Leaving itikaf to sign for jobseekers allowance
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Itikaf means literally to retreat and Islamically means to enter the mosque with the intention of worship. (Raddul Muhtar p.428 v.3)
There are three types of Itikaf:
- Wajib: To vow or pledge to enter the mosque for the sake of Allah upon the fulfilment of some vow or wish. The least duration of wajib Itikaf is one day and night and it must be accompanied by a fast.
- Sunnat Muakkada: To reside the last ten days and nights of Ramadhan in the Mosque is Sunnat Muakkadah Al-Kifayah. If a person from the community fulfils it, the obligation from the entire community will be uplifted. If not, all will be sinful.
- Mustuhub or Nafl: This Itikaf can be done for any amount of time, even for a few minutes. Fasting is not a condition for this type of Itikaf. (Raddul Muhtar p.430-p.431 v.3)
In the Hanafi Fiqh, if a person leaves the masjid without a valid reason such as to do wudhu or to go to the toilet etc… then his itakaf will break. (Raddul Muhtar p.437 v.4) With regards to your question going to sign for jobseekers allowance will break your itikaf. Instead you should make the intention of nafl itikaf during the last ten days of Ramadhan. Therefore, whenever you leave the masjid your itikaf will come to an end and when you re enter the masjid you should renew the intention of nafl.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham