Last few days, my sweet Habibati and I had a short discussion pertaining iktikaf and women making iktikaf just like men in the masjid. She brought forward a Hadith (from Muslim) about the Azwajul Muthoratul, wives of the Prophet saw making iktikaf during the lifetime of the Prophet saw and after his demise from this world they continue to do so. It is also known in another Hadith that they seek permission from the Prophet saw to make iktikaf and he grant them his permission.
So is the mosque is the place for iltikaf for the women? Jumhur ulama, As-Syafiie, Al Maliki and Al Hanbali are in view that the women's place for iktikaf is also the masjid, just like men, by taking the proofs from the above Ahadith. However, Abu Hanifah is in view that the women's place of iktikaf is the 'masjid' in their house (alloted area for prayers), not the mosque. He took a qiyas - analogy from the daily prayers, that is the best praying place for the women is in their house, not at the mosque. However, As-Syafiee said that palce of iktikaf is only the mosque where the concregational prayers are carried out.
The correct view is of the jumhur ulama, as the proof from the hadith is clear and by the actions of the wives of the Prophet saw. However, for a women to make iktikaf, there are a few things that she should take note of:- (a) That her husband gave him his permission. (b) There is a seperation and designated area for iktikaf for the women - which also includes the amneties such as food, toilet etc. (c) There is no fitnah arising from their iktikaf (d) Refraining from other sins and nusance such as gossipping, talking loudly, laughing which these will have a negative effect for the other muktakiffin, especially if the guys can hear you laughing etc. (e) She has no small babies to take care of.
If she can fulfill these criterias inshaAllah it is best she make iktikaf in the mosque. If not, she can make iktikaf at the masjid in her house and do the qiyam there. Wallahualam
Another note to ponder....for the guys who does not make iktikaf, try to do it as Ramadhan is leaving as very fast now...left 2-3 more days! Don't let it slip away. And for those who made and are making iktikaf, encourage your womenfolk for iktikaf in the masjid or at least making Qiyam at the house...don't let them busy with the dunya as the deen is not only for the men but for both sexes. So instead of busy preparing iftar and delicious food for Eid in this world, we are busy preparing our food for the Eid in the Hereafter; Instead of beautifying our house for the Eid, we beautify our house in Jannah; Instead of busy making and hanging curtains; we busy curtaining ourselves from the hellfire; Instead of busy making jawlah and standing at the suuk and bazaar, we busy ourselves with the making jawlah in reading verses and verses of the Quran and standing in prayers; Instead of of preparing our homes for the guests for the Eid, we prepare ourselves for the guest of Jibrail (Ruh) and the malaikah in the night of Qadr.
Wallahualam....so don't forget me and my family in your doa.