If the I’tikaaf of a person during Ramadhan becomes nullified, can he continue observing I’tikaaf for the remaining days?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I’tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadan is an emphasized Sunnah of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. Aishaرضي الله عنها narrated that; The Prophet (ﷺ) used to observe I’tikaaf every year during Ramadan for ten days (last ten days) and the year in which he passed away, he observed I’tikaaf for twenty days.
كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يعتكف في كل رمضان عشرة أيام فلما كان العام الذي قبض فيه اعتكف عشرين يوماً
If a person’s Sunnah I’tikaaf (during last ten days of Ramadhan) becomes invalidated, for whatever reason, then it cannot be amended i.e. he cannot continue the remaining days observing the Sunnah I’tikaaf. Furthermore, it becomes obligatory upon him to make up for the invalidated I’tikaaf by observing Qadha. He is obligated to observe Qadha of only one day i.e. the day in which the I’tikaaf was nullified and not the full ten days nor amount of days remaining.
For example a person’s I’tikaaf becomes nullified on the seventh day, he would not be able to continue on 8th 9th and 10th observing the Sunnah I’tikaaf as it has been invalidated. Furthermore, he would only be obliged to perform Qadha of the 7th day.
Qadha can be done at any time of the year and must be accompanied by a fast. A complete twenty four hours must be spent in the Masjid, with the intention of Qadha I’tikaaf, commencing just before sunset until sunset of the next day along with a fast. He may perform the Qadha I’tikaaf in any one of the remaining days of Ramadhan.
NB: If for some reason the fast becomes invalidated while observing the Qadha I’tikaaf then the I’tikaaf would also be nullified and would have to be repeated.
Regarding the remaining days, it is commendable that the person remains in the Masjid and continues the I’tikaaf except that it would be regarded as a Nafl I’tikaaf and not Sunnah, which means that he is no longer restricted from leaving the parameters of the Masjid.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Kaleem Muhammad
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom
Trinidad, West Indies