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Can You Do Itikaf the Whole Month of Ramadan?

30 March, 2024
Q Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. Is the practice of sitting in itikaf (spiritual retreat in the mosque) during the whole month of Ramadan an innovation? What if someone does this every year?


Wa`alaykum As-Salamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

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:

Itikaf (spiritual retreat in the mosque) is an act of worship highly recommended for Muslims to perform during the last third of Ramadan. It is of great merit and significance in Islam. There is nothing wrong if someone offers itikaf during the whole month of Ramadan.

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Focusing more on your question, the eminent Muslim scholar, Dr. `Abdul-Fattah `Ashoor, Professor of the Exegesis of the Qur’an at Al-Azhar Univ., states:

Itikaf is a Sunnah. It can be offered at any time by day or night. There is no limit to its time. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) offered itikaf in Ramadan as well as in Shawwal. This is proof of the permissibility of itikaf during Ramadan as well as all other months of the year.

So, whoever is able to offer it during the whole month of Ramadan will have abundant rewards from Allah.

There is a hadith that states: “Whoever offers itikaf, Allah lays three barriers between him and the Hell-fire…” (Al-Bukhari)

Whoever finds time to offer itikaf during the whole month of Ramadan and continues to do so every year will have great reward in sha’ Allah.

We cannot consider this as bidah (innovation), for bidah is something that has no ground in religion, but itikaf has ground in Islam.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.