Women in Itiqaf
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Brother Burhan, Assalam Alaikum Warahmatullahe Wabarakatahu, Jazakum Allah Khair for all the information you give us on Islam. My question is about `Aiteqaf`. Could you please tell me about it in detail, and also, how can a married woman sit in `aiteqaf`. Does she have to saty in one room, or she can move around in the house, also can she talk? I`ll be very grateful if you could reply me soon.
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Women in Itiqaf
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
The literal meaning of Itiqaaf means to stick to something and to block out everything else. In Islam, the practice of Itiqaaf is to seclude and confine oneself to a mosque for limited number of days with the intention of getting closer to Allah Subhanah. It is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) that he would perform Itiqaaf for the last ten of Ramadan, and confine himself to the mosque for the worship and remembrance of Allah Subhanah.
For the period of Itiqaaf, one should leave the duties and responsibilities of the worldly life, like business, wife, children, etc., and confine himself to a mosque for the exclusive worship and remembrance of Allah Subhanah. One should not leave the mosque, unless there is an emergency.
The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) is that he used to always spend the last ten days of Ramadan in Itiqaaf, except for the last year of his life, when he spent twenty days in Itiqaaf. But there is no harm if a person makes an intention to perform itiqaaf for a shorter period of time than that.
Your Question: how can a married woman sit in `aiteqaf`?
At the time of the Messenger of Allah (saws), many believing women and even his wives used to perform Itiqaaf with him in the mosque during the last 10 days of Ramadan. But today, some mosques might not allow the women to do itiqaaf for their own safety.
Most scholars are of the opinion that the itiqaaf must be done in a mosque. But some scholars have said, that in case the mosques do not allow a women to do itiqaaf, or if the women fears for her safety; there is no harm if the women who wants to do itiqaaf does so in her own home. What needs to be done is that the women leaves her worldly chores, and secludes herself in a room and remembers and worships Allah Subhanah, as she would have done in the mosque. When one performs the itiqaaf, the idea behind it is to dedicate ones time and effort solely for the remembrance of Allah Subhanah for this period, and not attend to the worldly affairs, unless in the case of an emergency. There is no harm if the woman talks if the need arises, but one should not move around in the house without any particular need (food, bathroom, etc.)
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,