Is a Mu’takif allowed to leave the Masjid for a bath?
I understand that a Mu’takif is not allowed to leave the Masjid for bath other than a compulsory ghusl and the Sunnah bath of Friday. However, for a person in the habit showering everyday twice, sometimes thrice, it is difficult to spend the Sunnah I’tikaaf. Is there any leeway in this matter?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
As stated in an earlier fatwa, according to legal stance of the Hanafi Madhab, a person observing the Sunnah I’tikaaf is not allowed to exit the Masjid for bath other than a compulsory bath. There is a lesser preferred view in the Madhab which gives allowance for a Sunnah bath on the day of Jumu’ah. This view was adopted by JMU Darul Iftaa.
(See: Fatwa http://fatwa-tt.com/itikaaf-questions/)
One can understand the discomfort a Mu’takif may undergo by not being allowed to shower for such a long period of time. On the other hand at a time when air-conditions and fans were not present, the Classical Jurists did not consider a bath other than a compulsory bath or Sunnah bath a valid reason for leaving the Masjid.
However, taking into consideration that the need to shower is for the purpose of refreshing oneself, the following procedures may be adopted;
(1) When leaving the Masjid for a valid reason one may pour water and rub (using a piece of cloth if he wishes) over his body, it can also be done while returning to the Masjid after fulfilling his need.
(2) While performing wudhu one may wash and rub his body, however he should not spend excessive time in doing so (the time a person would normally take to perform wudhu).
(3) While performing wudhu he can wash beyond the areas of wudhu.
(4)While performing Istinja one can widen the area being washed.
(5) While answering the call of nature one may pour water on his body and rub. If there is a shower above the toilet he can shower in the process without spending excessive time.
(6) In most Masajid the bathroom/shower-room is located near to toilet area. Therefore after using the toilet, instead of making wudhu in the designated wudhu area one may perform wudhu in the bathroom/shower-room and while performing wudhu he may open the shower above.
NB: The Mu’takif cannot leave the masjid specifically for the purpose of this type of bath/shower. However, he may do so subordinately as described above.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Kaleem Muhammad
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom
Trinidad, West Indies