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f:458 -    Performing Itikaaf for 4, 5 days
Country : Aurangabad, India,
Name : Abdul Qadeer Khan
Question:     I had made the intention of performing Itikaaf, but as Eid nears, other engagements are so many that I don?t get the chance to perform Itikaaf.  In this case, is performing Itikaaf compulsory and can I perform Itikaaf for a4,5 days?
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Answer:     To perform Itikaaf in the last 10 days of Ramadhan is Sunnah Moukkada Kifayah, i.e. even if one person performs it, then it is considered performed for all.  As given in Radd Ul Muhtaar, Vol. 2, Pg. No. 141/521.

The Sunnah Itikaaf starts from the sunset of 20th Ramadhan until the moon for Eid is sighted, as given in Durre Mukhtaar.

If you want to perform Itikaaf for less than 10 days, then it will be considered as Commendable (Mustahab) Itikaaf and not Sunnah.  If no one from the locality performs Itikaaf, then all will be considered guilty for missing the Sunnah and this will be considered very bad on the part of the denizens of the locality.  From one locality, at least one person should perform Itikaaf, so that it is performed and the excellence of Itikaaf is achieved for all.  It is given in the Hadith that the person who performs Itikaaf is given the reward for all good deeds.  There is a Hadith in Sunan Ibn Majah:

Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (May Allah be well pleased with them) that the person who performs Itikaaf stays away from sins and gets so much reward of good deeds as if he (or she) has performed all good deeds.  (Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith No. 1781)

Hadhrat Imam Ibn Shihab Zuhri (May Allah be well pleased with him), the great Successor says about those who don’t perform Itikaaf: I am surprised at people that people miss Itikaaf.  When the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) would perform an act, sometimes He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) would leave it as well, but from the time He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) came to Madina, He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) never abandoned Itikaaf.  (Bada’i Us Sana’i, Vol. 2, Pg. No. 273)

And Allah Most High knows best.

Mufti Hafidh Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri

[Shaykh ul  Fiqh, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]

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