How Can a Woman Observe Itikaf this Ramadan?

08 May, 2021
Q Aslamoalaikum I have a question related to Itikaf. 1. Is it permissable for women to do Itikaf at home or only at mosque? 2. If answer is No, in current situation with mosques temporary closed, are we allowed to sit Itikaf at home? 3. Please advise if there is video available for rules of Itikaf and Do's and dont's for Itikaf

Answer

Short Answer:

  • Nowadays, due to the virus outbreak, almost all mosques are closed. This means that i’tikaf is not levied upon the Muslims this Ramadan.
  • Be they men or women, the requirement of doing i’tikaf is not applicable. Especially if the local government has banned it. And Allah knows best. 
  • However, this does not mean that Muslims cannot try to observe the i’tikaf spirit in their homes. They can try to do it, and they should.
  • Bear in mind, sister, that it is not easy for a woman to do i’tikaf at home. Even if she follows the minority opinion, and attempts to sit for i’tikaf in her home prayer area.
  • She might find it very difficult to isolate herself for i’tikaf adequately at home. Most women have many domestic obligations related to family members. Most of the time, their services are needed by others, especially during Ramadan.
  • If a woman feels that she will be able to do i’tikaf for some time less than ten days, she may. Be it a few hours every day, or a few days, during the last ten days of Ramadan.

………….

Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for the question.

May Allah reward you for your zeal to do extra worship during Ramadan, sister. Please find below, the answers to your questions:

Itikaf is only valid in a Jamia mosque

The i’tikaf that is performed in the last 10 days of Ramadan, is only valid in a mosque. Allah says in the Qur’an:


“….when you are about to abide in meditation in the houses of worship.” [2:187]


The words in the Qur’an are very clear. As was the practice of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during his life. His wives would perform i’tikaf in Ramadan. However, despite their homes being adjacent to the mosque itself. None of them performed i’tikaf inside their homes. Rather, they shifted to the mosque for this purpose. And this is what he instructed them to do.

This is because the whole point of i’tikaf is seclusion. Cutting oneself off from one’s regular routine, space, and occupations. This is, understandably, very difficult to do in one’s home.

The majority of Muslim scholars opine that i’tikaf is only valid inside a mosque. Be it done by a man, or a woman. Muslim women may do i’tikaf inside a mosque if their legal guardian allows it. Also, the space in the mosque should be suitable for maintaining their privacy and security.

How Can a Woman Observe Itikaf this Ramadan?

Your next question is very pertinent, sister. Nowadays, due to the virus outbreak, almost all mosques are closed for prayers and itikaf. This means that i’tikaf is not levied upon the Muslims this Ramadan.

Be they men or women, the requirement of doing i’tikaf is not applicable. Especially if the local government has banned it. And Allah knows best. 

However, this does not mean that Muslims cannot try to observe the i’tikaf spirit in their homes. They can try to do it, and they should.

Nevertheless. Allah rewards, and never wastes, even an iota of good done by a Muslim, man or woman.


Less is more, do what you can

Bear in mind, sister, that it is not easy for a woman to do i’tikaf at home. Even if she follows the minority opinion, and attempts to sit for i’tikaf in her home prayer area.

She might find it very difficult to isolate herself for i’tikaf adequately at home. Most women have many domestic obligations related to family members. Most of the time, their services are needed by others, especially during Ramadan.

If a woman feels that she will be able to do  i’tikaf for some time less than ten days, she may. Be it a few hours every day, or a few days, during the last ten days of Ramadan. If her personal routine allows her to observe the spirit of i’tikaf, Allah will appreciate any effort that she makes.

However, she should not neglect her obligatory duties due to i’tikaf.

Videos about the topic of I’tikaf

Lastly, since you requested a video related to i’tikaf. Please find below, a list of videos that can enlighten you:

Women I’tikaf at Mosques or at Homes? (Omar Suleiman)
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi Itikaf Virtues (Dr. Yasir Qadhi)
How Can Women Do Itikaf? (Abu Eesa)
Can Women Do Itikaf at Home? (Dr. Muhammad Salah)

For a simple list of do’s and don’ts related to i’tikafplease visit this link.

And Allah knows best.

I hope that this answers your question.  

Salam. Please stay in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-the-scholar/fasting/is-it-permissible-to-observe-itikaf-at-home-to-avoid-coronavirus/