Is it permissible for women to do I’itikaf at home? I plan to do I’itikaf in the masjid but my local masjid tells me they have no accommodations for sisters wishing to do I’ikikaf. They have asked me to perform my I’itikaf at home.
Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Jazakumullahu Khairan / Thank you for contacting the Mathabah Foundation for your question.
May Allah accept your intention and facilitate success.
According to the Hanafi school, it is preferred for women to do I’itikaf in the masjid of their homes (at the designated prayer space or room in one’s home). It is permissible, however considered makruh tanzihi (mildly disliked) in the Hanafi school for women to perform I’itikaaf in the masjid. (See Dur Al Mukhtaar and Badai Al Sanai)
The references for the Hanafi position are narrations similar to the following:
Umm Salama (r) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “The best mosque for a woman is the inner part of her home.” (Musnad Ahmad & Tabrani)
The masjid of her home takes the verdict of a masjid. (Badai Al Sanai)
The Maliki, Shafie and Hanbali school deem I’itikaf at home invalid. (See Al Sharh Al Saghir, Al Majmoo, Al Mughni, Al Fiqh Al Islami Wa Adillatuhu & Fiqh Ala Madahib Al Arba’ah)
Ibn Masood (r) said, “I’itikaf is only valid in a masjid where congregation takes place” (Tabrani)
“... while you are staying in mosques for I‘itikāf (Quran, 2:187)
It should be noted that if women are performing I’itikaf in the masjid, proper arrangements for curtains, seclusion and modesty are to be undertaken. (See Al Mughni)
And Allah Knows Best.