Itikaf during Ramadan is an Islamic practice which is consisting of 10 days period of staying in a mosque, devoting oneself for worship of Allah. During these days Muslims worship Allah and do different things including performing obligatory prayers, Tarawih Prayers, nafl prayers, reciting the Qur'an, and reading hadith and making duaas. It is the most preferred Sunnah of the Holy Messenger (PBUH) of Allah. He was regularly performed Itikaf during Ramadan and dedicated himself to the worship and reminiscence of God in isolation in the mosque for 10 days period. Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) never skipped itikaf during his life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) performed itikaf for 20 days in the last year of his pious life. Itikaf has great importance in Islam. There is no minimum time period of itikaf, one may intend to observe the worship of itikaf as long as for a day or a night, or a part of the day or the night, one would be considered to be in the state of itikaf during his stay of prayer in the mosque. Sunnah Itikaf is performed for last ten full days of holy month of Ramadan. Itikaf may also be observed for three full days or for a full day. The shortest itikaf can be observed between two daily prayers (such as from Asr to Maghrib).
There are some certain requirements for a person who wishes to perform itikaf during Ramadan. The person who wishes to perform itikaf is also called mutakif and he must be a sane and clean Muslim. It is obligatory for Mutakif to have intention at the beginning of Itikaf so that the all rules, and requirements of the worship followed with intention thoroughly from the beginning to the end. He has not any kind of family trouble to take part in itikaf in his main mosque from his town or home or city. The person is bound to stay inside the mosque or masjid for the entire chosen period chosen for itikaf, except for very important or unavoidable reasons including buying food or attending a funeral etc. Motikif must recite atleast one complete holy Quran (without disturbing others if doing so loudly) during itikaf and make as more as duaa of seeking forgiveness from Allah for himself and others. Also study numerous hadith during itikaf. Motikif can also perform these acts including eating (when not fasting) and sleeping, changing clothes, clipping nails, trimming facial hair, and having religious discussions and lectures during his stay of itikaf in the mosque or masjid.
There are certain things and acts which are prohibited in itikaf during Ramadan. These acts including are speaking of worldly affairs, trying to seek pleasure in them, backbiting or telling lies. Exterior of these, shaving facial hair, buying and selling anything, arising pleasure from people not of one's gender, and dialogs with the intent to show one's superiority in some fashion are typically banned. Execution any of these actions voids one's itikaf and often one is mandatory to pay kaffara to compensate for this wrong deed.
A mutakif can leave the place for only very explicit reasons. Except when responding to another person's greeting, Mutakif must go out and return quickly to the place of itikaf during Ramadan, avoiding the shade and other human contact except when categorically very necessary.
- One may go out to perform ablution when the person is no longer in a state of ablution.
- One may take a shower, assuming such shower is available in the mosque's premises, only if the person has had a wet dream, a period, or something remotely similar. Though this shower may be combined with wudu, any other reason for taking such a shower isn't allowed.
- One may leave for Friday prayer only right before the khutbah begins and must return right after the prayers have ended.