::Yearning to be a Devotee of Allah::

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I'tikaf: Spiritual Retreat for Women at Home

Is it allowed for women to do Itikaf at home for the last ten days of ramadhan? What are the rules of itikaf and is she allowed to spend time playing with her grandchildren and socialising with her family?

Walaikum assalam,
Yes, it is permitted for women to do i`tikaf (spiritual retreat) in a specific place in their house, whenever they have the time and are able to do so without neglecting their family duties and other responsibilities.

The same considerations would apply as in any other i'tikaf: one's primary concern during the time should be towards worship, and unnecessary worldly activity should be avoided.

Even when one is in their monthly period, it is recommended in the Hanafi school to sit in a designated place of prayer (musalla) at home, after having made wudu, and make dhikr for the time it takes to pray.

It is recommended for women to designate a place in their houses as their 'masjid'. They can do i`tikaf there at any time, even for a brief period of time, [Radd al-Muhtar] and attain the great rewards mentioned in the hadiths for i`tikaf (as long as they fulfill their other worldly and religious duties, as is the case for men).

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, "Whoever stands the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and seeking reward shall have their previous sins forgiven." [Bukhari & Muslim]

May Allah give us success to follow the guidance of His Beloved (Allah bless him & give him peace).

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani.


RE: I'tikaf: Spiritual Retreat for Women at Home? Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In relation to the above - I am hearing from some brothers that women cannot even go into the kitchen (?!) but must solely remain in that specific room until the period of 'itikaf is over. Please can you mention what can and cannot be done for a woman while she is in 'itikaf in her own home.

Walaikum assalam,
The i`tikaf needs to be in a specific place (e.g. a quiet room), which the woman should designate as her place of worship (musalla) not "in her house." [See article below.]

The full communal sunna i`tikaf is for the entire ten days (in the mosque, for men). This is not expected of those working or housewives, for that matter. Rather, the fiqh principle that, "If something cannot be done completely, it should not be left completely."

Thus, whenever free of pressing responsibilities, women should go to their place of worship, intending i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), even if only for a short amount of time, and keep themselves busy as much as possible in worship.

When she has to do something important, such as go to the kitchen or go shopping or visit a sick neighbor, she can leave her i`tikaf and return when able.

Such an i`tikaf is valid (and recommended) even outside Ramadan for women. In fact, it is best for them to intend i`tikaf every time they enter their place of worship (musalla) even for their daily prayers.

It is not valid for men to do i`tikaf in other than a mosque. [Durr]

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani.


posted by VeiledOne at 7:58 PM 1 comments