparent that it is not necessary for one to make up the last 10 days of ie’tikaaf. Allama Shami (Rahimahullah) has also mentioned a difference of opinion from Muhaqiq ibnul Humam (Rahimahulaah) however, majority of texts and commentaries also suggest that it is not necessary for one to make up the last ten days of ie’tikaaf. And making up should only be done for wajib ie’tikaaf. From this we deduce that he will only have to make up the 5 fasts that he missed. If he decides to make up ie’tikaaf as well as the fasts, then could be kept with the ie’tikaaf and both will be valid. (514)

Fatawa Deeniyah (Husainiyyah Rander)

Q. Can a person sit for ie’tikaaf in an ibadat khana or is a masjid necessary for ie’tikaaf?

A. A mu’takif should sit in a masjid in which five times salah takes place with jamaah. It won’t be correct for a mu’takif to sit in an ibadat khana (a place where five times salah doesn’t take place) (80)

Q. When a mu’takif goes out to answer the call of nature, that period is not enough for him to fulfil his need (addiction) of eating tobacco. Due to necessity can he leave the masjid?

A. Firstly, one should try and stop the habit if eating tobacco so that it doesn’t cause any disturbance to the angels and the musalees. However, if one is addicted and without taking it one would be restless, then it will be permissible for him to leave the masjid and his ie’tikaaf won’t be invalidated. (87)

Q. Can a mu’takif eat in the wudu place or the veranda/foyer of the masjid?

A. A mu’takif is allowed to eat and drink in the masjid, however caution should be taken that the masjid doesn’t become dirty. If one leaves the masjid to eat, then his ie’tikaaf will break. (91)

Q. The masjid in our town has been demolished due to extensions on the masjid. Presently, five times salah and jummah is taking place in a boarding school. Now Ramadhan has come and lots of people are intending to do ie’tikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan. Can they perform ie’tikaaf in the boarding hall? Will it be permissible to perform ietikaaaf there?

A. It is necessary for ie’tikaaf to be done in a masjid. For this reason in the above scenario it won’t be permissible to do ie’tikaaf in the masjid hall. (93)

Mahmoodul Fatawa (Maktaba Anwar)

Q. A wall of the Jamaat khana was demolished and then extended. What is the ruling of the extended area?

A. The cause of the extension is apparent that they want to extend the masjid. It is as though they want to join the extended part to the masjid. Now that the extended part is also part of the masjid, then why are you doubting in doing ie’tikaaf in that area. (390)

Kitabul Fatawa (Zam Zam)

Q. Which is the best place for ie’tikaaf?

A. Ie’tikaaf can be performed in any masjid that has five times daily salah. However, the best place would be the Masjidul Haraam in Makkah, then Musjidu Nabawi, then Masjidul Aqsa and after these the Jamee masjid.(449) فافضل الاعتكاف ان يكون فى مسجد الحرام (بدائع2-281)

Q. If a person has gastritis and he has to pass wind very often, should such a person sit for ie’tikaaf? Or is it impermissible for him to sit for ie’tikaaf?

A. If another person will be sitting in ie’tikaaf as well, then I think such a person shouldn’t sit for ie’tikaaf. The reason being that ie’tikaaf is sunnah alal kifayah meaning that even if one person sits for ie’tikaaf, then everyone else will be saved from the sin of not sitting for ie’tikaaf. And it is apparent that if such a person sits in the masjid, then it will be a means of disrespecting the masjid and staying away from that is most important. This is my opinion you could ask other Ulama as well. (455)

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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