My husband wants to observe i‘tikaf (ritual seclusion in the mosque) in Ramadan, Allah Almighty, willing. He will observe it in a masjid near our house. Is it valid that he comes home after finishing work and takes a bath and then goes to the masjid and repeats this process throughout the period of i‘tikaf? He also comes home before he goes to work to change his clothes and take a bath. We want to know whether the conditions of the validity of i‘tikaf include not entering the marital house?
All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.
If your husband renews the intention of i‘tikaf every day after he returns from work and takes a bath in his house and observes i‘tikaf the rest of the day with the night and then goes to work in the morning, and he does that throughout the last ten days of Ramadan, then his i‘tikaf is valid because it is confined to the period that he intended. The majority of the scholars agreed that the least period of i‘tikaf is what is considered i‘tikaf according to custom.
If your husband intends to observe i‘tikaf for the whole duration of the last ten days, his i‘tikaf is not invalidated by entering his house or any other house for an indispensible matter like bringing food, answering the call of nature, or taking a necessary bath if this is not possible in the masjid. However, it is better that he asks someone to bring him the food, drink, and stuff that he needs. If he goes out for something that he can dispense with, his i‘tikaf is invalidated, and it is also invalidated by having sexual intercourse. If his i‘tikaf is invalidated and he wants to perform it once more, he has to renew his intention to resume the i‘tikaf.
Allah knows best.
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