10 Hadiths About Women I`tikaf and Engagement in Mosque Activities

In this part of the Women and Mosque series, Dr. Jasser Auda lists a number of the Prophet’s hadiths and Companions’ stories that affirm Muslim women’s right to perform i`tikaf and to actively participate in mosques’ events and activities.

Women and i`tikaf

1. `A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to perform I`tikaf (seclusion for worship in the mosque) during the last ten days of Ramadan till he passed away; his wives followed this practice after him.[1]


2. `A’ishah also reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan and she used to pitch a tent for him; he would enter it after offering the Fajr prayer.

Hafsah (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the permission of `A’ishah to pitch a tent for herself and `A`ishah allowed her. So, Hafsah pitched her tent. When Zainab bint Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with her) saw it, she pitched another tent.

In the morning the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) noticed the tents. He asked, ‘What is this?” He was told of the whole situation. So, he commented, “Do you think that they intended to do righteousness by doing this?[2]

So, he abandoned I`tikaf in that month and observed it later in the month of Shawwal for ten days. [3]


3. Safiyah bint Huyai, wife of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with her), narrated that she visited the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) while he was staying in the mosque to observe I`tikaf during the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan.

She spoke to him for a while and then she got up to return home. The Prophet got up to accompany her.

When they reached the gate of the mosque, two Ansari men passed by. They greeted the Messenger [and quickly went ahead.]

The Prophet said to them, “Do not be in a hurry, She is Safiyah bint Huyai.

They exclaimed, “Subhan Allah! (i.e. how dare we suspect you?).” [4]


Women participated in mosque activities

10 Hadiths About Women I`tikaf and Engagement in Mosque Activities - About Islam

4. Ar-Rubayyi` bint Mu`awwidh ibn `Afra’ (may Allah be pleased with her) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) sent (a person) on the morning of `Ashura’ to the villages of Ansar around Madinah (with this message):

He who got up in the morning fasting he should complete his fast, and he who had had his breakfast in the morning, he should complete the rest of the day (without food).

So, we henceforth observed fast on it and, God willing, made our children observe that. We used to go to the mosque and made toys out of wool for kids so that when they felt hungry and wept for food we gave them these toys till it was the time to break the fast. [5]

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About Dr. Jasser Auda
Jasser Auda is a Professor and Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College South Africa, the Executive Director of the Maqasid Institute, a global think tank based in London, and a Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at Carleton University in Canada. He is a Founding and Board Member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, Fellow of the Islamic Fiqh Academy of India, and General Secretary of Yaqazat Feker, a popular youth organization in Egypt. He has a PhD in the philosophy of Islamic law from University of Wales in the UK, and a PhD in systems analysis from University of Waterloo in Canada. Early in his life, he memorized the Quran and studied Fiqh, Usul and Hadith in the halaqas of Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. He previously worked as: Founding Director of the Maqasid Center in the Philosophy of Islamic Law in London; Founding Deputy Director of the Center for Islamic Ethics in Doha; professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Alexandria University in Egypt, Islamic University of Novi Pazar in Sanjaq, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the American University of Sharjah. He lectured and trained on Islam, its law, spirituality and ethics in dozens of other universities and organizations around the world. He wrote 25 books in Arabic and English, some of which were translated to 25 languages.