Explanation of “There is no Itikaaf except in the three Masjid..” : Sheikh Ibn Baz, Sheikh Uthaymeen, Sheikh Muqbil & Sheikh Yahya


Answered by Shuyookh Ibn Baaz, Muqbil Bin Haadee, Uthaymeen  (Rahimahullaahu ta’ala) & Yahya Al-Hajooree (Hafidahullaah).

itikaf-in-three-masjidsShaykh Ibn Baaz (rahimahAllaah):

Question:
How sound is the hadeeth “There is no i’tikaaf except in the three mosques”? If the hadeeth is saheeh, does that in fact mean that i’tikaaf can only be observed in the three mosques?

Answer:

I’tikaaf is valid in mosques other than the three mosques, but it is essential that the mosque in which i’tikaaf is observed is a mosque in which prayers are held in congregation. If no prayers are held in congregation there, then it is not valid to observe i’tikaaf there. But if a person has vowed to observe i’tikaaf in one of the three mosques then he is obliged to do so in fulfillment of his vow.

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 15/444.

**  ‘I’tikaaf: retiring to a Masjid for the remembrance of Allaah

Sheikh Muqbil bin Hadee (rahimahullaahu Ta’la):

Question:
What do you say about the hadeeth: ” There is no “I’tikaaf except in three masjids (Haram Mecca, Prophet’s Masjid, Masjid Aqsa)?

Answer:

Some of them (scholars) inform that this narration is from (the speech of) Huthafah. Others say that in the narration Huthafah said to Abdullah bin Mas’ood: “Verily people are praying (making ‘itikaf) between your house and such and such”, and what is apparent is they were in Kufaa. (trans. note: meaning, Huthafah was admonishing Abdullah bin Mas’ood for allowing people to make ‘itikaf in other then the previously mentioned three masjids) Ibn Mas’ood replied: “Maybe they are correct and you have made a mistake.” 

The scholars mention: If this hadeeth (that was mentioned by Huthafah) was reported from the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم, Ibn Mas’ood would never have the audacity to reply: “Maybe they are correct and you are wrong” But if the hadeeth (of Huthafah) is in-fact correct, then the meaning of it is; There is no ‘itikaaf better then in these three masjids. Therefore, it would be considered a proof to show the merits and preference of ‘itikaf in these three masjids, just as a proof has come to show the merits and preference of prayer in these masjids. But (if this is not the case) then the verse pertaining to ‘itikaaf is general; {And do not have (sexual) relations with them while you are in ‘itikaaf} surah al Baqarah:187, and there has not come a proof to make it specific for three masjids. (Another thing that places doubt in the authenticity of the hadeeth) is the Idterab (confusion) in it. One narration is reported by way of Huthafah ascribing it to the Messenger – صلى الله عليه وسلم, but yet another time it is mentioned to be from the speech of Huthafah himself. Another thing is the action of the Muslims (salaf). I do know that some brothers (scholars) have written books in this matter (supporting that ‘i’tikaaf is only in the three masjids), but we do not make specific and narrow what Allah has made wide and vast.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah):

Question:
What is the ruling on i’tikaaf in the three mosques: al-Masjid al-Haraam (in Makkah), al-Masjid al-Nabawi (in Madeenah) and al-Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem).

Answer:

I’tikaaf in mosques other than the three mosques – al-Masjid al-Haraam (in Makkah), al-Masjid al-Nabawi (in Madeenah) and al-Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem) – is prescribed at the appropriate time, and is not limited to the three mosques. It may be observed in those mosques or in others. This is the view of the imams of the Muslims and the imams of the madhhabs that are followed, such as Imam Ahmad, Maalik, al-Shaafa’i, Abu Haneefah and others – may Allaah have mercy on them – because of the words of Allaah:

“And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I‘tikaaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques. These are the limits (set) by Allaah, so approach them not. Thus does Allaah make clear His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, revelations, verses, laws, legal and illegal things, Allaah’s set limits, orders, etc.) to mankind that they may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).
[al-Baqarah 2:187]
And because the word masaajid (mosques) is general in meaning and includes all mosques throughout the world. This sentence appears at the end of the verses on fasting, the ruling of which applies to the whole ummah in all regions. So it is addressed to all those to whom the ruling on fasting is addressed. Hence these rulings end with the words:
“These are the limits (set) by Allaah, so approach them not. Thus does Allaah make clear His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, revelations, verses, laws, legal and illegal things, Allaah’s set limits, orders, etc.) to mankind that they may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious).”
[al-Baqarah 2:187]

It is extremely unlikely that Allaah would address the ummah with words that only include a very few of them.

With regard to the hadeeth of Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan (may Allaah be pleased with him): “There is no i’tikaaf except in the three mosques,” even if we assume that this hadeeth is free from faults, it is referring to the most perfect of i’tikaaf, i.e., that which is observed in the three mosques, because of their honoured status and superiority over others. This usage occurs frequently, where the negative is a statement that something is incomplete, not a denial of its validity. For example the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no prayer in the presence of food,” etc. Undoubtedly the basic principle with regard to negative statements is to negate or deny, but if there is evidence to the contrary then that evidence should be followed, as in the hadeeth of Hudhayfah. This is if we assume that it is free of faults. And Allaah knows best.

Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 493).

Shaykh Abu Abdur-Rahmaan Yahya Bin ‘Alee Al-Hajooree (hafidahullaah):

Question:
Is ‘itikaaf specific for the three Masjid’s, or is it general for all of the Masjids? And how is the condition of the hadeeth of Hudhaifah that has witin it specification (of these three Masjids)?

Answer:

As for it being affirmed, then yes, the Hadeeth of Hudhaifah is affirmed, however they (the people of knowledge) understood it to mean ‘more complete: “there is no ‘Itikaaf except within the three Masjids”, they said (the people of knowledge): there is no ‘Itikaaf more perfect and complete, for the majority of the people of knowledge are on the opinion that ‘Itikaaf if for all of the Masjids. Al-Imaam Al-Bukhaari said – may Allah have mercy upon him: Chapter: ‘Itikaaf is in all of the Masjids, and the statement of Allah glorified and exalted be He:

وَأَنْتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ
(while you are in I’tikâf in the mosques)
[Al-Baqarah: 187]

Posted on July 24, 2014, in Ramadan Resources and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: