Volume - VIII / CHAPTER - 1 / LESSON NO: 26 / PAGE 1 of 2
"ETIKAAF" (RETIREMENT TO MOSQUE)
Q.1: What does "Etikaaf' mean?
A. 'Etikaaf means to stay in mosque for a certain time with the pure intention of worship or of seeking proximity, nearness of Allah Almighty.
Q.2: What are the prerequisites of 'Etikaaf?
A. There are some prerequisites of 'Etikaaf (retirement to mosque for a certain time): (1). Intention. If one stays in a mosque without the intention of 'Etikaaf will not earn its reward, (2). One must be Muslim and (3). Sane, if one is not in his senses he will not earn the reward of 'Etikaaf, (4). Stay in such mosque where Imaam and Muazzin are posted, (5). To be free from seminal pollution. It is unlawful for "Junbi" (seminally or sexually polluted man) to enter a mosque, (6). For woman: to be free from "Haiz-o-Nifaas" (menstruation and discharge of blood of the child-birth) and (7). Fasting. If one observes 'Etikaaf of vow.
Q.3: Is maturity a prerequisite for 'Etikaaf or not?
A. Maturity is no condition for 'Etikaaf. An immature boy able to differentiate between the good and bad can observe 'Etikaaf in mosque.
Q.4: Is it conditional for one or not to observe 'Etikaaf in Jaama' Masjid?
A. Jaama' Masjid (principal mosque of the locality) is no condition for 'Etikaaf. It can be observed in "Masjid-e-Jama'at" (a mosque where Imaam and Muazzin are posted) even though congregation is not regularly held five times a day. However, 'Etikaaf can be observed in every mosque irrespective of permanent Imaam and Muazzin or congregational prayer.
Q.5: In which mosque is observance of 'Etikaaf highly rewarding?
A. Observance of' Etikaaf in "Masj id-e-Haram Shareef' (the holy Ka'bah) earns one the highest reward (of all mosques under the sun) and then (in descending order) in "Masjid-e-Nabvi" (the Holy Prophet's mosque), "Masjid-e-Aqsa" (Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem) and then that one where large number of Muslims offer congregational prayer.
Q.6: Can a woman observe 'Etikaaf in mosque or not?
A. It is "Makrooh" (odious) for a woman to observe 'Etikaaf in mosque. She must observe it in her house at the place she has reserved for offering prayer which is called "Masjid-e-Bait" (the place reserved for prayer at home). It is "Mustahab" (commendable) for women to reserve a place in their houses for prayer and keep it clean and tidy. It is better if this place is a little raised from the ground (level) like a platform. It is also better for men to offer their Nafil prayers at home for which a place should be reserved.
Q.7: How many kinds of 'Etikaaf are there?
A. 'Etikaaf is of three kinds i.e. (1). "Waajib". One makes "Mannat" (vow) of 'Etikaaf uttering the words of vow. Mere intention will not make 'Etikaaf due, (2)."Sunnat-e-Muakkadah". It must be observed during the last ten days of Ramadaan and (3).'Etikaaf other than the above-mentioned two kinds which one wants to observe are "Mustahab" and "Sunnat-e-Ghair Muakkadah".
Q.8: What is the method of observing Ramadaan's 'Etikaaf?
A. One (fasting man) should enter the mosque on 20th of Ramadaan at the time of sunset (before the Azaan of Maghrib prayer) with the pure intention of 'Etikaaf and stay there till the end of Ramadaan i.e. leave the mosque after Maghrib of 30th Ramadaan or if the Moon of Eid is sighted on 29th as the case may be. If the 'Etikaaf observing man makes intention of 'Etikaaf after Maghrib prayer, he will deprive himself of the Sunnat.
Q.9: On whom is Ramadaan's 'Etikaaf due?
A. Observance of Ramadaan's 'Etikaaf during last ten days is "Sunnat-e-Kifaayah" i.e. a responsibility which will be fulfilled even if done by only one believer in a town otherwise all will be made accountable for it.
Q10: Which time is fixed for "Etikaaf-e-Mustahab"?
A. There is no fixed time for 'Etikaaf-e-Mustahab. As soon as one enters a mosque and forms "Niyat" of 'Etikaaf, begins earning its reward and will keep earning so long as he remains in the mosque. On stepping out of the mosque his 'Etikaaf will automatically come to an end. NOTE: This "Sawaab" (reward of virtue) involves no labour. Just an intention of 'Etikaaf in a mosque earns one reward. So one must not miss it. It is better if an inscription to this effect is put beside the main gate of every mosque advising believers to make intention of 'Etikaaf after having entered the mosque to earn reward gratis. It will serve as reminder to the knowing men and make unknowing ones aware of the reward.
Q11: Is fast conditional for 'Etikaaf?
A. Fasting is no condition for 'Etikaaf-e-Mustahab. But it is a prerequisite for 'Etikaaf-e-Sunnat which is observed during last ten days of Ramadaan and also for the 'Etikaaf of Mannat.
Q12: Will Sunnat be deemed to have been fulfilled if a sick man or a traveller observed 'Etikaaf without fasting?
A. If a sick man or a traveller observed 'Etikaaf without fasting it would not fulfill Sunnat. Such 'Etikaaf is Nafil one. He will earn the reward of Nafil worship.
Q13: Will fast be due or not if one makes intention of Mannat's 'Etikaaf sans fasting?
A. Fasting is a prerequisite for the 'Etikaaf of Mannat. If one formed Niyat of one month's 'Etikaaf without fasting even then he will have to observe fasts during 'Etikaaf.
Q14: Is it right or not to make Mannat for observing 'Etikaaf at night?
A. It is wrong to make Mannat for observing 'Etikaaf at night because fast is not observed in the night. Similarly if one makes Mannat for observing 'Etikaaf today and he has taken meal then his 'Etikaaf will not be valid. Likewise, if one makes intention of Mannat's 'Etikaaf of today after meridian Shar'ee and is not in the state of fast then his Mannat will not be correct as he can not intend for fast now and in case he can, for example, he makes intention before meridian Shar'ee even then his 'Etikaaf will not be valid, for, this fast is Nafil one whereas "Waajib" fast is required for 'Etikaaf. And if one observed Nafil fast and then made Mannat of 'Etikaaf, his Mannat would not be correct as Nafil fast can not be a substitute for Waajib fast.
Q15: Can Mannat of a month's 'Etikaaf be fulfilled in Ramadaan or not?
A. If one makes Mannat of observing one month's Etikaaf he can not fulfill it in Ramadaan. He will have to observe fasts particularly for this Etikaaf.
Q16: Is it permissible or not to step out of the mosque during Etikaaf?
A. The one who is observing "Etikaaf Waajib" can not step out of the mosque without a valid excuse. If he does, his Etikaaf will be spoilt. Likewise, Etikaaf-e-Sunnat will also get spoilt if the Etikaaf-observing man steps out of the mosque without a valid excuse.
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