Minimum period of itikaf.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Salam,

 

I would like to know the minimum period to observe itikaaf, I have heard it has to be observed for the last 10 days of ramadan, also i have heard that it is OK to do itikaaf for 1 whole day. The main aim of itikaaf as of my knowledge is to find the Night of Qadar and to seek forgiveness from Allah, Is it possible to do itikaaf only during the Odd Nights of the last 10 days of ramadan and return home during the day or do i have to sit for the whole 24 hour period to complete the itikaaf???

 

Plz answer the above question as soon as possible

Jazaak Allah

 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

 

Answer:

 

Minimum period of itikaf

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

The general and preferred Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was to dedicate himself to the worship and rememberance of the Lord in isolation in the masjid for a period of ten days in the month of Ramadan. In the year the Prophet (saws) died, he (saws) observed ‘itikaf’ for twenty days.  

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 3.260         Narrated by Abu Huraira

The Prophet (saws) used to perform ‘Itikaf’ every year in the month of Ramadan for ten days, and when it was the year of his death, he (saws) stayed in ‘Itikaf’ for twenty days.

 

The scholars and jurists in Islam are absolutely unanimous in their opinion that there is absolutely no minimum period one may intend to observe the worship of ‘itikaf’…..as long as one makes the intention to observe the ‘itikaf’ and dedicates oneself to the worship and rememberance of the Lord, even if it be for a day or a night, or a part of the day or the night, one would be considered to be in the state of ‘itikaf’.

 

Your Question: Is it possible to do itikaaf only during the Odd Nights of the last 10 days of ramadan and return home during the day or do i have to sit for the whole 24 hour period to complete the itikaaf???

Because observing ‘itikaf’ is not obligatory but rather a Sunnah (voluntary), one may, if one so wishes, observe ‘itikaf’ on only the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan….but one would have to make the intention every time one starts the ‘itikaf’ and dedicates oneself to the worship and rememberance of the Lord; it is expected that their Lord Most Gracious will accept their devotion from them and reward them generously from His Infinite Mercy.

 

If one wishes to observe ‘itikaf’ for a full 24-hour period of the day, or only a part of it….they are well within the boundaries to do so.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 

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