Making up for last year
“The Prophet [saws] would perform I’tikaf during the last ten [nights] of Ramadan. One year he did not perform I’itkaf, so he performed I’tikaf for twenty [nights] in the following year.”
It was narrated from Ubayy bin K’ab [ra] that the Prophet [saws] used to spend the last ten days of Ramadan in I’tikaf. One year he was travelling so the following year he spent twenty days in I’tikaf.
Fulfilling a vow made before becoming a muslim
“O Allah’s Messenger [saws] I [‘Umar bin Al Khattab (ra)] vowed in the Pre Islamic Period of Ignorance to perform I’tikaf in Al Masjid Al Haram for one night.” The Prophet [saws] said, “Fulfil your vow.” So he performed I’tikaf for one night.
A prophet in the year of death
“The Prophet [saws] used to observe I’tikaf for ten days every year. In the year in which he passed away he observed I’tikaf for twenty days. And the Qur’an would be reviewed with him once every year but in the year in which he passed away it was reviewed with him twice.”
A prophet informed of the Night of Decree [Qadr] in the last ten days of Ramadan
“Allah’s Messenger [saws] used to practice I’tikaf in the middle ten days of Ramadan; and once he stayed in I’tikaf till the night of the twenty first and it was the night in the morning of which he used to come out of his I’tikaf. The Prophet [saws] said, ‘Whoever was in I’tikaf with me should stay in I’tikaf for the last ten days for I was informed of the Night [of Qadr] but I have been caused to forget it. [In the dream] I saw myself prostrating in mud and water in the morning of that night. So look for it in the last ten nights and in the odd ones of them.’ It rained that night and the roof of the mosque dribbled as it was made of leaf stalks of date-palms. I saw with my own eyes the marks of mud and water on the forehead of the Prophet [saws] in the morning of the twenty-first [of Ramadan].”
I’tikaf commences after fajr prayer
“When the Messenger of Allah [saws] wanted to perform I’tikaf he would perform the fajr prayer and then he would enter his place of I’tikaf.”