6 Things or Acts That Break Itikaf

Things or Acts Break Itikaf
Photo: Younmyoung Cho

One of the worships highly suggested in the holy month of Ramadan is doing Itikaf, which is to remain silent in the mosque with a certain way and intention.

This recommendation is emphasized in the last ten days of Ramadan because these times can reach the night of Lailatul Qadar.

Because Itikaf is a significant worship activity during the holy month of Ramadan, some basic things need to be remembered regarding things that break or invalidate Itikaf by a Mutakif (the person who performs Itikaf) so that the Itikaf he does is valid and has worship value.

Here are six things that can invalidate Itikaf according to the Quran and hadith:

1. Leaving the Mosque

The first thing that can break or invalidate Itikaf is leaving the mosque without a valid or urgent reason. However, if there is an excuse such as wudu (ablution), need to go to the washroom, eating and drinking, which cannot be done in the mosque, then leaving the mosque does not break or invalidate Itikaf.

2. Sexual Intercourse

The second action that can invalidate Itikaf is Jima’ or having sex with the partner. The majority of scholars agree that Jima’ or sexual intercourse with the partner, whether intentional or unintentional, whether day or night, can invalidate Itikaf. This is based on the Quran Surah Al-Baqarah verse 187.

However, if a husband and wife touch each other with passion or kiss, some scholars believe it is makruh, while others say this can invalidate Itikaf. Mutakif or people doing Itikaf should avoid doing doubtful acts of this kind.

3. Menstruation or postpartum bleeding

The scholars agree that if a woman has menstrual or postnatal bleeding, her Itikaf will automatically be invalidated.

4. Committing a major sin

The next thing that can invalidate Itikaf is committing a major sin. This is because whoever commits a major sin will nullify his Itikaf. Some sins that can cancel Itikaf are drunk, leaving Islam (Riddah), backbiting, slander, etc.

5. Mental illness or fainting

The fifth thing that can cancel Itikaf is fainting and going crazy. Most scholars think that an insane person or a person with a severe mental disorder who cannot control himself cannot be qualified as a person who can legally perform Itikaf.

Whereas in the case of fainting, most scholars agree that fainting that cancels Itikaf is fainting caused by an element of intent, such as taking certain drugs.

Meanwhile, in the case of accidental fainting, the Shafi’i scholars said that when a person in Itikaf suddenly faints, the time of fainting is counted as an Itikaf time, with a note he is still in the mosque. At the same time, the scholars of the Hambali school think that this fainting does not invalidate Itikaf like sleeping, and it only invalidates wudu or ablution.

6. Shirk

The last thing that can break or invalidate Itikaf is Shirk or ascribing partners with Allah. It is based on the word of Allah in Quran Surah Az-Zumar verse 65. Thereby apostasy nullifies Itikaf.

These things can break or invalidate Itikaf, which we should know. Hopefully, in doing Itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan, we can avoid actions that can break our Itikaf so that we can all get the virtues of the night of Lailatul Qadar.

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