49003: The reward for i’tikaaf
What is the reward for i’tikaaf?.
I’tikaaf is prescribed in Islam and it is an act of worship that draws one closer to Allaah. See Question no. (48999)
Once this is established, there are many ahaadeeth which encourage us to draw closer to Allaah by doing naafil acts of worship. The general meaning of these ahaadeeth includes all kinds of worship, including i’tikaaf.
For example, there is the hadeeth qudsi in which Allaah says: “My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6502.
There are several ahaadeeth which speak of the virtue of i’tikaaf and describe its reward, but they are all weak (da’eef) or fabricated (mawdoo’).
Abu Dawood said: I said to Ahmad (i.e., Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal): Do you know anything about the virtue of i’tikaaf? He said: No, except something weak. Masaa’il Abi Dawood, p. 96.
These ahaadeeth include the following:
1 – Ibn Maajah (1781) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning the person who observes i’tikaaf: “He is refraining from sin and he will be given a reward like that of one who does all kinds of good deeds.” This was classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Da’eef Ibn Maajah.
2 – al-Tabaraani, al-Haakim and al-Bayhaqi narrated the following from Ibn ‘Abbaas, which they classed as da’eef: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever observes i’tikaaf for one day seeking thereby the Face of Allaah, Allaah will place between him and the Fire three ditches wider than the distance between the east and the west.” This was classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah, 5345.
3 – al-Daylami narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever observes i’tikaaf out of faith and in the hope of reward will be forgiven his previous sins.” Classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Jaami’, 5442.
4 – Al-Bayhaqi narrated the following report from al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him), which he classed as da’eef: the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever observes i’tikaaf for ten days in Ramadaan, that will be equivalent to two Hajjs and two ‘Umrahs. This was mentioned by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (518) where he said: it is mawdoo’ (fabricated).
93998: He wants to observe i’tikaaf on the odd-numbered nights only
Is it permissible for me to observe i’tikaaf on the odd-numbered nights in Ramadaan, because I cannot observe i’tikaaf for the full ten days because I am newly married and my wife will be staying alone in my house, even though my house is close to where my parents live?.
It is better for a Muslim to observe i’tikaaf during all of the last ten days, following the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to spend the last ten days of Ramadaan in ‘i’tikaaf, until he passed away. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2025) and Muslim (1171).
If he cannot spend all of the last ten days in i’tikaaf, and he limits himself to some of the days or nights, there is nothing wrong with that. Al-Bukhaari narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) vowed to spend one night in i’tikaaf in al-Masjid al-Haraam, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him to fulfil his vow. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2042) and Muslim (1656). This indicates that it is valid to observe i'tikaaf for one night.
In the answer to question no. 38037 we stated that there is no minimum for i’tikaaf and we quoted a fatwa from Shaykh Ibn Baaz concerning that.
What you should do is strive hard in worship during those nights, and strove to earn as much hasanah as much as you can.
And Allaah knows best.
38037: Can a woman observe i’tikaaf for the full ten days?
I am a new muslim sister and I am quite confused in regards to I'tikaaf where women are concerned. Are women allow to perform I'tikaaf if there are seperate rooms for men and women at the local masjid? If women are allowed this, how many days should be performed (3 days, one week or all 10 days)?
Praise be to Allaah Who has guided you to Islam. We ask Allaah to increase you in faith and guidance.
Yes, it is permissible for a woman to observe i’tikaaf in the mosque, indeed i'tikaaf is Sunnah for both men and women.
See question no. 37698
It is better to oberseve i'tikaaf for the full ten days, because this is what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do. Al-Bukhaari (2026) and Muslim (1172) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to observe i’tikaaf for the last ten days of Ramadaan, until he passed away, then his wives observed i’tikaaf after he was gone.
If a Muslim cannot observe i'tikaaf for all of the last ten days, then he may observe i’tikaaf for as long as he can, two or three days or more or less, even if it is only one night.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
I'tikaaf means staying in the mosque to worship Allaah, whether that is for a longer or shorter period, because there is no report – as far as I know – to indicate a specific length of time, whether one day, two days or more.
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 15/441.
12411: Conditions of I’tikaaf
What are the conditions of i'tikaaf? Is fasting one of them? Is it permissible for the mu’takif (person in i’tikaaf) to visit one who is sick, or to accept an invitation, or to attend to his family’s needs, or to attend a funeral, or to go to work?.
It is prescribed to observe i’tikaaf in a mosque in which prayers in congregation are held. If the mu’takif is one of those for whom Jumu’ah is obligatory and the period of his i’tikaaf will include a Friday, it is better for him to stay in a mosque where Jumu’ah prayer is observed.
It is not a condition for him or her to be fasting.
The Sunnah is for the mu’takif not to visit any sick person during his i'tikaaf, or to accept any invitation, attend to his family’s needs, attend any funeral or go to work outside the mosque, because it was proven that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Sunnah for the mu’takif is not to visit any sick person, or attend any funeral, or touch or be intimate with any woman, or go out for any reason except those which cannot be avoided.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2473.