I’tikaaf questions.


Is it permissible for a Mu’takif to leave the masjid for the following reasons?

(a) To take a bath other than a compulsory Ghusl.

(b) To make wudhu while already in the state of Wudhu

(c) To pass wind

(d) To smoke a cigarette in a case where one is addicted to nicotine

(e) To go home for the purpose of using a sitting toilet in a case where such facilities are not available at the Masjid compound.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


A person observing Sunnah I’tikaaf (last ten days of Ramadhan) is not allowed to leave the Masjid except for the following reasons;

(1) To answer the call of nature i.e. to urinate or defecate

(2) To perform wudhu provided one does not have wudhu

(3) To perform the compulsory bath if one is in a state of Janabah

(4) For food and drink if no one is available to assist him

(5) To call the Adhan, even though he may not be the appointed Muadhin of the Masjid. 

(6) Emergency evacuation; as in a case where the Masjid is collapsing, flooding, on fire etc.

NB: He must immediately go to another Masjid so that the I’tikaaf can be continued.

If a person leaves for a reason other than the aforementioned, then his I’tikaaf would be nullified.  Furthermore, he must return to the Masjid immediately after having fulfilled his need. Any unnecessary delay would invalidate the I’tikaaf.

Regarding the reasons mentioned in the question;

  1. a) As for leaving the Masjid for the purpose of showering, it would render the I’tikaaf void. This is irrespective to the fact that a person may feel uncomfortable and irritable. The only circumstance in which a person is allowed to leave the Masjid when observing the Sunnah I’tikaaf for purpose of bath, is when he enters the state of Janabah (major ritual impurity).

If however, a person wants to shower to refresh himself he may pour water on his body while leaving the Masjid for any of the above mentioned reasons or on returning to the Masjid after having fulfilled his need. He may also pour water on his body while relieving himself.

NB: If a person leaves the Masjid especially for the purpose of showering then his I’tikaaf is nullified. Similarly, if after fulfilling the need in which he left the Masjid, engages in this action then his I’tikaaf would also be nullified.

NB: Besides the compulsory bath (Ghusl), some scholars have mentioned that it is also permissible to leave the Masjid for the Sunnah bath on the day of Jumu’ah.[1]

  1. b) If a person is already in the state of wudhu he is not allowed to leave the Masjid for the purpose of wudhu.
  2. c) Passing wind in the Masjid is against the etiquettes of the Masjid except that in cases of necessity it is allowed without any dislike. [2] Therefore a person spending Sunnah I’tikaaf is not allowed to leave to Masjid for the purpose of passing wind, rather it may be done in the Masjid if the need arises. He should however, try to distance himself away from the occupants of the Masjid if possible and then pass wind.

He may also adopt these measures;

(i) If he is not in the state wudhu he may leave the Masjid for the purpose of wudhu and thereafter pass wind.

(ii) Normally, the urge to pass wind is coupled with the urge to defecate, if the case is such then a person may leave for the latter thereafter pass wind.

  1. d) A person is not allowed to leave the Masjid for the purpose of smoking cigarettes. If a person is strongly addicted to cigarettes and becomes helpless and agitated, then he may exit the Masjid for any of the valid reasons mentioned above and while doing so may smoke or at the time of relieving himself. After smoking, the mouth should be cleansed properly before returning to the Masjid as to remove the foul scent that is associated with smoking.

NB: Smoking cigarettes, apart from being a disgusting habit, is harmful to one’s health and thus not permitted in Islam.

  1. e) If a person finds difficulties in using the toilet facilities provided by the Masjid, then it is allowed to go home for the purpose of reliving himself. As soon as his needs are fulfilled he must return to the Masjid without any delay. However, after relieving himself, his is allowed to perform wudhu at his home before returning to the Masjid.[3]

NB: It is important that those observing I’tikaaf educate themselves of its rules and limitations as to avoid this meritorious act from being nullified.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Kaleem Muhammad

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom

Trinidad, West Indies

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net


[1] راجع الحاشية على الفتاوى السراجية ص 172 مكتبة زمزم  باشراف المفتي رضاء الحق حفظه الله ورعاه

[2] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (1/ 656)

(قَوْلُهُ وَالْفَصْدُ) ذَكَرَهُ فِي الْأَشْبَاهِ بَحْثًا، فَقَالَ: وَأَمَّا الْفَصْدُ فِيهِ فِي إنَاءٍ فَلَمْ أَرَهُ، وَيَنْبَغِي أَنْ لَا فَرْقَ اهـ: أَيْ لَا فَرْقَ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْبَوْلِ، وَكَذَا لَا يُخْرِجُ فِيهِ الرِّيحَ مِنْ الدُّبُرِ كَمَا فِي الْأَشْبَاهِ.

وَاخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ السَّلَفُ؛ فَقِيلَ لَا بَأْسَ، وَقِيلَ يُخْرِجُ إذَا احْتَاجَ إلَيْهِ، وَهُوَ الْأَصَحُّ حَمَوِيٌّ عَنْ شَرْحِ الْجَامِعِ الصَّغِيرِ لِلتُّمُرْتَاشِيِّ


الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 445)

(قوله طبيعية) حال أو خبر لكان محذوفة أي سواء كانت طبيعية أو شرعية وفسر ابن الشلبي الطبيعية بما لا بد منها وما لا يقضى في المسجد

[3] الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 445)

واختلف فيما لو كان له بيتان فأتى البعيد منهما قيل فسد وقيل: لا ينبغي أن يخرج على القولين ما لو ترك بيت الخلاء للمسجد القريب وأتى بيته نهر ولا يبعد الفرق بين الخلافية وهذه لأن الإنسان قد لا يألف غير بيته رحمتي أي فإذا كان لا يألف غيره بأن لا يتيسر له إلا في بيته فلا يبعد الجواز بلا خلاف