To have the right intention and to seek husband’s permission for i’tikaf
“Allah’s Messenger [saws] mentioned that he would practice I’tikaf in the last ten days of Ramadan. ‘A’ishah [ra] asked permission to perform I’tikaf and he permitted her. Hafsa [ra] asked ‘A’ishah [ra] to take his permission for her and she did so. When Zainab bint Jahsh [ra] saw that she ordered a tent to be pitched for her and it was pitched for her. Allah’s Messenger [saws] used to proceed to his tent after the salah. So he saw the tents and asked, ‘What is this?’ He was told that those were the tents of ‘A’ishah [ra], Hafsa [ra] and Zainab [ra]. Allah’s Messenger [saws] said, ‘Is it Al-Birr [righteousness] which they intended by doing so? I am not going to perform I’tikaf.’ So he returned home. When the fasting month was over he performed I’tikaf for ten days in the month of Shawwal.”
To set up a tent and a bed for I’tikaf
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar [ra] that when the Prophet [saws] observed I’tikaf his bedding would be spread for him or his bed would be placed there for him behind the Pillar of Repentance.
It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri [ra] that the Messenger of Allah [saws] observed I’tikaf in a Turkish tent over the door of which was a piece of reed matting. He pushed the mat aside then he put his head out and spoke to the people.
To keep clean during I’tikaf
“He [saws] also used to put his head out of the mosque while he was in I’tikaf and I [‘A’ishah (ra)] would wash it during my menses.”
“’A’ishah [ra] during her menses used to comb and oil the hair of the Prophet [saws] while he used to be in I’tikaf in the mosque. He would stretch out his head towards her while she was in her chamber.”
A woman suffering non-menstrual bleeding [Al-istihadah] may perform I’tikaf
“One of the wives of Allah’s Messenger [saws] practiced I’tikaf with him while she had bleeding in between her periods and she would see red or yellowish traces; and sometimes we put a tray beneath her when she offered the salah.”