Itikaf is consider to be a type of spiritual retreat. During the last ten days of Ramadan, many Muslims spend their days and night at the mosque (masjid) in order to ensure they are there for whichever night Layat al-Qadr occurs. This is called itikaf. Literally translated, it is an Arabic word that means to isolate oneself and to stick or adhere to something.
Conditions of Itikaf
- Being Muslim – The first condition to performing itikaf is that the person be Muslim. Also, note that children who have not reached an age of discernment (sin at-tamyiz) do not participate in itikaf. The child must be able to eat, dress themselves, and wash themselves without assistance. For those who follow the Hanafi school of thought, this is typically around the age of 7 for boys and around the age of 9 for girls.
- Must be of sound mind – What this means is that a person must be able to make reasonable and rational thoughts and decisions. To explain further a person may not be drunk or under the influence of drugs that may alter their state of mind. Also, if a person who has a mental illness where they cannot make decisions on their own does not perform itikaf.
- Niyyah – Niyyah means intention. One must have the intention to participate in itikaf for the sake of Allah, not for the sake of being seen by others. Your intention must be pure and focused on worshiping and pleasing Allah.
- Permission – Women need to ask permission from their husbands before performing itikaf.
- Performed in masjid – It is mentioned in Surat al-Baqarah 2:187 that itikaf is performed in a masjid. While some may say it is okay to perform itikaf at home, especially for women, most scholars agree that this is simply not the case at all because the Qur’an says otherwise.
- State of wudu – One must be in a state of wudu (purification) to participate in itikaf. If a person’s wudu is nullifies, such as using the bathroom, then the person must wudu before continuing itikaf. Although, if during sleep, one has what is called a wet dream, one’s itikaf is not nullified but one must ghusl before continuing itikaf.
- Fasting – By most schools of thought, fasting is a requirement to perform itikaf. Itikaf is mentioned in the Qur’an in conjunction to the fasting of Ramadan. The Prophet Muhammad would always fast during the time of his itikaf. However, some believe that if a person has a medical condition, such as diabetes, that prevents him or her from fasting that it is still permissible for that person to participate in itikaf. Please note that a medical condition differs from being ill, such as with fever or nausea.
To take part in Itikaf, please register using the form below and a volunteer will contact you with further details.
Due to space limitation and heavy demand from the community, Markham Masjid gives preference to Markham residents who live close to the masjid. In order to give chance to interested congregants, Markham Masjid management may give preference to those who are interested in Itekaaf for the first time. An approved list is displayed on the masjid notice board on the 3rd day of Ramadhan