TARAWEEH IS 20 RAKAT!

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“Here we will cite a few excerpts making it clear that twenty Rakaahs Taraweeh salah has been accepted bythe Ummah throughout the ages:

1. Imam Tirmidhi رحمۃ اللہ علیہ [passed away 279 AH] states that ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ, ‘Ali رضی اللہعنہ, Sufyan Thawri رحمۃ اللہ علیہ and Imam Shafi’i رحمۃ اللہ علیہ all accept the taraweeh salah as being twenty Rakaahs. He quoted Imam Shafi’i رحمۃ اللہ علیہ as saying thathe saw the people of Makkah performing twenty Rakaahs. (Tirmidhi, v.1 p.99)

2. The famous compilation of AhadithKanzul Ummaal (v.2 p.284) reports that after ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ instructed Ubay bin Ka’b رضی اللہ عنہ to lead the people in twenty rak’ah of taraweeh salah, Ubay رضی اللہ عنہ then led the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم and Tabi’een in twenty rak’ah.

3. Bayhaqi (v.1 p.492; Nasbur Ra’yah, v.1 p.294) reports a narration in which Sa’ib bin Yazid رضی اللہ عنہ states that they performed twenty rak’ah taraweeh during the periods of ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ, ‘Uthman رضی اللہ عنہ and ‘Ali رضی اللہ عنہ.

4. The other narration of Yazid bin Rooman رحمۃ اللہ علیہ in the Muwatta of Imam Malik رحمۃ اللہ علیہ (p.40) states that during the Khilafah of ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ, people performed 23 rak’ah of taraweeh together with the Witr salah.

5. Ma’rifatus Sitta quotes an authentic narration from Imam Bayhaqi (v.1 p.477; his Sunan Kubra, v.2 p.496) stating that ‘Ali رضی اللہ عنہ summoned the Qurra in Ramadan and appointed someone to lead the people in the twenty rak’ah of taraweeh salah. ‘Ali رضی اللہ عنہ then himself led the witr salah.

6. The Muhaddith ibn Qudaamah رحمۃ اللہ علیہ writes in his al-Mughni (v.1 p.803) that the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم were unanimous about performing twentyrak’ah taraweeh.

7. The research of the Muhaddith Ibn Hajar Haythami رحمۃ اللہ علیہ also reveals that the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم were unanimous about performing twenty rak’ah taraweeh. (Tuhfatul Akhyaar, p.197)

8.The famous Hafidh of Hadith Allama Abdul Birr رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says that it is a fact that the Sahabah performed twenty rak’ah taraweeh during Khilafah of ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ. (Mirqaat, v.2 p.174)

9. Allama ibn Taymiyyah رحمۃ اللہ علیہ writes that Ubay bin Ka’b رضیاللہ عنہ led the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم in twenty rak’ah taraweeh during the Khilafah of ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ. (Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, v.1p.148). He further writes (v.1 p.191) that because Ubay رضی اللہ عنہ ledthe Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم in twenty rak’ah taraweeh and three rak’ah witr during Ramadan, most ‘Ulema regard this to be a Sunnah because all of the Muhajireen and Ansaar performed the salah without an objection from any of them.

10. Imam Sharaani رحمۃ اللہ علیہ writes, “’Umar رضی اللہ عنہ then gave the instruction for 23 rak’ah to be performed, three being the witr salah. This was then practiced in all the cities.” (Kashful Ghumma, v.1 p.167)

11. The famous scholar of Ahl al-Hadith Nawab Siddique Hasan believes that “’Ulema regard as ijma the twenty rak’ah taraweeh salah that was performed during the Khilafah of ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ. (Awnul Bari, v.4 p.307)

12. Allama Bahrul Uloom رحمۃ اللہ علیہ writes that twenty rak’ah taraweeh became a matter of consensus. (Rasaa’il al-Arkaan, p.138)

13. Allama Ibn al-Humam رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says that consensus was eventually reached that the taraweehsalah comprises of twenty rak’ah andthis is what has been passed on from generation to generation. (Fathul Qadeer, v.1 p.407)

14. Allama Ayni رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says, “During the Khilafah of ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ, the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم performed twenty rak’ah taraweeh and this continued during the Khilafah of ‘Uthman رضی اللہ عنہ and ‘Ali رضی اللہ عنہ. (Ayni’s commentary of Bukhari, v.7 p.178)

15. When Imam Abu Yusuf رحمۃ اللہ علیہ asked Imam Abu Hanifa رحمۃ اللہ علیہ whether ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ had any proof from Rasulallah ﷺ to perform twenty rak’ah taraweeh, Imam Abu Hanifa رحمۃ اللہ علیہ replied, “’Umar رضی اللہ عنہ was never one who perpetrated acts of bid’ah.” (Faydhul Bari, v.2 p.420; Maraaqil Falaah, p.81; Bahrur Raa’iq, v.2 p.66)

16. The Muwatta of Imam Muhammad رحمۃ اللہ علیہ (p.11-12) reads, “We go by this (twenty rak’ah taraweeh)….because the Muslims (the Sahabah) were unanimous about it and saw it to be a good act. It has been reported that Rasulallah ﷺ said, “Whatever the Muslim (the Sahabah) regard as good act, is indeed a good act in the sight of Allah as well.”

17. The following appears in the book Al-Mutaqaa min Akhbaaril Mustafa (p.78), “During the Khilafah of ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ, the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم and othersperformed 23 rak’ah, which included the witr salah.”

18. Yahya bin Sa’eed Ansari رحمۃ اللہعلیہ who was the Qadhi of Madinah says that ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ instructed someone to lead the people in twenty rak’ah taraweeh salah. The narration is authentic albeit mursal. (Ibn Abi Saybah, p.406; Aathaarus Sunan, v.2 p.55)

19. Abdul Aziz bin Rafi’ رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says that’s Ubay bin Ka’b رضی اللہ عنہ led the people of Madinah in twenty rak’ah taraweeh and three rak’ah witr. This narration is also authentic albeit mursal. (Ibn Abi Saybah, p.406; Aathaarus Sunan, v.2 p.55)

20. Abul Khaseeb رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says, “Suwayd bin Ghafala رضی اللہ عنہ used to lead us in Ramadan with five resting periods and twenty rak’ah.” The narration is authentic. (Bayhaqi, v.2 p.496; Aathaarus Sunan,v.2 p.55)

21. Shutayr bin Shakal رحمۃ اللہ علیہ who was the student of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ عنہ used to lead the people in twenty rak’ah taraweeh salah and three rak’ah witr. This narration is also authentic. (Bayhaqi, v.2 p.496; Qiyaamil Layl, p.91; Mirqaat, v.2 p.174)

22. The eminent Tabi’ee and Mufti of Makkah Ataa bin Abi Rabaah رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says that he found the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم and othersperforming 23 rak’ah (taraweeh salah) together with the witr. (Ibn Ani Shaybah, v.1 p.406; Qiyaamul Layl,p.91, Fath al-Bari, v.4 p.219; Aathaarus Sunan, v.2 p.55)

23. Naafi رحمۃ اللہ علیہ who was the student of ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ says that ibn Mulaykah رحمۃ اللہ علیہ used to lead them in twenty rak’ah taraweeh salah during Ramadan. The narration is authentic. (Aathaarus Sunan, v.2 p.56)

24. A’mash رحمۃ اللہ علیہ reports that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud رضی اللہ عنہ used to perform twenty rak’ah taraweeh salah and three rak’ah witr.(Umdatul Qari, v.11 p.127; Qiyaamul Layl, p.91)

25. Abul Bakhtari رحمۃ اللہ علیہ also took five resting periods and performed three rak’ah witr. (Ibn Abi Shaybah, p.406)

26. Abul Hasana رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says,“’Ali رضی اللہ عنہ instructed someone to lead us in twenty rak’ah taraweeh with five resting periods. (Sunan Kubra of Bayhaqi, v.2 p.496). This narration is authentic. (See Jawaahirun Naqi, v.1 p.208 and Umdatul Qari, v.11 p.127 for details on authenticity)

27. Muhammad bin Ka’b Qurazi رضیاللہ عنہ also says that the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم performed twenty rak’ah taraweeh during the time of ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ. (Qiyaamul Layl, p.91)

28. Sa’eed bin Ubayd رحمۃ اللہ علیہreports that ‘Ali bin Rabee’ah رحمۃ اللہ علیہ took five resting periods and performed three rak’ah witr during Ramadan. This narration is authentic. (Aathaarus Sunan, v.2 p.56)

29. Allama Subki Shafi’i رحمۃ اللہ علیہ writes, “We believe that the taraweeh salah is twenty rak’ah, as proven by authentic narrations.” (Sharhul Minhaaj)

30. Abdul Qadir Jaylani رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says, “It comprises of twenty rak’ah with every two rak’ah ending with sitting and salam…a person should make the intention of performing the taraweeh salah before every two rak’ah.” (Ghunyatut Talibeen, v.2 p.10-11)

31. Imam Ghazali رحمۃ اللہ علیہ writes, “The taraweeh salah comprises of twenty rak’ah and is Sunnah Mu’akkadah. The method of performing it is well known.” (Ihyaa’ul Uloom, v.1 p.208). He also writes, “Twenty rak’ah is the opinion of the consensus of ‘Ulema because of the narration of Yazid bin Rooman رحمۃ اللہ علیہ in the Muwatta of Imam Malik رحمۃ اللہ علیہ, stating that during the Khilafah of ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ, people performed 23rak’ah of taraweeh together with witr salah. (Ihyaa’ul Uloom, v.2 p.66)

32. Ahmad Roomi رحمۃ اللہ علیہ says, “There were a great number of Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم present at the time (when ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ instructed Ubay رضی اللہ عنہ to lead them in twenty rak’ah taraweeh). Amongs them were ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, ‘Abbas and his son, Talha, Zubayr, Mu’aadh and many other Muhajireen and Ansar رضی اللہ عنھم. None of them objected to ‘Umar رضی اللہ عنہ, but rather supported him and practiced accordingly with steadfastness. In fact, ‘Ali made du’a for ‘Umar saying, “May Allah illuminate his grave just as he illuminated our Masaajid.” Rasulallah ﷺ also said, “Hold fast to my practicesand the practices of the rightly guided Khalifahs after me.” The taraweeh salah comprises twenty rak’ah”. (Majaalisul Abrar, p.187)

33. Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمۃ اللہ علیہ also writes that the taraweeh salah during the times of the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم and tabi’een comprised of twenty rak’ah. (Hujjatullahi Baaligha, v.2 p.67)

34. Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمۃ اللہ علیہ also mentions that consensus was reached amongst the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم to perform twenty rak’ah taraweeh and three rak’ah witr. (Majmoo’ah Fatawa Azizi, v.1 p.162)

35. Maulana Qutbud Deen Khan Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمۃ اللہ علیہ also mentions that consensus was reached amongst the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم to perform twenty rak’ah taraweeh. (Mazaahirul Haqq, v.1 p.433)

36. Allama Shabbir Ahmed Uthmani رحمۃ اللہ علیہ writes that since none of the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم ever differed about the twenty rak’ah, all scholars are unanimous about it. (Fathul Mulhim, v.2 p.320)

Allama Nawawi رحمۃ اللہ علیہ writes in his commentary of Muslim that the twenty rak’ah taraweeh is a hallmark of Islam just like the Eid salahs (v.1 p.259). Therefore, the Ta’leeqaat of Hidayah (v.1 p.131) states that anyone performing only eight rak’ah of taraweeh will be guilty of forsaking the Sunnah.”

There is an ocean of evidence provingthe legitimacy of 20 rak’ah taraweeh salah. As seen from the quotes above,the Sahabah used to offer taraweeh in this manner. Not a single person from among the Sahabah ever stepped forward to say that the number of rak’ah are not 20 but are 8. Throughout the ages everyone agreed to the number being twenty, and now the ghair muqallideen all of a sudden claim that it is 8 rak’ah. They are going against practically all the Sahabah رضی اللہ عنھم and the generations after them.
FBS

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