Etikaf is one of the widely practiced Sunnah of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Muslims, in great number, take part in following the Sunnah by secluding themselves in the mosques for the last 10 nights of Ramadan for the sake of Allah. You can apply for Etikaf in Makkah or Madina following this link.
Even though it is an act of great reward, yet we shall know that there are certain things that can nullify the Etikaf. According to scholars, there are 6 things acts during Etikaf that can invalidate the Etikaf.
01-Leave the Mosque: The topmost act that can invalidate the Etikaf is to leave the mosque without a valid reason. One can leave the mosque during Etikaf for certain valid reasons. For instance, if one needs to take a bath, need to go to the washroom, for a ghusl or even to fetch food then one can leave the mosque during Etikaf.
If the Motikif leaves the mosque without a valid reason, his Etikaf is subject to nullification. In modern days, the mosques are readily equipped with washrooms so it is less likely one would leave mosque during Etikaf.
02-Intercourse with the Partner: The second act that invalidates the Etikaf is to have intercourse with the partner. So if a Motikif holds sexual relation with his wife, he is putting his Etikaf to end. In Holy Quran Allah clearly mentions that not to associate with your wives while you are in an Etikaf.
“Do not have relations with them as long as you are staying for worship in the mosques” – Quran 2:187
Yet if the wife or husband touch each other with passion or kiss than some scholar believe that it is mukroo while others say it invalidates the Etikaf. However, Allah knows the best and one shall not undergo acts which are doubtful. Read: What is the most sinful act while fasting?
03-Menstruation or the Postnatal bleeding: The third thing that invalidates the Etikaf is the menstruation or the postnatal bleeding or post-childbirth bleeding.
04-Committing a Major Sin: The fourth act that invalidated the Etikaf is to commit a major sin. So if anyone commits a major sin, he is nullifying his Etikaf.
05-Insanity: The fifth is insanity. Rather insanity is due to madness, due to taking drugs or intoxicants or it is due to alcohol. This is because the ibadah shall be done while the person is sane, any ibadah that is done in insanity is invalid.
06-Shirk: The last thing that invalidates the Etikaf is shirk i.e. to ascribe partners with Allah. In Holy Quran, Allah says that it is revealed to you as it was revealed to the people before you that if you join in worship God besides Allah, then all your worship is fruitless. Thereby apostasy nullifies the Etikaf. (Quran 39:65)
Spread this message towards all the Muslims so that whenever they decide to sit for the Etikaf, they do not invalidate the act by undergoing these 6 acts.
Etikaf in Makkah and Madina: There are many people who want to perform Etikaf in Masjid al-Haram, Makkah. We have provided a complete guide to performing Etikaf in Masjid al-Haram. However, if you want to perform Etikaf in Masjid al Nabawi, we have some practical tips to perform Etikaf in Masjid al Nabawi.
Source: Dr. Zakir Naik