The best of places for I’tikaaf is the Masjidul Haram in Makkah.
The next best is the Masjidun-Nabawiy in Madinah, and the next best is Baytul Muqaddas. Thereafter, comes the Jaama Masjid in one’s own time, and last but not least, the Masjid nearest to one’s home. Imaam Abu Hanifa stipulates that the Masjid should be one wherein the five daily Salaatare regularly performed, while Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammad agree that any Masjid acceptable to the Shari’ah can be entered for I’tikaaf. I’itikaaf even if there is no regular ‘salaah with Jamaa-ah.
The above applies to the males. As for the females, they should perform It’ikaaf in the prayer room (Masjid set aside in their homes). Where, however, no such demarcated place exists, any one room or part of the house should be set aside for this purpose. I’tikaaf is thus in fact an easier task for women. The domestic duties can be performed by daughters or servants under her supervision and the woman in I’tikaaf, while remaining in a section of her own house, is spiritually rewarded for it. It is so very unfortunate that, in spite of this relative ease, our womenfolk still remain deprived of the blessings of I’tikaaf.
As for the females, they should perform I’itikaaf in the musjid exists and the desire for I’itikaaf be there, one room of the house should be set aside for this purpose, I’itikaaf is in fact an easier task for women. A special section of the wherein they seclude themselves, remaining in ‘ibaadah. The domestic duties can then be performed by daughters or servants, and the women in I’itikaaf, while remaining in a section of her own house, is spiritually rewarded for it. It is so very unfortunate that in spite of the ease, our women folk still remain deprived of the blessings of I’itikaaf.