Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen on Attending Classes While in I’tikaaf (Seclusion in the Masjid)

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

Some people may feel it is inappropriate to attend a class about Islaam while performing i’tikaaf (seclusion in the masjid), which is commonly done in the last ten nights of Ramadhaan.

Our shaykh, the great scholar, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have Mercy on him) posed and answered the following question:

*ﻭﻫﻞ ﻳﻨﺎﻓﻲ ﺭﻭﺡ ﺍﻻ‌ﻋﺘﻜﺎﻑ ﺃﻥ ﻳﺸﺘﻐﻞ ﺍﻟﻤﻌﺘﻜﻒ ﻓﻲ ﻃﻠﺐ ﺍﻟﻌﻠﻢ؟*

 Does it go against the spirit of i’tikaaf to occupy oneself with seeking knowledge?

*ﺍﻟﺠﻮﺍﺏ: ﻻ‌ ﺷﻚ ﺃﻥ ﻃﻠﺐ ﺍﻟﻌﻠﻢ ﻣﻦ ﻃﺎﻋﺔ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ، ﻟﻜﻦ ﺍﻻ‌ﻋﺘﻜﺎﻑ ﻳﻜﻮﻥ ﻟﻠﻄﺎﻋﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﺨﺎﺻﺔ، ﻛﺎﻟﺼﻼ‌ﺓ، ﻭﺍﻟﺬﻛﺮ، ﻭﻗﺮﺍﺀﺓ ﺍﻟﻘﺮﺁﻥ، ﻭﻣﺎ ﺃﺷﺒﻪ ﺫﻟﻚ، ﻭﻻ‌ ﺑﺄﺱ ﺃﻥ ﻳَﺤﻀﺮ ﺍﻟﻤﻌﺘﻜﻒ ﺩﺭﺳﺎً ﺃﻭ ﺩﺭﺳﻴﻦ ﻓﻲ ﻳﻮﻡ ﺃﻭ ﻟﻴﻠﺔ؛ ﻷ‌ﻥ ﻫﺬﺍ ﻻ‌ ﻳﺆﺛﺮ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺍﻻ‌ﻋﺘﻜﺎﻑ، ﻟﻜﻦ ﻣﺠﺎﻟﺲ ﺍﻟﻌﻠﻢ ﺇﻥ ﺩﺍﻣﺖ، ﻭﺻﺎﺭ ﻳﻄﺎﻟﻊ ﺩﺭﻭﺳﻪ، ﻭﻳﺤﻀﺮ ﺍﻟﺠﻠﺴﺎﺕ ﺍﻟﻜﺜﻴﺮﺓ ﺍﻟﺘﻲ ﺗﺸﻐﻠﻪ ﻋﻦ ﺍﻟﻌﺒﺎﺩﺓ ﺍﻟﺨﺎﺻﺔ، ﻓﻬﺬﺍ ﻻ‌ ﺷﻚ ﺃﻥ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻋﺘﻜﺎﻓﻪ ﻧﻘﺼﺎً، ﻭﻻ‌ ﺃﻗﻮﻝ ﺇﻥ ﻫﺬﺍ ﻳﻨﺎﻓﻲ ﺍﻻ‌ﻋﺘﻜﺎﻑ.* 

The answer: No doubt that seeking knowledge is an act of obedience to Allaah. However, i’tikaaf has more to do with specific acts of obdedience, such as prayer, remembrance, recitation of Quran, etc. There is no problem if the one performing i’tikaaf attends a lesson or two during the day or night, as this does not affect the (validity of) i’tikaaf.

However, if the classes are continuous, and he begins reviewing (and focusing heavily on) his lessons, attending many sittings that distract him from his (more) personal acts of (private) worship, then no doubt, his i’tikaaf would be deficient. However, I do not hold that this invalidates his i’tikaaf.

Source: ash-Sharh al-Mumti’, his explanation of Zaad al-Mustaqni’ (6/501). [Arabic source online]

Translated by: Moosaa Richardson

2 thoughts on “Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen on Attending Classes While in I’tikaaf (Seclusion in the Masjid)

  1. السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته أستاذ

    How about the sermons that are held by some speakers in masājid during the last ten nights.

    There is speech of Sh Al Albani رحمه الله on talks between rak’aat but how about after the taraweeh is over?
    (A bit off topic)

    بارك الله فيك

    • وعليك السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

      Speaking (formally, like with a public address) before or after Taraaweeh is permissible, like speaking before or after any prayer, except before Jumu’ah when it is forbidden specifically. And Allaah knows best.

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