Ruling On Allocating Some Mosques For I‘tikaaf And Not Others
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
In our country the state allocates some
mosques for people to observe i‘tikaaf in, and there
are other mosques that are not allocated for i‘tikaaf.
There are some people who want to observe i‘tikaaf in
these mosques, I mean the ones that are not allocated
by the state. Are the employees of these mosques
sinning if they prevent these people from observing
i‘tikaaf there, in accordance with the instructions of
the government? Are they included in the words of
Allah (interpretation of the meaning): "And who are
more unjust than those who forbid that Allaah's Name
be glorified and mentioned much (i.e. prayers and
invocations) in Allaah's mosques" [al-Baqarah 2:114]?
If they are sinning by doing that, what about obeying
the authorities? Especially since there are other
mosques allocated for i‘tikaaf. Please advise us, may
Allah reward you with good.
Praise be to Allaah.
Mosques are the most honoured places on Earth; they
are the houses of Allah and were built for His worship
by praying, reading Qu''aan, remembering Allah,
seeking and teaching Islamic knowledge, and i‘tikaaf.
Concerning this, the Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) said: "… rather they [mosques] are
for the remembrance of Allaah, may He be glorified and
exalted, and prayer, and reading Qur'aan." Narrated by
Every Muslim has the right to enter the mosques and
worship Allah there, so long as he does that in the
prescribed fashion. Based on that, whoever wants to
observe i‘tikaaf in some mosque has the right to do
that, and no one has the right to prevent him from
doing so. The one who prevents him may be included in
the meaning of this verse (interpretation of the
"And who are more unjust than those who forbid that
Allaah's Name be glorified and mentioned much (i.e.
prayers and invocations) in Allaah's mosques and
strive for their ruin? It was not fitting that such
should themselves enter them (Allaah's mosques) except
in fear. For them there is disgrace in this world, and
they will have a great torment in the Hereafter"
i.e., no one is more unjust than those who do this.
This prohibition is reinforced if it is done because
these people who are observing i‘tikaaf are keen to
follow the Sunnah and warn people against innovation
and tell them not to cause mischief on earth, so
restrictions are put on them to prevent them from
observing i‘tikaaf in the houses of Allah.
Whoever strives -- in this case -- to prevent people
from observing i‘tikaaf and staying in the mosques to
pray, read the Qur'aan and remember Allah, is sinning
and comes under the warning mentioned in this verse.
The one who helps him to do that is like him.
As for the employees of the mosques, if they can take
a stance for the sake of Allah against preventing
people from observing i‘tikaaf in the mosques
unjustly, this is what they should do, and they cannot
afford to do anything else. If they cannot do that,
then they should be gentle with the one who wants to
observe i‘tikaaf and ask him to change his mind,
because it is not wise for a person to observe
i‘tikaaf in the mosque and thus cause harm to his
It may be better for him and for the Muslims to
observe i‘tikaaf in the mosques where i‘tikaaf is
permitted, so that a large number of Muslims will come
together, and perhaps that will be a means of teaching
them some Islamic rulings that they do not know, or
one of them may receive sincere advice (naseehah) that
will benefit him.
Prohibiting i‘tikaaf in some mosques may be acceptable
if the mosque is small and does not have enough room
for the worshippers, in which case observing i‘tikaaf
there would bother the worshippers and make the place
even more overcrowded.
And Allah knows best.