The niyyat for I’tekaaf:
Bismillaahi Dakhlatu Wa ’Alaihi Tawakkaltu Wa Nawaitu Sunnat-al-I’tikaaf.
In the Name of Allah I am entering (Thy House) and with faith on Thee and with intention of Sunnat-ul-I‘tikaaf.
Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says in the Holy Qur‘an :
“And do not touch the women when you remain in the mosques, for devotion.”
Ummul-Mu‘mineen Hazrat ‘Aishah Siddiqua Radiy Allahu ‘Anha narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam used to perform I’tikaaf in the Mosque during the last ten days of Ramadhan. (Bukhari wa Muslim)
Hazrat Ibne ‘Abbas RadiyAllahu ‘Anhuma reports that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam has said that a Mu‘takif (someone in I‘tikaaf) stays away from sins and he is rewarded as if he has performed all the good deeds. (Ibne Majah)
Hazrat Imam Hussain RadiyAllahu ‘Anhu narrated that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam has said that the person who performed I‘tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhan is like the one who has performed two Hajj and two Umrah (received the reward of performing two Hajj and two ‘Umrah) (Baihaqi)
There are 3 types of I‘tikaaf:
Wajib: This is the I‘tikaaf of Minnat. This is when someone vows that if a certain task is completed then he will do I‘tikaaf for so many days. To Fast in this kind of I‘tikaaf is a necessity.
Sunnat Muakkidah: This is done in the last ten days of Ramadhan. For this one should be in the Mosque from Maghrib of the 19th day and should remain till the last Maghrib of Ramadhan. This kind of I‘tikaaf should be done by atleast one person in the community or else everyone will be held liable. Again, Fasting is essential in this I‘tikaaf.
I‘tikaaf Mustahab: This can be done throughout the year whenever one enters the Mosque and it ends whenever one leaves the Mosque. Just making the intention that ‘I intend to do Sunnat I‘tikaaf’ is enough.
Some Rules Regarding I‘tikaaf.
- Some Other Important Fasts
- The Six Fasts of Shawwal
- Hazrat Abu Ayub RadiyAllahu ‘Anhu narrates that RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam has said that whosoever Fasts in the month of Ramadhan and then Fasts for six days in the following month of Shawwal, he is like someone who has Fasted for the whole year. (Abu Dawood, Tirmizi)
- Hazrat Abu Hurairah RadiyAllahu ‘Anhu reports that RasoolAllah Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam has stated “Whoever Fasts for six days in Shawwal after Fasting in the month of Ramadhan, he will be free from sins as if he has just been born from his mother.” (Tabrani)
- Please note that these Fasts can be in any days of Shawwal and do not need to be continuous.
- Men should be in the Mosque for I‘tikaaf and women should be in one corner of the house, which they have reserved for I‘tikaaf.
- It is Haram for a Mu‘takif (person in I‘tikaaf) to leave the Mosque. If he does, then his I‘tikaaf will break, even if he did so by mistake. The same applies for women: if she leaves her place of I‘tikaaf, even though she remains in the house.
- It is permissible to leave the Mosque for natural reasons such as using the toilet or making Wudhu, etc.
- It is allowed for a Mu’takif to eat, drink or sleep in the Mosque and if he leaves the Mosque for this reason then the I‘tikaaf will break.
- It is not permissible for a person who is not in I‘tikaaf to eat or drink in the Mosque. However, if he needs to do these things, then he should perform intention of Nafl I‘tikaaf when entering the Mosque, then do some worship (Salah, Zikr, etc) and then eat.
- It is not forbidden for a Mu‘takif to speak, but he should rather engage himself in Tilawat and Zikr and not indulge in unnecessary chatting.
- There is no Qadha for Nafl I‘tikaaf but for the I‘tikaaf which is Sunnat Muakkidah, Qadha is required only for the day that the I‘tikaaf was broken, even if it was broken by mistake.