Two Islamic scholars, Raghib Naeemi and Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, say the Holy Quran instructs Muslim men to perform Itekaf at mosques.
The scholars told SAMAA TV anchor Ali Haider on Tuesday that Itekaf is, however, a Sunnah Mu’akkadah and not Farz on Muslims.
A Sunnah Mu’akkadah is a voluntary worship which the Holy Prophet (pbuh) performed in his life and almost never abandoned. These include Eid prayers and the two rakat Sunnahs after the Maghrib Farz prayer.
“There’s no ambiguity about the issue,” said Naeemi. He cited Surah Baqarah’s Ayat 187 that indicates that mosques are the sole place where men are supposed spend their Itekaf days.
Ghamidi and Naeemi said the Holy Prophet (pbuh) also used to perform Itekaf in the last 10 days of Ramazan at a mosque. Ghamidi added that the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) home was no less than a mosque but he still preferred to go to the mosque.
Naeemi said not everyone has to come to mosque for worship though. One person from each area can perform Itekaf at their local mosque.
As for women, the Fiqah Hanfiyah (Sunni sect) allows them to perform the worship at home as well.