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Chapter 213
ﺢﻳاوﺮﺘﻟا ﻮهو نﺎﻀﻣر مﺎﻴﻗ بﺎﺒﺤﺘﺳا بﺎﺑ
The Excellence of Optional (Tawawih) Prayer during Ramadan
َلﺎﻗ ﻢﱠﻠَﺳو ِﻪْﻴَﻠَﻋ ُﷲا ﻰّﻠَﺻ ِﻪﱠﻠﻟا لﻮُﺳَر ﱠنَأ ُﻪْﻨﻋ ﻪﱠﻠﻟا ﻲِﺿَر َةﺮﻳﺮُه ﻲﺑَأ ْﻦﻋ
ًﺎﻧﺎﻤﻳِإ َنﺎَﻀَﻣَر مﺎﻗ ْﻦﻣ
ﱠﺪَﻘَﺗ ﺎَﻣ ُﻪَﻟ َﺮِﻔُﻏ ًﺎﺑﺎﺴِﺘْﺣاو
ِﻪِﺒْﻧَذ ْﻦِﻣ َم
ﻪﻴﻠﻋ ٌﻖﻔﺘﻣ
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "
He who
observes optional prayer (Tarawih prayers) throughout Ramadan, out of sincerity of Faith and in the hope of earning
reward will have his past sins pardoned
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
لﺎَﻗ ، ُﻪْﻨَﻋ ﻪﱠﻠﻟا َﻲِﺿَر ُﻪْﻨﻋَو
ِﺮْﻴﻏ ْﻦِﻣ َنﺎَﻀَﻣَر ِمﺎَﻴِﻗ ﻲﻓ ُﺐﱢﻏَﺮُﻳ ﻢﱠﻠَﺳو ِﻪْﻴَﻠَﻋ ُﷲا ﻰّﻠَﺻ ِﻪﱠﻠﻟا ُلﻮُﺳر َنﺎآ
ُلﻮُﻘﻴﻓ ، ٍﺔﻤﻳﺰﻌﺑ ﻪﻴِﻓ ْﻢُهَﺮُﻣْﺄَﻳ ْنَأ
» َﻗ ْﻦَﻣ
ِﻪِﺒْﻧَذ ْﻦِﻣ مﱠﺪَﻘَﺗ ﺎَﻣ ُﻪَﻟ َﺮِﻔُﻏ ًﺎﺑﺎَﺴِﺘْﺣاو ًﺎﻧﺎﻤﻳِإ َنﺎَﻀَﻣَر َمﺎ
ٌﻢِﻠْﺴُﻣ ﻩاور
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) used to urge (the
people) to perform (optional Tarawih) prayer at night during the month of Ramadan. He did not order them or make
it obligatory on them. He (PBUH) said, "
Whosoever performs (optional Tarawih) prayers at night during the month
of Ramadan, with Faith and in the hope of receiving Allah's reward, will have his past sins forgiven
This Hadith highlights the following points:
1. Qiyam in the month of Ramadan is a much-stressed act and has great importance from the viewpoint of reward
and award.
2. The sins which are pardoned through it are minor sins because major sins are not forgiven unless one makes
sincere repentance and compensates those whom he has wronged.
3. That Qiyam during the month of Ramadan was the practice of the Prophet (PBUH). During the course of a
Ramadan, he made Qiyam for three nights consecutively, that is, he performed this Nafl Salat in congregation with
his Companions. On the fourth night, when his Companions gathered for this purpose he said to them, "
I am afraid it
will be made obligatory for you
.'' So, in spite of their desire to join him in this prayer, he did not lead the Salat that
night. How many Rak`ah did he perform in congregation in these three nights is a pertinent question here.
According to Ahadith their total comes to eleven; eight Rak`ah and three Witr. Thus the Masnun number of Rak`ah
of Qiyam Ramadan is eleven.
4. This Nafl Salat has been interpreted in Ahadith as Qiyam Ramadan. Later on they were named Tarawih. Tarawih
is the plural of Tarwihah. Since the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and the successors to the Companions used
to make a lengthy Qiyam in them and they would take rest after performing every four Rak`ah. This is how these
came to be named Tarawih (Rest prayer). (Four Rak`ah are called Tarwihah).
5. Tarawih are in fact Tahajjud prayers. For the sake of convenience and benefit of the maximum number of people,
it is performed in the month of Ramadan soon after `Isha' prayer, along with the latter, which is the early time for
Tahajjud prayers.
6. That the Tarawih were performed in congregation is established from the conduct of the Prophet (PBUH). He led
this Salat on 23rd, 25th and 27th of Ramadan. During his caliphate, `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) started
it again and ordered Ubayy bin K`ab and Tamim Ad-Dari to perform them in congregation. He enjoined them to
perform eight Rak`ah Tarawih and three Rak`ah Witr. This practice has been going on ever since.
7. Some people say that performing Tarawih in congregation is a Bid`ah (i
nnovation in religion
) because it was
introduced in the reign of `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him). But this is not correct because it is established
that the Prophet (PBUH) did not continue it out of fear that it will be made obligatory; otherwise he would have
carried on with it. When the fear that this practice be made obligatory was over, `Umar (May Allah be pleased with
him) gave it the form of a Nafl prayer and revived the mode of performing it collectively, and thus fulfilled the
desire of the Prophet (PBUH). In spite of all these facts, it is still permissible for one to perform Tarawih
individually in the late hours of the night. Since ordinary people are not capable of performing it individually, the
step taken by `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) is perfectly correct. If this had not been done, the majority of
the people will have remained deprived of the blessings and reward of Qiyam-ul-Lail, which would have been a
great deprivation indeed.
8. Twenty Rak`ah Tarawih is not confirmed from any authentic Hadith, nor its ascription to `Umar i(May Allah be
pleased with him)is proved from any reliable Muttasil (
) Hadith. A claim has been made in a Munqati`