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العقيدة الإسلامية الصحيحة

 

 

 

 SALAT AT-TARAVEEH 20 RAKAH

 

 

It is related from Hadhrat Ibn Abbas : ‘The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) would pray 20 Rakats and then witr in the month of Ramadhan.’ (Musnad ibn Abi Shaybah vol 2, p294/ Sunan Baihaqi vol 2, p496/ Tibraani Kabir vol  11, p393/ Musnad ibn Hameed p218)
 
Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani related from Imam Rafi : The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) prayed 20 Rakat in Taraweeh on two consecutive nights with a congregation in Ramdhan. On the third night many more people gathered (to join the congregation).  However, the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) did not appear before them. In the morning the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم )  stated : ‘It occurred to me that this prayer (20 Rakat in Ramadhan) could become compulsory (Fard) upon you, and you would not be able to bear it.’  Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani, said it is ( متفق على صحته ) and there is a consensus among all the Muhadditheen that this narration is sound (Sahih).’ (Talkeesul Habeer Fe Takhreej Ahadith Rafi ul Kabeer - Vol 1, P 119)
 
Hadhrat Abu Dhar Ghifari ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) related: ‘We ( Companions) observed fasts of Ramadhan with the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ). In the whole month the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) did not lead us in prayer, until there were 7 days left in the month. The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) then led us in prayer on the 23rd, 25th and 27th night. (Abu Dawood vol 1, p195)

Ummul Momineen Aisha ( رضئ الله تعالی عنها ) related: ‘After these nights (23, 25 and 27th) the congregation grew to a very large number on the 29th night. The Masjid of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) had become filled to capacity. On this night the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) only came out to lead the people for the Fajr prayer. After the Fajr prayer, the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) stated: ‘I knew that you had gathered for the night prayer (Taraweeh) but I feared that this prayer would become compulsory (Fard) upon you and you would find it difficult to fulfill. (Bukhari vol 1, p269/ Muslim vol 1, p259)

Even in the days in which the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) did not pray in congregation, Ibn Abbas ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) has related: Verily in the month of Ramadhan, The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) used to pray 20 Rakats and Witr independent from any congregation. (Baihaqi As-Sunan al-Kubra Vol 2, P 496)

Allamah Subqi Shafi’  stated: ‘Our belief is that the 20 Rakats Taraweeh is a Sunnah, which is proven from a sound chain.’ (Sharahul Minhaaj)

The soundness and correctness of the above narrations is supported by the very actions of the Sahabah. It was the nature of the Sahabah  that without the order and permission of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) they would not perform any religious action.   It is this very same 20 Rakats Taraweeh that has been performed from the time of the Sahabah to the present day in congregation in the month of Ramadhan. This  Salah has been passed down from generation to generation and safeguarded to this day. The strength of these Ahadith is established from the Khulafa Rashideen and Sahabah, Scholars of Hadith, Jurists and Mujtahideen of this Ummah, as well as the very practice of the Ummah itself.
 
Umar ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) then acted upon these narrations and ordered the Ummah to perform 20 Rakats Taraweeh.  The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) stated: ‘After my time, people will see much differences occurring. In such a condition, it is compulsory upon you that you hold firmly to my Sunnah and the rightly guided path of the Khulafa Rashideen.’ (Mishkaat Masabih P 30).
 
It is related from Huzaifa ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) : The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) stated: ‘I do not know how long I will remain among you. After me, follow Abu Bakr ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) and Umar ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) . (Mishkaat Masabih P 560).
 
Abu Rahman bin Abdul Qari ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) related: I left one night in Ramadhan with Sayyidina Umar bin Khattab ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) and we headed towards the Masjid of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ). In the Masjid we saw various groups of people praying alone or behind an Imam and they were scattered over the Masjid. Umar bin Khattab (  رضئ الله تعالی عنه) made a decision to congregate all the people behind Ubay Ibn Ka’ab ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ). (Bukhari Vol 1, P 269)
 
Yazid bin Ruman  related: In the time of the Khalifah of Sayyidina Umar bin Khattab ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) people would pray 23 Rakats behind an Imam (20 Taraweeh, 3 Witr). (Muwatta Imam Malik Vol 1, P 98 / Sunan Kabeer Baihaqi Vol 2, P 496).
 
Abi Abdur Rahman Salmi related: In the nights of Ramadhan, Sayyidina Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) called upon the reciters of the Qur’an (Huffaz/Qura) and ordered one among them to lead the people in 20 Rakats of Taraweeh. Sayyidina Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) would lead the people himself in the Witr Salah. (Sunan Kabeer Baihaqi Vol 2, P 496 / Fathul Bari Vol  4, P  219)
 
Salafi scholar Ibn Taymiyya wrote in his Fatawa: ‘Verily it has been proven that Umar ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) made Ubay ibn Ka’ab ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) lead the people in 20 Rakats of Taraweeh and 3 Witr in Ramadhan. This is the way of the scholars of this Ummah and this is the Sunnah. This is due to the fact that  Ubay Ibn Ka’ab ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) performed 20 Rakats Taraweeh in a large congregation of the Muhajireen and Ansar of the Sahabah and none among them objected to this practice.’ (Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah Vol  1, P 191 / Al-Mughni Vol  1,  P 803)
 
Ibn Taymiyya also wrote  ‘If Umar Farooq ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) by establishing 20 Rakats of Taraweeh had been deemed to adopt a bad practice, then Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) would have put an end to this in his Khilafat. However, in the Khilafat of Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ), he too performed 20 Rakats Taraweeh prayer in Kufa. In the month of Ramadhan, Hadhrat Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) would state: ‘May Allah enlighten the grave of Umar ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ), just as he has enlightened our Masaajid for us.’  (Minhaaj  as-Sunnah Vol 2, P 224)
 
The practice of 20 Rakats Taraveeh continued throughout the Khilafat of Uthman ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) and Ali ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) and remained unaltered in the entire world until today.  This  practice is continued in all three important mosques of Islam, Masjid Haram Makkah, Masjid Nabwi in Madina and Masjid al-Aqsa in Palestine.
 
Asad bin Amr related from Qazi Imam Abu Yusuf : ‘I asked Imam Abu Hanifa  about the matter of Taraweeh and what Sayyidina Umar ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) had done in this respect. The Imam replied: ‘20 Rakats of Taraweeh is Sunnah Muakkadah.
 
Sayyidina Umar ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) did not establish this from his own accord. It was the sunnah of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) which was established in Islam.  
 
Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal stated: ‘It has reached me that Umar bin Khattab ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) would do 20 Rakats of Taraweeh.’ (Al Mughni Vol 2, p 168/ Baihaqi Vol  1, P 296 / Muwatta Imam Malik P 40)
 
Salafis have misunderstood the Hadith of Ummul Momineen Aisha ( رضئ الله تعالی عنها ) mentioned in Bukhari.    Abu Salma related that he asked Aisha ( رضئ الله تعالی عنها )  : ‘How was the prayer of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in Ramadhan?’ She  replied: ‘The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) would not pray more than 11 Rakats in Ramadhan or outside of it.’ (Sahih Bukhari Vol 1, P154)
 
In this narration, the words clearly state that the prayer of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) throughout the whole year (in and outside of Ramadhan) would be no more than 11 Rakats. Therefore, this Hadith indicates the Prophet’s ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) practice in respect of Tahajud, as Taraweeh is connected only to the nights of Ramadhan. 
 
It is recorded in the Hadith that in the time of Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ), He only prayed as Imam 3 nights in Ramadhan with the congregation of the Companions. On the three nights when The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) performed Taraweeh Salaah in congregation, He performed Tahajud Salaah alone on one of those nights. Anas ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) related that the Prophet  ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم )  ‘In (one night of) Ramadhan was praying (Taraweeh) Salaah. A number of us including myself joined the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) in Salaah forming one Jamaat. Afterwards the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) upon completing the Salaah went to his room and performed that Salaah (Tahajud) alone which He did not perform with us. (Sahih Muslim Vol  1, P 352)
 
The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) would pray Tahajud (Qiyam ul Layl) the whole year round, but never was there the same congregation as was found in the 3 days of Ramadhan (as mentioned above). Nor did the Khulafa Rashideen gather and perform their own congregation. The Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) never led the congregation of the Companions in Tahajud (Qiyam ul Layl). (Fatawa Rahimiyah Vol 1, P 331).
 
 
The Ulama of Salaf-us-Saliheen رحمهم الله have left the Ummah rules/regulations on how best to interpret Ahadith: if in any narration the message is not completely understood or there are a number of conflicting opinions regarding the same topic it is essential to refer to the practices and recommendations of the Sahabah رضى الله عنهم , especially the actions of the Khulafa Rashideen – رضى الله عنهم ‘for you that is the true path’. (Fathul Bari Sharah Bukhari vol 2, p269 / Abu Dawood vol 1, p263 / Tareekh Baghdad vol 2, p247/ Ahkamul Qur’an vol 1, p17)
 
Allamah Abu Bakr ibn Arabi wrote: ‘the 11 Rakats (8 Rakats Nafl, 3 Witr) narration related by Aisha  ( رضئ الله تعالی عنها ) refers to the Qiyam ul Layl (Tahajud) of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) (Aridatul Ah’wadhi Shara Tirmidhi Vol 4, p19)
 
Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani  also refers to this narration as referring to the Tahajud (8 Rakats) with Witr (3 Rakats). (Fathul Bari Sharah Bukhari Vol 3,  P 328)
 
Qazi Ayaz Maliki  has taken all of Aisha  narrations as referring to the Tahajud prayer of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) , which He would perform in Her house. (Sharah Muslim Nawawi Vol 1, P 253)
 
Qazi Mohammad Shawqani, a Salafi scholar wrote: ‘The narration of Aisha ( رضئ الله تعالی عنها ) in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim referring to the 11 Rakats in and outside of Ramadhan is in respect of Tahajud Qiyam ul Layl. (Naylul Awtar Vol 3, P 39)
 
Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlawi  states: ‘the narration of Aisha (  رضئ الله تعالی عنها) is,  in regard to Tahajud,  that was performed by the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) throughout the year, including Ramadhan. (Fatawa Azizia  P 125)
 
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi writes: ‘The 20 Rakats of Taraweeh is an ‘established continuous Sunnah’ (Sunnat Qai’mah Mutawatira) which has been practiced in its current form since the time of the 1st generation of Muslims in a united manner. Specifically, for the view of the 4 Imams to agree upon a matter is one of the greatest proofs of it being an established Sunnah.’ (Hujatulahil Baligha Vol  1,  P 412-3)
 
Verily 20 Rakats Taraweeh is Sunnah Muakkadah (an emphasized Sunnah) on both men and women. (Ad-Durrul Mukhtar. Vol 1,  P 520)
 
 
 
 Courtesy other  sources 
 
 
 

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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