Regarding a person observing ltikaf, Rasúlulläh (sallallahu alahi wa sallam) said: “He stays away from sins and also gets the reward (though he sits for itikaf) like the one outside of the l’tikaf who is doing all good actions.” – Sunan Ibn Mäjah
ltikaf, for the males, is staying for some time in a Masjid where five times Salah is prayed in congregation having intended for Itikâf and for the females, in a specified prayer room at their homes. Itikaf has three groups called Wajib, Sunnah al-Mu’akkadah and Mustahab.
The l’tikaf that is vowed is Wajib. An l’tikâf observed in the last ten days of Ramadân is Sunnah al-Muakkadäh al-Kifâyah. When some individuals in the community observe this act of worship, the Sunnah is regarded to have been fulfilled by the community as a whole. I’tikaf observed for some time in a Masjid, at other times, with the intention of Ibâdah (worship) is Mustahab.
The conditions of l’tikâf
The following are the conditions that a person to observe l’tikâf (Mutakif) should meet: To be a Muslim of a sound mind, not to be in a state of Janâbah (major impurity), Hayd (menstruation) or Nifãs (postnatal bleeding) and to intend for the ltikâf. This Ibâdah is supposed to be performed in a Masjid or a place subject to a Masiid’s rules. For women, a specified prayer room in their homes is under the ruling of Masjid.
While observing a Wajib I’tikâf one needs to be fasting. I’tikaf is invalidated if the Mutakif (performer of I’tikâf) leaves the Masjid without any necessity or is intimate with his wife. Itikaf is not cancelled if the Mu’takif (performer of Itikâf) leaves the Masjid for religious or physiological needs or necessities such as going out to the nearest Masiid to pray Jumu’ ah Salâh.