Itikaf is believed to be a spiritual-mindedness. It is when A Mu’takif (person who performs itikaaf) isolates himself from worldly distractions and devotes his days and nights completely, to the worship of Allah Almighty. Along with that, it is very important to know How to Perform Itikaaf to avoid anything that can nullify the purpose of this worship and to keep the devotion and values of worship continued. Let’s learn about the authentic way to perform Etikaff with stepshowto today.

Anam Faisal

Anam Faisal is a content writer, who lives in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Anam is devoted to writing new content to promote basic knowledge, learning, and understanding. She enjoys writing articles about food, technology, fashion, and more. She often looks for new methods to enhance the content at StepsHowTo and make it beneficial and comforting for the readers.

Reference from Quran

Itikaff is one of the favorite Worships of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W). Allah Subhaana Hu Wa Taa'la has also mentioned some values of Itikaff in Quran. Two of them are mentioned below:

Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat#125

“And We commanded Ibrahim and Ismaeel (Peace be upon Them) that they should purify My House (the Kabah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (Itikaf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer).”

Suran Al-Baqarah Ayat#187

"And do not have sexual relationships with them (your wives) while you are in Itikaff (ie: confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the wordly activities) in the mosques."

References from Hadith

During the last 10 days of Ramadhan, our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) used to isolate himself from his family, relatives, and all the other tasks. He used to perform Itikaff till the sighting of the moon for the month of Shawal (last day of Ramadan) every year till his death.

Narrated Hazrat Aisha (R.A) Sahi Bukhari Hadith#2026

"The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) used to practice Itikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhan till he died and then His (S.A.W)'s wives used to practice Itikaff after Him (S.A.W)".

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al- Khudri Sahi Bukhari Hadith#2027

"Whoever was in Itikaaf with me should stay in Itikaaf for the last ten days, for I was informed (of the date) of the Night (of Qadr) but I have been caused to forget it".

The last ten days of Ramadhan have Layla-tul-Qadr hidden for the worshipper to find. The Mu'takif has all the chances to find this blessed night if he entirely assigns himself for worship in these days.

Etikaff Step by Step Guide

In order to perform Etikaaf the right way, one must know all the steps accurately. Mentioned below, is a Complete Guide for How to perform Itikaaf Step by Step.

Step 1 Choose a place for isolation

Itikaaf refers to going into concealment for the solitary purpose of worshipping Allah Subhaana Hu Wa Ta'aala. Hence it provides the Mu'takif the opportunity to free his heart and mind from all the worries of the world, and to dedicate his thoughts and heart to the worship of Allah.

  • For Men-It is Mandatory (Must) to perform Itikaaf in mosques so that they can pray five times a day in the congregation (Jamaat).
  • For Women-If there is privacy and all the necessary facilities for the women in the mosque, they can also perform Itikaff in the mosques. Moreover, women can perform Itikaff at home as well, for this purpose they must choose a peaceful and quiet corner place in the house, away from all the unnecessary noise and interaction to stay devoted.

Step 2Gather All the Materials Needed

So you have known the great virtue of itikaaf and intend to perform this year. Basically, the question comes here of what to take along and what to leave behind? Take as little as you need only and try to live a full life of secrecy with Allah Subhaana Hu Wa Ta'aala to its fullest. Below is a list of things you must take along:

  1. The Holy Book of the Quran
  2. The Books of Hadiths
  3. Books of Tafseer
  4. A notebook
  5. A pen or pencil
  6. Clothes to change
  7. Oral hygiene care ie: toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.

Always remember the purpose of Itikaaf is to spend time alone with Allah, worshipping Him and getting closer to Him. So, avoid taking such things along, which can divert your mind from the sole purpose of this ibadah.

Step 3 Taharat (Cleanliness)

Taharat refers to the state or quality of a person being clean inside out. Taharat includes keeping your surroundings and clothes clean, refraining from eating or drinking Haram, and saving your clothes from najasat. With an unclean body, one can not enter a mosque nor he can worship, and both of these conditions are mandatory for a Mu'takif to perform Itikaaf. That is why it is the utmost requirement for a Mu'takif to clean his body from any najasat. One must perform below mention tasks before making Niy'yah for Etikaff:

  • Take a ghussal according to the Islamic Sharia
  • Make Wudu
  • Clip and file his nails
  • Cut and comb his hair
  • Wear nice clean clothes

Step 4 Niy'yah (Intention)

Among all the other basic requirements of worship, niy'yah is also a very important element. It is an Islamic concept in which the person makes an intention before doing an act for the sake of Allah Subhaana Hu Wa Ta'aala. Similarly, it is mandatory to make an intention for the Mu'takif before starting the Etikaaf. His heart must be pure and pious and he must say:

"بسم الله دخلت و عليه توكلت و نويت سنت الاعتكاف۔ اللهم افتح لي ابواب رحمتكك"

"With the Blessed Name of Allah have I entered (into the Masjid) and in Him have I placed my trust, and I have made the intention of the Sunnah of I’itikaf. O Allah open Your doors of Mercy upon me.”

This is how a Mu'takif is supposed to eventually begin his Etikaff and devote his mind and soul for the sake of Allah Subhaana Hu Ta'aala's worship.

Step 5 Reach the Mosque Before Maghrib Adhaan

If the Mu'takif is a male, he must reach the mosque before Maghrib Adhaan on the 20th of Ramadhan. But if the Mu'takif is a female she must settle down in the selected place at home to perform Itikaff before Iftaar. Because, after maghrib would therefore correspond to the 21st night of Ramadan, keeping in mind that the night comes before the day in the Islamic calendar. And, if you reach the mosque or settle down at home after Maghrib prayer it will be included as 21st Ramadhan, leaving only 9 days for Itikaaf.

Step 6 Worship

Worship is a blend of multiple ways to show and express, love and faith in Allah Subhaana Hu Wa Taa'la. Keeping this in mind, anything that is considered worship can be done during the 10 days of Etikaff. Worship for Etikaff basically includes:

  • Obligatory Prayers Five Times a Day
  • Nawafil
  • Taraweeh
  • Recitation and Memorizing of Holy Quran
  • Recitation of Durood
  • Make Dua
  • Tahajjud
  • Read and Memorize Hadiths
  • Offer Azkaar (Tasbeeh)
  • Teaching and learning about Islam
  • Reading of Tafseer
  • Repentance (Ashtaghfar)

All these Azkaar will keep you committed to your purpose certainly. Moreover, this deed will be returned back to you on The Day of Judgment with a big reward if offered with adherence and faithfulness.

Step 7 Rise Up From Etikaff on Chand Raat

The Mu'takif should finally end his Etikaaf right after the confirmed moon sighting for The Month of Shawal (Chand Rat). Lastly, he must offer his Maghrib Prayer and leave the mosque.



Things That Nullify the Itkaff

Etikaaf builds a pure and soulful connection between mankind and Allah and in order to pursue this connection one must avoid the elements that can invalidate the purpose of Etikaaf such as:

  • Leaving the place of Etikaaf unnecessarily
  • Menstruation or Post-Natal bleeding
  • To associate with your wife passionately
  • Committing a major sin
  • Become a disbeliever (Shirk)
  • Not being of sound mind (insanity)

Things to Avoid During Itikaff

  • Talking unnecessarily
  • Fight or argue with someone
  • Disturb or distract others
  • Having someone's company without any serious cause
  • To operate business transactions
  • Having wrong intentions for someone
  • Should not attend funerals or visit a sick person

Things Compulsory For Etikaaf

When one intends to perform Itikaaf, one must make certain that he is satisfying all the conditions that are mandatory for Itikaaf. Following are some clauses compulsory for Itikaaf, combined together for your acknowledgment:

  • Being a Muslim
  • Mental Maturity
  • Make Intention (Niyyah)
  • Married women must seek permission from their husbands
  • Men should perform Etikaff in the mosque
  • The state of Wudu is Compulsory at all times
  • Fasting is the basic requirement for Itikaff
  • If one vows for Itikaff, it becomes compulsory for him to perform the Itikaff for the number of days he committed.

Itikaaf is a Blessing

The worship and belief of a Muslim don't go forgotten by his Creator Allah Subhaana Hu Wa Ta'aala. Although, He has promised multiple rewards to the Ummat-e-Muhammadi for the trust they have and for the ibadah they perform for their Lord.

Narrated Ibn Abbas Ibn-e-Majah

" He (one who engages in Itikaff), is safe from sin and he also gets that reward which everyone (outside Itikaff) gets for pious deeds".

Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) also used to practice Etikaff himself during the last ten days of Ramadhan. He used to isolate himself and gave his time and devotion to the worship of Allah Subhaana Hu Wa Taa'la as surely He (S.A.W) knew about the numerous benefits of Etikaaf which he taught us and one of the biggest rewards is Maghfirah (forgiveness).

Narrated Abdulah bin Abbas (R.A) Tabarani Hadith#5345

"Whosoever for Allah's sake did even one day's Etikaff, Allah would keep him away from The Fire of Jahannum by trenches".

Other than forgiveness there are multiple benefits of Itikaaf that we have summed up below for your knowledge:

  • It strengthens the connection between man and Allah.
  • Itikaff repels the evil deeds and whispering of Shaytan
  • Reminds the Muslims of the purpose of their creation (worship Allah)
  • One learns how to appreciate the countless blessings he has
  • One understands The Quran in a better way
  • One reforms his character in a better way
  • One becomes less materialistic

These are the greatest rewards undoubtedly, but to achieve them one must make a pure intention and fulfill all the mandatory requirements of this worship. Lastly, let us pray that may Allah blesses every Muslim with the countless benefits of Itikaaf, and may we fulfill the purpose of our creation. Ameen.