Itikaaf: Part 02

Salam, today's post is a continuation of yesterday's post. . If you didnt read that, the link is provided Itikaaf: Part 01 ____

It is not allowed for the Mu’takif to go to (enter) his house during the days of Itikaaf, except for a need. By need here is meant a genuine need like an ermergency or the such. The following hadith supports this ruling:

Narrated Aishah (RA): “Allah’s Messenger (SAW) used to let his head in (the house) while he was in mosque and I would comb & oil his hair. When in Itikaaf, he used not to enter the house except for a need.” - (Hadith No. 2029, Book of I’tikāf, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3). 

The next topic on whether relatives or friends can visit a Mu'takif durin Itikaaf is a very volatile one which sometimes leads to disputes amongst people. Some people are of the opinion that a Mu’takif is not supposed to meet his relatives / friends during Itikaaf. The hadith mentioned above tells us that Aishah (RA) used to comb and oil hair of the Prophet (SAW) while he was observing Itikaaf. Therefore, it is allowed to meet relatives and/or friends. But the same question seeks clarification from another angle: Can the relatives / friends visit a Mu’takif in mosque? The answer is Yes. The following hadith explains us about this.

Narrated Ali bin Al-Hussain (RA): Safiyya (RA), the wife of the Prophet (SAW) told me that she went to Allah’s Messenger (SAW) to visit him in the mosque while he was in Itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadan. She had a talk with him for a while, then she got up in order to return home. The Prophet (SAW) accompanied her. When they reached the gate of the mosque, opposite the door of Umm Salamah (RA), two Ansari men were passing by and they greeted Allah’s Messenger (SAW). He said to them, “Do not run away!” And said, “She is (my wife) Safiyya bint Huyai.” Both of them said, “Subhan Allah, O Allah’s Messenger (SAW)!” And they felt it. The Prophet (SAW) said, “Satan reaches everywhere in the human body as blood reaches in it. I was afraid lest Satan might insert an evil thought in your minds.” - (Hadith No’s 2035 & 2038, Book of I’tikāf, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3). 

This narration tells us that it is allowed for the relatives / friends of the Mu’takif to meet him in mosque, for important issues. However, unneccessary visits are not allowed. Moreover, this narration also tells us that it is allowed for the Mu’takif to talk to others if need be, for important issues, like in order to defend himself, by speech or by actions. Again, unneccessary talk is not allowed.

It is not allowed to have physical relations with wives (or husbands) during the period when one is observing Itikaaf. Refer to following verse from Holy Qur’an.

“And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I’tikāf in the masjids…” - (Q2 V187)

Concluding remarks

These are some of the important details which we ought to know about Itikaaf, for if we have to be the one who observes Itikaaf, we have to know the Sunnah way of doing it. Leave alone what others say about what to do and what not to do in Itikaaf; simply follow the Sunnah, the way our beloved Prophet (SAW) used to observe it. Allah SWT says repeatedly in the Quran to obey both Him and the Messenger.

O you, those who have faith, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you dispute over a thing, then return it to Allah and the Messenger, if you have faith in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more beautiful of interpretation. (Q4 V59)

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