Question:

I am confused about when do I go for I’tikaf in my masjid? 19th night or 20th day?

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

I’tikāf is the religious retreat in the mosque for the last ten days of Ramadhan (i.e last ‘asharah). The last ‘asharah starts from the beginning of 21st day of Ramadhan. Since in islam the night precedes the day, the night of 21st of Ramadhan starts with the sunset of 20th of Ramadhan.

Hence to complete your I’tikāf, you should make sure that you are in your designated masjid before the fast of 20th finish. If you are not able to go to the mosque by the sunset or Iftār of 20th fast, your sunnah I’tikāf will not be fulfilled. [1]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi
www.fatwa.ca


[1] (قوله واعلم أن الليالي تابعه للأيام) أي كل ليلة تتبع اليوم الذي بعدها، ألا ترى أنه يصلي التراويح في أول ليلة من رمضان دون أول ليلة من شوال، فعلى هذا إذا ذكر المثنى أو المجموع يدخل المسجد قبل الغروب (الدر المختار وحاشية ابن عابدين (رد المحتار) (2/ 452))