Itiqaf in mosque
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:
Asalaam alaikum warahmutallahi wabarakatahu
Dear Brother. I am intending to perform iteekaf in the last 10 days of Ramadhan within Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah Inshallah.
Could you tell me some of the virtues of Iteekaf and things that are permissible and those that are not,including the opinion on leaving the mosque to eat food or returning to the hotel room for a shower etc.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Itiqaf in mosque
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 the term Iteqaaf means to stick to something, whether good or bad, and to block out everything else. When iteqaaf is taken in the Islamic sense, it means the seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of remembering and thus coming closer to Allah.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 125: Remember We made the (Sacred) House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the Station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma`il that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat (Iteqaaf), or bow or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer).
It is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) that every year in the last ten days of Ramadan he would retreat to the mosque and perform iteqaaf.
There is no particular time limit when performing iteqaaf; one may do it for a couple of hours, a night or couple of nights, or a shorter or longer period of time as one has intended. When performing iteqaaf, one should make intention to retreat in the mosque and remember Allah Subhanah as much as he can, and abstain from doing any material or worldly work. He should not leave the mosque without valid reason; but one is permitted to leave the mosque to cleanse or relieve himself, or eat food (if he does not find someone to bring the food to him), etc.
There is no particular or specific reward mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah for the believers who perform the iteqaaf; but without doubt, it is a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and his noble companions, and a great opportunity for one who wishes to dedicate himself for a period of time to the remembrance and worship of his Merciful and Bounteous Lord. It is expected that Allah Subhanah would count the iteqaaf amongst ones best deeds and will bestow upon him a great and never ending reward in the Hereafter.
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,