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Women Ai'tekaaf at home

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Women are permitted to perform Aitekaaf in the Hanafi Madhab in their house.


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Superior place for women to worship:

The prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said to Umm Humayd (RA):

 عن أم حميد امرأة أبي حميد الساعدي : " أنها جاءت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقالت : يا رسول الله إني أحب الصلاة معك قال : قد علمت أنك تحبين الصلاة معي وصلاتك في بيتك خير لك من صلاتك في حجرتك وصلاتك في حجرتك خير من صلاتك في دارك وصلاتك في دارك خير لك من صلاتك في مسجد قومك وصلاتك في مسجد قومك خير لك من صلاتك في مسجدي ، قال : فأمرت فبني لها مسجد في أقصى شيء من بيتها وأظلمه فكانت تصلي فيه حتى لقيت الله عز وجل " . رواه أحمد

"It was narrated that sayyida Umm Humayd the wife of Abu Humayd al-Saa’idi came to the Prophet (Salalho Alaihe Wassallam) and said, “O Messenger of Allah (Salalho Alaihe Wassallam), I like to pray with you.” He said, “I know that you like to pray with me, but your prayer in your room is better for you than your prayer in your courtyard and your prayer in your courtyard is better for you than your praying in your house, and your prayer in your house is better for you than your prayer in the mosque of your people, and your prayer in the mosque of your people is better for you than your prayer in my mosque.” So she issued orders that a prayer-place be prepared for her in the furthest and darkest part of her house, and she used to pray there until she met Allah (i.e., died).”[Ahmed]

Rasul-ullah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) dislike for women doing Aitekaaf in the Mosque:

http://www.al-eman.com/islamlib/view...BID=138&CID=63

حدثنا يحيى بن يحيى‏.‏ أخبرنا أبو معاوية عن يحيى بن سعيد، عن عمرة، عن عائشة رضي الله عنها‏.‏ قالت‏:‏ كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم، إذا أراد أن يعتكف، صلى الفجر‏.‏ ثم دخل معتكفه‏.‏ وإنه أمر بخبائه فضرب‏.‏ أراد الاعتكاف في العشر الأواخر من رمضان‏.‏ فأمرت زينب بخبائها فضرب‏.‏ وأمر غيرها من أزواج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بخبائه فضرب‏.‏ فلما صلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الفجر، نظر فإذا الأخبية‏.‏ فقال ‏"‏ آلبر تردن ‏؟‏ ‏"‏ فأمر بخبائه فقوض‏.‏ وترك الاعتكاف في شهر رمضان حتى اعتكف في العشر الأول من شوال‏.‏

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) decided to observe i'tikaf, he prayed in the morning and then went to the place of his i'tikaf, and he commanded that a tent should be pitched for him, and it was pitched. He (once) decided to observe i'tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan. Zainab (the wife of the Holy Prophet) commanded that a tent should be pitched for her. It was pitched accordingly. And some other wives of Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) commanded that tents should be pitched for them too. And they were pitched. When the Messenger of Allah (may peace he upon him) offered the morning prayer, he looked and found (so many) tents. Thereupon he said: What is this virtue that these (ladies) have decided to acquire? He commanded his tent to be struck and abandoned i'tikaf in the month of Ramadan and postponed it to the first ten days of Shawwal. [Saheeh Muslim]

Imam Abu Haneefa (RA) & Imam Sufyan At-Thawri (RA) on Women Ai'tekaaf at home

Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) said:

"let women only do I'tikaf at their house Masjid. [Al-Istithkaar Al-Jami'e Li-madhahib Al-Amsaar: 3/399]

Imam Sufyan At-Thawri (RA) said:

"It is better fit women to do I'tikaf at their house Majid than having it at the normal Masjid" [Al-Istithkaar Al-Jami'e Li-madhahib Al-Amsaar: 3/399]

Imam Shaf'ae (RA) on Women Ai'tekaaf at home

Al-Imam Al-Iraqi (RA) stated in his book " Imam Al-Shafie (RA) commented on the hadith above by saying:

" Based on this Hadith I dislike for women to do I'tikaf at any masjid except the masjid of her house because if she does I'tikaf at the Masjid which is normally visited day and night, the chances of her to be seen and see others i.e. males are big" [Tarh Al-Tathrib Fi Sharh Al-Taqreeb: 4/170]

Why the house and not the Masjid?

Because the scholars have classed the house as the Masjid and prayer in the Masjid is neither obligatory for women nor it is obligatory to perform their Aitekaaf in a Masjid where congragtaional Salah is performed as Ibn Qudama (RA) states in Al-Mughni:

وَلِلْمَرْأَةِ أَنْ تَعْتَكِفَ فِي كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ . وَلا يُشْتَرَطُ إقَامَةُ الْجَمَاعَةِ فِيهِ ; لأَنَّهَا غَيْرُ وَاجِبَةٍ عَلَيْهَا

A woman has the right to observe i'tikaaf in any mosque, and that is not subject to the condition that it be a mosque where prayers are performed in congregation, because that is not obligatory upon her.

Opinion of Shaykh Ayman Khalid (Multaqa Ahl Al-Hadeeth):

We are sincerely grateful to the noble Shaykh (HA) for providing his beneficial thoughts and much of his good work has been used by us in this article on the subject on his forum and he concludes by saying:

On other note, I believe, nowadays, it is better for women to do I'tikaf at their house Masjid because of the following reasons:

 

1 Most women do not put on proper Hijab and this causes lot of Fitna.

 

2 The entrance of women and men always meet somehow, and you always find men or women standing outside standing or talking before entering.

 

3 The noise that happen due to this especially if the woman has kids with her which will distract whoever is in the Masjid.

 

That is based on my personal observation, which even happens in normal days anyway. yet, in such occasions it is greater.

Allah (SWT) knows best.

Differences with other Madhahib?

The Scholars of the Hanafi Madhab have stated that her house is her Masjid, therefore deemed permissible for her to do her Aitekaaf there. We also accept that there are other Scholars who have stipulated that Aitekaaf can only be done in the Masjid and we respect their opinion.