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Itikaf (A Voluntary Ibaadah) – Its Time and Conditions

Itikaf is a voluntary Ibaadah that can be performed during the last 10 days of Ramadan. Most Muslims from all over the world choose Makkah to undertake this act. The most passionate ones tend to avail full month Ramadan Umrah packages or 10 nights’ packages for this purpose. Depending upon your choice you can either perform it in Masjid Al-Haram or Masjid-e-Nabwi. People who cannot afford to visit these holy cities can execute Tawaf in their nearest mosques or in a separate room of their homes. It totally depends upon your comfort zone.

Time & Duration of Itikaf

Based on the school of thought one follows, there appears to be a differing point of view regarding the time duration of Itikaf. Keeping in view the types of Itikaf, the time duration of Nafl and Wajib Itikaf is determined by your desire and you can start performing it at any time of day or night. Therefore, if you pledge to Allah (SWT) to be in it for one day, two days, three days, and so forth perform it accordingly. Many scholars believe that if a person is unable to complete the whole 24-hour timeframe, he is permitted to make the intent for the specific length of time for Itikaf.

Most people aim to devote the whole last ten nights of Ramadan to Itikaf in order to reap the benefits of Laylat al-Qadr. The night of Laylat al-Qadr is unknown, save it will be an odd number night.  Some people opt for Itikaf just on the odd-numbered days of the last 10 days of Ramadan, by making Itikaf intentions every time they visit the mosque.

Conditions of Itikaf

Here are some of the conditions for performing Itikaf:

You Should Be a Muslim

The primary condition for conducting Itikaf is that the individual should be a Muslim. It is also worth noting that youngsters who have not attained the age of discernment do not take part in Itikaf. The kid has to be capable of eating, dressing, and washing himself or herself without help. According to the Hanafi school of thinking, this is approximately the age of 7 for males and 9 for girls.

A Person Must Be Sound& Sensible

This indicates that an individual has to be capable to think and act in a fair and sensible manner. To elaborate, an individual must not be an alcoholic or under the effect of substances that impair their mental state. Furthermore, Itikaf is not performed by someone who suffers from a mental disease and is unable to make their own decisions.

Intent (Niyat)

One should intend to partake in Itikaf for Allah’s sake, not to show it to the world. Your intentions have to be sincere, with the only purpose of loving and praising Allah.

Conducted at A Mosque/ Home

Itikaf is conduct at a masjid. But as per some scholars it can be perform at home or any place where there is nobody. Still, there is a distinction between different schools.

A Person Should Be in Wudu

Wudu is a state of cleanliness. Itikaf can only be perform if the participant is in a condition of wudu. If an individual’s wudu is negate, such as by going to the restroom, the individual should wudu again before proceeding with Itikaf.

Fasting

Fasting is require by most schools of thought in order to execute Itikaf. Itikaf is reference in the Holy Qur’an in connection with Ramadan fasting. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) always used to fast during his Itikaf. Some argue that if somebody has a serious medical problem, like diabetes, that precludes him or her from fasting, that individual can still engage in Itikaf.

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