Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
There is nothing wrong if women perform itikaf in the mosque provided that this will not cause any negligence to the rights of their husbands or that of their children.
With regard to your question, the eminent Muslim scholar, Dr. `Abdul-Fattah `Ashoor, Professor of the Exegesis of the Qur’an at Al-Azhar University, states:
In the last third of Ramadan, a Muslim is recommended to increase his worship and devotion so as to bring himself nearer to Allah; he should make use of the last chance of the blessed month of Ramadan.
Here, we recall the Hadith narrated by `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) in which she said that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to observe itikaf during the last ten days of the month of Ramadan and he continued this practice until his death. After him his wives carried on this practice of observing i`tikaf regularly.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Itikaf is recommended by the Sunnah for both men and women. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) performed i`tikaf himself and so did his wives during his life and after his death.
Accordingly, there is nothing wrong if women perform itikaf in the mosque provided that this will not cause any negligence to the rights of their husbands or that of their children.
However, scholars of Al-Hanafiyyah and Al-Malikiyyah are of the opinion that women can perform itikaf in their homes where they are accustomed to performing prayer.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.