20 Rakaat Taraweeh
Author: MUFTI HAFIDH SYED ZIAUDDIN NAQSHBANDI,
Professor of Islamic Law JAMIA NIZAMIA, Founder of Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Centre
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Category List

>> Introduction
>> The excellence of Taraweeh
>> Salaat Ut Taraweeh in Sahih Bukhari
>> First Hadith
>> 20 Raka’at Taraweeh – The custom of the Sahabah
>> Second Hadith
>> Third Hadith
>> Fourth Hadith
>> Fifth Hadith
>> Sixth Hadith
>> Seventh Hadith
>> Eighth Hadith
>> Ninth Hadith
>> Tenth Hadith
>> Eleventh Hadith
>> The Sahabah's consensus on 20 Raka’at of Taraweeh
>> None of the Sahabah objected to 20 Raka’at of Taraweeh
>> The Tabi'en too offered 20 Raka’at of Taraweeh
>> 20 Raka’at Taraweeh – Practice of the majority of the Hanafi, Shafa‘ee and Hambali scholars
>> 20 Raka’at Taraweeh – Opinon of the Imams of the Ummah
>> Taraweeh is 20 Raka’at – Opinion of Hanafi scholars
>> 20 Raka’at Taraweeh in Maliki school of Fiqh
>> 20 Raka’at of Taraweeh in the Hambali school of Fiqh
>> 36 Raka’at – A distinction of the people of Madina
>> 20 Raka’at of Taraweeh From the time of Hadhrat Muhammad Rasulullah...
>> Wisdom behind 20 Raka’at of Taraweeh
>> A compelling analysis

 
 
Salaat Ut Taraweeh in Sahih Bukhari

 Translation: It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Aisha Siddiqua (May Allah be well pleased with her), she says:  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was offering Salaat in His room at night and the wall of the room was of medium height.  The Sahabah saw the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and offered Salaat behind Him (taking Him as their Imam).  Morning came and the Sahabah mentioned this to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).  The next night the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was offering Salaat.  The Sahabah saw Him and started offering Salaat behind Him.  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) did this for 2 or 3 nights.  At last the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) remained in His room and did not come.  In the morning when the Sahabah mentioned this, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: I fear that this Salaat will be declared Fardh for you.  In another version of the same Hadith, the following words are given:

فتعجزوا عنها

Translation: Then you will not be able to offer it.

(Sahih Bukhari, Vol 1, Hadith No: 729; Hadith No: 924; Hadith No: 1129; Hadith No: 2012)

This Hadith is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari at more than 3 places.  This Hadith has mention of offering of Salaat, but there is no mention of the number of Raka’at.  The interpreter of Sahih Bukhari, the author of Fath Ul Bari, Imam Ibn Hajr Asqalani (May Allah shower His mercy on him) has clarified in Al Talkhees that here, the number of Raka’at was 20. 

(Al Talkhees, Tabe ul Kitab Us Salaat, Hadith No: 540)

Imam Ibn Hajr Makki Haitami (May Allah shower His mercy on him) has mentioned one Hadith about the number of the Raka’at of Taraweeh. 

عشرون ركعة"في كل ليلة من رمضان بنية قيام رمضان او سنة تراويح او صلوة التراويح....لما صح انه صلي الله علي وسلم صلي التراويح ليالي اربعا فصلوها معه ثم تأخر وصلاها في بيته باقي الشهر وقال خشيت ان تفرض عليكم فتعجزوا عنها- 

Translation: (It has) “20 Raka’at” every night of Ramadhan, with the intention of Qiyaame Ramadhan or Taraweeh, because there is a rigorously-authenticated (Sahih) Hadith that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) offered Taraweeh for 4 nights and the Sahabah followed Him (in prayer).  Then the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) did not come out of His room and offered it in His room for the rest of the month and said: I fear that this Salaat will be made Fardh (obligatory) for you, then you will not be able to offer it. 

Allama Muhammad bin Muhammad Akmaluddin Babarti (May Allah shower His mercy on him) writes in detail about 20 Raka’at Taraweeh in ‘Inaya Sharh Hidayah:

عِشْرِينَ رَكْعَةً ، فَلَمَّا كَانَتْ اللَّيْلَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ اجْتَمَعَ النَّاسُ فَخَرَجَ وَصَلَّى بِهِمْ عِشْرِينَ رَكْعَةً ، فَلَمَّا كَانَتْ اللَّيْلَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ كَثُرَالنَّاسُ فَلَمْ يَخْرُجْ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ وَقَالَ : عَرَفْت اجْتِمَاعَكُمْ لَكِنِّي خَشِيت أَنْ تُكْتَبَ عَلَيْكُمْ فَكَانَ النَّاسُ يُصَلُّونَهَا فُرَادَى إلَى زَمَنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، فَقَالَ عُمَرُ :إنِّي أَرَى أَنْ أَجْمَعَ النَّاسَ عَلَى إمَامٍ وَاحِدٍ ، فَجَمَعَهُمْ عَلَى أُبَيِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ فَصَلَّى بِهِمْ خَمْسَ تَرْوِيحَاتٍ عِشْرِينَ رَكْعَةً . 

Translation: It is narrated that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) came one night and offered 20 Raka’at.  Then when the next night came, the Sahabah gathered.  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) came and led the Sahabah in 20 Raka’at.  Then when the 3rd night came, the Sahabah gathered in large numbers, but the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) did not come.  He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: I know of your gathering (for Me), but I fear that this Salaat will be declared Fardh for you.  Then the Sahabah, until the time of Hadhrat Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) offered this Salaat individually and separately.  Then Hadhrat Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) said: I think it is better that I gather the people behind a single Imam.  Then he gathered the people with Hadhrat Ubai bin Ka’ab as the Imam and he led the people in 20 Raka’at with 5 breaks. 

(Al ‘Inaya, Sharh Hidayah, Kitab Us Salaat, Fasl Fi Qiyami Shahri Ramadhan)

All these Hadith and Traditions show that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) offered Salaat Ut Taraweeh with congregation for 3 or 4 days.  Then to ensure that this does not become Fardh on the Ummah, did not come again.  According to Imam Ibn Hajr Makki haitami (May Allah shower His mercy on him), the rst of the month, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa salalm) offered Salaat Ut Taraweeh in His house.  This shows that offering Taraweeh with congregation is established by the practice of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).  Also, when the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saw the Sahabah offering Taraweeh with congregation, He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) appreciated it.

As given in a Marfu’ Hadith in Sunan Abu Dawood:

Translation: It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (May Allah be well pleased with him), he said:  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) came and saw that, in Ramadhan, the Sahabah are offering Salaat in a corner of the Masjid.  He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) asked:  What are these people doing?  It was told:  These are those people who have not memorized the Holy Quran perfectly.  Hadhrat Ubai Bin Ka‘ab is leading them in Salaat and they are offering Salaat in his lead.  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:  They are doing right and what a good deed this is!  (Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith No. 1379)

 
 
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