Salat ul Taraweeh – Compilation

Salat ul Taraweeh – Compilation
[Series Regarding the Number of Rakah for Taraweeh]

Summarised & Translated By Abbas Abu Yahya

Hadeeth of Aeysha -RadhiAllahu anha:

From Abu Salmah bin AbdurRahmaan that he asked Aeysha -RadhiAllahu anha – How was the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam – in Ramadan?

She replied: ‘The Messenger of Allaah -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam – never used to increase in Ramadan nor other than Ramadan upon praying eleven Rakah, he would pray four, and do not ask how good and long they were, then he would pray four, and do not ask how good and long they were,  then he would pray three.’

[Collected by Bukhari, Muslim,  Abu Awaana, Abu Dawood,  Tirmidhi,  Nisa’ee,  Malik and from him al Bayhaqi and Ahmad.]

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Praying a Specific Amount

Shaykh Albaani said :

‘The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- limiting himself to praying eleven Rakah is a proof that it is not permissible to increase. [From Salatul Taraweeh – Albaani p.22]

Contents of the article

No. 1 – The Ahadeeth of 11 Rakah.. 3

No. 2 Umar -RadhiAllahu anhu- Ordered to Pray Eleven Rakah.. 4

No. 3 The Ruling of praying more than 11 Rakah for Taraweeh.. 5

No. 4 It is not established from Umar – RadhiAllahu anhu – that he prayed twenty Rakah.. 6

No. 5 Imam Shafi’aee and Imam Tirmidhi held the view that the narration of Twenty Rakah from Umar was weak   7

No. 6 For 20 years the Messenger of Allaah did not increase upon 11 Rakah.. 8

No. 7 The reward for the whole of Qayyam al Layl 8

The Practice of the Imams of the Sunnah & Hadeeth in Our Times. 9

No. 8 Shaykh Albaani’s stance towards those who oppose him in this issue. 10

No. 9 The Three Types of Sunnah.. 10

No. 10 Is it authentic that anyone of the Khulafa prayed Twenty Rakah?. 11

Part A.. 11

Part B.. 12

Part C.. 13

Part D… 15

No. 11 Safer to follow the Sunnah.. 16


Series Regarding the Number of Rakah for Taraweeh

No. 1 – The Ahadeeth of 11 Rakah

A – Hadeeth of Aeysha -RadhiAllahu anha:

From Abu Salmah bin AbdurRahmaan that he asked Aeysha -RadhiAllahu anha – How was the prayer of the Messenger of Allaah -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam – in Ramadan?

She replied: ‘The Messenger of Allaah -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam – never used to increase in Ramadan nor other than Ramadan upon praying eleven Rakah, he would pray four, and do not ask how good and long they were, then he would pray four, and do not ask how good and long they were,  then he would pray three.’

[Collected by Bukhari, Muslim,  Abu Awaana, Abu Dawood,  Tirmidhi,  Nisa’ee,  Malik and from him al Bayhaqi and Ahmad.]

B – From Jabir bin Abdullaah -RadhiAllahu anhu – who said:

‘The Messenger of Allaah -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam- prayed eight Rakah in Ramadan, and he prayed the Witr. Then when it was the next we had gathered in the Masjid hoping that he would come out.  We remained there,  until it became the morning, then later we entered and we said to the Messenger of Allaah that we had gathered last night in the Masjid and hoped that you would pray with us.

He -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam- said : ‘Indeed I feared that it would become obligatory upon you.’

[Collected by ibn Nasr, Tabrani and Albaani said its chain is Hasan due to the previous hadeeth.]

[Salatul Taraweeh – Shaykh Albaani p.16-18]

No. 2 Umar -RadhiAllahu anhu- Ordered to Pray Eleven Rakah

Shaykh Muhammad Nasir uddeen  Albaani said:

‘As for Umar – RadhiAllahu anhu – then he commanded with praying eleven Rakah,  as was narrated by Malik in al Muwatta from Muhammad bin Yusuf from as-Saib bin Yazeed that he said:

‘Umar bin al Khattab ordered Ubayy bin Ka’ab and Tameem ad-Daaree that they should lead the people in prayer with eleven Rakah.

As-Saib said: indeed the recitor would read two hundred Ayaat, so much so that we would lean on walking sticks due to the long prayer, we would not leave until the break of dawn for the Fajr prayer.’

Shaykh Albaani commented saying: this chain is Saheeh jiddan. [Salatul Taraweeh – Albaani p.45]

No. 3 The Ruling of praying more than 11 Rakah for Taraweeh

▪ Question:

Regarding Taraweeh, some of the people hold  the opinion that it is 11 Rakah and some hold the opinion  of praying more, so what is the correct opinion?

▪ Shaykh Muqbil bin Hadi al-Wadi’aee Answered:

السنة والذي ننصح به أن تُصلى إحدى عشرة ركعة ، فإن النبي – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – كما في حديث عائشة في الصحيح مازاد على إحدى عشرة ركعة .
وينبغي أن يطيل إذا وجد به نشاطاً ، فيطيل القراءة والحمد لله ، هذا هو الأفضل .

ولو صلى أكثر ، ما نستطيع أن نحكم عليه بالبدعة ، لكن الذي ننصح به هو العمل بسنة رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – ، وخير الهدي هدي محمد – صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم – .

The Sunnah, this is what we advise with, that you pray 11 Rakah. Indeed the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa Ala Ahlihi wa sallam, as is mentioned in the hadeeth of Aeysha in Saheeh al-Bukhari, did not increase upon 11 Rakah.

It is necessary that a person lengthens the prayer if he finds that he has the energy to do, therefore, he lengthens the recitation and all praise belongs to Allaah, this is what is better.

If a person prayed more, then we cannot judge that he committed a Bida. However, that which we advise with is to act upon the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa Ala Ahlihi wa sallam.

The best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad -sallAllaahu alayhi wa Ala Ahlihi wa sallam.’

[From the recording : Asilah Ahl ul-Arqoob]

No. 4 It is not established from Umar – RadhiAllahu anhu – that he prayed twenty Rakah

Shaykh Albaani commented after researching the narrations’ of Umar which mention twenty Rakah saying:

‘This chain which mentions the word ‘twenty’ is the foundation of those who say it is permissible to pray twenty Rakah in the Salatul Taraweeh, its Isnad is apparently authentic,  and this is why some of them authenticated it, however,  it has a defect, rather defects which prevent saying it is authentic and makes it weak and rejected.’

[Salatul Taraweeh – Albaani p.49]

No. 5 Imam Shafi’aee and Imam Tirmidhi held the view that the narration of Twenty Rakah from Umar was weak

Shaykh Muhammad Nasir uddeen  Albaani said :

‘Tirmidhi indicated in his book ‘Sunnan’ that twenty Rakah from Umar and other than Umar from the Companions is not established, he said:

‘It has been narrated from Alee and Umar and other than them from the Companions of the Prophet -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam.

Shafi’aee also said the same from Umar, as was conveyed by his companion al-Muzni from him in his summarized book.

Therefore, their statement of ‘It has been narrated…’ Is actually them regarding the narration as weak, as is well known to the scholars of Hadeeth.’

[ Salatul Taraweeh – Albaani p.55]

No. 6 For 20 years the Messenger of Allaah did not increase upon 11 Rakah

Shaykh Albaani said :

‘For 20 years the Messenger of Allaah did not increase in Ramadan nor outside Ramadan upon 11 Rakah. If we do not take this text [hadeeth of Aeysha] as an evidence which prevents the Muslim from increasing upon this number of Rakah, then what Sunnah can we prevent the people from increasing upon, nothing at all whatsoever.

Then what is a Bida? The Bida which you understand from the statement of the Prophet -alayhi as salam: ‘Every Bida is misguidance and every misguidance is in the

Hell fire.’  Then what is termed as a Bida? Is it not increasing upon what the Messenger brought of obedience and worship.

[Silsilah al-Huda wa Noor no.723]

 No. 7 The reward for the whole of Qayyam al Layl

Does the person who only prays the Sunnah amount of Taraweeh still receive the reward of the whole of Qayyam al Layl?

Whilst discussing the number of Rakah for Taraweeh the questioner mentions:

If a person leaves from the prayer before the Imam leaves away from the Taraweeh prayer. Does he get the reward of the Qayyam al-Layl or not?

Shaykh Albaani: Where? Here?

The Questioner: If a  person leaves before the Imam leaves away from the Taraweeh prayer.

The Shaykh: The answer is, what did the Messenger mean by the word Imam? The Imam who establishes the Sunnah or other than him?  What do you think?

The Questioner: The one who establishes the Sunnah.

The Shaykh: Fine! Therefore, do not follow the one who does not establish the Sunnah.’

[Rihlat ul-Noor 30]

The Practice of the Imams of the Sunnah & Hadeeth in Our Times

  • Abbas Abu Yahya asked Abu layla al-Athari -the Jordanian brother who used to record the Shaykh’s lectures- what did Shaykh Albaani used to do when he would pray Taraweeh in al-Haram in Makkah? He answered he would leave after 10 Rakah.
  • Abbas Abu Yahya would see the Shaykh, Mujahid Rabee bin Hadi al-Madkhali pray Taraweeh in the Masjid an-Nabawi and leave after 10 Rakah.

 No. 8 Shaykh Albaani’s stance towards those who oppose him in this issue

Shaykh Albaani said :

‘No one should presume that when we chose limiting to the Sunnah in the amount of Rakah for Taraweeh and the impermissibility of increase upon those Rakah, that we hold those scholars from the past and present who do not take this opinion as being misguided or that we declare them to be from Ahl-ul-Bida, as some of the people have thought and have taken it as a justification to attack us with.

[Salatul Taraweeh p.35]

No. 9 The Three Types of Sunnah

Shaykh Albaani said :

‘The Sunnah of the Messenger -alayhi as Sallat wa sallam- is of two types, but rather three types: statements, actions and silent approval.

So it is necessary that the Sunnah is taken from all its three types, we do not cause the Sunnah to conflict with some of it against another type of Sunnah. Now we are discussing the Salatul Qayyam, the Messenger -alayhi as Salam said: ‘the prayer of the night is in units of two.’ This hadeeth includes ten Rakah, twenty, thirty etc. However, what did the Messenger -alayhi as Salam- implement from this saying of his?  Eleven Rakah.

Salatul Layl, Salatul Qayyam and Salatul Tahajjud, all these names indicate to one action. So pray in units of two, however do not rush them, read in the prayer whatever you want from the Qur’aan. Lengthen the standing in the prayer,  the Ruku and the Sajood.’

[Silsilah al-Huda wa Noor no.694]

No. 10 Is it authentic that anyone of the Khulafa prayed Twenty Rakah?

Part A

Shaykh Albaani commented on the saying of Sayyid Sabiq:

‘Regarding his statement about the number of Rakah: ‘It is authentic that the people used to pray twenty Rakah at the time of Umar, Uthmaan and Ali.’

I (Albaani) say: ‘As for it being prayed at the time of Uthmaan then I do not know anyone who narrated this from him even with a Sanad which is weak. As for it being from Umar and Ali then it has been narrated from them with chains all of which are  deficient like I clarified clearly, of which I do not know of anyone having preceded me in,  in my book ‘Salatul Taraweeh’.

I explained in that book,  that the narrations mentioned about this  issue are of the type which do not strengthen each other and if anyone of them were to be authentic, then that twenty Rakah would have been for a reason which is not present now. Because there does not remain from those Imams who lengthen the recitation which the Salaf were upon, to the extent that it was averted to shortened recitation and increased number of Rakah in place of lengthened recitation.’

[Tamaam al-Mina. …p.252]

No. 10 Is it authentic that anyone of the Khulafa prayed Twenty Rakah?

Part B

Shaykh Albaani continued commenting:

‘There is no Ijma  (consensus) upon praying twenty Rakah and that which is authentic from Umar -RadhiAllahu anhu- with the most authentic Isnad in conformity to the Sunnah of the Messenger -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam- which is narrated by Aeysha.

The narration of Umar is narrated by Malik in al-Muwatta from as-Saib bin Yazeed -radiAllaahu anhu- that he said:

‘Umar bin al Khattab ordered Ubayy bin Ka’ab and Tameem ad-Daaree that they should lead the people in prayer with eleven Rakah.

As-Saib said: Indeed the recitor would read two hundred Ayaat, so much so that we would lean on walking sticks due to the long prayer, we would not leave until the break of dawn for the Fajr prayer.’

[Tamaam al-Mina. …p.252]

No. 10 Is it authentic that anyone of the Khulafa prayed Twenty Rakah?

Part C

Shaykh Albaani continued commenting:

‘I established in my book that the Prophet -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam- adhered to praying eleven Rakah all his blessed life and this is a clear cut evidence that the prayer in the night is not an absolute open optional prayer as many of the people claim.

There is no difference between the night prayer and the regularly observed Sunnah prayer and the eclipse prayer etc. whereby it is established that it is a prayer which is restricted due to the Prophet -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam- adhering to it and not by him not increasing upon the number of Rakah.

Also that adhering to Ahadeeth which are absolute [Mutlaq] or general about the encouragement of praying more Rakah is not allowed to increase upon the amount which the Messenger -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam- acted upon.

I mentioned in my book: ‘the example of the one who increases the amount of prayer is like that of the one who prays a pray and opposes the prayer of the Prophet -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam. . . .  In the amount and in description, using as evidence those absolute proofs, as one who prays for example, five Rakah for the Sunnah prayer for Zuhr and four Rakah for the Sunnah of the Fajr prayer or like the one who prays performing two Rukoo together and lots of Sajdah together, the wickedness of doing so is not hidden from the one who has intellect.’

[Tamaam al-Mina. …p.252-253]

No. 10 Is it authentic that anyone of the Khulafa prayed Twenty Rakah?

Part D

Shaykh Albaani commented on what Shaykh Isma’eel al-Ansaari refuted his book with, saying:

‘He also ascribed to me on p.41 that I declared the Salaf as-Salih to be ignorant’

In reality this is his greatest lie against me, because that which preceded this lie is connected to my knowledge and it is possible that I make a mistake in some parts of my knowledge and that he is correct in what he ascribed to me, even though I have established his lying in these issues.

As for this lie, then it is connected to my Aqeedah, my Deen and my understanding of the Deen upon the manhaj of the Salaf as-Salih. I am  -and all praise belongs to Allaah- well-known among all the people that I am indeed a Salafi. I call to following the Salaf as-Salih with speech and writing. From that is what I stated in the book ‘Salatul Taraweeh’ : ‘If it was established from one of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (rightly guided Caliphs) or other than them from the scholars of the Companions of an increase upon 11 Rakah, then it would not permit us except to hold the opinion with the permissibility of increase of Rakah due to our knowledge of their excellence, understanding and being far away from innovating in the Deen.

Therefore, if it is not established to me that they increased in the number of Rakah and I adhered only to what is established from the Prophet -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam- then how can my reward be that I am accused of declaring the Salaf to be ignorant?! I swear by Allaah that this is one of the greatest calamities;  indeed Allaah Ta’ala is the one from whom help is sought. [Tamaam al-Mina. …p.255]

No. 11 Safer to follow the Sunnah

Shaykh Albaani said:

‘It is safer and more complete to follow the Sunnah, because no matter what is said about the permissibility of increase of Rakah or not increasing I do not presume that a Muslim would be prevented from the statement that the number of Rakah mentioned regarding the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – is better than increasing upon what the Prophet did due to his clear statement: ‘….and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.’ As narrated by Muslim.

So what is it that prevents the Muslims today from taking this guidance al-Muhammadi and to leave that which is increased upon, even from the issue of ‘leave that which is doubtful for that which is not doubtful.’

Especially since many of the people perform the Taraweeh prayer badly by praying twenty Rakah at an increased pace , so much so that it can be said that the prayer is definitely not correct due to the absence of being tranquil in the prayer which is a pillar of the prayer, without which a prayer is not correct.

So if they prayed the Taraweeh prayer with the amount which is mentioned in the Sunnah in the same amount of time in which they pray twenty then their prayer would be correct and accepted by the agreement of the scholars.

What supports this is the Hadeeth of Jabir who said: the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- was asked which prayer is the best?  He answered: ‘The one where the standing in prayer is lengthened.’

So it is upon you O Muslims to take the Sunnah of the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, adhere to it and bite on to it with the molar teeth since indeed the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.

[Salatul Taraweeh p.46]

سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وبَحَمْدكَ أشْهدُ أنْ لا إلهَ إلا أنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وأتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ

All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace and blessings be upon our final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions and all those who follow his guidance.


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