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Ruling 1731

ix. A muʿtakif must refrain from doing the unlawful acts of iʿtikāf.

Someone who is performing iʿtikāf must refrain from doing the unlawful acts of iʿtikāf, which are as follows:

  1. Using fragrance;
  2. Having sexual intercourse with one’s spouse;
  3. Masturbating, having sexual contact with one’s spouse by means of touching, and lustfully kissing (based on obligatory precaution);
  4. Altercating (mumārāh) and disputing (mujādalah) with others;
  5. Buying and selling.

Doing these things invalidates one’s iʿtikāf. In the case of an iʿtikāf that is not an assigned obligation (i.e. it is not al‐wājib al‐muʿayyan),5 the obligation to refrain from these things – apart from having sexual intercourse – is based on obligatory precaution.6

5 An assigned obligation is an act of worship that must be performed at one distinct time. One way that an iʿtikāf could become an assigned obligation is by means of a vow.

6 This means that, with regard to an iʿtikāf that is not an assigned obligation, the obligation to refrain from having sexual intercourse is a fatwa, whereas the obligation to refrain from the other things is based on obligatory precaution (see Ruling 6 for the distinction between a fatwa and a ruling based on obligatory precaution). As for an iʿtikāf that is an assigned obligation, the obligation to refrain from those things is a fatwa, except for the third, which as stated in brackets in the ruling itself, is based on obligatory precaution.