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CHAPTER FIVE » Distribution of khums → ← Fasting » Times when it is recommended (mustaḥabb) for one to abstain from things that invalidate a fast

CHAPTER FIVE » Spiritual Retreat (Iʿtikāf)

Ruling 1719. Iʿtikāf is one of the recommended (mustaḥabb) ritual acts of worship (ʿibādāt) that becomes obligatory (wājib) by means of a vow (nadhr), covenant (ʿahd), oath (qasam), or suchlike. A valid iʿtikāf is when one stays in a mosque with the intention of attaining proximity to Allah (qaṣd al-qurbah). And the recommended precaution (al-iḥtiyāṭ al-mustaḥabb) is that the stay should take place with the intention of performing ritual acts of worship, such as prayers (ṣalāh), and supplications (duʿāʾs).

Ruling 1720. There is no particular time for performing iʿtikāf; rather, whenever it is correct (ṣaḥiḥ) to keep a fast (ṣawm) during the year, performing iʿtikāf at that time is also correct. The best time for performing iʿtikāf is the blessed month of Ramadan, more so during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

Ruling 1721. The minimum length of time for iʿtikāf is two nights and three days; less than that is not correct. There is no maximum limit. There is no problem in including the first or the fourth night in the intention of iʿtikāf. If a person is a muʿtakif [the term given to someone who is performing iʿtikāf] for five full days, he must also be a muʿtakif on the sixth day.

Ruling 1722. The starting time for iʿtikāf is the time of morning (ṣubḥ) prayers on the first day, and, based on obligatory precaution (al-iḥtiyāṭ al-wājib), the finishing time for iʿtikāf is the time of maghrib prayers on the third day. For a valid iʿtikāf to take place, a period of time equivalent to three days will not suffice; i.e. one cannot be a muʿtakif after the time of ṣubḥ prayers on the first day [and stay in the mosque until the same time on the fourth day] even if he compensates the time lost from the first day on the fourth day; for example, he stays in the mosque from the time of afternoon prayers (ẓuhr) of the first day until the time of afternoon prayers on the fourth day.
CHAPTER FIVE » Distribution of khums → ← Fasting » Times when it is recommended (mustaḥabb) for one to abstain from things that invalidate a fast
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