Shaikh Abdur-Rahmān ibn Nāsir al-Barrāk, may Allāh preserve him, was asked:


“Is it possible to do i’tikāf along with our praying of tarawīh in our houses this year – 1441 H. (2020)? Meaning, is it legislated to do i’tikāf in our homes in such a necessity, with the presence of the Coronavirus? May Allāh grant you success to whatever is good in the Dīn and Dunyā.”


“All Praise is due to Allāh, and may He send salutations and peace upon Muhammad. As for what proceeds: i’tikāf is an act of worship which is specific to the masjids, as He, the Most High, said:

وَلَا تُبَـٰشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمۡ عَـٰكِفُونَ فِی ٱلۡمَسَـٰجِدِ

“And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in i’tikāf (i.e., confining oneself in a masjid for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the masājid.” [Sūrah Al-Baqarah: 187]

Seclusion in the homes in order to keep away from mixing with the evil-doers and encountering harms is something sought in every time, and staying at home or in a room from it is not called i’tikāf in the legislation. Rather, whoever considers that to be i’tikāf is someone who innovated something new [in the religion].

It is reported by al-Bayhaqi in as-Sunan al-Kubrā on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbās, may Allāh be pleased with him, who said, ‘Verily, the most hated of affairs to Allāh is innovation, and i’tikāf in the masjids in the housing districts is from such innovations.’

Also, i’tikāf has rulings whose consideration in their true right is not legislated for one who stays in his home, such as him not leaving his place of i’tikāf except for that which is completely necessary for him. Due to this, i’tikāf is not legislated at home in the last ten nights (of Ramadān), as the Messenger ﷺ would perform it in the masjid, and if a Muslim stays home, then he should not consider himself to be in i’tikāf as it has preceded. However, he would be rewarded in devoting himself for remembrance (of Allāh), worship, and reciting the Qur’ān, and Allāh knows best.” End. [Reference]

Translated by

Zain Syed Irfan
Abu Abdil-Baari