Abdullah Bin Ammar radhiallahu anhu
states that Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: "The fast and the Quraan will
both plead on behalf of the bondsmen who keeps fast in the day and recites or
listens attentively to the recitation of the Quraan at night standing in the
presence of Allah (in taraweeh). The fast will say "O my Lord, I had held him
back from food, drink and sexual gratification, accept my intercession for him
today and treat him with mercy and forgiveness. The Quraan will say, "I had held
him back from taking rest and sleep at night, O’ my Lord, accept my intercession
for him today and treat him with mercy and forgiveness". The intercession of
both the fast and Quraan will be accepted and he will be treated with exceptionl
Sayyidina Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree radhiallahu anhu narrates that Sayyidina
Rasoolullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam said: "When the first night of Ramadhaan
dawns (comes), the doors of the skies are opened, and none of its doors are then
closed until the last night of Ramadhaan.
No mu’min servant (of Allah) performs salaah during its night (any night of
Ramadhaan), but Allah will record for him one thousand five hundred hasanah
(rewards) for every sajdah that he makes. And Allah will build a home for him in
Jannah made out of red ruby, which will have sixty thousand doors, each of its
doors having (interlinked to, leading to) a palace made out of gold, ornamented
(beautified and decorated) with rubies.
Thus, when he (the mu’min) fasts on the first day of Ramadhaan, all his past
sins are pardoned, and seventy thousand malaaikah make istighfaar for him,
daily, from the time of the fajr salaah, until the sun sets.
And for every sajdah that he makes during Ramadhaan, either by day or by night,
there will be for him a tree, (in Jannah, so huge that) a person on horseback
will ride in its shade for five hundred years." (Baihaqi, Targheeb)
Salmaan radhiallahu anhu reports: "On the last day of Sha'baan the Messenger of
Allah addressed us and said: ‘O people, there comes over you now a great month,
a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than one
thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made compulsory that the days
shoud be observed by fasting. And he has made sunnah the Taraweeh by night.
Whosoever intends drawing nearer to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for
him shall be the reward like him who had performed a fardh in any other time.
And whoever performs a fardh, for him shall be the reward of seventy faraa'idh
in any other time. This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true
patience is Jannah (paradise). It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellow
men. It is the month wherein a true believer’s rizq is increased.
Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast (at sunset), for
him there shall be forgiveness for his sins and emancipation from the fire of
Jahannam (hell), and for him shall be the same reward as him (whom he fed)
without that person’s reward being decreased in the least….". From this hadeeth
it is noted that the command for taraweeh prayers too comes from Allah Himself.
All the authorities of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamm’ah are agreed upon the fact
that taraweeh is sunnah.
Taraweeh During the Era of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam and the Sahabah
Ibn Abbass radhiallahu anhu states that during the month of Ramadhaan, Nabi
sallallahu alayhi wasallam performed twenty rakaats (taraweeh) and thereafter
performed the witr salaat. (Baihaqi and Musannaf Ibn Abie Shaiba).
Ubay bin Ka’ab radhiallahu anhu led the taraweeh prayers and offered 20 rakaats
and three rakaats waajib salaat.
Umar radhiallahu anhu commanded the Imaam to perform twenty rakaats Taraweeh
salaat for the congregation.
Views of the Scholars
Imaan Qurtubi radhiallahu anhu states: "Twenty rakaats taraweeh and three
rakaats witr is the most authentic narration."
Imaam Nawawi radhiallahu anhu states: "Taraweeh is a unanimously accepted sunnah
of the Muslims. It is twenty rakaats".
"The pandemonium that the Ghair Muqallideen (people who do not follow any Mazhab)
had started for the past hundred years was never heared of in the Islamic world
before……… Similarly from the time of Umar radhiallahu anhu upto the emergence of
this sect there was no masjid in the world where eight rakaats of Taraweeh was
performed……". (Moulana Habib ur Rahmaan Azmi).
A Grave Misconception
The proponents of eight rakaats taraweeh quote the following hadeeth of Ayesha
radhiallahu anha as stated in Bukhari Shareef. Ayesha radhiallahu anha was asked
about the salaat of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam. She replied by saying that
Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam did not exceed eleven rakaats in Ramadhaan nor
in any other month…".
This hadeeth apparently indicates that Nabi sallallahu alayhi wasallam performed
eight rakaats taraweeh and three rakaats witr. However the words ‘nor in any
other month’ clearly indicates that this was with reference to tahajjud salaat
and not taraweeh salaat. The fact that Imaam Bukhari (R.A.) himself has not
mentioned this hadeeth under the caption of Taraweeh salaat is clear proof that
the salaat in question refers to witr and not taraweeh salaat.
Hazrat Umar radhiallahu anhu during his khilaafat had directed that taraweeh
salaat be performed collectively in the masaajid, lest the practice gradually
dissipates from the Ummah. He did not introduce the number of rakaats on his own
accord. To believe that the twenty rakaats is an innovation of Umar radhiallahu
anhu is to undermine the integrity of Umar radhiallahu anhu and all the Sahabah
who were present at that time!