Itikaf means to be in isolation in a Masjid or at home with the intention of solely dedicating your time to the worship of Allah (SWT).
It is Sunnat-al-Muaqidah (Sunnah that is urged to be performed) to sit in Itikaf in the last 10 days of Ramadan. A person may commence Itikaf after sunset of 20th of Ramadan, and end it when the moon for Eid is sighted. The Sunnah stays the same if the month of Ramadan is of 29 or 30 days.
You may sit in Itikaf at any other time of the year for any duration. This kind of Itikaf is Mustahib (optional).
It is compulsory for men to perform Itikaf in a Masjid, where they can offer all five prayers in congregation. Women can also perform in a masjid if they have the privacy and necessary facilities. Otherwise, they can practice it at home, selecting a corner where they won’t be disturbed and can meditate in peace.
Here are some points to remember while performing Itikaf.
It is normal to eat, drink, sleep or get something that’s urgently needed. It is highly rewarding to provide food and drink for the people who are in Itikaf.
All things that are considered Ibadah (worship) can be done in Itikaf. A few good deeds are mentioned below:
- Recite Al Quran
- Recite Darood
- Read about Islam
- Make Dua
- Talk/think about the good and righteous things
- Do Taubah (repentance)
- Doing nothing and considering it Ibadah does not count in Itikaf
Leaving your place of Itikaf
You can get up from your place of meditation if you need to use the restroom or do Ghusl (bath for purification), for the Jummah prayer, to get something of need, or if you’re a Muazzin and have to give Athan.
Things to avoid
- Foul talking
- Buying or selling things in the Masjid
- Having a quarrel or fight with someone
- Disturbing other people in Itikaf around you
- Bringing in too many items
Things that nullify Itikaf
- Going out for some need and staying even after the need is addressed
- Leaving your place without any reason
- Having unwanted company while you are in Itikaf
Going for Namaz-e-Janazah
Before sitting in Itikaf, if a person made Niyyah (intention) to attend any Funeral Prayer while sitting in Itikaf, he may go. Otherwise, he shall remain in his place.
May Allah help us achieve the best in this world and the hereafter.