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Can I commence the Sunnah I’tikaaf on the 21st night of Ramadaan instead of commencing it on the 20th night of Ramadaan? 

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by TheMufti.com

Q. I will not be able to sit for Sunnah I’tikaf from the 20th night of Ramadaan. Can I start my Sunnah I’tikaf from the 21st night of Ramadaan?


A. The time to observe the last ten nights of Sunnah I’tikaaf commences from the 20th night of Ramadaan i.e. from Maghrib time and terminates on the sighting of the moon of Eid. Hence, in order for a person to complete the Sunnah I’tikaaf of the last ten nights of Ramadaan , a person will have to avail himself at the Masjid on the 20th of Ramadaan prior to Maghrib time. If however, a person availed himself on the 20th of Ramadaan at the Masjid after Maghrib time (21st of Ramadaan), a person will not be able to observe the Sunnah I’tikaaf of the last ten nights of Ramadaan. However, a person may make an intention for Nafl I’tikaaf. Therefore, in the enquired case, if you wish to commence your Sunnah I’tikaaf of the last ten nights of Ramadaan on the 21st night of Ramadaan, it will not be a valid Sunnah I’tikaaf of ten nights and you will have to commence on the 20th night of Ramadaan for it to be valid. (Al-Bahrur-Raa’iq 2/329)

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

This answer was collected from TheMufti.com, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.

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