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.
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