Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: Assalam alaikum warahmatullah wa'barakatahu. My sister intends to sit for it'ikaaf. But due to some family matters she can't sit in the last 3 days of Ramadan. She can only sit the first 3 days of the last 10 days of Ramadan. Is that permissible according to the hanafi fiqh?
Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
There are two types of i`tikaf:
(1) the emphasized communal sunna of the full last ten days of Ramadan and
(2) the recommended sunna of i`tikaf at any time--whether in or out of Ramadan.
The latter i`tikaf can be brief (even moments, with intention) or lengthy, and is also highly meritorious in Ramadan, particularly in the last ten days.
Thus, your sister can perform the i`tikaf for the time she is able, and there will be great virtue in it.
[ref: Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
See: The Spiritual Retreat (I'tikaf)
Executive Director, SeekersHub Global [Toronto | Sydney | Online]
The I`tikaf (Spiritual Retreat) – Standing at Allah's Door - @SeekersGuidance #Audio
The Three Types of Spiritual Retreat (i`tikaf)
A Ramadan Reader: A Comprehensive Answers Guide to Getting the Most Out of Ramadan