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Taraweeh Prayers

Taraweeh Prayers

Muhammed (s.a.w) never prayed any prayer called Taraweeh prayer nor did he pray any prayer after the Isha prayer except the usual nawafil prayers, which he regularly prayed throughout the year and which for us is the Sunnah prayers (two rakayats). But Rasool (s.a.w) always prayed Tahjath prayers consisting of eight Rakayats and three rakayat witr. Tahjath prayer was Farl for Rasool (s.a.w) and for us it is sunnah. The below hadees very clearly states that Rasool (s.a.w) never prayed any special prayers in Ramadan.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith
Hadith 4.769 Narrated by
Abu Salama bin Abdur Rahman
That he asked 'Aisha "How was the prayer of Allah's Apostle in the month of Ramadan?" She replied, "He used not to pray more than eleven Rakat whether in Ramadan or in any other month. He used to offer four Rakat, let alone their beauty and length, and then four Rakat, let alone their beauty and length. Afterwards he would offer three Rakat. I said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Do you go to bed before offering the Witr prayer?' He said, 'My eyes sleep, but my heart does not sleep.' "

Since Tahjath was farl for Rasool (s.a.w), he prayed it as four rakayats but we cannot pray it as four rakayats; we can pray it as only 2 + 2 and so on and it would be sunnah for us. Only Farl prayers we can pray 4 Rakayats at a stretch; all other sunnah or nawafil prayers should be prayed 2 Rakayaths or 2+2 and so on. At this juncture, we should remember that Muhammed (s.a.w) though he did not pray any extra prayer in Ramadan, he advised us to pray as much prayer as possible each night to the extent that if anyone wants to pray the whole night, it is permissible only in Ramadan, in all other months it is a must that we should sleep for some time. And Allah is ready to pour-forth His Blessing on that person. So, the question does not at all arise whether one should pray eight rakayats or twenty rakayats; one can pray as many rakayats as is possible for him. As to how this prayer; i.e, the special night prayer in Ramadan was innovated, the hadees below clearly explains it:

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith
Hadith- 3.227 Narrated by
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 (Tahjath prayer). (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night."

Here we should note that though Umar (r.a.) innovated this practice, he also said that it would be much better to sleep in this time; i.e., at the time when they pray the Ramadan special night congregational prayer, and pray the Tahjath prayer during which the people usually sleep. And we should also note that Umar (r.a.) did not join in the congregational prayer. For, he knew it would be best to emulate the Prophet, who prayed only Tahjath prayers. But if one is to pray the whole night also, it is permissible as Rasool (s.a.w) has permitted to do so. In the below hadees, it is clearly understood that during the time of Ramadan, for a few days, Rasool (s.a.w) conducted this Tahjath prayer in the Mosque and in congregation, but he did not make a practice of the same.

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith
Hadith 2.229 Narrated by
Aisha(r.a) - mother of the faithful believers
One night Allah's Apostle offered the prayer (Tahjath) in the Mosque and the people followed him. The next night he also offered the prayer and too many people gathered. On the third and the fourth nights more people gathered, but Allah's Apostle did not come out to them. In the morning he said, "I saw what you were doing and nothing but the fear that it (i.e. the prayer) might be enjoined on you, stopped me from coming to you." And that happened in the month of Ramadan.

We know that the congregation conducted by Rasool (s.a.w) was during the time of Tahjath prayer as in another hadees, the Sahabas say Rasool (s.a.w) conducted the congregational prayer and recited long suras to the extent they feared that the suhr meals time (pre-dawn meals) would be over.

Allah's Apostle(s.a.w) said, "When it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, descends every night to the (1st) heaven of the world and says, 'Is there anyone who invokes Me (demand anything from Me), that I may respond to his invocation; is there anyone who asks Me for something that I may give (it to) him; is there anyone who asks My forgiveness that I may forgive him?' "
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith
Hadith 8.333Narrated by
Abu Huraira(r.a)
At this juncture, it is very very important to bring it to your kind notice that praying Taraweeh prayers is allowed but it is absolutely useless when prayed behind an Imam, who takes payment for conducting the prayer and also behind an Imam, who belongs to divided or segregated groups for in either case it is HARAAM – i.e to take payment or gifts for the recitation of the Quran or to divide Islam into different groups – the one and only acceptable group is to be a MUSLIM and nothing else; like, - Hanafi, shafi, Maliki, Hanbali, JAQH, Tawheed, Shia, Sunni, etc. etc. and when Haraam is involved then Satan is involved and when Satan is involved you do not get any virtues for your ammals (deeds). It is far better to pray alone or form a Halaal Jamath and pray and benefit from the tremendous amount of virtues that Allah(swt) gives for every good deed in Ramadan.
To conclude; pray as much as you can and do as much good deeds as you can in Ramadan, but do not miss the Tahjath prayers. For, Tahjath prayer is the most pleasing to Allah after the Farl prayers. May Allah accept all our good deeds and make us perform the good deeds with utmost ease and comfort (ameen).

Please pass it on to as many Muslims as possible.
To clarify your doubts in the light of Quran and Hadees kindly read the article Halaal & Haraam and Insha Allah you would be able to see the truth of what I have said : This is totally in the light of Quran and Hadees. Please read the above article and Insha Allah you would thank Allah profusely for having opened your eyes while you are still ALIVE!!!!!
Jazzakallah Khairan

Love & regards
A.H.Nazeer Ahmed

Please do visit my Website: - Insha Allah you would gain Tremendously (Aameen)

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