I‘tikāf The Seclusion in Ramadhan

The Prophet ﷺ spent every Ramadhan sitting I‘tikāf. It was a the final push in Ramadhan to draw ultimately close to Allah.

I‘tikāf is a sunnah and it is defined as staying inside the mosque, with fasting and with the intention of i‘tikāf. It is not valid for men to perform I’tikaf  in other than the masjid. The Masjid must be one where five prayers are held. It is Fard ul-Kifaya upon community to have at least one person in I‘tikāf  in each mosque in the locality.1

One may sit i‘tikāf for 1 day or more. The sunnah is full 9 or 10 days and nafl for less than that. A Nafl fast does not have to last a full day.

Sexual intercourse, fondling and kissing are ḥarām for someone in i‘tikāf at all times. If he has sex then it is nullified. And if he ejaculates due to kissing or fondling, then his i‘tikāf is nullifed, and making it up by qaḍā’ is due from him.

Someone who is in i‘tikāf is not to leave the mosque except for a necessity or for the Jumu‘ah (Friday prayer) or to use the bathroom. There is no objection to him selling and buying whilst in i‘tikāf  without making the goods present in the mosque.

He should only speak of good things, but total silence is disapproved for him.2

If he leaves the mosque for a moment without a [valid] excuse, his i‘tikāf becomes void, according to Abū Ḥanīfah, may Allah have mercy on him, but they, may Allah have mercy on them, said that it is not void unless it is for more than half a day.

Whoever binds himself to the i‘tikāf of a number of days, their i‘tikāf along with their nights is binding upon him, and they are to be done consecutively. If not, then he must do it another time.

A woman’s I’tikaf is performed in the prayer area of her house. The prayer area is the place where she has designated to pray her obligatory and nafl prayers. She may choose another spot if the usual place of prayer is inconvenient.

It is disliked for a woman to perform I’tikaf in the masjid.


All things that are considered Ibadah (worship) can be done in I’tikaf. A few good deeds are mentioned below:

  • All prayers by Jama’t
  • Recite Qur’an
  • Make Istighfaar
  • Make Dhikr
  • Recite Darood
  • Make Dua
  • Engage in knowledge circles
  • Contemplate about Allah’s favours
  • Set goals, intentions to reform

Doing nothing, loitering, spending the day in banter are all disliked. Likewise accessing social media or sports clips or scores.

  1. In highly concentrated areas of mosques, where a mosque cant facilitate i‘tikāf, then it is permissible to sit in a larger mosque ↩︎
  2. One should engage in the Dhikr of Allah) ↩︎

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