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f:143 -    Taraweeh- How many Rakaat
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Name : submittername
Question:     What is the exact number of the Raka'at of Taraweeh? Nowadays, in some places, we find that 8 Raka'at of Taraweeh are being offered?  Do the Hadith mention it?
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Answer:     According to the Ahle Sunnah, the number of Raka'at in Taraweeh is 20 and it is Sunnah Moukkada (Compulsory Sunnah) for both men and women.  For men offering it in the Masjid along with the congregation (Jama'at) is Fardh Kifayah.  If all the men of a locality do not offer it, all of them will be considered sinners.

It is given in Durre Mukhtaar, Vol. 1, Pg No. 52:

Translation: Salaat Ul Taraweeh is by consensus Sunnah Moukkada, as the 4 rightly-guided Caliphs offered it regularly.

It is given in Raddul Muhtaar:

Translation: in Taraweeh, the Jama'at is Kifayah.  If all the men of a locality leave the Jama'at, then all of them have abandoned the Sunnah and have done a very bad thing indeed.

As far as the number of the Raka'at of Taraweeh is considered that from the acts of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and the Traditions handed down by the Sahabah and by the sayings of the Tabi'een and the Tab'e Tabi'een, it is established beyond doubt that the number of Raka'at in Taraweeh is 20.  This was the practice of the First 4 Caliphs and all the Sahabah agreed and consented to this.

There is a Hadith in Sunan Baihaqui, Imam Tabarani’s Mo’jam Kabeer, Mo’jam Ausat, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaiba, Musnad Abd bin Humaid, Majma Uz Zawaaid and Zujajatul Masabeeh:

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ : كَانَ النَّبِىُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُصَلِّى فِى شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ  بِعِشْرِينَ رَكْعَةً وَالْوِتْرَ.

Translation: It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abdullah bin Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) offered 20 raka’at of Taraweeh and Witr.

(Sunan Kubra Lil Baihaqui, Hadith No: 4799; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaiba, Vol 2, Pg No: 286, Hadith No: 13; Al Matalib Ul A’aliya Li Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Hadith No: 642; Mo’jam Ausat Tabarani, Hadith No: 5598/810; Mo’jam Kabeer Tabarani, Hadith No: 11934; Majma Uz Zawaaid, Vol 2, Pg No: 172; Musnad Abd bin Humaid, Hadith No: 655; Zujajatul Masabeeh, Vol 1, Pg No: 366, Khulasatul Ahkaam Lin Nawawi, Vol 1, Pg No: 579, Hadith No: 1971; Al Talkhees Li Ibn Hajar Makki, Vol 2, Pg No: 52, Hadith No: 540; Fath Ul Bari Sharh Sahih Bukhari, Al Fiqha Tul Islami wa Adilla, Subul Ul Huda War Rashad, Vol 8, Pg No: 267)

Hadhrat Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) gave the order for 20 Raka'at Taraweeh and this was the practice in the eras of Hadhrat Uthman and Hadhrat Ali (May Allah be well pleased with them).

There is a Hadith in Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaiba:

عن يحيى بن سعيد أن عمر بن الخطاب أمر رجلا يصلي بهم عشرين ركعة.

Translation: It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Yahya bin Sae’ed that Hadhrat Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) commanded a person to offer 20 raka’at of Taraweeh.

(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaiba, Vol 2, Pg No: 285, Chapter No: 227, Hadith No: 3; Tuhfatul Ahwazi, Bab Ma Ja’a FI Shahri Ramadhan)

الْخَطَّابِ رَضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ فِى رَمَضَانَ بِثَلاَثٍ وَعِشْرِينَ رَكْعَةً.

It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Yazid bin Rooman R.A. that he said in the era of Hadhrat Umar Bin Khattab (May Allah be well pleased with him) people used to offer 23 raka’at (20 raka’at of Taraweeh and 3 Witr).

عَنِ السَّائِبِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ قَالَ : كَانُوا يَقُومُونَ عَلَى عَهْدِ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ فِى شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ بِعِشْرِينَ رَكْعَةً  قَالَ وَكَانُوا يَقْرَءُونَ بِالْمِئِينِ ، وَكَانُوا يَتَوَكَّئُونَ عَلَى عُصِيِّهِمْ فِى عَهْدِ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ عَفَّانَ رَضِىَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ مِنْ شِدَّةِ الْقِيَامِ.

Translation: It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Saib bin Yazid (May Allah be well pleased with him) that in the era of Hadhrat Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) people used to offer 20 raka’at of Taraweeh.  People used to recite 100 verses and in the era of Hadhrat Usman (May Allah be well pleased with him), they would support themselves with a staff because of the long raka’at.


Hadhrat Abu Abdur Rahman Sulami narrates on the authority of Hadhrat Ali (May Allah be well pleased with him), that in the month of Ramadhan, he (i.e. Hadhrat Ali) summoned the Huffaz (those who memorized the Holy Quran) and commanded one Hafidh of them to lead others for 20 raka’at of Taraweeh.

(Sunan Kubra Lil Baihaqui, Hadith No: 4804, Zujajatul Masabeeh, Vol 1, Pg No: 366, Umdatul Qari Sharh Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Ul Tahajjud, Tuhfatul Ahwazi, Bab Maa Jaa fi qiyami shahri Ramadhan)

20 Raka'at Taraweeh is the consensus of the Sahabah and all the Imams and the Fuqaha (Jurists) hold this opinion only.  

Imam Kasani Hanafi (May Allah be well pleased with him) writes about 20 raka’at of Taraweeh:

وَالصَّحِيحُ قَوْلُ الْعَامَّةِ لِمَا رُوِيَ أَنَّ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ جَمَعَ أَصْحَابَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ عَلَى أُبَيِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ فَصَلَّى بِهِمْ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ عِشْرِينَ رَكْعَةً ، وَلَمْ يُنْكِرْ أَحَدٌ عَلَيْهِ فَيَكُونُ إجْمَاعًا مِنْهُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكَ .

Translation: The authentic opinion is of the majority of scholars, because Hadhrat Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) gathered the Sahabah under the leadership (Imamat) of Hadhrat Ubai bin Kaab (May Allah be well pleased with him), and he lead them in 20 raka’at every night.  None of the Sahabah denied this (or objected to this) and this way, the consensus of the Sahabah on this issue was achieved.

(Badai Us Sanai, Vol 1, Kitab Us Salaat, Pg No: 644)

Hadhrat Mulla Ali Qari (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) writes in his commentary on Mishkaat Sharh Mirqaat:

لكن أجمع الصحابة على أن التراويح عشرون ركعة -

Translation: Nevertheless, the Sahabah have agreed that Taraweeh is of 20 raka’at.

(Mirqat Ul Mafateeh, Kitab Us Salaat, Bab Qiyami Shahri Ramadhan)

Allama Ibn e Nujaim (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) writes in Bahr Ur Raiq and Allama Ibn e Abidin Shami writes in Raddul Muhtaar:

Taraweeh is of 20 raka’at.  The majority of the scholars agree on this and in east and west (i.e. everywhere), the Muslims practice this. (Al Bahr Ur Raiq, Vol 2, Pg No: 117)

وَعَلَيْهِ عَمِلَ النَّاسُ شَرْقًا وَغَرْبًا-

(Radd Ul Muhtaar, Vol 1, Pg No: 521, Bidayatul Mujtahid, Vol 1, Pg No: 210, Al Fiqh Al Madhahib Al Arba, Vol 2, Pg No: 342)

It is given in

وهي عِشْرُونَ رَكْعَة-

Translation: Salaat Ut Taraweeh is of 20 raka’at

(Al Ghunya Li Talibi tariqil haqqi, Vol 2, Pg No: 16)
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