Asalaamu Alaykum Mufti Saab. I intend to sit in I’tikaaf. Can you please let me know for what reasons I can exit the masjid boundaries?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
In principle, a person observing the sunnah I’tikāf must remain in the masjid for the duration of the I’tikāf. His eating and sleeping must all take place in the masjid.
It is only permissible to exit the masjid for the following necessities:
1) Legal (shar’i) necessity
For example, if the jumu’ah prayer is not performed in the masjid where one is performing I’tikāf, then he may exit the masjid to perform the jumu’ah prayer in another masjid.
2) Natural necessity
Natural necessities include answering the call of nature, removal of impurity or performing a ritual bath due to a nocturnal emission (wet dream).
3) External necessity
External necessities include the collapsing of the masjid, being driven out from the masjid by an oppressor etc.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi,