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I'tikaaf means to stick to
s o m e th i n g , w h e th e r
good or bad, and to
block out everything
else; and the purpose of
secluding oneself in the
mosque is to block out
everything to get closer
to Allah.

The Prophet would per-
form i'tikaaf for ten days
every Ramadan. In the
year that he died, he
performed it for twenty
days. The Prophet's
companions and wives
performed i'tikaf with
him and continued to do
so after his death.

There are two types of
Itikaaf sunnah and
obligatory.
The sunnah i'tikaaf is
that which the Muslim
performs to get closer
to Allah by following
t h e a c t i o n s o f t h e
Prophet (sa) especially
during the last ten days
of Ramadan.

The obligatory i'tikaaf
is that which the per-
son makes obligatory
upon himself. This may
be done, for example,
by an oath: "For Allah I
must make i'tikaf," or
by a conditional oath:
"If Allah cures me, I
shall make i'tikaf ..."

In Sahih al-Bukhari it is
r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e
P r o p h e t ( s a ) s a i d :
"Whoever makes an
oath to obey Allah Mes