is one which is vowed, whether conditional or unconditional, as one vows that he will perform I’tikaaf if certain wish or business is accomplished.

MU'AKK’ADAH  I’TIKAAF (Emphasised) is of the last ten days of Ramadhaan. Authentic Traditions say that Holy Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam regularly performed I’tikaaf. But this Mu'akk’adah is accomplished for all if some persons perform it.

MUSTAHAB (APPRECIABLE) I’TIKAAF is of some time,  other then the last ten days of Ramadhaan, it may be the first or  second ten days of Ramadhaan or any other month.

  1. For Essential (waajib) I’tikaaf  fast is necessary. If any one sits for I’tikaaf  he shall have to keep fast. If one resolves not to fast even then fast is essential for him. Therefore if any one intends for I’tikaaf at night, it would be useless because night is no time of fasting. But if he resolves for I’tikaaf  for several days or day and night, then night will be included in it and it will be necessary to remain in I’tikaaf for night also. It is not necessary to intend fast for I’tikaaf  as fasting for any purpose is enough for I’tikaaf. For instance if any one intends to sit for I’tikaaf in Ramadhaan, then the  fast of Ramadhaan will be enough for the I’tikaaf. But it is necessary that  fast should be an essential fast as Nafl fast is not enough for this I’tikaaf. For example if any one resolves for a Nafl fast and then sits in I’tikaaf  the same day, then it will not be in order. If any one vowed to sit in I’tikaaf  for the whole month of Ramadhaan and due to some  reason could not do so in Ramadhaan, then he may do it in any other month and his vow would be accomplished but continuous fasting and sitting is essential.
  2. In the Sunnat I’tikaaf  the fast is already there, hence its condition is not necessary.
  3. In Mustahab (appreciable) I’tikaaf  as a precaution is a condition but condition is not trust able.
  4. The ESSENTIAL I’tikaaf can be at least for one day and more for as many days as resolved. The SUNNAH (MU'AKK’ADAH) I’tikaaf is for ten days i.e. the last ten days of Ramadhaan. For MUSTAHAB (Appreciable) I’tikaaf there is no  time limit. It may be for one minute or even less.
  5. Two actions are prohibited during I’tikaaf and committing them would vitiate the Sunnah (Mu'akk’adah) and essential I’tikaaf and should be observed again. If it is a Mustahab I’tikaaf it will be disrupted and would end. The FIRST is to go out of the place of I’tikaaf  without necessity. The necessity may be natural or religious. Natural necessity is to make water or ease oneself or to go for the essential bath. Food is also a necessity if there is no one to bring it and religious need is such as to go for Friday prayer.
  6. If anyone in I’tikaaf  goes out of his mosque due to some necessity, then he should not stay after the need is fulfilled and as far as possible he should try to meet at a place nearest to the mosque. If he goes to a mosque for Friday prayer and stays there to complete the I’tikaaf , though permissible, but is execrable.
  7. To leave the I’tikaaf  mosque for a minute even in forgetfulness, is not permissible.
  8. It is against the spirit of I’tikaaf to leave its place for such needs which are not of frequent occurrence. For example it is not sinful but essential to go to save life, to visit a patient or to save a drowning man or to go out of the mosque for few of its falling down, but in such cases the I’tikaaf shall no longer remain. There is however, no harm if one goes out for any natural or religious need and either before or after the fulfilment of the need visits a patient or joins a funeral prayer.
  9. One sitting in I’tikaaf  should go out for Friday prayers with such provision of time so that be may be able to offer prayer Tahiyyatul-Masjid (greeting to mosque) and tile Sunnah prayer of Friday and it is also permissible for him to stay after Friday prayer to oilier Sunnah prayer. The determination of the time that it will take is left to the discretion of the person. There is no harm if he reaches a bit earlier due to wrong estimate.
  10. If a person in I’tikaaf is forced out of the place of I’tikaaf  then I’tikaaf  will be disturbed. For instance one is implicated in some crime and warrant is issued against him and he is asserted by the police and taken out of the I’tikaaf  place or he is indebted to someone and he pulls him out.
  11. Also it one goes out on account or any natural or religious need and on way some creditor detains him or falls ill and is delayed in returning, then I’tikaaf  shall be disrupted.
  12. THE SECOND kind of acts which are not permissible in I’tikaaf  are sexual intercourse etc. whether done deliberately or in forgetfulness -- committed in the mosque or out side-shall vitiate the I’tikaaf. The acts which lead to sexual intercourse i.e. kissing, embracing etc. are also not permissible in. I’tikaaf  but I’tikaaf  is not disrupted by these acts if semen is not discharged. But if semen is discharged by mere thinking then also the I’tikaaf  will not be disrupted.
  13. It is highly execrable to engage in any type of worldly business i.e. buying or selling or any other commercial act. But in case there is no food in the house and also there is no reliable person to purchase it, then it is permissible for the person in I’tikaaf to purchase. But in no case the purchased goods should be brought to the mosque when there is fear of polluting the mosque or obstructing the space. It is also permissible if there is no such risk.
  14. It is also highly execrable to sit silent in I’tikaaf  but objectionable things should not be uttered or tell a lie and backbite. Instead all the time should be devoted in recitation of Holy Qur’aan or teaching and learning religious knowledge or should remain engaged in other religious prayers. In short, to sit silent in I’tikaaf  is no worship or prayer.
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