DEFINITION : To retire to a mosque from a little before sun-set on the 20th of Ramadhaan up to the sun-set of
29th or 30th i.e. till the appearance of new
moon is called ITIKAAF. It
has great merit. Women, if desirous of sitting in Itikaaf,
may retire to the place in the house which is fixed for usual
offering of prayers. If one sits in Itikaaf, then save for calls of nature or meals,
he should not move from that place. If there is some one to bring meals, then, too, one should not move from there for the meals. He should remain there for all the time and should sleep there. It is better not to sit idle but should continue to recite the Holy Quraan or after Nafl prayers or
remain engaged in other prayers. For a woman it is essential to
give up Itikaaf in case of menses or after-birth
discharge and it is also not permissible to embrace the husband or
indulge in sexual intercourse during Itikaaf.
Three things are essential in Itikaaf :-
The Supreme Itikaaf is one which is observed inKabah and the next best is in the mosque of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam at Madeenah and then at Jerusalem and then Jumuah Masjid where congregational prayers are held daily and then the mosque of the locality in which congregational prayers are held mostly.
There are three kinds of Itikaaf: