Question 38: Asalaam Aleykum Sheikhs I pray your a well and May Allah reward your for your efforts. I wanted to ask about the difference between Sunnah and Nafil Itikaaf, and if there was any or such a difference? I hope that I didn’t confuse you. Jazakumu Allah Khairun
Answer: Assalamualaikum Brother,
The sunnah itikaaf is what the Prophet ﷺ did during the last 10 days of Ramadan. It is Sunnah because the Prophet ﷺ did it and encouraged it.
Whereas Nafil is anything extra and not a fard.
So apart from this Sunnah Itikaf of last 10 days in Ramadan, it is permissible to do extra non-fard itikaaf anytime during the year anf that is Nafil itikaf.
There is a difference of opinion regarding the shortest (or least) amount of time which can be considered as a valid itikaaf. These opinions range from a “moment” in Masjid as itikaf up to a minimum of one day with its night starting a Maghrib of the first day and ending at Maghrib of the next day.