Javed Ahmed Ghamidi and Raghib Naeemi, two Islamic scholars have said that as per the guidelines of the Holy Quran Muslim men are to perform Itekaf at the mosques.
The scholars said in a program that Itekaf is a Sunnah Mu’akkadah and is not an obligatory ritual on the Muslims.
A Sunnah Mu’akkadah is a voluntary worship which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) performed in his life and almost never left it. These acts of worship include the Eid prayers and the 2 Rakat Sunnahs after the obligatory Maghrib prayers of 3 Rakat.
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Naeemi said that there is no confusion on the matter. He quoted the Ayah of Surah Baqarah that indicates that the mosques are the only places where men are supposed to spend their Itekaf days.
Ghamidi and Naeemi indicated that the Last Prophet (PBUH) also used to perform Itekaf in the last ten days of the holy month of Ramazan. Ghamidi also said that the residence of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was no less than a mosque but he still preferred to go to the mosque.
Naeemi said that not all has to come to the mosque for worship. One person from each area could come and perform Itekaf at their local mosque.
The Fiqah Hanfiyah (Sunni Sect), on the other hand allows women to perform the worship of Itekaf at home.