Can men perform iʿtikāf at home during the lockdown?
Is it permissible for men to establish nafl iʿtikāf at home for the last 10 days of Ramadan, due to the closure of Masjids? If so, would I need to settle in a particular room? Due to it being nafl iʿtikāf, would I be permitted to go upstairs, due to any necessities, and to wake up members of the family for Seḥrī (suḥūr) or otherwise?
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بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
Iʿtikāf in the Masjid during the final ten nights of Ramadan enables a person to remove themselves from distractions and focus solely on the worship of Allah Almighty. As any one of the final ten nights could be Laylat al-Qadr, iʿtikāf also enables a person to maximise benefit from this blessed night and acquire its reward.
Thus, if you are unable to perform iʿtikāf in the Masjid due to the lockdown, you can seclude yourself in the dedicated Ṣalāh area of your home where you should perform congregational Ṣalāh, remove yourself from physical and technological distractions and engage in the worship of Allah. If you do not have a dedicated Ṣalāh area, you can select a room. By doing this, you will, Inshāʾ Allah, attain the benefits and reward of iʿtikāf.
However, it should be noted that this seclusion in the home is not iʿtikāf from a fiqh perspective, and therefore the iʿtikāf rules will not apply in the way that they apply in the Masjid. Thus, if you decide to seclude yourself which is strongly recommended, it will be permissible for you to go out of the room to wake up family members and otherwise. Please also refer to our earlier answer in this regard.
قال الله تعالى: وأنتم عاكفون في المساجد. وعن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يعتكف في العشر الأوسط من رمضان، فاعتكف عاما، حتى إذا كان ليلة إحدى وعشرين، وهي الليلة التي يخرج من صبيحتها من اعتكافه، قال: من كان اعتكف معي، فليعتكف العشر الأواخر، وقد أريت هذه الليلة ثم أنسيتها، وقد رأيتني أسجد في ماء وطين من صبيحتها، فالتمسوها في العشر الأواخر، والتمسوها في كل وتر، رواه البخاري (٢٠٢٧)۔
Allah knows best
16 Ramaḍān 1441 / 9 May 2020
Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad and Mufti Muhammad Tahir