What is Itikaf ?
Itikaf is the practice of secluding oneself and committing all of your time to the worship of Allah (SWT) in a mosque or at home. During the final ten days of Ramadan, sitting in Itikaf is recommended by Sunnat-al-Muaqidah, or Sunnah that should be followed. Itikaf can be started when the sun sets on the 20th of Ramadan and ends when the Eid moon is visible. Whether the month of Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30 days, the Sunnah remains unchanged.Any other time of year, for any length of time, is acceptable for sitting in Itikaf. Mustahib is the type of Itikaf that is optional.
Men must perform Itikaf at a Masjid, where they are able to offer all five prayers in unison. If they have the appropriate facilities and seclusion, women can perform in masjids as well. If not, they can practice it at home by finding a quiet area where they can meditate without being bothered.
Eating, drinking, sleeping, or obtaining necessities is typical. Providing food and drink for the Itikaf attendees is incredibly fulfilling.
You can perform any act of worship, known as Ibadah, in Itikaf. Here are some good deeds that have been done:
Recite Al Quran
Read about Islam
Talk/think about the good and righteous things
Do Taubah (repentance)
Leaving your place of Itikaf
If you have to use the lavatory or take a Ghusl (purification bath), fetch something for yourself, participate in the Jummah prayer, or are a Muazzin and have to give Athan, you can leave your meditation spot.
Things to avoid
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
Is Itikaf Compulsory?
In Islam, itikaf is not a required or obligatory act. Itikaf is a Sunnah (recommended) act of worship, although depending on its nature, it may become required in particular circumstances (e.g., vowing to perform itikaf makes it mandatory).
Do Leaving the Mosque Nullify Itikaf?
A person in itikaf is not allowed to leave the mosque where he is in itikaf unless it is for an essential purpose, like getting food or drink if no one else is available to bring it to him or to relieve a need like urinating or defecating. This also applies to going outside for medical attention or other essential human needs.
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