Taraweeh 8 or 20 ??? Response to Fanatics/Sufi Muqallids { English Article }


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The Number of Rakat in Taraweeh is an issue in which the people of knowledge have differed. We as muslims must respect the differences of opinions if its based on Quran and Sunnah. But there are certain people that go to extremes in proving their stance to be correct.

One such stance us is lead by the modern day sufi muqallideen, they say that the number of rakaat in taraweeh is 20, nothing more and nothing less.

Insha Allah this article will be a direct response to them and we will be answering their claims thoroughly in the light of Quran and Sunnah insha Allah.

 This episode answers questions like:

  • – What is the meaning of the term Qiyaam ul Layl?
  • – What is the difference between Qiyaam ul Layl and Taraweeh?
  • – At What time Should Qiyaam ul Layl be practiced?
  • – What is the length of Qiyaam ul Layl?
  • – Is Qiyaam ul Layl prayed in Congregation or Alone?
  • – Did Umar (radhi Allahu Anhu) start the Congregation of Qiyaam ul Layl?
  • – Is the Number of Rakaat 8 or 20?

In Short, the number of Rakaat in taraweeh is not a specified and one can pray as much rakaat as he can because of the following hadeeth:

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 461: Narrated Nafi’:

Ibn ‘Umar said, “While the Prophet was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night prayers. He replied, ‘Pray two Rakat at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of the Fajr prayer) pray one Rak’a and that will be the witr for all the Rakat which you have offered.” Ibn ‘Umar said, “The last Rakat of the night prayer should be odd for the Prophet ordered it to be so.

So from this Sahi hadeeth we come to know that there is no specified number of rakaat in Qiyaam ul Layl and hence we find a lot of Authentic evidences of variant number of Rakaats in taraweeh. When we read the practice of the Salaf us saliheen which include the Sahaba, tabiyeen and taba-e-tabiyeen, we find that some of them prayed 11 Rakaat , some prayed 13 rakaat, some prayed 19 rakaat, some prayed 23, some prayed 36 and some even prayed 39 rakaat also.

As far as the practice of Prophet Muhammad Sal Allahu Aleyhi wasallam is concerned, it is 8 Rakaat + 3 = 11:

Volume 3, Book 32, Number 230: Narrated Abu Salama bin ‘Abdur Rahman:

that he asked ‘Aisha “How was the prayer of Allah’s Apostle in Ramadan?” She replied,He did not pray more than eleven Rakat in Ramadan or in any other month. He used to pray four Rakat —- let alone their beauty and length—-and then he would pray four —-let alone their beauty and length —-and then he would pray three Rakat (Witr).”She added, “I asked, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! Do you sleep before praying the Witr?’ He replied, ‘O ‘Aisha! My eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep.”

So we come to know from the above evidence that it is permissible to pray as much as we can because the prophet pbuh allowed it but the act of prophet mohammad pbuh himself was 8+3=11 rakaat.

Now coming to the Modern Sufis that hold the view of 20 rakaat “being the only Sunnah” and along with that they also claim that taraweeh and tahajjud are 2 seperate prayers.

Following is a list of their claims/objections which we shall be answering thoroughly insha Allah

Claim 1: Tahajjud was ordained in begining of Islam and taraweeh was prayed in the last ramadan of the prophet’s life Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam
A) Word Tarawih was never used for night prayer during time of Prophet or Sahabas
B) Same hadith mentioned under chapters of tarwaih and Qiyam ul layl
C) No single muhaddith against using it as proof for taraweeh
D) Scholars presenting 8 rakah as a proof against weak 20 rakah
E) No 2 witr in 1 night
F) Opinion of Hanafi imams, taraweeh 8 or 20?
G) Opinion of 4 great imams
Claim 2: Tarawih is prayed in the begining of the night and tahajjud is prayed in the later part of the night
Claim 3: Tarawih is prayed in congregation and tahajjud is prayed individually
Claim 4: Tarawih was prayed in the Masjid by the prophet mohammad sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam and he prayed tahajjud at home
Claim 5: Tarawih is prayed only in ramadan and tahajjud is prayed through out the year
Claim 6: No body does Amal on the hadeeth of Ayesha radhi Allahu Anha As it is bcz the prophet pbuh used to pray 4 and 4 rakaat but tarawih is prayed in 2 and 2 rakaat all over the world
Claim 7: Sahaba made Ijma on 20 Rakaat
Claim 8: Hadeeth of Ali Radhi Allahu Anhu in Musannif ibn Abee Shayba

We will insha Allah add some important additional information as well such as Hanafi scholars view on 8 rakaat taraweeh and much much more.

So Lets analyze their claims 1 by 1.

Claim no.1: Tahajjud was ordained in begining of Islam and taraweeh was prayed in the last ramadan?

Response:  This Claim has no proof what so ever. There is not a single Sahi Hadeeth which differentiates between tarawih and Tahajjud and there is not a Single Sahi hadeeth which shows that the Prophet Sal Allahu Aleyhi wasallam prayed Tahajjud and Tarawih Seperately.

We read the hadeeth from Sahi Al Bukhari in which Aisha Radhi Allahu Anha says that the prophet sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam did not pray more than eleven Rakat in Ramadan or in any other month. This hadeeth of Aisha Radhi Allahu Anha in Sahi Al Bukhari is one of the Strongest proofs that Tahajjud and Taraweeh are the same prayers. Tahajjud, Tarawih and Qiyaam ul Layl are 3 names of the Same Salaah.

Evidences of Tahajjud, Tarawih and Qiyaam ul Layl are 3 names of the Same Salaah are as follows:

A) Word Tarawih was never used for night prayer during time of Prophet or Sahabas
B) Same hadith mentioned under chapters of tarwaih and Qiyam ul layl
C) No single muhaddith against using it as proof for taraweeh
D) Scholars presenting 8 rakah as a proof against weak 20 rakah
E) No 2 witr in 1 night
F) Opinion of Hanafi imams, taraweeh 8 or 20?
G) Opinion of 4 great imams

A) Word Tarawih was never used for night prayer during time of Prophet or Sahabas: 
As mentioned earlier that there does not exist a Single Authentic Evidence that prophet Mohammad sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam prayed Tahajjud and Tarawih Seperately. Infact the word taraweeh is no where used in the text of the ahadeeth in which the prophet prayed at night during Ramadan or other months. The word “tarawih” was never used for the night prayer during the time of the prophet sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam or the Sahaba.

The bolded part above is a very important point which many people forget or either dont mention it to the unlearned public. The general word used most of the time for the night prayer in Ramadan and other months was “Qiyaam ul Layl” or “Tahajjud”.

B) Same hadith mentioned under chapters of tarwaih and Qiyam ul layl:
The Muhadditheen and Imaams have mentioned this hadeeth under the chapters of tarawih and Qiyaam e.g In Sahih Al bukhari, this hadeeth is mentioned in Kitaab us Salaat At Tarawih (The book of Taraweeh) and as well as the book of Tahajjud.

Now it is ironic that the Sufi muqallids quote a hadeeth from Sahi Al Bukhari and then claim that this hadeeth is not about taraweeh where asImam Bukhari Brought this hadeeth under the headings of “The book of Taraweeh” as well as “the book of Tahajjud”.

See the hadeeth of Aisha r.a from the Book of Tahajjud, chapter 16: http://www.sunnah.com/bukhari/19

Now here is the same hadeeth from Sahi Al Bukhari in the Book of Taraweeh: Read the last hadeeth in this link. http://www.sunnah.com/bukhari/31

This evidence is sufficient to prove that the hadeeth of Aisha Radhi Allahu Anha is about Tarawih as well as Tahajjud/Qiyaam ul Layl and this evidence also disproves the claim that Taraweeh and Tahajjud are different. The height of Deobandi blind following is such that even in their commentary of Sahi Al Bukhari they have mentioned that this hadeeth in the book of taraweeh is about the book of tahajjud. [Tafheem ul Bukhari by Zahoor ul Bari Azami, vol 1 Pg 903]

Let’s share further evidences Insha Allah.
This hadeeth of 8+3 Rakaat is also mentioned in Muwatta Muhammad bin Al Hassan Al Shaybaani Page 141 under the heading قيام شهر رمضان و ماء فيه من الفضل”

Molana Abdul Hayy Lakhnavi hanafi states in its Haashiya that قوله قيام شهر رمضان ويسمى التراويح”which means that the Qiyaam of Ramadaan and Tarawih are the same.
Al Sunan Al Kubraa by Imam Bayhaqi bring this hadeeth under the heading of باب ما روي في عدد ركعات القيام في شهر رمضان”

Imam Abu al-Abbas Qurtubi says:

ثم اختلف فى المختار من عدد القيام فعند مالك :أن المختار من ذلك ست و ثلاثون……وقال كثير من أهل العلم :إحدىٰ عشرة ركعة أخذاً بحديث عائشة

There is difference of opinion in the number of Rakaat in taraweeh, Imam Maalik (rah) chose 36 Rakaah… and a large number of scholar have said that is it 11 Rakaat as in the hadeeth of Aisha (Radhi Allahu Anha). المفہم لما اشکل من تلخیص کتاب مسلم 2/390،389

C) No single muhaddith against using it as proof for taraweeh: 
Not a Single Muhaddith or Faqeeh from amongst the Mutaqaddimeen ever claimed that this hadeeth has nothing to do with Tarawih.

D) Scholars presenting 8 rakah as a proof against weak 20 rakah:  
A number of Scholars(including hanafis) have presented the hadeeth of 8 rakah against the weak hadeeth which mentions 20 rakaah.

  1. Allama Zal’ee Hanafi (Nasbul Raaya 2/153)
  2. Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani (Ad-Daraaya 1/203)
  3. Ibn Hammaam Hanafi (1/467 printed by Darul Fikr)
  4. Allama Ainee Hanafi (Umdatul Qaari 11/128)
  5. Allama Suyooti (Al-Haawi lil Fataawa 1/348)

And more.

E) No 2 witr in 1 night: 
If tahajjud and Tarawih are 2 separate prayers, then according to this Usool, Rasool Allah pbuh prayed 23 (20+3 witr) Rak’ah tarawih and then in the same night the prophet pbuh prayed 11(8+3 witr) Rak’ah Tahajjud as it is already mentioned in the hadeeth narrated by Aisha Radhi Allahu Anha.

If we accept this claim then we also have to admit that Rasool Allah Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam prayed Witr twice. Once in tarawih and once in tahajjud.

Where as Rasool Allah pbuh said “لا وتران في ليلة

“There is no two Witrs in one night.” [Sunan At Tirmidhi 470, Sunan Abu dawood 1439, Sunan An Nasai 1678, Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah 1101, Sahih Ibn Hibbaan 671]

There cannot be any contradiction in the Actions and Sayings of Rasool Allah sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam and hence it is incorrect to differentiate between Tahajjud and Tarawih.

F) Opinion of Hanafi imams, taraweeh 8 or 20?
1) Ibn Hammaam Hanafi says: “And the conclusion for all this is that the Sunnah Qiyaam (of) Ramadan (Tarawih) is 11 Rakaat with witr in congregation.” [Fathul Qadeer Sharhul Hidaya vol 1 Page 407]

and then he goes on and say 20 is sunnah of Khulafa al Rashideen.

2) Mulla Ali Qari repeated the same thing that the Sunnah Qiyaam of Ramadan is 11 Rakaat [Mirqaatal Mafateeh 3/382]

3) Ahmed Tahtawi says: “Because the prophet (pbuh) has not prayed 20 Rakaah, rather (he prayed) 8 (Rakaah)” [Hasshiyatul Tahtawi Ala Durr Al Mukhtaar Vol 1 Pg 295]

4) Muhammad Ahsan Nanotvi repeated the same [Haashiya Kanzul Daqaiq page 32]

5) Ibn Najuym Misri said that 8 Rakaah is Masnoon [Al-Bahrur Raqaaiq vol 2 Page 67]

6) Khaleel Ahmed Saharanpuri Deobandi says that the sunnah muwakkadah of tarawih being 8 Rakaah is agreed upon. [Baraheen e Qaatia page 109,195]

7) Abdul Shakoor Lakhnavi admits that 8 Rak’ah taraweeh is Masnoon. [Ilm ul Fiqha Page 198]

8) Abdul Hayy Lakhnavi writes that: “the prophet pbuh performed taraweeh in 2 ways.
– 20 Rakaahs without Congregation… but its chain of narration is weak
– 8 Rakaah with 3 Rakaah witr in Congregation.”Majmoo’a Fatawa Abdul Hayy vol 1 Page 331,332

9) Maulana Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiree said, “There is no way out or alternative in accepting that the taraweeh of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was eight (8) rak’ahs (units), and it is not established by any narration he prayed taraweeh and tahajjud separately.” [Urf ash-Shadhee 1/166]

Furtherhe states in Faizul Baari 2/420 that Umar ibn Al Khattaab Radhi Allahu Anhu considered taraweeh and tahajjud to be the same.

10) Mohammad Yusuf Binori said that “thus It is important to accept that the prophet pbuh prayed 8 Rak’ah taraweeh also.”  Ma’ariful Sunan vol 5 pg 543

11) Muhammad Qaasim Nanautwee the founder of Deoband writes,“it is written from the people of knowledge that Taraweeh (Qiyaam ul-Ramadhaan) and Tahajjud (Qiyaam ul-Layl) are in reality both One.” [Fuyoodh Qaasamiyyah (p.13)

Recommended Reading: The Evidence Of Taraweeh Being 8 Rakah From The Books Of Hanafi Scholars : http://ahlulhadeeth.net/book/the%20e…%20rakah .pdf

The above evidence is more than enoough to answer the person’s claim that Tarawih and tahajjud are seperate prayers.

G) Opinion of 4 great imams:
Imam Abu haneefah(rah): Imam Muhammad said: “ Abu Haneefah informed us, who said, it was narrated to us by Abu Jafar, who said the Prophet would pray thirteen raka’aahs between Salaatul-Ishaa and the Fajar Prayer, eight raka’aahs being voluntarily, three raka’aahs being Witr, and two raka’aahs (sunnah) of the Fajar Prayer.” [Muwatta Imam Muhammad, On the Issue of performing Salaam concluding with the Witr]

Imam Malik(rah)

الذي آخذ به لنفسي في قيام رمضان هو الذي جمع به عمر بن الخطاب الناس إحدىٰ عشرة ركعة وهي صلاة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم و لا أدري من أحدث هذا الركوع الكثير

I chose 11 Rakah of Qiyam e Ramadhan and Umar bin al Khattab Gathered people on this prayer and this is the Prayer of Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, and I don’t know from where people innovated these so many more Rak`ah [Kitab Al tahajjud hadeeth no: 890 by Abdul Haq Al Shabeeli 581 h]

According to Allamah Ayini Hanafi The stance of Imam Malik is 11 Rakah see Umda tul qari 11/126 under the hadeeth 2010

According to Shaykh Ibne Tamiyah stance of Malaki Madhab is 36 Rakah as said by Shaykh in Al-Ikhtiyaaraat, p. 6

Qazi Abu Bakr Al-Arbi Al-Maaliki said:

والصحيح أن يصلى أحد عشر ركعة صلٰوة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وقيامه فأما غير ذلك من الأعداد ، فلا أصل له ولا حدفيه

And the correct (view) is that 11 rakaat should be prayer. This was the prayer and Qiyaam of the prophet sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam. Any numbers apart from that has no reality in it nad Hadd in it.  [عارضۃ الاحوذی 4/19 ح806]

Imam Shaf’ee (rah) said after saying 20 is better

وليس في شيء من هٰذا ضيق ولا حد ينتهى إليه لأنه نافلة فإن أطالوا القيام وأقلوا السجود فحسن وهو أحب إلي وإن أكثروا الركوع و السجود فحسن

There is no problem in this (prayer of taraweeh/qiyam al ramadaan) and there is no limit is (number of rakah) because this is nafil prayer, If Rakat are less and Qiyam is long then it is good and i like this view, and If There are More Rak`ah even it is good.  [Mukhtasir qiyam ul Layl al Maroodhi page 202,203]

Imam Ahmed Bin Hanbal

A) Ishaq bin Mansoor asked regarding Rakah, he said: 40 Raka`ah are narrated in this case, this is only nafil prayer [Mukhtasir qiyam al layl page 202]

B) Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (23/113):

But the correct view is that all of that is good, as was stated by Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him). There is no set number of rak’ahs for qiyaam during Ramadaan, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not set a number. End quote.

C) Tirmidhee said same that Imam Ahmad did not set the number of Rakah “ولم يقض فيه بشيء”

There is another hadith which states

Ubayy Ibn Ka’b narrated that I prayed 8 Raka’ah and Witr in Ramadan and when I told the prophet pbuh about it, he pbuh remained silent. Hence this became the agreed Sunnah. (Sunnat-ur-Ridhaa) [Musna Abi Yala 3/236 hadeeth no.1801]

Allama Haythami says that: رواه أبو يعلى والطبراني بنحوه في الأوسط وإسناده حسن

It is Narrated by Abu Yala and at-Tabrani in al-Aawsat with hasan chain [Majma az-zawaid 2/74]

This overwhelming evidence is sufficient to disprove many claims that the Sufis make.

There is not a Single sahi hadeeth which which speaks of the prophet mohammad pbuh offering 20 Rakaah tarawih and hanafi scholars like Tahtawi and Mohammad Ahsan Nanotwi say that the prophet pbuh did not offer 20 rakah rather it was 8 rakah. [Hashiyatul tahtawi Ala Durr al mukhtaar 1/295, Hashiya Kanzud Daqaaiq page 32]

Claim no. 2: Tarawih is prayed in the begining of night & tahajjud is prayed in later part of the night?

Claim no. 3: Tarawih is prayed in congregation & tahajjud is prayed individually?

Response:  The following 2 Ahadeeth and a couple of Fatwas of hanafi scholars are sufficient to disprove this claim.

Hadeeth no.1 The summary of one of the hadeeth is that Abu Dharr (radi-Allaahu ’anhu) said,

We kept the fasts of Ramadhaan with the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam), then he led us in Qiyaam (Taraweeh prayer) on the 23rd night (when seven nights were left) till about one third of it passed. He did not observe it on the 24th, then on the 25th night he led us till about half the night passed. We requested to offer supererogatory prayer during the whole night. The Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) said, “He who observes Qiyaam along with the Imaam till he finishes it, then it is as if he offered prayer the whole night.” Then he did not observe the Qiyaam with us on the 26th night, then finally on the 27th night he gathered his wives, members of his household and the people and he led everyone in the Qiyaam (Taraweeh prayer) till we feared of missing the dawn meal.” [Ibn Maajah (no. 1327]

It is clear from this narration that the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) led the taraweeh prayer in three parts of the night and by praying it after Eesha until the end of the night he informed us of its time. It is likely that no time would have remained for tahajjud, (as taraweeh on the 27th night was prayed so late in the night to the extent that there were fears of missing the dawn meal) therefore no doubt remains about taraweeh and tahajjud being one prayer and that the prophet sal Allahu Aleyhi wasallam offered Qiyaam ul Layl All night as well.

Hadeeth no.2 Sahi Al Bukhari, Book of Taraweeh, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 227: 

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” Ibn Shihab (a sub-narrator) said, “Allah’s Apostle died and the people continued observing that (i.e. Nawafil offered individually, not in congregation), and it remained as it was during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of ‘Umar’s Caliphate.” ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Abdul Qari said, “I went out in the company of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, ‘Umar said, ‘In my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter) (i.e. let them pray in congregation!)’. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka’b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, ‘Umar remarked, ‘What an excellent Bid’a (i.e. innovation in religion) this is; but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.’ He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night.”

This Sahi hadeeth is crystal clear and does not even require any explanation. Clearly this shows that the Sahaba were offering Qiyaam ul Layl in the early part of the night and Umar Radhi Allahu said that it is better to offer this prayr in the later part of the night.

Some Hanafi scholars fatwa on timing of tarawih:

Mufti Azeez ur Rahman Usmani states in Fatawa Darul Uloom Deobund vol 4 page 260 that the timings for tarawih is After Isha upto Fajr.

Rasheed Ahmed Ludhyani says in Ahsan ul fatawa vol 3 page 497 that the timing for Taraweeh is After Isha and Before and After witr.

In the light of above crystal clear evidence, it is proven that Tahajjud and Taraweeh are the same and we can see that Not only the prophet sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam offered Qiyaam ul Layl in congregation but the Sahaba (may Allah be pleased with them) also offered Qiyaam ul layl in congregation. One more evidence is as follows:

Hadeeth no.3 Sahi Al Bukhari in the book of Taraweeh:

Narrated ‘Urwa: That he was informed by ‘Aisha, “Allah’s Apostle went out in the middle of the night and prayed in the mosque and some men prayed behind him. In the morning, the people spoke about it and then a large number of them gathered and prayed behind him (on the second night). In the next morning the people again talked about it and on the third night the mosque was full with a large number of people. Allah’s Apostle came out and the people prayed behind him. On the fourth night the Mosque was overwhelmed with people and could not accommodate them, but the Prophet came out (only) for the morning prayer. When the morning prayer was finished he recited Tashah-hud and (addressing the people) said, “Amma ba’du, your presence was not hidden from me but I was afraid lest the night prayer (Qiyam) should be enjoined on you and you might not be able to carry it on.” So, Allah’s Apostle died and the situation remained like that (i.e. people prayed individually). “

Further more,

Hadeeth no.4:

عن جابر بن عبد الله قال : صلى بنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في شهر رمضان ثمان ركعات وأوتر

Jabir Bin Abdullah Al Ansaari Radhi Allahu Anhu says that the Prophet peace be upon him lead us (in) 8 rakah and witr in the month of Ramadan. [Sahi Ibn Khuzaymah 1070]

Now there are some objections raised against this hadeeth.

First objection Raised against this hadeeth: Humayd Al Raazi is Kazzab [Mukhtasar Qiyaam ul Layl of Marozi Pg 197]

Response:  Muhammad bin Humaid is only a narrator of the narration in Qiyaam al-Layl (pg.197) and there are other narrator who have also narrated this hadeeth from the central narrator Ya’qoob bin Abdullaah al-Qummee. Apart from Humayd Al Raazi, Many Other narrators have narrated this hadeeth from yaqoob bin Abdullah. e.g

  1. Jaafar bin Humayd Al koofi [Al Kaamil 5/1889, Al Mu’jamal Sagheer of Tabarani 1/190]
  2. Abu Al Rabee’ [Sahih Ibn Hibbaan 2401, 2402]
  3. Abdul A’laa bin Hammaad [Musnad Abi Yala 3/336 hadeeth no.1801, Al Kaamil 5/1888]
  4. Maalik bin Isma’eel [Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah 2/138, hadeeth 1070]
  5. Ubayd Ullah Yani Ibn Moossa [Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah 2/138, hadeeth 1070]

All these narrators are Thiqqah and Suddooq. So the objection on Humayd Al Raazi is not valid.

Second objection raised against this hadeethIts Chain of narration contains Yaqoob Al Qama who is Dhaeef. Imam Daraqutni said: “laysa Bil Qawi”

Response:According to the Jamhoor (Majority) of the Ullema, Yaqoob Al Qama is Thiqqa.

  1. Imam Nasai said “ليس به بأس”
  2. Abu Al Qasim Al Tabrani said: “ثقة”
  3. Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in Kitaab ul thiqaat and declared his hadeeth to be Sahih.
  4. Jurair bin Abdul hameed would call him 

“مؤمن آل فرعون”

  1. Ibn Mahdi has narrated from him. [Tahdheeb ut tahdheeb 11/342,343 and Ibn Mahdi only narrates from thiqqah [Tadreeb ul Raawi 1/317]
  2. Hafidh Dhahabi said: “صدوق” [ Al Kaashif 3/255]
  3. Ibn Khuzaymah declared his hadeeth to be hassan.
  4. Noor ud Deen Al haythami declared his hadeeth to be Hassan.
  5. Imam Bukhari has narrated from him in his Ta’leeqaat and he hasn’t done any critcism on him in his Tareekh Al Kabeer 8/391 under 3443so he is thiqqah for Imam Bukhari according to Zafar ahmed thanvi Deobundi Hanafi [See Qawaaid fee Uloom il hadeeth Pg 136]
  6. Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani has observed Silence on his hadeeth [Fath ul Baari 3/12 Hadeeth 1129] and according hanafis, this Silence of Ibn hajar is also evidence of the soundness of the hadeeth from Ibn Hajar. [See Qawaaid fee Uloom il hadeeth Page 55]

Third Objection Raised against this hadeeth:Some scholars like Imam Abu Dawood, Al Aqeeli, Al saaji and others have done Jarha on Eesa bin Jaariyah and Some have even called him Munkar Al Hadeeth.

Response:  Eesa bin Jaariyah is Thiqqah, Suddooq and Hassan ul Hadeeth according to the Majority of the Ullema.

  1. Abu Zur’a said: “لا بأس به”
  2. Ibn Hibbaan mentioned him in thiqaat.
  3. Ibn Khuzaymah declared his hadeeth to be Sahi.
  4. Al Haythami also authenticated his hadeeth [Majma’ Al Zawaid 2/72,] and also declared him “ثقة”. [Majma’ 2/185]
  5. Al Bosairi Praised one of his hadeeth in Zawaid Sunan Ibn Maajah. [hadeeth 4241]
  6. Imam Dhahabi said about his hadeeth “إسناده وسط”.
  7. Imam Bukhari has not done crictism on him in his Tareekh Al kabeer 2/385
  8. Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani has observes silence on his hadeeth [Fath ul baari 3/10 hadeeth 1129]
  9. Hafidh Munzari stated one of his hadeeth to be “بإسناده جيد” [ Al Targheeb Wal Tarheeb 1/507]
  10. Abu Haatim Al Raazi mentioned him but did not do Any jarha on him. [Al-Jarha wal Tadeel 6/273] And according to Deobundis, the silenceof Abu haatim al raazi on any narrator is the Soundness of the narrator to be thiqqa from Abu haatim Al raazi. [Qawaaid fee Uloom il hadeeth Pg 247]
  11. Namwi hanafi declared one of his narrated hadeeth to Sahi [Athaar ul Sunan: 960]

So from all these evidences we now know that the chain of this hadeeth of Jabir bin Abdullah Radhi Allahu Anhu is Hassan.

The Hanafee Scholars On the Hadeeth of Jaabir

 

Haafidh Zailaa’ee

 

Haafidh Zailaa’ee also cited this hadeeth and did not mention any criticism regarding it in two places in his book, therefore this proves this hadeeth was authentic according to him. (See Nasb ur-Raayah (1/276) and (1/293).

Shaikh Ibn Humaam

 

He also cited this hadeeth and did not mention any criticism on it. (see Fath ul-Qadeer (1/181).

Shaikh Mulla Alee Qaaree

 

Mulla Alee Qaaree mentioned the statement of his teacher, Ibn Hajr without any criticism at all, he says, “And in the Saheeh of Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibbaan that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) prayed 8 raka’hs and witr.” (Mirqaat Sharh Mishkaat (2/175).

In another place he categorically writes, “It is authentically established from the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) that he prayed 8 Raka’hs and Witr.” (Mirqaat (2/174).

Shaikh Anwar Shah Kashmiree

 

Anwar Shah said, “The prayer which the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) led the companions in prayer in Ramadhaan was a total of 11 raka’hs as reported from Jaabir by Ibn Khuzaimah, Muhammad bin Nasr and Ibn Hibbaan and it was 8 raka’hs and witr, and the witr were 3 raka’hs.” (Kashf as-Satr (pgs. 27, 33).

Therefore, the criticisms of Eesaa bin Jaariyyah by the scholars of hadeeth are not detailed and as he has been also praised, then the praise is taken over the non-detailed criticism. So this hadeeth of Jaabir is at the level of being Hasan.

Claim no.4: Tarawih was prayed in the Masjid by the prophet mohammad sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam and he prayed tahajjud at home

Response:  By now we have proven that tahajjud and tarawih is the same prayer. I repeat that the word tarawih was not even used at the time of the prophet sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam or the Sahaba. And if you note, It is Ironic that sufis admit that the prophet sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam prayed taraweeh in the masjid but they do not give evidence of how many rakaat the prophet sal Allahu alyhi wasallam prayed. This silence is very interesting from the sufis and it tells alot in it self.

Claim no.5 tarawih is prayed only in ramadan and tahajjud is prayed through out the year

Response:  Tarawih and Tahajjud are the same as proven already. But even for arguement sake if we accept that Tahajjud is prayed “Through out the year” then naturally it means that Tahajjud was also prayed in Ramadan, So that will mean that we have to pray Witr twice i.e Once in Tahajjud (8+3witr) and Once in Tarawih (20+3witr)

Where as Rasool Allah pbuh said “لا وتران في ليلة ”

“There is no two Witrs in one night.” [Sunan At Tirmidhi 470, Sunan Abu dawood 1439, Sunan An Nasai 1678, Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah 1101, Sahih Ibn Hibbaan 671]

There cannot be any contradiction in the Actions and Sayings of Rasool Allah sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam and hence it is incorrect to differentiate between Tahajjud and Tarawih.

Claim no.6 No body does Amal on the hadeeth of Ayesha radhi Allahu Anha As it is bcz the prophet pbuh used to pray 4 4 rakaat but tarawih is prayed in 2 2 rakaat all over the world.

Response:  It is an accepted Usool in Science of Hadith that the hadeeth does the explanation of another hadeeth.. And in this Case Aisha radhi Allahu Anha did not say that the prophet pbuh offered 4 with one Tasleem(Salaam) rather another Sahi hadeeth explains this issue very clearly. In Sahi Muslim 736, Aisha Radhi Allahu Anha narrated that:

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلي فيما بين أن يفرغ من صلاة العشاء وهي التي يدعو الناس العتمة إلى الفجر إحدى عشرة ركعة يسلم بين كل ركعتين ويوتر بواحدة

“Between the end of ‘Isha’ prayer – which the people call al-‘Atamah (darkness prayer) – and Fajr, the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would pray eleven rak’ahs, saying the salaam after each two rak’ahs, and praying one rak’ah on its own as Witr. When the muezzin fell silent after calling to Fajr prayer, and he could see the dawn, and the muezzin came to him, he would get up and pray two short rak’ahs, then he would lie down on his right side until the muezzin came to him to recite the iqaamah.”

Another Hadeeth in Sahi Al Bukhari states that

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 461: Narrated Nafi’: Ibn ‘Umar said, “While the Prophet was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night prayers. He replied, ‘Pray two Rakat at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of the Fajr prayer) pray one Rak’a and that will be the witr for all the Rakat which you have offered.” Ibn ‘Umar said, “The last Rakat of the night prayer should be odd for the Prophet ordered it to be so.

The Explanation of the Hadeeth of Aisha Radhi Allahu Anha clearly shows that the Prophet said Salaam after every 2 rakaat.

Claim no. 7 Ijma of Sahaba at the time of Umar Radhi Allahu Anhu??

Response:  After reading all the authentic evidences above, i do not think that any one would claim that the Sahaba had Ijma on 20 Rakaat tarawih, but yet there may be some people that are not convinces so i will shed light on this a bit more.

Note that we believe the Sahaba did perform 20 rakaat Sunnah and there are other variant number of Rakaats which the Sahaba, tabiyeen and taba-e-tabiyeen offered during taraweeh. But there may be some brother that still holds the extreme view that “ONLY 20 RAKAAT IS SUNNAH”, for such brothers i would like to say that there is not a Single “Sahi Muttasil Hadeeth” which proves that Umar Radhi Allahu Anhu prayed 20 rakaah prayer OR ordered ubay ibn ka’ab to lead the prayer for 20 rakaah prayer. There is not a Single Sahi Muttasil hadeeth” in this regard.

I Highly recommended Readers to go through this Small Pdf file: http://ahlulhadeeth.net/article/Reply%20To%2020%20Taraaweeh.pdf

Rather we find a clear cut Sahi Hadeeth that

Umar (radi-Allaahu ’anhu) ordered Ubayy ibn Ka’ab and Tameem ad-Daaree to lead the people in 11 rak’ahs. [This hadeeth is mention in Muwatta Imam Malik, Sunan Al Kubra of Bayhaqi and also in many other books. The chain of this hadeeth is Absolutely authentic and all its narrators are Thiqqah]

This Sahi hadeeth and all the references given before are sufficient to disprove the claim that the Sahaba had Ijma on 20 Rakaat Taraweeh.

Claim no. 8 The hadeeth of Ali Radhi Allanhu in Musannif ibn Abi Shayba

Response:  One big problem which i have seen in some of the hanafis is that when they have a week arguement or No Arguement left behind, they pick a dhaeef or disputed hadeeth of a Sahabi that supports a certain matter in hanafi fiqh and they start praising the Sahabi so much that the listener or reader or viewer forgets whether the hadeeth attributed to the Sahabi is authentic or weak? Similarly alot of Hanafi scholars do not even bother telling the audience that the hadeeth attributed to Ali Radhi Allahu is weak. Instead they starts praising the Khulafa and Ali Radhi Allahu so much that the unlearned viewer is made to believe that the Amal of the Sahabi cannot be wrong and those that oppose it are deviants. Where as in reality the hadeeth is Dhaeef and the Amal is not even proven to be the Amal of the Sahabi and its not proven from the sahabi then Why attribute it to him??

Never the less, the hadeeth of ali radhi Allahu anho is dhaeef because the chain of narration has Abu Al Hasnaa who is regarded as Majhool in  taqreeb ut tahzeeb page 401 by Hafidh Ibn Hajar.

Hafidh Dhahabi said لا يعرف [Mezaan ul Ai’tedaal 4/515]

Naimwi hanafi also said “و هو لا يعرف” [Hashiya Athaar ul Sunan pg 255]

From All the Above Information, i am sure that our learned brothers correct their opinion regarding taraweeh. The Sunnah is 8+3 but the prophet Sal Allahu aleyhi wasallam allowed as much as you can Pray.

Our purpose is not to Disunite the Ummah but to Bring the Ummah on the Middle Path which is the way of the Quran and Sunnah but at the Same time we aim to expose those that try their best to Disunite the Ummah or Use Quran and Sunnah to Fit into their Sect instead of Fitting themselves into Quran and Sunnah.

May Allah guide us All, Ameen.

Note: Most of the work in the article is taken from a Book in Urdu “Ta’daad Rakaat Qiyaam e Ramazaan Ka Tehqeeqi Jayza” by Shaikh Zubair Ali Zae (Rahimaullah ). May Allah reward the Shaikh… Ameen………..!! 

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