Islamic Blog

PART —-1

There has been a lot of confusion about how many Rakahs does Salaat ut-Tarawih have. The Muslims should be well aware that from past twelve centuries the Muslim Ummah has been performing at least twenty rakat of Tarawih (including inside Haramayn Shareefayn where Muslims till today are continuing this). This has been the practice of Muslims from the times of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), the Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them), the Tabi’een and the Ulama (Allah have mercy upon them) until a new sect from Hijaz came into existence which shattered the Muslim unity on this issue. All they have is a singular hadith regarding “TAHAJJUD” which they misapply on Tarawih and thus misguide innocent Muslims. So let us see this in light of abundant proofs that Tarawih consists of 20 Rakahs.

Before the overwhelming proofs on Rakahs of Tarawih are shown, we would like to show this rigorously authentic hadith which elaborates the meaning of word “SUNNAH” in Islamic Shariah. Some people from minority section after being refuted on rakahs of tarawih are left with no option but to say that Practise of Umar (ra) and other Sahaba is one thing whereas practice of Prophet (Peace be upon him) is another i.e. in simple words they accuse the sahaba of contradicting with what the Prophet had done (Naudhobillah)

But to their surprise, the Holy Prophet (May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: Hold firmly onto my sunnah”And the Sunnah of Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the four rightly-guided caliphs)”(Narrated in Sunnan Abu Dawood, Volume No. 2, Page No. 635. Sunnan Tirmidhi Volume No.2, Page No.108, Sunan Darimi vol.1 pg.43, Ibn Majah and others)

Proof # 1

Sa’eeb ibn Yazid: who said: ‘In the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) the people used to observe “20 rak’ahs” (Tarawih) and the witr.’ [Marifat-us-Sunan wa’l athar – Imam Bayhaqi, Volume 004, Page No. 42, Hadith Number 5409]

Imam al-Bayhaqi (rah) has also reported another version of the above narration through a different channel of transmission
Sa’eeb bin Yazeed (ra) who said: “In the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him), they would perform “20 rak’ahs” (Tarawih) in the month of Ramadan. He said (also): And they would recite the Mi’in, and they would lean on their sticks in the time of Uthman ibn Affan (Allah be pleased with him), from the discomfort of standing.” [Bayhaqi Sunan al-Kubra Volume 002, Page No. 698-9, Hadith Number 4617]

Imam al-Nawawi said: ‘Its Isnad is Sahih’. (بإسناد صحيح) [Al-Khulasa al-Ahkam, Hadith Number 1961]

Imam Badr ud din Ayni (rah) states:

Translation: Imam al-Bayhaqi has narrated with “SAHIH CHAIN” from the companion Sai’b bin Yazid (RA) who said: During the tunure of Umar (RA) people used to stand for 20 Rakahs (of Tarawih), same was done in the time Uthman (ra) and Ali (ra) [Umdat ul Qari, Sharh Sahih ul Bukhari, Volume No. 5, Page No. 264, Published by Dar ul Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon]

Al-Mubarakfuri the famous Salafi scholar also declared the Sanad of this hadith as “Sahih” and he cited Imam al-Nawawi (rah)’s authentication [Tuhfa Tul Ahwadhi, Volume No. 3, Page No. 453, Published by Dar ul Fikr, Beirut, Lebanon]

Imam Nimawi al Hanafi (rah) said

Translation: All the men in this Isnaad are “THIQA” [Athaar al-Sunnan (2/54)]

Proof # 2

Yahya related to me from Malik that Yazid ibn Ruman said, “The people used to watch the night in prayer during Ramadan for twenty-three rakahs in the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab.” [Muwatta Imam Malik, Book : As Salah Chapter : Ma Ja-a Fi Qayam e Ramzan Volume : 1 Page : 159 Hadith number : 380]

Note: 3 Rakahs were of Witr

Imam Tirmidhi (rah)’s opinion:

The Majority amongst People of Knowledge, (agree) upon praying 20 Rakahs (of Tarawih) as is narrated from Umar (RA), Ali (RA) and other Sahaba of Prophet (Salallaho alaihi wasalam) Sufyan Thawri (rah), Abdullah Ibn Mubarak (rah) and Imam Shafi’i (rah) said the same, Imam Shafi’i (rah) said that he saw people of Makkah praying 20 Rakahs (Tarawih) [Sunnan Jami’i al Tirimdhi, Book of Fasting, Chapter on Qiyaam in Ramadan Volume 3 Page No. 169 Hadith No. 806]

Proof # 3

ٍ.From Abdul Aziz bin Rafi who said: Ubay Ibn Ka’b (Allah be pleased with him) used to lead people during Ramadan in Madina Munawara for “20 Rakah” (Tarawih) and 3 Rakah Witr. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah Volume 005. Page No. 224,

Proof # 4

Abdur Rahman Sulami narrates that Ali (Allah be pleased with him) called the reciters of the Quran in Ramadan and commanded one of them to perform “twenty rakat” (Tarawih) while Ali (Allah be pleased with him) himself used to lead the witr prayer. [Bayhaqi Sunan al-Kubra Volume 002, Page No. 699, Hadith Number 4620]

Proof # 5

Imam Hassan al-Basri (May Allah have mercy upon him) said: Umar Ibnul Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) gathered people behind Ubayy Ibn Kab (Allah be pleased with him) in the Qiyaam of Ramadan and he led them for “20 Rakat” [Siyar al A’lam wa al Nubalah Volume 001, Page No. 400-1, Biography of ‘Ubayy Ibn Kab’]

Imam al-Nawawi said: ‘Its Isnad is Sahih’. (بإسناد صحيح) [Al-Khulasa al-Ahkam, Hadith Number 1961]

Proof # 6

Abu al Hasna says that Ali (Allah be pleased with him) order a person to lead “20 rakat (Tarawih)” during Ramadan. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah Volume 005, Page No. 223, Hadith Number 7763]

Narrated by Waki’i from Nafe bin Umar (Allah be pleased with him) who said: Ibn Abi Mulaika (RA) used to lead us in Ramadan for “20 Rakahs”. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah Volume 005, Page No. 223, Hadith Number 7765]


Aafreen Seikh is an Software Engineering graduate from India,Kolkata i am professional blogger loves creating and writing blogs about islam.
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