It is prescribed to observe i’tikaaf in a mosque in which prayers in congregation are held. If the mu’takif is one of those for whom Jumu’ah is obligatory and the period of his i’tikaaf will include a Friday, it is better for him to stay in a mosque where Jumu’ah prayer is observed.
It is not a condition for him or her to be fasting.
The Sunnah is for the mu’takif not to visit any sick person during his i’tikaaf, or to accept any invitation, attend to his family’s needs, attend any funeral or go to work outside the mosque, because it was proven that ‘Aa’ishah (radhiAllahu ‘anha) said,
“The Sunnah for the mu’takif is not to visit any sick person, or attend any funeral, or touch or be intimate with any woman, or go out for any reason except those which cannot be avoided.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 2473.
Originally published at islamqa.info