Answered by: (Mufti) Mohammed Tosir Miah
A girl made niyyat of 10-day Sunnat Itikaf and now finds it very difficult to complete it. And wants to decrease from 10 to 4 or 5 days. Is it a sin? And is it possible?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Itikaf means literally to retreat and Islamically means to enter the mosque with the intention of worship. (Raddul Muhtar p.428 v.3)
There are three types of Itikaf:
Wajib: To vow or pledge to enter the mosque for the sake of Allah upon the fulfilment of some vow or wish. The least duration of wajib Itikaf is one day and night and it must be accompanied by a fast.
Sunnat Muakkada: To reside the last ten days and nights of Ramadhan in the Mosque is Sunnat Muakkadah Al-Kifayah. If a person from the community fulfils it, the obligation from the entire community will be uplifted. If not, all will be sinful.
Mustuhub or Nafl: This Itikaf can be done for any amount of time, even for a few minutes. Fasting is not a condition for this type of Itikaf. (Raddul Muhtar p.430-p.431 v.3)
The sister in question should endeavour to complete the full ten days of the Sunnah Itikaf, however, if for some reason she can not do the full ten days, she will have to do qadha for that day in which she broke the Itikaf. In other words, she will only do qadha of one day. The qadha of this Itikaf can be done in the month of Ramadhan or after. (Ahsanul Fatawa p.502 v.4) However, some scholars are of the view that it is best to do qadha of all the ten days. (Fatawa Rahimiyah p.110 v.3)
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by (Mufti) Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.