Itikaf is an important Islamic ritual that is observed mainly by Muslim women. This article provides a comprehensive guide to the Itikaf Rules For Females In Islam.
Table of Contents
Definition of Itikaf
Itikaf comes from the Arabic word ‘akafa which means imprison, to confine oneself. Whereas in fiqh, the definition of Itikaf is to remain or stay in the mosque for a number of days and accompanied by an intention.
The majority of scholars interpret Itikaf as the practice of staying in the mosque to seek the pleasure of Allah SWT and muhasabah (self-introspection) while doing practices such as dhikr, praying, reciting Holy Quran, and sunnah prayers.
Importance of Itikaf In Islam
Scholars agree that the practice of Itikaf is prescribed in Islam, as stated in the Al-Quran and Sunnah. (Quran Al-Baqarah : 125 & 187)
Meanwhile, in Nabawi’s hadith, there is a lot of information that states Prophet PBUH carried out Iktikaf, especially in the month of Ramadan. In fact, he encouraged his companions to join Itikaf with him in the last ten days of Ramadan. (Bukhari Hadith No. 2026 & Muslim No. 1172 )
Based on the arguments above, the scholars agree that the legal origin of Itikad is Sunnah. But the law of Itikaf can also change to become wajib (mandatory) if someone makes a vow (nadhr) to do so as a form of a request for a request to Allah Ta’ala. (Bukhari Hadith No 6696)
II. Rules For Itikaf For Females In Islam
Like men, women are allowed and encouraged to carry out Itikaf both at home and in the mosque. This is based on a narrated hadith (Bukhari Hadith No.2026 & Muslim No.1172)
The following are the rules for implementing Itikaf for women in Islam:
Requirements For Itikaf
These are the essential requirements if you wish to perform Itikaaf.
The scholars agree that one of the legal conditions for performing Itikaf is that the person who wants to do it is at least a child who is mumayyiz. This condition is when the child is able to distinguish between good and bad and also the limit where a child is obliged to pray five times a day before entering the baligh (puberty) age.
Hambaliyah scholars said that a child is said to be muamyiz when he reaches the age of seven years old. This is based on (Hadith Abu Daud No. 495, At-Thurmudzi No. 407, and Al-Hakim No. 721).
Physical and Mental Health Considerations
The other requirement for the validity of Itikaf is sanity. That is, people with mental health disorders cannot legally perform Itikaf. This is related to Itikaf itself, which is worship that requires intention, so that clarity of mind is needed in doing it.
In addition, women who want to carry out Itikaf should be in a state of purity, both from menstruation, childbirth, and janabah. Unless the woman is doing istihadah or bleeding from a disease, then it is permissible to perform Itikaf as long as she uses sanitary napkins so that she does not contaminate the mosque.
Furthermore, because the legal requirement for Itikaf is that one must be pure from hadas, both large and small hadas, one must first perform wudu (ablution) before performing Itikaf. Women must also cover themselves with modest clothing when carrying out Itikaf.
Duration Of Itikaf
Let’s discuss the duration;
Minimum and Maximum Duration
Among the scholars, there are differences regarding the time of implementation of Itikaf, whether it is carried out for one day (24 hours) or may be carried out several times. Scholars of Al-Hanafiya believe that Itikaf can be carried out in a short period of time, but no time limit is specified. In contrast, according to scholars Al-Malikiyah, Itikaf is carried out in a minimum of one day and night (24 hours).
From the explanation above, it can be concluded that Itikaf can be carried out at certain times, for example, within 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, and so on, and may also be carried out within a day and night (24 hours) as long as it is preceded by intention.
For women who want to do Itikaf, it is necessary to consider the duration of Itikaf, which will be carried out with the needs of the family, so that it won’t cause women to be negligent in carrying out their obligations to their husbands and children at home.
Breaking The Itikaf
To break an Itikaf, a person who performs Itikaf only needs to leave the mosque or intends to end Itikaf; Itikaf will automatically be canceled or ended. In addition, the thing that women need to remember is that they cannot perform Itikaf without the permission of their husbands.
Their husband also has the right to expel her from Itikaf unless the Itikaf she is doing is a vow to be performed for ten consecutive days and her husband has allowed her to do so, and then the husband may not ask his wife to stop her Itikaf.
Meanwhile, those who are not married are obliged to ask permission from their father or closest guardian.
Conduct During Itikaf
These are the allowed and disallowed activities during your Itikaaf period;
The following are things that the scholars generally consider to be permissible to do during Itikaf, including:
- Eat and Drink
- Touching her husband without being accompanied by sexual lust.
- Wear nice clothes and perfume
Among the things that are prohibited and can cancel, Itikaf includes:
- Jima’ (sexual intercourse)
- Leaving the mosque without urgent reasons
- Menstruation and nifas