Visiting a Person Observing I‘tikaaf

Visiting a Person Observing I‘tikaaf
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In a Hadeeth on the authority of Safiyyah bint Huyayy, may Allah be pleased with her, she said,

Once, while the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was in I‘tikaaf, I visited him at night and talked with him. I got up to depart and he got up also to accompany me to my dwelling place, which was located in the house of Usaamah ibn Zayd. Two men from the Ansaar (helpers) passed by and when they saw the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) they hastened away. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said (to them): “Slow down! It is Safiyyah bint Huyayy (i.e. my wife).”They said, “Glory be to Allah! O Messenger of Allah (i.e., we would never dare suspect you of anything)!” He said: “The devil circulates in man as blood circulates in him, and I was afraid that the devil might throw an evil thought (or something) into your hearts.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
Another narration of this incident reads: “The devil permeates in man like the permeation of blood (in every part of body).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
In a Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him he said,
The wives of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) were with him in the mosque (while he was in I‘tikaaf) and then they departed and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said to Safiyyah bint Huyayy: “Do not hurry up, for I shall accompany you,” (and her dwelling was in the house of Usaamah). The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) went out with her and two men from the Ansaar met him and they looked at the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and passed by. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said to them:“Come here! This is (my wife) Safiyyah bint Huyayy.”They replied, “Subhaan Allah (Glory be to Allah), (i.e., we would never dare think evil of you)) O Messenger of Allah!” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) replied:“The devil circulates in man as blood circulates in his body, and I was afraid lest the devil might throw an evil thought in your minds.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
 
Benefits and rulings:
 
First: The mercy that the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), showed to his Ummah (nation) as well as looking after their interests and guiding them to whatever would preserve their hearts and organs. He feared that the devil might cast in the hearts of the two men evil thoughts about him. An-Nawawi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim that thinking ill of prophets is an act of disbelief. Ash-Shaafi‘i  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “He said what he did to them because he feared that they might commit an act of disbelief if they thought ill of him. So, he hastened to inform that out of advising them before the devil could cast into their hearts something that would cause their destruction.”
Second: Thepermissibility of visiting the person observing I‘tikaaf. It is permissible for the woman to visit and talk with her husband at the mosque whether in the day or night. This act does not affect his I‘tikaaf. However, overdoing this would distract the person observing I‘tikaaf from worship and may invalidate his I‘tikaaf if he has sexual intercourse with his wife.
Third: The Muslim should avoid the places where accusations and doubts regarding him may arise. If he fears that people may think ill of him, he should clarify the matter to them - especially if he is one of those who are taken as an example like the scholars and the righteous. It is impermissible for them to do something that would raise doubts and ill thoughts about them even if this act would be way out for them (from a certain harm) because this would be a cause of people not to follow them. This matter also includes having the ruler pointing out to the subjects the reason behind a judgment that he has issued if they do not know why in order to dispel any accusation of injustice.
Fourth: The Muslim should be wary of the devil and his schemes because he circulates in man like his blood.
Fifth: Thepermissibility of glorifying Allah (saying Subhaan Allah) when expressing the seriousness of a certain matter or astonishment. This is also indicated in the incident of the Slander in the Noble Quran. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And why, when you heard it, did you not say, "It is not for us to speak of this. Glory be to You, [O Allah]; this is a great slander"?} [Quran 24:16]
Sixth: It is permissible for the person observing I‘tikaaf to do permissible actions such as bidding the one who visits him farewell, accompanying him and talking with other people. However, he should not overdo these matters.
Seventh: It is permissible for the person observing I‘tikaaf to teach, attend religious lessons, write religious items and so on; however, he should not overdo this because the goal behind I‘tikaaf is to be devoted to pure acts of worship.
Eighth: It is permissible for the one doing I’tikaaf to buy what is necessary for him during his I‘tikaaf such as the food and the like.
Ninth: It is permissible for the person observing I‘tikaaf to be in seclusion with his wife provided that he does not approach her sexually.
Tenth: It is permissible for the woman to go out of her home at night to visit him if it is safe for her to do so.
Eleventh: It is permissible for a person to greet someone accompanying his wife because it was stated in some narrations that the two men from the Ansaar greeted the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), and he did not disapprove of what they did. [Al-Bukhari and Ibn Maajah]
Twelfth: It is permissible for the man, while accompanying his wife or one of his Mahram (non marriageable) women, to talk to men who are non-Mahram to her especially if there is a need to do so such as the need to clarify a ruling, dispel evil, etc. This act does not contradict chivalry or protective jealously.
Thirteenth: It is permissible for the person observing I‘tikaaf to ward off ill thoughts about him by words and clarification as the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), did. Moreover, it is permissible for him to ward off harm by action. The person observing I‘tikaaf is not in a more sacred state than the one performing prayer who is permitted to prevent (by action) the one who passes before him and to ward off any harm against himself. Similarly, it is permissible for the person observing I‘tikaaf to defend himself against any aggression by hand and his I‘tikaaf remains valid.
Fourteenth: Thecommand to be deliberate and avoid hastening if there is no need for it, for the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), said to the two men: “Slow down!”
Fifteenth: The justice and fairness of the Prophet,  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ), towards his wives. When his wives visited him at the place of his I‘tikaaf and wanted to depart he said to Safiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, “Do not hurry up!” It seems that he specified her to remain for a longer period with him because she came late after his other wives had done. So, he asked her to remain for a longer time to spend with her the same time that he spent with his other wives - or perhaps the houses of his other wives were nearer than hers so he feared for her safety. Hence, the Muslim must deal with his wives fairly and take care of them.

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