Question: We often hear people say that it is impermissible to observe I`tikaaf (seclusion for worship in a Masjid) in any Masjid (mosque) other than the three Masjids: Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah), Al-Masjid Al-Nabawee (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah), and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (the Aqsaa Mosque in Jerusalem). They support their opinion with the Hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: “No I`tikaaf (should be observed) except in the three Masjids.” They say that the Hadeeth is specific whereas the Aayah (Qur’aanic verse) is general and that the specific should have precedence over the general. However, I heard that our honored Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez ibn Baaz had a different opinion. I would like you to inform me of his evidence hoping that Allaah will open our hearts to accept the truth. May Allaah reward you with the best.
Answer: I`tikaf is not limited to the three Masjids. Rather, the Jumhoor (dominant majority of scholars) is of the opinion that it is Mashroo` (Islaamically permissible) to observe I`tikaaf at any Masjid, preferably Al-Masjid Al-Jaami` (the large mosque where Jumu`ah [Friday] Prayers are held)… read more here.