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Questions Pertaining To I’tikaaf

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by CouncilofUlama.co.za
Questions Pertaining To I’tikaaf

Q: Explain the difference between Fardh, Sunnah and Nafl I’tikaaf.
A. There is no such thing as Fardh I’tikaaf. If a person takes an oath to perform I’tikaaf, then it becomes Waajib. The I’tikaaf of the last ten days of Ramadan is Sunnah and performing I’tikaaf whenever one wishes to is Nafl.

Q. Do the rulings of Sunnah mu’akkadah I’tikaaf also apply to one performing Mustahab (Nafl) I’tikaaf?
A. The rulings of Sunnah mu’akkadah do apply in Nafl I’tikaaf. However, in a Nafl I’tikaaf fasting is not a prerequisite. As for Sunnah mu’aakadah I’tikaaf, it only takes place during the last ten days of Ramadhan and fasting is a prerequisite. Secondly, in Nafl I’tikaaf, if one leaves the masjid without a valid reason his I’tikaaf period will automatically end and it won’t break. However, the Sunnah I’tikaaf will break.

Q. If a mu’takif mistakenly leaves the masjid what will the ruling be?
A. His I’tikaaf will be nullified.

Q. Can a mu’takif teach Qur’aan or not? If the children learn Qur’aan from him even out of I’tikaaf.
A. It is permissible to teach children Quran in I’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.

Q. During I’tikaaf whilst one is awake or sleeping ones wudu keeps breaking. Will it be necessary to always keep on making wudu? Is it permissible to read tafseer and fiqh books without wudu?
A. It is preferable to stay in the state of wudu, not Waajib. It is also preferable to read books of tafseer and fiqh with wudu.

Q. If an immature child sits for I’tikaaf what is  the ruling?
A. He will also be rewarded for the I’tikaaf.

Q. According to Shariah can the Mu’takif attend A Janaazah Salah or not?
A. If a Mu’takif leaves the masjid for Janaazah Salah, his I’tikaaf will break.

Q. A Mu’takif keeps on talking about his business with people in the masjid, although he adheres to all the other laws of I’tikaaf.
A. His I’tikaaf is valid although he will be deprived of the spiritual benefits of I’tikaaf.

Q. A person is a habitual smoker and can’t do without them. The question is can he smoke cigarettes whilst in I’tikaaf?
A. 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. Do not go into the masjid with a foul smelling mouth.

Q. A Mu’takif uses his phone a lot so that he may be kept informed of his business, wife and children. What is the ruling?
A. There’s nothing wrong in keeping informed according to necessity.
Q. Can a Mu’takif performing I’tikaaf in his local masjid go to the Jaa’mi masjid of that locality for Jumuah Salah?
A. It is permissible for him to go (if no Jumuah takes place in that masjid).

Q. If a Mu’takif’s one leg is in the masjid and the other outside the masjid will his I’tikaaf break?
A. No it won’t.

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.

Q. If a person is in I’tikaf can he go out of the masjid for Jumuah ghusl?
A. In a Sunnah i’tikaf a person should not leave specifically for the Jumuah ghusl. Rather when he goes to the washroom to relieve himself, he can in the process and by the way also take a bath without spending excessive time in taking a bath.

In a Nafl I’tikaf a person may leave specifically for the Jumuah ghusl.

Q. Can a Mu’takif walk around in the masjid?
A. He can if there is a need to.

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 Quran and perform Salah in any other area of the masjid without any genuine need?
A. It is not necessary to stay in ones I’tikaaf spot. It is better to stay there for Nafl acts of worship and zikr. Apart from that one can go to any other area of the masjid at any given time.

Source: Jamiatul Ulama KZN

This answer was collected from CouncilofUlama.co.za, which is operated under the supervision of Council of Ulama Eastern Cape, South Africa.

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