Question: Assalamu Alaykum
I am doing some research & would like to know the following:
1. In the last 10 days of Ramadhan, did every Sahabi sit in I’tikaaf either with the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam or in any other Masjid?
2. If not, were there any other reasons apart from illness as to why a Sahabi did not sit in I’tikaaf, e.g. Battles apart from the Battle of Badr or any other reason.
3. After the demise of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam, did all Sahabah sit in I’tikaaf every year in the last 10 days of Ramadhan.
4. If not, were there any reasons apart from illness, e.g. battles, khilafat etc?
Wa alaikum As Salaam,
1. In the last 10 days, every Sahabi did not sit in I’tikaaf either with the Prophet (s.a.w) or in another Masjid.
2. Apart from illness or battles, some companions were occupied in trade, working in their fields etc. The ruling of I’tikaaf in the last 10 days of Ramadhan is that it is an emphasized Sunnah on a sufficing basis (Sunnah Al Mu’akadah Ala Al Kifayah) as stated by many scholars. This means that when some people do it, all others will be absolved from its fulfillment. For this reason, when some companions (Sahabah) did I’tikaaf with the Prophet (s.a.w), it was not essential upon others to do it. The I’tikaaf done by some sufficed for all others. The Sahabah understood this ruling, hence, each and everyone did not consider it essential to sit in I’tikaaf.
Some have stated that the correct opinion is that it is Sunnah Al Mu’akadah, however, the Prophet (s.a.w) did not show any disapproval for those who did not sit in I’tikaaf with him. (Raddul Mukhtar Ala Ad Durr al Mukhtar vol. 2 Pg. 442-H.M Saeed Company Karachi).
3. After the demise of the Prophet (s.a.w), all the sahabah did not sit in I’tikaaf every year in the last 10 days of Ramadhan. Many would have sat, while others would not have done so. Also, some would have done I’tikaaf at different times from others.
4. The Sahabah would have had their own reasons for not sitting in I’tikaaf if they did not do so. Many Sahabah were involved in going out on expeditions to preach Islam and to defend Islam. Others would have been occupied in state affairs. Some would have been deputed as teachers and preachers who travelled for this purpose, and others would have been involved in other services which did not allow them the time to sit for I’tikaaf.
It must be understood that all the works done by the Sahabah were for the sake of Islam. They worked on the fields and in the markets and gave their monies to propagate Islam. They spent their days and nights in worshipping Allah and being with the Prophet (s.a.w). While some were in the Masjid, teaching and learning, others were on the battle fields defending Islam and the lives of the Muslims. While some nurtured the sick and old, and looked after the needs of the poor and needy, others were summoned to protect the frontiers of the Islamic cities. In one way or the other, whatever they did, they were all engaged in the service of Islam for the sake of Allah. As such, while all the sahabah would not have sat in I’tikaaf for the last 10 days of Ramadhan, they were all involved in such services of Islam which needed to be rendered.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.