Category Archives: Taraweeh
The Taraweeh of the Salaf compared to today
Explained by Shaykh Muhammad bin Haadi
Taken from the lecture: ” The guidance of the Salaf during Ramadan”
Shaykh Muhammad bin Haadi:
Thus when Ramadan comes do not miss praying Taraweeh with the people. It is upon you to stand at night in prayer. This is the third affair. And all praises belong to Allah, now the recitation is easy—O brothers. Our recitation is light; extremely light. One Juz (is recited) in ten rakats if he makes his recitation lengthy. And if you are in the Haram of Mecca or Medina or in the Masjids that pray twenty rakats (you will say) where did the Juz go? The recitation is very light in each rakat.
As for the Salaf As Saalih, may Allah have mercy upon them, they viewed that if Soorah Al Baqarah was recited in ten rakats during Ramadan, then the one leading the prayer had gone easy on them. If Soorah Al Baqarah was recited in ten rakats they viewed that he had made the prayer light for them.
Today we take three nights or four nights, or two and a half nights, to recite Soorah Al Baqarah, if we are going to finish it; true or false?
They used to recite Soorah Al Baqarah in eight rakats, thus if an Imaam came and lead them in prayer, completing Soorah Al Baqarah in ten rakats, they would say: May Allah reward you with good, he was easy upon us. Who would remain with you upon this today? Our prayer is light now.
Translated by Rasheed ibn Estes Barbee
Imam Muhammad Nasir Ad Deen Al Albani
Translated by Rasheed Barbee
The Imam Muhammad Nasir Ad Deen Al Albani may Allah have mercy upon him said…
The standing in prayer during Ramadan has only been legislated to increase in the closeness to Allah the Mighty and Majestic by standing in prayer. For this reason we don’t see that we should make the tawareeh prayer mixed with something from knowledge or teaching or anything like that. It is only befitting that standing in prayer be pure unadulterated worship. As for knowledge then it has it’s time. It is not limited to a particular time. Rather one should consider what is beneficial to those learning, and this is the foundation.
And therefore I intended by this to say that the one who makes a practice of teaching the people after every four rakats for example during the tawareeh prayer, taking this as a habit, then this is something newly invented that opposes the Sunnah.
Taken from the tape series the guidance and the light number 693 at the 28 minute on the tape, by The Shaykh Muhammad Nasir Ad Deen Al Abani may Allah have mercy upon him.
Translated by Rasheed Barbee
قيام رمضان شُرع فقط لزيادة التقرب إلى الله عز وجل بصلاة القيام , ولذلك فلا نرى نحن أن نجعل صلاة التراويح يخالطها شيء من العلم والتعليم ونحو ذلك , وإنما ينبغي أن تكون صلاة القيام محض العبادة , أما العلم فله زمن , لا يحدد بزمن , وإنما يراعي فيه مصلحة المتعلمين , وهذا هو الأصل وأريد من هذا أن من إتخذ عادة أن يعلم الناس ما بين كل أربع ركعات مثلا في صلاة القيام , إتخذ ذلك عادة , فتلك محدثة مخالفة للسنة “.
مفرغ من شريط سلسلة الهدى والنور رقم 693 ـ الدقيقة 28 ـ
Du’a Qunut – Regarding Raising of the Hands and Saying ‘ameen’ aloud after the Du’aas are uttered – Shaikh ‘Ubaid
Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah
Shaikh ‘Ubaid: I personally do not consider it permissible to add to this Qunut and elongate it with extra supplication due to it opposing the Sunnah
Question no. 65:
During the Taraweeh prayer, whilst the Imam is reciting supplications in the final Qunut, what is the ruling regarding saying ‘ameen’ aloud after the du’aas are uttered, the raising of the hands and the extra supplications?
Answer by Shaikh ‘Ubaid al-Jabiree (hafidhahullaah):
There are three parts to this question.
First, regarding saying ‘ameen’ behind the Imam in the prayer, if it is in the Witr prayer or in Tahajjud or this type of prayer, then there is nothing wrong with this. And you can continue doing this as it is permissible for you to say ‘Ameen’ behind the Imam. This is to happen when the one who prays hears the Imam say a du’aa preceeded with such as ‘Allaahumma…’ [or ‘Rabbaana’]. However, when the Imam is glorifying Allaah ‘Azza wa Jal, then you do not say ‘Ameen;’ rather you remain quiet.
If however the Imam makes du’aa in a morning prayer, then you do not say ‘Ameen,’ as this is an innovation.
Secondly, regarding raising the hands during the Qunut, if this happens during a Qunut in Fajr, then you should not raise your hands – this is an innovation, although the prayer still remains correct but you shouldn’t raise your hands eventhough your Imam persists in saying these supplications. …
Thirdly regarding the extra supplications in the Qunut as in known in the Qunut of Hassan bin ‘Ali (radhi Allaahu ‘anhumma) that was taught to him by the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself; then this Qunut is a brief supplication. I personally do not consider it permissible to add to this Qunut and elongate it with extra supplication due to it opposing the Sunnah of statement in which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam taught his grand-son, Hassan.
Additionally, this extra wording contains false praise which innovates in the supplication and causes hardship to those who pray behind the Imam; you even find that the Imams who do this often recite this in a melody such as singing, and reciting in a beautiful voice should only be done when reciting the Qur`aan.
Praying at Night in Ramadaan (Taraweeh)
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 226:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying regarding Ramadan, “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”
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.”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 228:
(the wife of the Prophet) Allah’s Apostle used to pray (at night) in Ramadan.
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 229:
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). “
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.”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 231:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven .”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 232:
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
Some men amongst the companions of the Prophet were shown in their dreams that the night of Qadr was in the last seven nights of Ramadan. Allah’s Apostle said, “It seems that all your dreams agree that (the Night of Qadr) is in the last seven nights, and whoever wants to search for it (i.e. the Night of Qadr) should search in the last seven (nights of Ramadan).”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 233:
Narrated Abu Salama:
I asked Abu Sa’id, and he was a friend of mine, (about the Night of Qadr) and he said, “We practiced Itikaf (seclusion in the mosque) in the middle third of the month of Ramadan with the Prophet . In the morning of the 20th of Ramadan, the Prophet came and addressed us and said, ‘I was informed of (the date of the Night of Qadr) but I was caused to forget it; so search for it in the odd nights of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. (In the dream) I saw myself prostrating in mud and water (as a sign). So, whoever was in l’tikaf with me should return to it with me (for another 10-day’s period)’, and we returned. At that time there was no sign of clouds in the sky but suddenly a cloud came and it rained till rain-water started leaking through the roof of the mosque which was made of date-palm leaf stalks. Then the prayer was established and I saw Allah’s Apostle prostrating in mud and water and I saw the traces of mud on his forehead.”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 234:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 235:
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Allah’s Apostle used to practice Itikaf (in the mosque) in the middle third of Ramadan and after passing the twenty nights he used to go back to his house on the 21st, and the people who were in Itikaf with him also used to go back to their houses. Once in Ramadan, in which he practiced Itikaf, he established the night prayers at the night in which he used to return home, and then he addressed the people and ordered them whatever Allah wished him to order and said, “I used to practice Itikaf for these ten days (i.e. the middle 113rd but now I intend to stay in Itikaf for the last ten days (of the month); so whoever was in Itikaf with me should stay at his place of seclusion. I have verily been shown (the date of) this Night (of Qadr) but I have forgotten it. So search for it in the odd nights of the last ten days (of this month). I also saw myself (in the dream) prostrating in mud and water.” On the night of the 21st, the sky was covered with clouds and it rained, and the rain-water started leaking through the roof of the mosque at the praying place of the Prophet . I saw with my own eyes the Prophet at the completion of the morning prayer leaving with his face covered with mud and water.
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 236:
The Prophet said, “Look for (the Night of Qadr).”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 237:
Allah’s Apostle used to practice Itikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan ,”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 238:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
The Prophet said, “Look for the Night of Qadr in the last ten nights of Ramadan ,’ on the night when nine or seven or five nights remain out of the last ten nights of Ramadan (i.e. 21, 23, 25, respectively).”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 239:
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
Allah’s Apostle said, “The Night of Qadr is in the last ten nights of the month (Ramadan), either on the first nine or in the last (remaining) seven nights (of Ramadan).” Ibn ‘Abbas added, “Search for it on the twenty-fourth (of Ramadan).”
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 240:
Narrated ‘Ubada bin As-Samit:
The Prophet came out to inform us about the Night of Qadr but two Muslims were quarreling with each other. So, the Prophet said, “I came out to inform you about the Night of Qadr but such-and-such persons were quarreling, so the news about it had been taken away; yet that might be for your own good, so search for it on the 29th, 27th and 25th (of Ramadan).
Volume 3, Book 32, Number 241:
With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.
Concerning the Number of Rak’aat of the Taraaweeh Prayer (Q&A) – Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen
Concerning the Number of Rak’aat of the Taraaweeh Prayer (Q&A)
Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen
From the recently released Al-Ibaanah Book publication “Lessons on Fasting, Taraaweeh & Zakaat + 48 Questions & Answers on Fasting”
Question: Is there a specific number (of rak’aat) for the Night Prayer or not?
Answer: There is no specific number (of rak’aat) that one is obligated to abide by when performing the Night Prayer. So if a person spends the whole night in prayer, there is no harm in this. And if he prays twenty rak’aat or fifty rak’aat, there is nothing wrong with this either. However, the best number (of rak’aat) to pray is that which the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to do, which was either eleven or thirteen rak’aat. This is because when the Mother of the Believers, ‘Aa’ishah, was asked about how the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would pray in Ramadaan, she replied:
“He would not exceed eleven rak’aat whether in Ramadaan or out of it.” 
However, these rak’aat must be done in the prescribed manner. One must prolong his recitation, bowing, prostrating, standing after bowing, and sitting between prostrations in it. This is contrary to what the people do today – they pray in a rush and prevent the followers from doing what they are required to do in prayer.
An Imaam is a position of leadership. And when someone is a leader, he must do what is best and most fitting (for the people). As for an Imaam not having any concern except to leave early, this is wrong. Rather, a person should do what the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to do, such as prolonging his standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting in accordance to what is mentioned in the texts. He should also lengthen his supplication, recitation of the Qur’aan, glorification of Allaah and so on.
Question: If a person prays behind an Imaam that performs more than eleven rak’aat, should he follow the Imaam or separate from him after he completes eleven rak’aat?
Answer: The Sunnah is to follow the Imaam since if he leaves before the Imaam finishes praying, he will not achieve the reward of having prayed the entire night. The Messenger of Allaah said:
“Whoever prays with the Imaam until he finishes, it is recorded for him that he prayed the entire night.” 
The Prophet said this in order to encourage us to strive to remain with the Imaam until he finishes.
The Companions even followed their Imaam at a time when he went beyond the prescribed limit for a particular prayer. And that was when ‘Uthmaan bin ‘Affaan finished praying four rak’aat at Minaa during Hajj in spite of the fact that the Prophet, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthmaan (himself) – during the first part of his Khilaafah until eight years had passed – used to pray just two rak’aat.
So he prayed four rak’aat and the Companions criticized him for this even though they had followed him and prayed four rak’aat along with him.
Therefore, if this was the guidance of the Companions – which was striving to follow the Imaam until he finished – then what is wrong with some people who when they see the Imaam going beyond the number of rak’aat that the Prophet used to pray at night, i.e. eleven, they get up to leave in the middle of prayer? And we have even witnessed some people in Al-Masjid-ul-Haraam leaving before the Imaam finishes with the excuse that only eleven rak’aat are legislated in the Religion!
Question: What is the ruling on the Taraaweeh Prayer and what is the Sunnah with regard to its number of rak’aat?
Answer: The Taraaweeh Prayer is a Sunnah (recommended act) that the Messenger of Allaah prescribed for his ummah. He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) led his Companions in prayer three nights then left it off for fear that it would be made obligatory on them. So the Muslims remained in this state (of not praying in congregation) afterward during the rule of Abu Bakr and the start of ‘Umar’s Khilaafah. After this, the Commander of the Believers, ‘Umar, gathered them under Tameem Ad-Daaree and Ubay bin Ka’ab. So thereafter they began to pray (Taraaweeh) in congregation up until this time of ours, all praise be to Allaah. It is recommended to do it in Ramadaan.
As for the number of rak’aat to be prayed in it, then it is either eleven or thirteen. This is the Sunnah with regard to the Night Prayer. However, if one goes beyond this number, there is no harm or wrong in this since there were numerous accounts reported on the Salaf (Predecessors) stating that they would vary in the number of rak’aat – either going over or below this number. And they would not rebuke one another for this. So whoever exceeds the prescribed number should not be rebuked. And whoever limits his prayer to the number mentioned in the texts, this is better.
The Sunnah indicates that there is no harm in exceeding the prescribed number since it has been reported in (Saheeh) Al-Bukhaaree and other Collections from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar t that a man once asked the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about the Night Prayer, so he responded:
“It is two (rak’aat) by two (rak’aat). Then if one of you fears that the morning (will come upon him), he should pray one (rak’ah), thus making odd (witr) what he prayed.” 
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not define a specific number to which one can restrict his prayer. Regardless, what is important with regard to the Taraaweeh Prayer is that one must be submissive, attentive and at ease when bowing, prostrating and getting up from these two positions. And he should not do as some people do by rushing through the prayer in a hurried manner, which prevents those praying (behind him) from doing the recommended acts, not to mention the obligatory acts in prayer, simply because he desires to be the first one out of the masjid so that the large gatherings of people could notice him. This contradicts what is legislated in the Religion.
What is obligatory upon the Imaam is that he fears Allaah with regard to those praying behind him and not prolong the prayer to the point that it burdens his followers and is not in accordance with the Sunnah. He must also not shorten the prayer to the point that those behind him are not able to do what they are obligated or recommended to do while in prayer.
This is why some scholars have stated: “It is disliked for the Imaam to rush through the prayer in such a manner that prevents the one following from doing what is prescribed (in the prayer).”
So if this is the case, then what about those who rush through the prayer in such a manner that prevents the one following from doing what is obligatory (in the prayer)?! This type of rushing is prohibited for the Imaam. We ask Allaah to keep us and our brothers firm and safe.
Question: What is the ruling on combining all of the Taraaweeh Prayer or some of it with the Witr in one tasleem?
Answer: Doing such an act invalidates the prayer since the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“The Night Prayer is two (units) by two (units).”
So if he combines all of the rak’aat under one tasleem it will not be two by two. And by doing this he will have opposed the command of Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when he said:
“Whoever does a deed that is not in accordance with our Command (i.e. Sunnah), it is rejected.” 
Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy on him, stated: “Whoever rises for the third rak’ah in the Night Prayer (i.e. without making tasleem), it is as if he has risen up to make a third rak’ah when praying Fajr.”
Meaning: If he continues to stand up after he remembers, his prayer becomes invalidated, as in the case of the Fajr Prayer. So based on this, if he gets up for the third rak’ah during the Night Prayer out of forgetfulness and then remembers, he should go back (to the sitting position) and make tashahhud. Then he should make the two prostrations of forgetfulness after the tasleem. If he does not do this, his prayer is invalid.
There is an issue I would like to discuss here, which is the understanding that some people derive from the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah when she was asked about how the Prophet would perform the Night Prayer during Ramadaan. She replied:
“He would not exceed eleven rak’aat (for the Night Prayer) whether in Ramadaan or out of it. He would pray four rak’aat, but do not ask about how fine or long they were. Then he would pray another four rak’aat, but do not ask about how fine or long they were. Then he would pray three rak’aat.”
Some people think that based on this, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would pray the first four rak’aat with one tasleem, the second set of four rak’aat with one tasleem and the last three rak’aat with one tasleem.
However, even though this hadeeth may imply this meaning, it is also possible that it means that he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prayed four rak’aat with two tasleems then sat to rest and regain his energy. Then he prayed four more rak’aat in a similar manner (i.e. with two tasleems). This possible meaning, i.e. that he prayed two rak’aat by two rak’aat, seems more correct. However, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would sit after the first four rak’aat to rest and recoup his energy. And likewise with the second set of four rak’aat, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would pray them two by two, then sit (again).
What supports this conclusion is the Prophet’s (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying: “The Night Prayer is two by two.”
Therefore this conclusion combines both his (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) action as well as his (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement. Even though we can derive from the wording that the hadeeth possibly means he would pray these four rak’aat with one tasleem, it is outweighed by the hadeeth we mentioned above, which is that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “The Night Prayer is two by two.”
If a person wishes to make Witr with three rak’aat, there are two ways of accomplishing this:
1. The first is that he makes the tasleem after the first two rak’aat then prays the third.
2. The second is that he prays all three together with just one tashahhud and one tasleem.
 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no. 1147) and Muslim (no. 1670)
 Reported by Abu Dawood (no. 1375) and At-Tirmidhee (no. 1806) and authenticated by Al-Albaanee.
 Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no. 990) and Muslim (no. 1695)
 Reported by Muslim (no. 4514)
Published on: September 22, 2006