Question 39: Asalaam Aleykum, I pray that you are well and making most of the last days of Ramadan. I am in itikaaf and wanted to know the rulings on showering when the shower is in the office space next Door at Kuraby. Jazakumu Allah khairan.
Answer: Walaikumu ssalam Brother,
itikaf breaks and ends when we exit the place of itikaf (masjid) for a non religiously essential thing.
1st . All scholars I read from and remember from agree that you can go to the nearest place for a Ghusl that is a must (example from Janabah).
2nd. As for a ghusl for pure luxury, we should not leave Itikaf Masjid.
3rd. As for a shower that is in between neither for janabah necessity nor pure luxury – meaning it is customary in the country to shower at least once a day for example for sake of hygiene and acceptable dignified cleanliness without which a person may feel ‘filthy’ etc – then this is where the stronger of the two opposite views held by scholars seems to me to be that you can go outside the itikaf Masjid boundaries for a non compulsory shower that is yet customarily regarded as a need for basic required cleanliness and hygiene in your country, climate, for the person’s individual hygiene needs, etc.
So based on the foundation of fiqh of (العادة محكمة) “The custom is accepted (ie where Allah left room/allowance for custom based variation)”, considering this fiqh foundation it appears permissible to go out of the Masjid compound for shower for what is customarily an individual’s need for hygiene and minimum required clealiness for that country and for that individual.
In future it will be better to do itikaf at a Masjid where there is a shower facility within the Masjid to avoid having to go out at all for any reason of ghusl.