Ramadhaan – A Date with Dr. Zakir

 

Episode 21

 

Ietikaaf

 

[Duration - 50 Mins]

 

 

Yusuf Chambers: Dear Brothers and sisters in Islam and humanity, Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu. May the Peace, the Mercy and the Blessings of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) be upon all of you. Welcome to the show, Ramadhaan - A Date with Dr. Zakir. I am your host Yusuf Chambers, and today we’re discussing the topic, Ietikaaf. 

 

Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu, Dr. Zakir

 

Dr. Zakir Naik: Wa Alaikum As Salaamu Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu.

 

Yusuf Chambers: Well, Dr. Zakir, we’ve being together for atleast 20 days now, Alhumdulillah and we discussed many issues but one of the most, I think perhaps misunderstood.. areas of the practices in the worship of Muslims during the month of Ramadhaan is Ietikaaf. Could you firstly explain the term, Ietikaaf and could you also as a… by way of confirming for the Muslims out there, whether they should be doing this or not. Is it compulsory for all Muslims to do it? 

 

Dr. Zakir Naik: Alhumdulillah, was salaatu was salaam ala rasoolillah wa ala aalihi wa ashaabihi wa ajma’een, amma baad.

 

A’uzu billahi minash shaytan nir-rajeem, Bismillah hirrahman nirraheem.

 

Rabbish rahli Şadri Wa Yassir Li ‘Amri Wa Ahlul `Uqdatan Min Lisani Yafqahu Qawli.

The word Ietikaaf is derived from the Arabic root word ‘Akafa’, which means to adhere, to cling, to stick, it means to keep. And it means to engage or devote something to another thing which may be good or bad. And its mentioned in the Qur’an in 

Surah Ambiya’, Chapter No. 21, Verse No. 52, when Ibraheem (Alayhis Salaam), he speaks to his father and to his people saying that the images which you devout.. those who do idol worship etc, he’s telling, that the image which you devout and the word used is ‘Akifuun’ which you’re so devoutly attached to, which you’re clinging to it. Here it’s used in the wrong sense, in the negative sense. There are also verses in the Qur’an which speaks in the positive sense in Surah Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 125, Surah Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 187. 

According to Lisaan-ul-Arab, the word Ietikaaf means to fully attach oneself to something. It means when someone habituates the mosque and he worships in it. In the Islamic Shariah the word Ietikaaf means to engage and retreat in the mosque. And to stay in the mosque seeking nearness to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and seeking His reward. 

As far as the ruling of Ietikaaf is concerned, whether its compulsory or it’s a Sunnah. Ietikaaf is generally a Sunnah, it’s not compulsory. It only becomes compulsory in certain cases. If someone makes a vow to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) that he will do Ietikaaf if his wish is fulfilled. For example someone may say that I will do Ietikaaf for two days if my sick relative is cured. Or, I may do Ietikaaf for three days if I pass in the examination. So if someone vows to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for the fulfillment of that desire, then Ietikaaf is compulsory, whatever the person has vowed he has to fulfill it. Otherwise Ietikaaf is a Sunnah, but it is a Sunnat-e-Mu’aqeda, a very highly recommended Sunnah. 

As it’s mentioned in the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 8, in the Book of Oaths and Vows, Hadith No. 6696, where the Messenger of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) said, that

“Anyone who promises to obey Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), he should obey Him. And anyone who promises disobedience to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) he should not disobey Him.”

And there’s a Hadith of Hadhrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), mentioned in 

Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 8, in the Book of Oaths and Vows, Hadith No. 6697, where Hadhrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) he says to the Messenger of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) that 

“I had vowed in the day of ignorance”…. before he embraced Islam, that he will do Ietikaaf for one night in Masjid-e-Haram, so the Prophet said, that “Fulfill your vow.”

Because the vow was good, obeying Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), Prophet said, fulfill it. And there are various verses in the Qur’an which speak about Ietikaaf. Allah says in 

Surah Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 125, He tells to Ibraheem (Alaihe Salaam) and to Ishmael (Alaihe Salaam) that, 

“O Abraham and Ishmael (may peace be upon them) you sanctify the Kaaba of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), the House of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) because people circumambulate round the Kaaba and they stay, they do Ietikaaf, they retreat in the mosque. And some of the believers they bow and they prostrate while worshipping Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).”

So here the word Ietikaaf, retreat is used. 

Its further mentioned in Surah Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Verse No. 187, that, 

“Do not associate with your wives when you retreat in the mosque, when you do Ietikaaf in the mosque.”

And there are several Hadith of doing Ietikaaf including Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of I’tikaaf, Hadith No. 2026, Hadrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) who was the wife of the Prophet, she said that, 

“The prophet used to do Ietikaaf for the last ten days in the month of Ramadhaan. And after he died the wives of the Prophet used to continue that practice.”

So Ietikaaf, unless vowed, it’s compulsory… otherwise generally it’s a Sunnah but a highly recommended Sunnah. 

Yusuf Chambers: Oh..I’m… really glad that you of course.. have confirmed that it is a Sunnah, otherwise I would have had to come back for 16 years and repeat it, my Ramadhaan, the last ten days. Well Doctor….

Dr. Zakir Naik: So InshaAllah after hearing the goodness of Ietikaaf and Lailatul Qadr, InshaAllah you’ll start doing it in the life..

Yusuf Chambers: InshaAllah

Dr. Zakir Naik: ..with this Ramadhaan, InshaAllah.

Yusuf Chambers: InshaAllah…. May Allah make it easy for all of us…indeed to perform.

Dr. Zakir.. could you possibly explain to us, what are the fundamental goals of Ietikaaf?

Dr. Zakir Naik: The basic goal, the basic aim of Ietikaaf is to seek Lailatul Qadr. And there’s a Hadith mentioned in 

Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 2, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith No. 2627, where it says, the Prophet Muhammad (saw) he did Ietikaaf for the first ten days of Ramadhaan, then it says the Prophet did Ietikaaf for the middle ten days of Ramadhaan and in a Turkish tent and there was a mat hanging and after that the Prophet takes his head out of the tent and he says, that “I’ve just been informed” by the angel that “the night, the Lailatul Qadr is in last ten nights of Ramadhaan…so whoever want to continue to do Ietikaaf with me, they can continue.”

So based on this Hadith we come to know that the main reason for Ietikaaf is to seek Lailatul Qadr and as we discussed yesterday… 

Allah says in the Qur’an, in Surah Qadr, Chapter No. 97, Verse No. 3, 

“Laylatul Qadr khayrumin 'alfi shahr”

Which means that Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months, that means the goodness, the power is much more than a thousand months. And if you worship in this night of Lailatul Qadr it is better than worshiping for thousand months. And if you divide by 12, comes to more than 83 years. That means if you worship that one night of Lailatul Qadr, it is better than worshipping more than 83 years. You know, it is much more than an average life span of a human being. So the main aim is to seek Lailatul Qadr. 

And further from a Hadith I quoted of Sahih Muslim, [Vol. 2, Book of Fasting, Hadith 2627] we come to know that Prophet Muhammad (saw) in order to seek Lailatul Qadr he did Ietikaaf for the full month. The first ten days, and the middle ten days, and then last ten days, and then it was told to him by the angle that Lailatul Qadr is in the last ten days. And we also come to know that the Sahaabas, they followed the Prophet right from the beginning of the month of Ramadhaan right till the end, that was the devotion of the Sahabaas had to Muhammad (saw). 

And it’s again mentioned in the Hadith of Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith 2625, that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) tells to the Sahaabas that “those who want to continue doing Ietikaaf with me can continue”, he didn’t make it compulsory and “those who want to do Ietikaaf they can do it at their place”. Not necessary that they have to be with him.

So here we are shown the compassionate of the Prophet towards the Sahaaba. So the basic aim is to seek Lailatul Qadr. 

Besides that, there are various other objectives. 

Number one, besides seeking Lailatul Qadr it is coming near Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and cutting off yourself from the other people. 

Number two, it is rejuvenating your spirituality and spiritually coming closer to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). 

Number three, when you cut off yourself from other people and form the worldly affairs it gives you an opportunity to pray more to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), offer Nawafil, to supplicate to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), to ask for forgiveness, to do Dhikr and that brings your Taqwa level much higher. 

Furthermore it helps you in performing the fast much better. For normally when we fast there are times that you may not follow the minute Sunnah’s and there are chances you may deviate and you are… desires may be there. So it gives you a chance to follow even the Sunnah’s of the fasting when you’re inIetikaaf. 

And lastly, when doing Ietikaaf, you agree to give up the worldly pleasures which you are allowed otherwise. There are many thing which you’re allowed in the normal Ramadhaan but during Ietikaaf you give up this worldly pleasures and desires just for sake of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).

 

Yusuf Chambers: Ok.. well.. thank you very much doctor for the answer. Regarding the condition of the person who’s performing Ietikaaf, is he or she allowed to leave the confines of the mosque?

Dr. Zakir Naik: Normally while doing Ietikaaf a person should not leave the mosque. If he leaves the mosque he breaks the principle of Ietikaaf. And the Ietikaaf is invalidated. But in case of emergency, if there is a need then he can leave. For example, if a person wants to go for a call of nature, if he wants to go to relieve himself or if he wants to do Wudhu or to do Ghusl or to have a bath or to wash himself or if there is no one who can get food for him in the mosque and if he has to go to eat he is allowed to go out to get food. So unless it’s a basic necessity, it’s a need, as it’s mentioned in 

Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2029, that Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) she says, 

“The Prophet while doing Ietikaaf never entered the house unless it was for a need.”

So if it’s necessity, it’s allowed, otherwise under normal circumstances you should not leave the mosque. And if you have to leave for a basic necessity, you’ve to come back fast as soon as possible. But nowadays Alhumdulillah many mosque or most of the mosques they have a toilet attached to the mosque, they have a bath room attached to it and the Wudhu is inside the mosque, so there are less requirements to go out of the mosque. 

And furthermore, the wife of the Prophet, Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) she said, its mentioned in

Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. No. 2, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith No. 2467, that, 

“A person who does Ietikaaf, it is a Sunnah of Ietikaaf that he should not visit a patient or attend a funeral or embrace the wife or have relation with the wife and should not leave the mosque unless for a basic necessity.” 

Here we come to know that while doing Ietikaaf it is not a Sunnah, its not allowed that you should visit a person who is sick, or visit a relative, or go out for family needs, or for earning money or for a funeral. Now except for a basic need you should not leave the mosque.

Yusuf Chambers: Ok, that seems to be quite clear in terms of the basic requirements of Ietikaaf. Perhaps you could enlighten us with, some of the things which break Ietikaaf. Some of the acts which are not allowed during Ietikaaf.

Dr. Zakir Naik: The things that invalidate Ietikaaf, 

Number one, is leaving the mosque without a valid reason. As I mentioned in my earlier answer unless it be for relieving one self, or is to got for call of nature for urination or for defecation or for doing Wudhu or having a bath or Ghusl or if he, no one can get food and if he has to go out to get food, these are the only conditions. As a last resort it’s allowed. So unless it’s for a valid reason, a person cannot leave the mosque. As I mentioned earlier, but now a days Alhumdulillah, since there are toilets and bathrooms attached to the mosque, this requirement itself is very occasionally. So number one is, if a person leaves the mosque without a valid reason the Ietikaaf is invalidated. 

Number two, if a person has sexual intercourse with his wife. As Allah says in the Qur’an in 

Surah Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Verse No. 187, that, 

“Do not associate with your wives while you are in retreat in the mosque.” 

While doing Ietikaaf in the mosque don’t associate with your wife. So all the scholars, they unanimously agree that f you have a sexual relation with your wife, the Ietikaaf is invalidated. But if the wife touches you, just normally, you know, may be she comes to give you food and it touches then its no problem at all. But, if your wife touches with passion or you touch her with passion or you embrace or kiss, all the scholars unanimously agree that it is Makrooh, it is detestable. Some scholars say that it will break the Ietikaaf, invalidate the Ietikaaf. So here’s there difference of opinion, whether embracing, or whether touching with passion invalidates Ietikaaf or not. Because this verse of Surah Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Verse No. 187, the word ‘Mubaashera’, that do not associate with your wife. Here if it’s specific meaning that, so it means only sexual relationship. So those scholars who says that it does not invalidate the Ietikaaf, they take it in specific sense, only sexual relationship. But touching with passion and kissing and embracing it is Makrooh, it is detestable but does not invalidate the Ietikaaf. But those who take this word as general, so they say, that besides sexual relationship, even embracing the wife or touching with passion, it invalidates the Ietikaaf. Allahu Waalam. Allah knows the best.

The third thing that invalidates the Ietikaaf it is menstruation and post natal bleeding, post child birth bleeding.

The fourth thing that invalidates the Ietikaaf it is committing any major sin. 

The fifth is insanity, whether the insanity is due to madness, due to taking any drugs or medicine or it is due to alcohol. Taking in Khamr, any intoxication because the Ibaadah should always be done in sanity. It should be done when the person is sane. If it’s done in insanity then the Ibaadah is not valid 

And the last thing which invalidates the Ietikaaf it is apostasy. 

As Allah says in the Qur’an in Surah Az-Zumar, Chapter No. 39, Verse No. 52, Surah Az Zumar, Chapter No. 39, Verse No. 65, that, 

“It was revealed to you as it was revealed to people that came before you, that if you join in worship god besides Allah then all your fruits will be useless” it will be fruitless… “and in the hereafter you will not get reward for all your spirituality.”

Therefore, if anyone does Shirk or turns away, does Kufr, or does apostasy then the Ietikaaf is invalidated.

So these are the six things which invalidate Ietikaaf.

Yusuf Chambers: May Allah protect us from falling into these errors. And may our Ietikaaf be accepted by Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). So let’s look at the flip side of the coin… which are the acts which are allowed during Ietikaaf?

Dr. Zakir Naik: The acts which are permitted during Ietikaaf, that if a need arises a person can go out of the mosque as mentioned earlier, to relieve himself or to wash or to do Ghusl or to do Wudhu or if there’s no food etc.. as the Hadith of Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) wife of the Prophet, she says in

Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2029, that 

“The Prophet while doing Ietikaaf never entered the house unless there was a need”

The things which are otherwise permitted during Ietikaaf is, a person can eat and drink and sleep in the mosque. He can eat and drink and sleep in the mosque, but he should be careful that he should maintain the sanctity and maintain the cleanliness of the mosque because it’s the place of worship. A person can even comb the hair, he can oil his hair. He can remove the unwanted hair from his body, he can cut his nails, he can do Wudhu, he can wash, he can have a bath, he can wear new clothes, can wear perfume, these things are permitted. 

As it’s mentioned in the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2028, that Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) she says that, 

“While doing Ietikaaf the Prophet from the mosque, he put the head into the house and though she was during the menstrual cycle, she combed the hair of the Prophet and put oil in the head.” 

It’s also mentioned in the next Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2029, Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) she says that, 

“While doing Ietikaaf the Prophet from the mosque, he used to put his head into the house and she used to comb the hair and oil the hair and the Prophet never used to enter the house unless there was a need.”

So here it means that you can comb the hair, you can oil the hair and the other things which I mentioned. 

Further it’s also allowed to pitch a tent in the mosque or in the backyard of the mosque. 

It’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2034, Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) she says that, 

“The Prophet used to do Ietikaaf for the last ten days of Ramadhaan and she used to pitch a tent for him and after offering Fajr Salaah he used to come at the place of Ietikaaf and enter the tent.”

It’s mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 2, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith No. 2641, 

“The Prophet did Ietikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhaan and after offering Fajr Salaah he came at the place of Ietikaaf and ordered a tent to be pitched. And a tent was pitched where he was doing Ietikaaf.”

Further, it’s also allowed for your wife to come and talk to you and speak to you while doing Ietikaaf, she can enter the mosque and it’s mentioned in 

Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2035, that, Safiya (may Allah be pleased with her) who was the wife of the Prophet, while the Prophet was doing Ietikaaf she entered the mosque and she came and she spoke to him and after a while when she was leaving the Prophet accompanied her to the gate of the mosque, to the gate of Umm Salamah and to two Ansaar men, they entered the mosque and they wished the Prophet salaams and then the Prophet said, that “Don’t run away, she is my wife Safiya bint Huyayy”  So the two Ansaar said, SubhanAllah, O Rasool Allah!… that means, how could you think such a thing. And they felt a bit hurt. That how could the Prophet think that we are doubting the Prophet. So then the Prophet replies and says that the Satan runs in the body and can reach any part of the body like the blood can reach any part of the body. And I was afraid lest some evil thought may come into your mind. That’s the reason I clarified that she’s my wife.”

That gives us a guidance that when we are in public and someone doubts we have to clarify and the Prophet did that, Alhumdulillah. 

So you come to know that the wives of the person doing Ietikaaf can enter the mosque.

And further it’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2037, that Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) she says that, 

“One of the wives of the Prophet did Ietikaaf with the Prophet.”

And further it’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2026, 

“The Prophet used to do Ietikaaf in the mosque for the last ten days of Ramadhaan and after he expired his wives continued with the practice.”

So, during Ietikaaf you are also allowed to speak to the wife and spend time with her. 

Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair for your answer. Are there any recommended acts that you can enlighten us with during Ietikaaf?

Dr. Zakir Naik: During Ietikaaf, the acts which are recommended is, 

Number one, that you offer the Salaah, but natural recommended Salaah, that is prescribed Salaah, it’s a Fardh. Besides that the supererogatory, the Nawafil Salaah as much as you pray it is preferable. The Nawafil, the Sunnah as much as you can it is preferred during the Ietikaaf. 

Number three, is you offer supplication to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), make Du’a to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) as much as you can. 

Number four, ask for forgiveness from Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). And Ietikaaf is a time when InshaAllah, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) will accept your forgiveness. 

Number five, that do Dhikr of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), say SubhanAllah or say Alhumdulillah, Glory be to Allah, Praise be to Allah. 

Number six, you can say the Takbeer and the Kalimah. Say Allahu Akbar. 

Number seven, send your blessings and salutations to the last and final Messenger Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Number eight, recite as much as the Qur’an is possible and 

Number nine, that beside reading the Qur’an in Arabic you can even read the Tafaseer, you can even read the translation of the Qur’an, for those people who don’t understand Arabic as a language you can read the translation so that you can implement on the guidance of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala). You can read the Tafaseer of the Qur’an in the language you understand the best. You can read the books of Hadith of the Prophet. You can read the life and the Seerah of the Prophet. So these are the things which are recommended and you should not do things which are extreme. 

As there’s a Hadith mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 8, in the Book of Oaths and Vows, Hadith No. 6704, that 

“Once when the Prophet was giving sermon he saw a man standing and the Prophet said, “What’s the matter?” So the people said, “He’s Abu Israel” and he has vowed he will stand and he will not sit, he will not go under the shade, he will not talk, he will not speak and he will fast, so Prophet says that, “Tell him that he should speak and bring him into the shade and ask him to sit and complete his fast.” 

And Ietikaaf is a thing which.. recommended things, offering Salaah, but don’t overdo, I will not speak, I will not sit, I will not go under the shade. So the things that are recommended as I mentioned is Salaah, Du’a, asking forgiveness, doing Dhikr, reading the Qur’an–Hadith etc. 

Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair Dr. Zakir. So we move on to the next question. Dr. Zakir, could you tell us the pre-requisite for Ietikaaf and is indeed one of the pre-requisite, fasting?

Dr. Zakir Naik: As far as the pre-requisite for doing Ietikaaf is concerned, but natural, the person should be a Muslim, he should be sane, he should have reached puberty and he should not be in the state of Janabah, ceremonial impurity, he should not be sexually defiled, person should not be in the state of menstruation or post child birth bleeding and the person should be pure while doing Ietikaaf. And besides these three are two pillars of Ietikaaf, number one, that is the intention; his Niyaah should be seeking nearness to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and seeking his reward. Number two, it should be done in a mosque, as Allah says in Surah Baqarah, Chapter No. 2, Verse No. 187, that, 

“Associate not with your wives when you retreat in the mosque.”

So but natural while doing Ietikaaf you should not associate with your wife, don’t have a sexual relationship… which we discussed in the last answer and number two, it should be done in the mosque. And people differ though some of the people say it can be done in any mosque but majority of the scholars say it should not be any mosque, it should be a mosque in which congregational Salaah are offered. And it should also be in a mosque in which Jumu’ah Salaah is offered. Because if congregational Salaah is not offered and if a person is doing Ietikaaf in the mosque, it will either mean that he’s not offering Salaah in congregation which is not correct or he may be going out to another mosque that defeats the purpose of Ietikaaf. So but natural, most of the scholars agree that it should be in a mosque which has a regular congregational Salaah and preferably even Jumu’ah Salaah should be offered in the mosque. 

And there’s a pre-requisite as is mentioned by Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) Radhi Allahu Anha, in 

Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. No. 2, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith No. 2467, that 

“It’s Sunnah for a Mu’tekif, a person who does Ietikaaf that he should not visit a patient or attend a funeral or embrace his wife or associate with his wife and should not leave the mosque except if there’s a basic necessity or basic need.” 

As far as whether fasting is compulsory or not, it’s mentioned by Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) in the same Hadith of Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. No. 2, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith No. 2467, Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) says, that, 

“There’s no Ietikaaf without fasting.” That’s her view. 

But if you read Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 8, in the Book of Oaths and Vows, Hadith No. 6697, which we quoted earlier, Hadhrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) he said that in the days of ignorance, Yaum-al-Jahailiya, before he accepted Islam he had vowed that he will do Ietikaaf for one night in Masjid-e-Haram and the Prophet said “Fulfill your vow.” And there’s no fasting during night. 

So by this permission of the Prophet it is understood that fasting is not Fardh but it is Mustahab. It’s the recommended Sunnah, that if you fast it’s preferable, it’s not a Fardh to fast while doing Ietikaaf.

Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair. Could you explain for the benefit of the viewers what is the exact correct time to begin and end the Ietikaaf?.. Particularly pertaining to the last ten days of Ramadhaan.      

Dr. Zakir Naik: As far as beginning of Ietikaaf for the last ten days of Ramadhaan is concerned there is a difference of opinion between the scholars. One group of scholars… people like Al Awza’ee, people like At Thawari, or Imaam Al Layth (may Allah be pleased with them all), they says that Ietikaaf should begin after the Fajr Salaah, on the 21st night, based on the Hadith which is mentioned in 

Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2034 as well as 2041, that Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) she said that,

“The Prophet used to do Ietikaaf for the last ten days of Ramadhaan and I used to pitch the tent for him. And after Fajr Salaah he used to come at the place of Ietikaaf and enter the tent.”

So based on this Hadith that the Prophet Muhammad (saw) after offering Fajr Salaah he used to come at the place of Ietikaaf and enter the tent, these scholars they say that Ietikaaf should start after Fajr Salaah. This is a view of Shaikh Bin Baaz also, may Allah have mercy of him. When he was asked that when should Ietikaaf start, he said it should start after Fajr Salaah of the 21st day of Ramadhaan. If you want to fast in last ten days, based on the same Hadith of Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her). But the majority of the scholars, the other scholars including all the four Aimaas, Imaam Abu Hanifa, Imaam Malik, Imaam Shafee, Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hambal and most of the scholars they say that if you want to do Ietikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhaan, the Ietikaaf should start before the sunset of the 21st night, because the day starts with the sunset. So because you have to do Ietikaaf in last ten days, you’ve to do Ietikaaf before sunset and they say, because the main aim, objective of Ietikaaf is to seek Lailatul Qadr and Lailatul Qadr is in the night, so if you’ve to do Ietikaaf in the last ten nights, it includes the 21st night also and since the Prophet said as we discussed yesterday that seek Lailatul Qadr on the odd nights of the last ten nights which includes the 21st night. So if you start from Fajr, you’re missing the 21st night, therefore most of the scholars agree that Ietikaaf should start before sunset of the 21st night. 

And in reply to the Hadith of Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) of Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2034 and Hadith No. 2041, that 

“Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to do Ietikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhaan and I used to pitch the tent for him. And he used to offer the Fajr Salaah and after offering Fajr Salaah he used to come at the place of Ietikaaf.”

So what these scholars say, this Hadith never says that Prophet started Ietikaaf after Fajr Salaah. It says that the Prophet came to the place of Ietikaaf, came to his tent because he wanted seclusion from the other people after Fajr Salaah. What they say, even here it actually indicates that if Prophet has to get the night of 21st, he started Ietikaaf before sunset. So the Prophet entered the mosque before sunset of the 21st night. So the Ietikaaf starts before sunset, but he prayed in the mosque and he came to the place of Ietikaaf, that is his tent, because he wanted seclusion from the other people after Fajr Salaah. So according to the correct view, according to the major scholars the Ietikaaf starts before the sunset of 21st night, that is before breaking the fast of the 20th day. When you fast for the 20th day of Ramadhaan, before you break the fast, before sunset you start your Ietikaaf. And when Shaikh Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) when he was asked, when should Ietikaaf start for the last ten days? He gave the same reply according to the major group of scholars, it should start before sunset of the 21st night, that is before breaking the fast of 20th day. And the reasons he gave the same.

As far as ending the Ietikaaf is concerned majority of the scholars agree that the Ietikaaf should end after sunset of the last night of Ramadhaan. If Ramadhaan is of 29 days, then after the sunset of the 29th day, i.e. after the first day of Shawwaal starts you should end Ietikaaf. If it is 30 days, then after the 30th fast is over. After sunset the Ietikaaf can end. But all the scholars agree unanimously also that it is Mustahab as some of the Sahaabas they did continue even in the night till Eid prayer. So based on this some of the scholars say it is Mustahab. It’s encouraged that you should stay even of the night before Eid, that is the first day of Shawwaal and continue Ietikaaf, offer Fajr Salaah and offer the Eid Salaah and then go back to your family. If you have to offer Eid Salaah in.. somewhere else, in some other place, in the Eidgah, you can have a bath, go there and then go and meet your family, this is preferable, but otherwise all the scholars agree that the Ietikaaf can end after sunset, after the month of Ramadhaan ends, whether it’s 29th or 30th day. 

Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair once again doctor for the answer. Something which sometimes comes up, question which comes up regarding whether or not Ietikaaf is something which is solely a practice during the last ten days of Ramadhaan or not? Is it?

Dr. Zakir Naik: As far as Ietikaaf being done only in the last ten days of Ramadhaan, it is not a must. Since Ietikaaf as I mentioned is voluntary unless you make a vow, it’s a Sunnah, it can be done in any day of the year. But according to Imaam An Nawawi, he says, the best Ietikaaf is when you are fasting, that’s the month of Ramadhaan and the best days in the month of Ramadhaan is last ten days. So the best preferable days are the last ten days of Ramadhaan, but you can do any other day of Ramadhaan, any other day of the year. And when Shaikh Naseeruddin Al Albani was asked this question that can Ietikaaf be done any day or only in the last ten days of Ramadhaan? He gave the same reply that it’s preferable, it’s Mustahab, its encouraged to do Ietikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhaan because of seeking Lailatul Qadr, otherwise it can be done any day of Ramadhaan, any day of the year. 

Its mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 8, in the Book of Oaths and Vows, Hadith No. 6697, 

“Hadhrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) in the days of ignorance, in Yaum-al-Jahailiya, before he accepted Islam, he had vowed that he would do Ietikaaf for one night in the Masjid-e-Haram. And the Prophet said, “Fulfill your vow.”

That means Hadhrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) he did Ietikaaf in one of the nights, any night of the year.

It’s further mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 2, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith No. 2641, that 

“The Prophet did Ietikaaf for the first ten days of Shawwaal.” 

It’s mentioned in Sahih Muslim, Vol. No. 2, in the Book of Fasting, Hadith No. 2627,  that 

“The Prophet did Ietikaaf for the full month of Ramadhaan. The first ten days of Ramadhaan, then the middle ten days, then the last ten days.”

It’s further mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2044, that 

“The Prophet did Ietikaaf for 20 days in the month of Ramadhaan before he died.”

That means the last time he did Ietikaaf just before he died, last Ramadhaan of his life, he did Ietikaaf for the last 20 days. And it’s mentioned in other Hadith that because Arc Angel Gabriel he rehearsed with him the Qur’an twice, therefore he did for 20 days. 

And it’s mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2026, that the Prophet used to do Ietikaaf for the last ten days of Ramadhaan and after he died, his wife continued with the practice. 

So it indicates that doing Ietikaaf in the last ten days, it’s preferable, it’s the best, otherwise you can do Ietikaaf in any other day of Ramadhaan, any other day of the year. 

Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair doctor and… my last question in this interview phase regarding the topic Ietikaaf, could you explain the reward for Ietikaaf.

Dr. Zakir Naik: As far as the reward for Ietikaaf is concerned, Abu Dawud, (may Allah have mercy on him) he asked Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hambal (may Allah have mercy on him) that, what are the rewards for Ietikaaf? So he says, I don’t know of any except some Hadith which are Da’eef…. It’s mentioned in the Masail of Abu Dawud. And there are many Da’eef Hadith talking about the rewards for Ietikaaf. For example it’s mentioned in one of the Da’eef Hadith which is mentioned in...by Albani in Ibn Ma’jah, Da’eef Hadith of Ibn Ma’jah that “anyone who does Ietikaaf and who seeks the reward and does not do any sin it is as though he will get the reward of all the good deeds that he has done.” This is classified as Da’eef by Shaikh Albani in Ibn Ma’jah.

There’s another Hadith which is also Da’eef which says that “anyone who does Ietikaaf for one day seeking the face of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala), Allah will make for himself three ditches between himself and the fire, each ditch will have the breath of east and west of the world.” This also is classified as Da’eef by Shaikh Albani. 

There’s another Hadith which is talking about the reward of Ietikaaf which is also Da’eef in which it says that “anyone who does Ietikaaf for a day with sincerity and seeking the reward will have all his sins forgiven.” So this is a Da’eef Hadith. 

Infact there’s a Hadith which is Sahih, which is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Lailatul Qadr, Hadith No. 2014, that 

“Anyone who prays during the night of Qadr with sincerity, seeking Allah’s reward all his past sins will be forgiven.”

So if you do Ietikaaf and if it falls on the Lailatul Qadr then Insha Allah, but just for Ietikaaf there’s no Hadith telling that all your sins will be forgiven. 

There’s another Hadith which is classified as Mawdoo by Shaikh Albani, that anyone who does Ietikaaf for the last ten days in the month of Ramadhaan is equivalent to doing two Hajj and two Umrah’s, this is classified as Mawdoo, fabricated… by Shaikh Albani.

So there’s no particular Hadith which is Sahih which talks about the reward for Ietikaaf but there are general Hadith, there’s a general Hadith mentioned in 

Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 8, [Book of Riqaaq], Hadith No. 6502 talking generally about the rewards for Nawafil, for supererogatory things and it says that 

“Anyone who offers the Faraiz and does Nawafil, Allah says he will come closer to me.” 

And Nawafil includes supplication, asking forgiveness, Nawafil Salaah, including Ietikaaf. Someone who does Nawafil, Allah says according to Prophet Muhammad (saw) that he comes closer to me and I become his sense of hearing through which he hears, his sense of seeing from which he sees, his hands from which he gives, his legs the way he walks and whatever they ask I will fulfill. So generally about Nawafil but natural there are various rewards, but specific for Ietikaaf there’s none which I know which is mentioned in the Sahih Hadith. 

Yusuf Chambers: Well… may Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) encourage us all and allow us all to do Ietikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhaan, InshaAllah. May Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) benefit us all by doing that righteous action in the last ten days of Ramadhaan. Dr. Zakir, we have reached the time when the interview phase is over we will be inviting questions from our viewers of which of course you know very well better than I do… you are receiving thousands and thousands of them and its unfortunately difficult for us to answer them all individually and personally, however we will be answering lots and lots of questions which we’ve deemed to be the most popular amongst the emails that we have received.

So doctor we’ve got some number of questions which is being put to us by our viewers, the first of them, one of our viewers says that there’s a certain Hadith and he refers to it, says, the Hadith says, “There’s no Ietikaaf in… except in three mosque” famous mosque in Makkah, famous one in Madinah, and of course Jerusalem. Is this is Sahih Hadith?

Dr. Zakir Naik: As far as the Hadith what the viewer has asked, it’s a Sahih Hadith, Hadith of [Sunan Al] Baihaqi, [Vol. 4] Book of Fasting, Hadith No. 8574, which is classified as Saheeh by Shaikh Nasiruddin Al Albani, that the Hadith is narrated by Hudhaifa (may Allah be pleased with him) and he says to Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) that I have seen people doing Ietikaaf from your house to the house of Abu Moosa (may Allah be pleased with him), in the mosque in between your house and the house of Abu Moosa but I heard the Prophet saying that there’s no Ietikaaf except in the three mosque, Masjid-e-Haram, Masjid-e-Nabwi and Masjid-e-Aqsa”

So based on this Hadith there are a few scholars who do say that Ietikaaf should only be performed in these three mosque but the majority of the scholars don’t agree with that, they say that offering in these three mosques is preferable, you will get more Sawaab. Because as its mentioned that if you offer in Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah, it’s equal to one hundred thousand Sawaab, if you do in Masjid-e-Nabwi, 10,000 Sawaab and the third mosque is Masjid-e-Aqsa, so it will be much more preferable, but the general ruling is based on the Qur’anic verse of Surah Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse No. 187, that,

“Do not associate with your wife when you retreat in the mosque” when you do Ietikaaf in the mosque.”

So it’s talking about general mosque, the word is Masaajid, so you can do Ietikaaf in any Masaajid. One group of scholar says any Masaajid even if there’s no congregational Salaah which most of the scholars don’t agree. Most of the scholars including Imam Ahmad (may Allah be pleased with him) he says it should be in a mosque where congregational Salaah is offered and Jumu’ah Salaah is offered. And when Shaikh Uthaymeen and Shaikh Nasiruddin Albani was asked that is it true that you can offer only in these three mosques? He said, it is preferable to offer in these three mosques, but its not a Fardh. Ietikaaf can be done in any mosque as long as there is congregational Salaah and Jumu’ah Salaah in it. But offering in these three mosques is preferable. And when Shaikh Bin Baaz was asked the question and again these scholars they quote the verse of Surah Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 187, that, the verdict is general mosque, it doesn’t restrict to only three mosques. And when Shaikh Bin Baaz was asked he gave the same answer that Ietikaaf can be done in any mosque as long as there’s congregational Salaah but if someone vows to do in these three mosques then it’s compulsory he should do, otherwise as a general ruling, it can be done in any mosque, where congregational Salaah is offered, Jumu’ah Salaah is offered.

Yusuf Chambers:  That’s comforting to know, thank you. Next question, can we observe Ietikaaf for a short period of time?

Dr. Zakir Naik: There’s no limit as far as the period of Ietikaaf is concerned. You can offer Ietikaaf for a short period or for long period, for a short while, the majority of the scholars agree it can even be done for a short while, even for one hour, as Ibn Hazm (may Allah be pleased with him), he said that Ietikaaf can be done for one hour. But there are certain scholars who say that Ietikaaf should be done minimum for one day, or for days and they say this one hour is actually a period, doesn’t refer to a day. But the majority of the scholars agree it can be done for a short time, for one hour, for a day, for few days, for a week, for ten days, for a month, it depends upon the person. There is no limitation as far as the period is concerned. 

Yusuf Chambers:  JazakAllah Khair Doctor. Next question, are women allowed to observe Ietikaaf in their houses?

Dr. Zakir Naik: As far as Ietikaaf is concerned according to the verse of the Qur’an of Surah Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 187, which says, that,

“Do not associate with your wives and do Ietikaaf, retreat in the mosque.” 

So since the word is specific the ruling is in the mosque as it’s a ruling for the gents that they should do Ietikaaf in the mosque the same ruling applies even for the women. There are a few scholars who do say that Ietikaaf can be done in the home where the women prays based on the Hadith that praying in a room is better than the outer room in the house, praying in the house is better… the courtyard, and the courtyard is better than the mosque. But this doesn’t mean… Masjid, literally means a place where you do Sujood. It’s more of a word where you do Sujood, but technically the word Masajid used in Surah Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 187 means a proper Masjid. Not where you do Sujood because in a inner room a person changes clothes and the person… in the state of Junoob, sexual impurity etc. So the ruling for the women as far as the major scholars are concerned, if they want to do they should do in the mosque and that’s what mentioned in several Hadith including the Hadith of 

Sahih Bukhari, Vol. No. 3, in the Book of Ietikaaf, Hadith No. 2026, Hadhrat Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) she says that 

“The Prophet used to do Ietikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhaan and after he died his wife continued with the practice.” So the wives of the Prophet did Ietikaaf in the mosque and there’s no evidence to show that they ever did in the house.        

Yusuf Chambers:  Ok…good that’s… very good to know. And next question from the next viewer, is there any redemption on a person who breaks the Ietikaaf voluntarily?

Dr. Zakir Naik: As far as Kaffara is concerned or redemption is concerned, since Ietikaaf is voluntary, if you break a voluntary Ietikaaf there is no compensation. It’s preferable if you want, you can again do it. But if a person keeps a compulsory Ietikaaf, if he vows that he’s going to keep for two days if he passes in the examination for them, if he breaks it then he has to do it some other time, because it’s a vow, it’s a Fardh Ietikaaf. As far as voluntary is concerned, its not compulsory but even if he breaks a voluntary Ietikaaf. If he does it some other time it’s preferable but it’s not compulsory.

Yusuf Chambers:  Ok…next question. Dr Zakir, does a husband have a right to prevent his wife from doing Ietikaaf?

Dr. Zakir Naik: As Ietikaaf is voluntary and when a lady does Ietikaaf, she goes to the mosque but natural it infringes on the rights of the husband. So but natural if she has to do Ietikaaf she has to take the permission of the husband. Because some of his rights will be lost and if he gives permission he has a right even to call her back, if required…unless if she’s doing an obligatory Ietikaaf, if she has vowed and once she starts then the husband calls, she should continue, because that is Fardh. Otherwise in voluntary Ietikaaf she should take the permission of the husband and the husband has the right to call her back if he requires her.

Yusuf Chambers:  Ok…well I’m afraid this is going to be the last question today Dr. Zakir. Is it correct to teach somebody or give a lecture during.. while performing Ietikaaf? 

Dr. Zakir Naik: As we mentioned earlier the recommended acts while doing Ietikaaf is to offer Salaah, to do Nawafil Salaah, to.. supplication, to ask for forgiveness, to do Dhikr and to read the Qur’an. So it’s preferable to do these acts. But if someone really wants to learn something, specially of Islam and if you teach there’s no problem or if you give a lecture or you give a lesson to someone specially regarding the ruling of Islam, it’s permitted… fine because you’re teaching someone getting him closer to Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala).

Yusuf Chambers:  Well JazakAllah Khair Dr. Zakir that’s it, unfortunately that’s all we’ve got time for today, but thank you very much. May Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) reward you and me and all the viewers for watching and attending this session on Ietikaaf. JazakAllah Khair.   

Brothers and Sisters I hope that you have enjoyed and benefited from the show today and that you will take lesson, take heed of all the answers that Dr. Zakir Naik has given today on the subject of Ietikaaf. Tomorrow we will be discussing Ramadhaan, the month of self improvement and Islaah, so please do join us then. 

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu.