Women and I’tikaf and Its Duration
The last third of the blessed month of Ramadan is the last chance a Muslim should seize. In these days occurs the night of qadr, which is virtuous and greatly blessed to the extent that observing worship in it is better than a thousand months. A Muslim is highly encouraged to spare more time and efforts in these days to gain Allah’s mercy, forgiveness and redemption from the Fire.
As for the duration of i`tikaf, some scholars said that i`tikaf can be observed for even a short period of time; so you can perform i`tikaf for an hour, more or less according to your conditions and family affairs.
Also, it should be clear that i`tikaf is recommended by the Sunnah for both men and women. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, performed I`tikaf himself and so did his wives during his life and after his death.
accordingly, there is nothing wrong if women perform i`tikaf in the mosque provided that this will not cause any negligence to the rights of their husbands or that of their children.
however, scholars of Al-Hanafiyyah and Al-Malikiyyah are of the opinion that women can perform i`tikaf at their homes where they are accustomed to performing prayer.
Elaborating whether women can do i`tikaf at home or in the mosque, the prominent Muslim scholar and Da`iyah, Zeinab Mustafa, states:
“… I think ‘itikaf for women is permissible and allowed both at home or in the Mosque, but if we want to follow the pure Sunnah of the Mothers of the Believers we find that they performed ‘itikaf at home. So it is permissible for women to do ‘itikaf at home or in the Mosque, whatever is more convenient to them.
May Allah guide us to the right path.”