WHAT IS THE RULE OF ITIKAF?
İtikâf is divided into three parts: wâjib, sunnah and mustahab.
If a person devotes him/herself to do İtikaf, it will be wajib upon entering itikaf for as many days as the person devoted himself to do itikaf for. Fasting is a must in the itikaf that is wajib. Therefore, the committed itikaf cannot be less than one day.
Ramazan ayının son on gününde girilen itikâf ise sünnettir. Peygamber Efendimiz sallallahu aleyhi ve sellem Ramazan orucunun farz kılınmasından itibaren ömrünün sonuna kadar her Ramazan’ın on gününde itikâfa girmiştir. Bu itikâf için sünnet-i kifâye de denilmiştir. Bir beldede birkaç kişi itikâf sünnetini yaparsa, Peygamber Efendimiz’in sünnetine uyulduğu için o beldeki diğer kişilerin üzerinden itikâf sorumluluğu kalkar. Ama kimse itikâf yapmazsa bütün o beldenin müslümanları sorumlu olur.
There is no certain time length to do the mustahab itikaf for, it can be done for a short amount of time aswell. Even a person who enters a masjid with the intention of Itikaf, is considered to be in itikaf during his stay in masjid and gets a reward of itikaf.
WHICH DAY DOES ITIKAF BEGIN IN RAMADAN, WHEN DOES IT END?
Itikaf begins with the twentieth iftar of Ramadan and ends after Asr on the last day.
WHAT TO DO DURING ITIKAF?
A person who enters Itikaf makes his mind clear and devotes himself to the worship of Allah intensely. He reads Quran. He gets busy with dhikr and prayer. He performs Nafl prayers such as tahajjud, israq, duha, and awwab. Reads hadith. He can learn religious knowledge or teach it. He can read the life of the Prophet(sav), his image, and the morality of the prophets(a.s). He pays attention to not sinning, not spending idle time, not wasting time.
SOME LITTLE CHILDREN ENTER ITIKAF WITH THEIR FATHER. IS THAT ACCEPTABLE?
Yes. Both adults and minors can enter Itikaf. The Itıkaf of even children who are still new to appeal is valid.
CAN WOMEN DO ITIKAF?
They can. Women can do itikaf at home. They set a room in their house as masjid, they say "Here is my masjid", and they do their itikaf in there. By complying with the conditions of itikaf and doing the devotions, they can gain the rewards of itikaf aswell.
IS DOING ITIKAF VALID IN A MASJID WHICH PRAYERS ARE DONE FIVE TIMES A DAY BUT FRIDAY PRAYER IS NOT PERFORMED IN?
Yes. However, it is needed to go to a masjid where Friday prayer is performed to complete Friday prayer.
CAN SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO USE MEDICINE ENTER ITIKAF?
Yes he can enter. The person can take medicine after iftar and before sahur. He can use an ointment that does not break the fast. However, one cannot do itikaf without fasting.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO DO ITIKAF ONLY AT THE WEEKEND FOR SOME REASONS SUCH AS WORK?
It is. Workers can also do itikaf during the night and go back to their work during the day.
CAN MEN DO ITIKAF OUTSIDE THE MASJID? FOR INSTANCE A PLACE WITHIN THE GARDEN OF THE MASJID IS SUITABLE FOR DOING ITIKAF. WOULD IT BE VALID TO ENTER ITIKAF THERE?
As long as it is next to the masjid, it is valid. It is valid if it's entrance is from inside the garden. It is not favoured if the entrance is from outside the garden of the masjid.
WHAT ARE THE ITEMS YOU RECOMMEND TO BRING WITH US WHEN COMING TO DO ITIKAF?
A small pillow to use while sleeping, a cover suitable for the season (such as a duvet cover), toothbrush or miswak, towel, spare underwear (clothes, underwear, socks suitable for the season). It is necessary to pay attention to having comfortable and loose clothes to be worn.