The person performing Iítikaf must stay in this state for a minimum of three complete days from sunrise of the first day until the sunset of the third day (for example if he starts Iítikaf on Monday at Fajr time, he must complete it until Thursday at Maghrib time). The first two days of Iítikaf are recommended and if a person wishes, he may leave after this period and end his Iítikaf, however if he completes two full days of Iítikaf in the Masjid (until the Maghrib of the second day), then it becomes obligatory upon him to continue his fast on the third day and to stay in the Masjid for the remaining period of his Iítikaf Ė meaning till the time of Maghrib of the third day.
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Similarly, if a person goes into Iítikaf for 5 days, the 6th day becomes obligatory; and if he goes into Iítikaf for 8 days then the 9th day becomes obligatory and so onÖ
Thus, Iítikaf is for 3 full days and 2 nights which are in between these days and this period must be maintained. In this ruling, just as that of the daily Salat, the meaning of three complete days means three periods of Fajr to Maghrib.
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