Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
Is it permissible for women to do I’itikāf at home? I plan to do I’itikāf in the masjid but my local masjid tells me they have no accommodations for sisters wishing to do I’ikikaf. They have asked me to perform my I’itikāf at home.
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Jazākumullāhu Khayran / Thank you for contacting Mathabah for your question.
May Allāh accept your intention and facilitate success.
According to the Ḥanafī school, it is preferred for women to do I’itikāf in the masjid of their homes (at the designated prayer space or room in one’s home). It is permissible, however considered makrūh tanzīhan (mildly disliked) in the Ḥanafī school for women to perform I’itikāf in the masjid. (See Dur Al Mukhtār and Badāi’ Al Ṣanā’i)
The references for the Ḥanafī position are narrations similar to the following:
Umm Salama (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings upon him) said, “The best mosque for a woman is the inner part of her home.” (Musnad Aḥmad and Ṭabrānī)
The masjid of her home takes the verdict of a masjid. (Badāi’ Al Ṣanā’i)
The Mālikī, Shāfi’e and Ḥanbalī school deem I’itikāf at home invalid. (See Al Sharḥ Al Saghīr, Al Majm’ū, Al Mughnī, Al Fiqh Al Islāmīy Wa Adillatuhū and Fiqh ‘Alā Madhāhib Al Arba’ah)
Ibn Mas’ūd (may Allāh be pleased with him) said, “I’itikāf is only valid in a masjid where congregation takes place” (Ṭabrānī)
“… while you are staying in mosques for I‘itikāf (Qur’ān, 2:187)
It should be noted that if women are performing I’itikāf in the masjid, proper arrangements for curtains, seclusion and modesty are to be undertaken. (See Al Mughnī)
And Allāh Knows Best
This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.