Twenty Rakats for the Tarawih Prayer


 Hadrat Abu Hurairah Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu eported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him) has said,

من قام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

“…whoever prays during the night in Ramadhan sincerely; seeking his reward from Allah, his former sins are forgiven.” [Sahih al-Muslim, Vol. 1, Page 259, Hadith 1815]

Hadrat Sa’ib ibn Yazid has stated that,

كانوا يقومون على عهد عمر بن الخطاب رضى الله عنه فى شهر رمضان بعشرين ركعة

“We, (the Companions of the Beloved Prophet,) used to pray twenty rak’ats Tarawih prayer in the era of the Caliph ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab.” [Sunan al-Bayhaqi, Vol. 2, Page 224, Hadith 4801]

It has been stated in Mirqat al-Mafatih:

إسناده صحيح

The chain of narration of this Hadith is sound (Sahih). [Mirqat al-Mafatih – Vol. 2, Page 175]

Hadrat Yazid ibn Ruman reports that

كان الناس يقومون فى زمان عمر بن الخطاب فى رمضان بثلاث وعشرين ركعة

“…during the time of Hadrat ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, people used to pray 23 Rak’ahs during Ramadhan (20 rak’ahs for Tarawih prayer and 3 rak’ats for witr.)” [Muwatta Imam Malik, Vol. 1, Page 115, Hadith 251]

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu narrates, [and] said that,

أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يصلي في رمضان عشرين ركعة سوى الوتر

During the month of Ramadhan, aside from the praying of wit’r the beloved Prophet SallAllahu Alaihi wa Aaihi wa Sallam would also pray 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih.

Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 164, Hadith 7692

At-Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Awsat, Vol. 1, Page 243, Hadith 798

At-Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Awsat, Vol. 5, Page 324, Hadith 5440

At-Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Kabir, Vol. 11, Page 393, Hadith 12102

Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Page 496, Hadith 4391

Abd bin Hamid, Musnad, Vol. 1, Page 218, Hadith 653

Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikh, Vol. 6, Page 113

Al-Haytami, Majma’ az-Zawaid, Vol. 3, Page 172

Ibn Abd-al Barr, al-Tamhid, Vol. 8, Page 115

Al-Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Vol. 4, Page 254, Hadith 1908

Al-Asqalani, al-Diraya, Vol. 1, Page 203, Hadith 257

As-Suyooti, Tanwir al-Hawaliq, Vol. 1, Page 108, Hadith 263

Zahbi, Mizan al-Ae’tidal, Vol. 1, Page 170

Al-San’ani, Subul Islam, Vol. 2, Page 10

Al-Mizzi, Tahzib al-Kamal, Vol. 2, Page 149

Al-Zela’i, Nasb al-Rayah, Vol. 2, Page 153

Zurqani, Sharh Alal Muwatta, Vol. 1, Page 342

The consensus ( Ijma’) of the Companions

A companion of Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu, Sayyiduna Shutayr bin Shakil narrates that,

During the month of Ramadhan Sayyiduna Ali would read 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih and 3 wit’r.

Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7680

Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Page 496, Hadith 4395

 

Sayyiduna Abu Abd-ar Rahman Sulami Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu said,

In the month of Ramadhan, Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu sent for all the Qur’anic recitors, and instructed one of them to lead [the Muslims in] 20 rak’ahs Tarawih, and Sayyiduna Ali himself would lead the wit’r prayer. [Al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Page 496, Hadith 4396]

It is narrated that,

Sayyiduna Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu ordered a person to lead the Muslims in the prayer of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih, and this was aside from the wit’r. [Ibn Abd-al Barr, al-Tamhid, Vol. 8, Page 115]

Sayyiduna Yahya bin Sa’id Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu said that,

Sayyiduna Umar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu ordered an individual that he lead them [the Muslims] in the prayer of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih. [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7682]

Sayyiduna Naf’i bin Umar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu states that,

Ibn Abi Malkiya would lead us in the prayer of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih in the month of Ramadan. [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7683]

Sayyiduna Abd-al Aziz bin Rafi’ Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu states that,

Sayyiduna Abi Bin Ka’ab Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu would lead the people of Madinah al-Munawwarah during the month of Ramadan in the praying of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih and 3 wit’r. [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7684]

Sayyiduna Hata’ Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu states that,

I have observed worshippers praying 23 rak’ahs of Tarawih comprising of the wit’r. [Ibn Abi Shayba, Musannaf, Vol. 2, Page 163, Hadith 7688]

Malik al-‘Ulama Hadrat ‘Allama ‘Ala al-Din Abubakr ibn Mas’ud al-Kasani states:

It has been narrated that Hadrat ‘Umar al-Faruq assembled all the companions in the month of Ramadhan to perform Tarawih behind Hadrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b. so, he (Hadrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b) lead them in the Tarawih prayer performing twenty (20) Rak’ats every night. No one from them ever refuted or disapproved of this. Thus, the Ijma’ (consensus) of all the companions was on performing twenty rak’ats for the Tarawih prayer. [Bada’i al-Sana’i – Vol. 1, Page 288]

Imam Badr al-Din al-‘Aini states in his renowned commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari entitled, “Umdat al-Qari”:

‘Allama ibn ‘Abd al-Barr has states that it is the ruling of the majority of the scholars that tarawih is twenty Rak’ats. The scholars and jurists of Kufa, Imam al-Shafi’i and the majority of the Fuqaha have stated this, and this is the sound opinion as transmitted from Hadrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b that no companion had a difference of opinion in it. [‘Umdatul Qari – Vol. 5, Page 355]

Shaykh al-Islam, al-Imam al-Hafiz ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani states:

It is the Ijma’ of the companions upon the fact that the Tarawih prayers consists of twenty rak’ats.

It has been stated in Maraqiy al-Falah the commentary of Nur al-Idah that:

Tarawih is twenty rak’ats, as the Ijma’ of the companions is upon this.

‘Allama ‘Abd al-Hayy Faranghi Mahalli states:

It has been proven that the companions used to perform tarawih twenty rak’ats in the blessed eras of Hadrat ‘Umar, Hadrat ‘Uthman, Hadrat ‘Ali and all those who came after them. Such reports have been transmitted by Imam Malik, ibn Sa’d, Imam Baihaqi and others. [‘Umdah al-Ri’ayah hashiyah Sharh al-Waqayah – Vol. 1, Page 175]

Imam Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari states:

The companions all agree (it is their consensus) upon the fact that Tarawih is twenty rak’ats. [Mirqat al-Mafatih – Vol. 2 Pg. 175]

The ruling of the Majority

Imam Tirmidhi states:

The majority of the scholars practice what has been transmitted from Hadrat ‘Umar Faruq, Hadrat ‘Ali and the other companions that Tarawih is twenty rak’ats. Imam Sufiyan al-Thawri, Imam ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak and Imam al-Shafi’i have stated the same (that Tarawih is twenty rak’ats). Imam Shafi’i has stated that we have found the residents of our city Makkah al-Mukarramah performing twenty rak’ats for the Tarawih prayer. [Tirmidhi – Chapter on worshipping the nights of Ramadhan – Page 99]

Imam Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari has stated:

It is the conformity of all the muslims upon the twenty rak’ats for Tarawih. This is because Imam Baihaqi narrates with a sound chain of transmission that in the blessed era of Hadrat ‘Umar, Hadrat ‘Uthman and Hadrat ‘Ali, the companions and all those who followed them (Tabi’un) performed twenty rak’ats for the Tarawih prayer. [Babu Fath al-‘Inayah Sharh al-Nuqayah]

It has been stated in the commentary of Tahtawi on Maraqiy al-Falah that:

By the continuous practice of Hadrat Abubakr al-Siddiq and the other Rightly-Guided Caliphs, it has been proven that Tarawih is twenty rak’ats. [Page 224]

‘Allama ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami states:

Tarawih is twenty rak’ats; this is the ruling of the majority of the scholars and the common practice of all Muslims from east till west. [Radd al-Muhtar – Vol. 1, Page 195]

Shaykh Zain al-Din ibn Nujaim al-Misri states:

Twenty rak’ats Tarawih is the ruling of the majority of the scholars. This is because it has been reported in the Muwatta of Imam Malik on the authority of Hadrat Yazid ibn Ruman that in the blessed era of Hadrat ‘Umar al-Faruq the companions used to perform twenty-three rak’ats (twenty rak’ats for Tarawih and three rak’ats for the Witr.) [al-Bahr al-Ra’iq – Vol. 2, Page 66]

Imam Ali Qari al-Hanafi (d. 1014 AH), He said in Sharh al-Naqayah:

“Imam Bayhaqi has reported on genuine authority (sahih) about the performance of 20 rak’ahs of Tarawih during the periods of Umar, Uthman and Ali Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhum, and hence there has been consensus (Ijma’) on it.”

It has been stated in al-‘Inayah the commentary of al-Hidayah that:

Until the beginning of the Khilafah (reign) of Hadrat ‘Umar al-Faruq, the companions used to perform the Tarawih individually. Thereafter, Hadrat ‘Umar stated that, “I find it better to assemble all the companions (to perform the Tarawih) behind one Imam.” Thus, he assembled all the companions to perform the Tarawih with congregation behind Hadrat Ubayy ibn Ka’b. Hadrat Ubayy lead them in the Tarawih performing 5 sets of four-rak’ats (tarwiha) i.e. performed twenty rak’ats.

In al-Kifayah it states:

Tarawih is twenty rak’ats in total. This is our (Hanafi) ruling and that of the school of Imam al-Shafi’i.

In Bada’i al-Sana’i it has been stated:

The number of rak’ats for the Tarawih prayer is twenty; five tarweha with one salam; every two salams is a tarweha (i.e. one salaam made after every 2 rak’ats. Therefore, two salaams means after four rak’ats). This is the ruling of the scholars in general. [Vol. 1, Page 288]

Imam al-Ghazzali states:

Tarawih is twenty rak’ats. [Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din – Vol. 1, Page 201]

In Sharh al-Waqaya it has been stated:

Twenty rak’ats for the Tarawih is the Sunnah. [Vol. 1, Page 175]

In Fatawa-e-‘Alamgiri (also known as “al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah”) it states:

Tarawih consists of five Tarweha; each tarweha is four rak’ats with two salaams (made at the end of two rak’ats). This has also been stated in al-Sirajiyyah. [Vol. 1. Page 108]

Shah Waliyullah Muhaddith-e-Dehlwi states:

The number of rak’ats for the Tarawih is twenty. [Hujjatullahil Baligha – Vol. 2, Page 18]

Wisdom behind twenty rak’ats for Tarawih

The wisdom behind it is that in total there are twenty rak’ats Fard and Wajib throughout the day and night; 17 rak’ats are fard and 3 rak’ats are Wajib. Tarawih is twenty Rak’ats so that in the month of Ramadan the status of these twenty rak’ats Fard and Wajib are elevated and so that the Tarawih prayer takes these twenty rak’ats to perfection. [al-Bahr al-Ra’iq Vol. 2 Page 67 – Tahtawi commentary on Maraqiy al-Falah – Radd al-Muhtar Vol. 1 Page 495 – al-Nahr al-Fa’iq]

— — —

Extracted From

Anwaar al-Hadith, Chapter 3 – The Book of Salaah

by Hadrat Allama Mufti Jalal al-Din Qadiri al-Amjadi

English Translation: Mawlana Kalim al-Qadiri [Bolton – U.K.]

by Irfan Qadiri

 

 

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