What are the pillars and conditions of doing an i’tikaf?

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  • The intention of physically secluding oneself in the masjid, for the entire 10 nights, while observing the restrictions and conditions of i’tikaf and with the intention not to leave except for an emergency.
  • The place of seclusion has to be in a place that is defined to be a masjid.
  • I’tikaf is only for a rational and discerning Muslim.
  • The person is in a state of purity from janabah (impurity), menstruation and postpartum bleeding, because those people would be prevented from staying in the masjid.
  • Permission is needed from the husband for a woman to be in i’tikaf, as it was reported that A’isha and Hafsa requested permission from the Prophet (pbuh) to perform i’tikaf, and the Prophet (pbuh) permitted them.
  • One cannot leave the place of i’tikaf until the time period is finished or else it will not count as a full i’tikaf.
  • No sexual intercourse is permissible between the spouses during the i’tikaf.
  • There is a consensus among the scholars that the only place an i’tikaf can be done by a male is at a masjid.
  • There is a minority opinion that females are allowed to do i’tikaf in a dedicated area in the home. The majority opinion says no, females can only do it at a masjid.
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