There is no definite number for the Taraaweeh Prayer

In the name of Allaah, the Beneficent, Most Merciful. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions. As for what follows;

Sheikh Dr. Saalih bin Fouzaan al-Fouzaan, may Allaah preserve him, states in his explanation of the hadeeth:

“Whoever stands, i.e. prays in Ramadan, out of true faith and seeking the reward from Allaah, his past sins will be forgiven for him.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

“In this hadeeth is the establishment of standing in Ramadan, i.e. Taraaweeh prayer, and the merits of that and the purpose is standing the entire month not part of it due to his statement, “whoever stands in Ramadan” and this doesn’t apply except to the one who prays all of the nights of Ramadan not leaving any of them off so that one can attain this reward which is the forgiveness of ones previous sins.

As for the one who prays some nights and leaves others, then the reward for him will be according to what he stood and it is lesser than the one who prayed the entire month.

Also in this hadeeth is the obligation of sincerity for Allaah, “true faith and seeking the reward of Allaah” and that if the standing in Ramadan isn’t performed out of sincerity then it will not be accepted.

Likewise in this hadeeth there is no exact number for standing in Ramadan therefore let one stand what is easy for him. Because the Prophet, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace, said: “Whoever satnds in Ramadan…” he didn’t confine it to eleven units or thirteen or other than it rather he left it unrestricted, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace.

And this here is a very tremendous affair because some of the muta’aalimeen (those who act as if they possess knowledge) during this time and age confuse the people and when Ramadan comes around they have no other concern except indulging in ‘it was said and he said,’ talking about the taraaweeh prayers, so-and-so made a mistake, so-and-so increases the prayer, so-and-so has oppossed the sunnah and they want to confine the people to a specific number by way of this. The Messenger, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace, did not confine the number, rather he said: “Whoever stands in Ramadan having true faith and seeking the reward of Allaah…” and didn’t confine the number.

No doubt the Messenger, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace, as it comes in the hadeeth of  ‘Aaisha, may Allaah be pleased with her, didn’t used to exceed beyond eleven units of prayer and in another narration thirteen units, this was his prayer himself, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace. He would prolong the standing, the rukoo‘ (bowing), the prostration. The people aren’t capable of praying the prayer of the Messenger, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace, due to their weakness and deficiencies from implementing the actions of the Prophet, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace.

So since the affair is like that, the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, during the time of  ‘Umar would pray the taraaweeh twenty-three units in the masjid of the Messenger, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace, in the midst of the Muhaajiroon and Ansaar and they didn’t have any objection to that.”

Source: Sheikh Dr. Saalih bin Fouzaans’ explanation of Buloogh al-Maraam

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About Abu Fouzaan Qaasim
American student studying in the Islaamic University of Medinah from Chester,PA.

2 Responses to There is no definite number for the Taraaweeh Prayer

  1. ilyas says:

    So since the affair is like that, the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, during the time of ’Umar would pray the taraaweeh twenty-three units in the masjid of the Messenger, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace, in the midst of the Muhaajiroon and Ansaar and they didn’t have any objection to that.”

    As salamu alikum ikhwan, is the above narration not considered to be weak by the muhaditheen?

    I know its shaikhs view, but would it not be good, to give a side point, about the narration as to its authenticity?

    Keep up the good work and may allah reward you with good in this month of ramadan.

  2. Wa ‘alaykas salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu,

    Baarakallaah feek yaa Akhee Ilyas. This action and narration on ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, is authentic and it is well-known as the Scholars have mentioned that he is the one who revived this sunnah of the Prophet, may Allaah exalt his rank and grant him peace.

    It has been mentioned in the book ‘Towdeeh al-Ahkaam’ authored by Sheikh ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdur Rahman aali Bassaam, may Allaah have mercy upon him, that in the hadeeth of ‘Aaisha there is no specific mention of the units that the Prophet prayed that night when he prayed the taraaweeh prayer in his Masjid. However when ‘Umar gathered the people to pray behind Ubay bin Ka’b they prayed twenty units plus three for the witr and this is the opinion of the majority of the Scholars (Jumhoor) as it has been mentioned by Ibn ‘Abdil Barr, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

    I hope that helps out inshallaah. But as Sheikh Saalih mentioned “there is no exact number for standing in Ramadan therefore let one stand what is easy for him.”

    May Allaah grant us all success.

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