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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Ramadan ITIKAF, Types of ITIKAF, ITIKAF for WOMEN and Rewards of ITIKAF

ITIKAF is a particularly commended pious Islamic practice consisting of a period of retreat in a mosque, for a certain number of days in accordance with the believer's own wish.

It is Ehtiyat that one should stay with the intention to worship Allah by praying formal or informal prayers although prayer is not a condition therein.

The time for this form of worship could be anytime when one is allowed to fast. The best time is the month of Ramadan, especially, the last ten days.

Itikaf offers an immense hidden benefit, which is protection from the effects of excessive socializing. Itikaf also offers protection from the evil consequences of talking and sleeping too much, because a person usually does Itikaf on his own, turning to Allah by praying Qiyamul-Layl (Night prayers), reading Quran, making Dhikr, reciting dua, and so on.

Undoubtedly, a person’s success in freeing himself from excessive socializing, talking and sleeping, will help him to make his heart turn towards Allah, and will protect him from the opposite.

The basic purpose of ITIKAF is that the heart gets attached to Allah and, with it, one attains inner composure and equanimity, and preoccupation with the mundane things of life ceases, and absorption in the eternal reality takes its place. And the state is reached in which all fears, hopes and apprehensions are superseded by the love and remembrance of Allah.

Prophet SAWS always observed ITIKAF and the Muslims have on a whole adhered to it. It has become a regular feature of the month of Ramadhan and a confirmed practice with the devout and the faithful.

Ayesha RA relates that “Prophet SAWS regularly observed ITIKAF during the last ten days of Ramadhan till the end of his life. After him, his wives maintained the tradition”.


1. Wajib Itikaf
This ITIKAF becomes compulsory when a person makes it obligatory upon himself. An example of this is, when a person makes a vow to Allah that if Allah fulfills a certain wish of his, he will under take to perform so many days ITIKAF. In this case the moment his wish is fulfilled, ITIKAF becomes compulsory. A person may just make unconditional vow whereby he makes ITIKAF Waajib upon himself for certain number of days. This becomes a Waajib duty on him from that moment onward.

2. Sunnah Itikaf
This was the general practice of Islamic Prophet Muhammad and it means to seclude oneself inside the Masjid for the last ten days of Ramadhan.

3. Nafil Itikaf
There is no special time or specific number of days for Nafil ITIKAF. A person may make niyyah for any number of days at any time. Imam Abu Hanifah however states that it must be for at least one full day.
Imam Mohammed states that there is no limit on the minimum period of time. The fatwa is on this later view. Therefore, it is desirable for anyone entering a Masjid to make the niyyah (intention) of ITIKAF for the period that he will remain in the Masjid. So while he is in Ibaadah he also gains the reward of ITIKAF.


1. Intention as in the rest of the worship acts. It is necessary that the intention be made at the beginning of Itikaf so that the rule, requiring the worship act to be completed with intention, be followed thoroughly from the beginning to the end. The decision made at the beginning of the night to start Itikaf from the beginning of the following day will be open to objection. However, if one decides to start it from the beginning of the night it is not an offense to do so.

One is not allowed to change one's mind from one Itikaf to another of the same qualities or different.

2. Belief in Islam.

3. Freedom from mental illness.

4. Fasting, thus the Itikaf of one who cannot fast for some reason is not valid.

That it must take place in one of these Mosques: (a) The holy Mosque in Mecca, (b) the holy Mosque of the Prophet in Medina, (c) the Mosque which is assigned for the Friday prayer in any town or city. It is Ehtiyat, however, to complete it in any of the first four Mosques.

The roof and basement of a Mosque is part of the same and it is valid to complete ITIKAF in such places of a Mosque.

Permission of the people whose permission are required such as the husband and parents for the wife and children if this will be against the right of the husband or causes trouble to the parents.

6. Completing it in the Mosque where it was started. Thus, going out of the Mosque without an acceptable reason will invalidate the Itikaf, regardless, one knows the rule or is ignorant or has gone out because of forgetfulness, except in the case of an emergency or one being forced or it is because of some need such as using wash room or having Taharat.

If one needs to have Ghusl/bath during the Itikaf and it is possible for him to have it inside the Mosque, and is not allowed to go out unless the reason for Ghusl requires him not to stay inside the Mosque.

Itikaf is originally an optional worship act but it may become obligatory because of a vow etc.


1. For wajib ghusl.
2. For wudhu.
3. To answer the call of nature (toilet).

NOTE: Leaving the Masjid without a Shar’i reason will nullify the ITIKAF.


1. Having sex and also according to Ehtiyat kissing or playing with one's wife.

2. According to a necessary Ehtiyat causing a semen discharge.

3. And smelling perfumes for enjoyment; it is not an offense if one cannot enjoy the perfume because of some defect in his smelling ability.

4. Selling or buying in the form of a business deal, according to a necessary Ehtiyat; there is no offense to be occupied with allowable activities as sewing or writing etc., although it is a Mustahab Ehtiyat to avoid them too.
If one needs to buy something for food and there is no one to do the buying for him, it is not an offence for him to do it.

5. Expressing bitterness in talking about worldly or religious matters in order to prove one's ability, not the truth which is one of the best worships.
The contracts of buying or selling during Itikaf invalidate Itikaf, but such contracts will be valid.

If Itikaf is invalidated because of having sex even, during the night, expiation will be due; if it is invalidated by other things, there will be no expiation, although it is a Mustahab Ehtiyat in this case too.

The expiation for invalidating an Itikaf is to set free a slave or if this is not possible, fast for two consecutive months or if this also is not possible, feed sixty poor people.

NOTE : It is Makruh to observe complete silence as a form of Worship this does not however permit worldly talk.


A Mu'takif should engage himself in the following:

1. Ibadah (any form).
2. Recital of the Holy Qur'an.
3. Nafl Salaah and dhikr.
4. Salawat (Durud) and Istighfar.
5. Remembrance of Allah
6. Learn or teach the knowledge of Deen.


Ladies may also perform ITIKAF by designating a portion of their house, wherein they normally pray salaah. 

This is not a Shar’i Masjid, none of the rulings applicable to Masjid’s apply. The purpose behind this designation is merely for ITIKAF purposes for the ladies. Any lady is at liberty to perform ITIKAF for the last ten days of Ramadhan in this specific room and thereby acquire the same reward as the menfolk in the Masjid. Ladies should remember, that for them to perform this ITIKAF of the last ten days of Ramadhan, purity (from Haydh) is essential. It should also be noted that for ITIKAF of the last ten days of Ramadhan, ladies will not be able to undertake household duties. These domestic chores will be performed by daughters under their supervision while in ITIKAF.


Ibn Abbas narrates Rasulullah related ‘Whomsoever performs ITIKAF for a day: Allah will spread three trenches between him (or her) and the fire of hell. The width of each trench being greater than the distance between the Heaven and earth.’

In addition: To Perform ITIKAF of the last ten days of Ramadhan is
equivalent to the reward of two Hajj and two Umrah!

Credits & Thanks to  : Summaiyya Sagar


  1. I will inshallah be doing itikaf this ramadan

  2. i am going to sit for itikaf inshALLAH.

  3. insha allah ill be sitting for itikaf!! may allah gimme stength ameen!!

  4. inshallah will be sitting itikaf tomorrow inshallah1 jazakalla for all the information x

  5. Ladies can take bath in ithikaf pls let me know

  6. what is the minimum period of time to be in aitekaaf
    for ladies

  7. Aoa, i hv read all info given above. Wat i understood is that even in ramadan one can go for 1 day ihtekaf any day. Pls correct if i am wrong. Therefore, if i decide to sit for nafil ihtekaf starting 27th nite n end on 28th nite and again do niyyat for 29th nite till 30th night, thats alright??
    Pls help clarifying. Thanks

    1. Walekumasslaam,

      yes it is alright.

      May Allah forgive us for our mistakes and Allah knows the BEST

  8. Thanks for sharing this information.

  9. assalamu alaikum, brothers and sisters. Does anyone of you know where I can get the in-prayer Itikaf dua written copy?

    This dua is usually recited by the imam on the last raka'ah. I would really appreciate if someone can a post a link to it.


  10. if a women is sitting itikaaf and her sister enters the room to get something without talking to her does it become invalid?

    1. Assalamalaikum,

      If you have no interaction with the sister then its OK

      May Allah forgive us for our mistakes and Allah Knows the BEST

  11. I am a female wanting to sit in nafil itikaf at home can I do less than 10days? I was thinking Magrib time on Sunday till Magrib time Monday? Would that be okey?

    1. Assalamalaikum,

      You can perform nafl itikaf for less than 10 days, your intention of duration before starting for itikaf is important.
      From Maghrib Sunday to Magrhib Monday is OK.

      May Allah forgive us for our mistakes and reward us for our good Insha Allah and Allah Knows the Best

  12. Can i sit with my sister in the same room? and discuss our prayers i mean how to offer nafil namaz etc? Or to what extend can we interact? While itikaf..
    interaction with other family members is totally prohibited while itikaf??
    Plz reply asap.

    1. Assalamalaikum
      Your sister can perform itikaf with you if there is no better alternative. You can interact only when necessary and moreover there is not much to discuss regarding nafl salah. Your intention should be to devote your time as much as possible in the remembrance of Allah.

  13. and what if any family member (mama,bhai) see us While itikaf?
    N we 2 can see each other or not?
    Curtain is must between us?

    1. If your place of seclusion is only such that people can see you and you have not better choice then you cannot do much about this. But if you have other place which can help you avoid this from happening then that's better for you. Allah knows the best

    2. no no i mean they'll come for give us aftari n Sehri or anyother thing? That time is it necessary to cover our face? Or we can just see each other?

    3. if its you own brother (blood relation) then its mahram so covering your face is not required if its your mamu or any other gair mahram then it depends on the opinion that you follow if you believe in covering your face (wearing niqab) in front of gair mahram then you should do the same. covering you face is not something related to itikaf its a general topic where some scholars go with the opinion that niqab is mandatory and some say its optional. i hope my answer helps you if you need more clarity please let me know. Allah knows the best.

    4. Asalam Alaikum. Just to let you know that your mamu IS your mahram because he is your mother's brother whom u cannot marry. The following men are mahrams for women: husband, son, brother, father, father in law, mother's real blood brother and father's real blood brother. Non mahrams are cousins and brother in laws as well as nephews of your husband and all men outside of blood unrelated to u. So again your mamu (your mothers real blood brother) is your mahram.

    5. Sorry I forgot to mention that the sins of your sisters and the sons of your real blood brothers are also your mahram

  14. If I am the only female at home and want to sit for itikaf for 3 days. Can i do house chores during itikaf?

  15. Yes you can cook food and do other household
    things which are necessary. But one should make efforts to not spend too much time doing this.

  16. Can a woman intend for nafal Itikaf if the Sunnah Itikaf is nullified by Haydh for the left over days of Ramadan and later do Qadah?

    1. Assalamalaikum,

      As for your question

      If your itikaf is nullified by Haydh, you should observe the Itikaf of that particular day as qaza
      upon becoming clean, (i.e as soon as the haydh or nifaas ends), either during the remaining days of Ramadaan or afterwards.

      If the qaza of that one day's Itikaf is made after Ramadaan, you have to observe a Nafl fast on that day,
      since fasting is a condition for a wajib Itikaf.

      I am mentioning some points below which may In Sha Allah help you and other sisters that women can observe
      even if they cannot pray due to known reasons

      Dhikr (Zikr) – such as saying Subhaan-Allaah, La ilaaha illa-Allaah, al-Hamdu Lillaah, etc.
      You can repeat the words “Subhaan-Allaah wa’l-hamdu Lillaah, wa laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar (Glory be to Allaah, praise be to Allaah, there is no god but Allaah and Allaah is Most Great)”
      and “Subhaan Allaah wa bi hamdihi, subhaan Allaah il-‘Azeem (Glory and praise be to Allaah, glory be to Allaah the Almighty)” etc.

      And also ask for forgiveness and safety from hell fire by repeating the below phrases
      "Astagfirullaha rab-bi min kulli zambiyon wa atubuilayhi translated as “Atonement” from Allah Almighty, for all the wrongdoings committed knowingly or unknowingly.
      and "Allahumma ajirni minnan nar" safety from the eternally burning fires of “Jahannum”.

      And also give importance to the below dua

      Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: I asked the Messenger of Allah: 'O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?'

      He (The Prophet PBUH) said:

      Say : Allahumma innaka `afuwwun tuhibbul `afwa fa`fu `annee
      Meaning ('Say: O Allah, You are pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me.')

      "(Ahmad, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi).

      Also make Dua (supplication) – you can ask Allaah for what is good in this world and in the Hereafter,
      for Dua is one of the best acts of worship.
      The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Dua is ‘ibaadah (worship).
      ” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2895; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 2370).

      Allah knows the best

  17. worth reading- thanks for sharing this valuable information.

  18. assalam o alaikum .. i performed itikaf last year for four days but unfortunately i missed the last day due to monthly cycle. and during the year i did not get the chance to perform that one day itikaf again like we ladies have to keep the count of the fasting after ramadan. can i perform that one say in this ramadan including neeyah of three days sunnat itekaf of this year>? pls answer with valid ahadees...JazakALLAH

  19. Assalamualaikum
    Can i sit in itekaaf with my cousin sisters in the last 3 days of Ramadan?

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Assalamualaikum

    I have a toddler in the house whom i have to feed 3 to 4 times and then cook myself as i do not have any help. I stay alone in the house as my husband is out at work throughout the day. If i fix a room for itikaf, and go out of the room for cooking and feeding my child, and get back in the room for Itikaaf, will it be valid?

    please advise.

    1. Asalam Alaikum. I hope you know that itiqaf is not fard or compulsory to do. So if it is difficult on you to perform this due to household responsibilities and duties of a mother then why are you burdening yourself? You will not get sin if you do not sit for itiqaf. Allah does not wish to burden us

  22. Can A Male Observe Itikaf For Any Of The Last Odd Nights Of Ramadan, i.e From (Maghrib or Isha To Fajr) ??? I.e Laylat Ul Qadr Nights

  23. Can my husband enter the roo where I am performing etikaf for using washroom ?

  24. Assalam aleikum...can anyone pls tell what are the things to do beside the obligatory prayers. I wanted to do it but my knowledge regarding this is very less...pls help

  25. Assalam aleikum...can anyone pls tell what are the things to do beside the obligatory prayers. I wanted to do it but my knowledge regarding this is very less...pls help

    1. There are many prayers special to be done in itekkaaf. Esp for the taak nights. Google about will get to know. Zikr is also imp. Salat e tasbihat is very imp

    2. There are many prayers special to be done in itekkaaf. Esp for the taak nights. Google about will get to know. Zikr is also imp. Salat e tasbihat is very imp

  26. Assalam o alikum plz tell me that i want to sit 3 days itikaf but if my monthly cycle came during my itikaf what should i do ?

    1. Your itekaaf is nullified if you are not pure. Then you have to do the itekaaf to compensate the days you missed after eid. So its better not to sit if you are not sure about your dates.