Blog Banner
Related Categories: Taqleed


23rd August 2010

Dr. I need a 2nd opinion on Taraweeh 

Is Taraweeh 8 or 20 Rakats?

Sorry Dr. but I disagree with you! 

I Love The Work You Do for Islam and Comparative Religion and I respect that and I Love you for that, but I'm affraid I will need a second opinion on this 

Youtube Video

Well Dr, you clearly say that the Hadith is in Bukhari, The book of Tahajjud. Allah knows best if you have quoted the full Hadith or not, but from the Hadith that we all know below, you seem to take bits and pieces from it and clearly say that the Prophet did this in Ramadhan AND in other months too. 

When does any one pray Taraweeh in other months? 

This Hadith is clearly for Tahajjud. You also says that he used to offer 4 rakats, since when is taraweeh done in 4's? Another evidence that this Hadith is for Tahajjud. 

You speak about the Salafus Saleheen that they offered different numbers of Rakats, but it is well known that the people of Makkah used to perform Tawaf after every 4 rakats as their pause (Tarweeha) and because the people of Madinah were unable to perform Tawaf, they prayed 4 rakats Nafil Salah individualy and not in jamaat, as their pause (Tarweeha), making a total of 36 rakats in Madinah, but this act was soon stopped, this argument can not be used. 

Aisha RA also mentions that the prophet would wake up to pray, this means that he slept. Again, when does any one sleep before Taraweeh. 

Dr. Why quote bits and pieces from the Hadith below, you can put it all together and give the more correct opinion that Sayyidina Umar RA gathered all the Sahaba and appointed Hadhrat Ubbay ibn Ka'ab as the Imam and told him to lead every one in one Jamaat in 20 Rakaats. 

Narrated abu salama bin abdur rahman (RA): 

I asked Aisha (RA) about the prayer of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) during the month of Ramadan. She said, “ALLAH’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) never exceeded 11 Rakats in Ramadan nor in the other months; he used to offer 4 rakats – do not ask me about their beauty and lentgh, then 4 Rakats, do not ask me about their beauty and length, and then 3 Rakat.” Aisha further said , “I said, ‘O Allah’s messenger! Do you sleep before offering Witr salat?’ he replied, ‘O Aisha! My eyes sleep but my heart remains awake!’ 

(Bukhari, book of Tahajjud prayer, chapter: the Salat (prayer) of the prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) at night in Ramadan and in other months. 2:248)

Shaykul Islam, ibn Taymiyyah (rh) writes that Ubay bin Ka’b (ra) led the Sahabah (raa) in twenty rakats taraweeh during the Khilafah of ‘Umar (ra). (Fatawa Ibn Taymiyyah, v.1 p.148). He further writes (v.1 p.191) that because Ubay led the Sahabah (raa) 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.

ibne Taymiyyah (RH) writes, “this action (i.e. 20 Rakat Tarawih) of Umar (RA) is Sunnah and we have been ordered by the messenger (sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to hold fast to the Sunnah of the righteous Khulafa. 

(Majmu' Fatawa Li Ibne Taymiyyah, Vol.22 Pg.234 and 276)

Some claim that Taraweeh is the same as Tahajjud, then why are there differences 

Differences between Tahajjud and Taraweeh 

1. Tahajjud is mentioned in The Quran: “Stand up at night except a little.” Taraweeh being a Sunnah was established through the hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “I have made its standing Sunnat for you.” 

2. Everyone agrees that the number of Rakaats of Tahajjud have been transmitted by Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), the maximum being 13 including Witr and the minimum being 7 including Witr. However no specific number has been transmitted from Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) regarding Taraweeh as clearly stated by ibne Taymiyyah. Therefore the Aimma-e-Mujtahideen differ in the number. Some say 20 and some say 36, even more. ANd we all know why, and that the action of 36 soon stopped. 

3. Tahajjud was ordained in Makkah whilst Taraweeh was prescribed in Madina. 

4. It is mentioned in the realiable books of the Hambali Mazhab, Muqna: “Taraweeh is 20 Rakaats which a person performs in Ramadhaan in Jamaat. He will read Witr after it in Jamaat. However if he reads Tahajjud then he will make Witr after it.” 

5. Tahajjud is generally performed after sleeping while Taraweeh is performed after Esha. 

Sorry Doc, but I need a second Opinion 

This is Much Better 

Well Explained 

Youtube Video

O My God, It Is A Sin To Do 8 Rakat


New video's added with shocking proof. Posted by brother "hmsalahudin" on the MuftiSays forum.

Al ijma team recently uploaded a youtube video  in urdu on 20 vs 8 rakat which analysis the hadith on taraweeh. Really Amazing. Excellent. Must hear.
Youtube Video

Shaykh Albani exposed!!!! Deleting valuable text from Hadith!!!
Youtube Video

Highlighted Missing Text

Missing From The Book written by Shaykh Albani (rh)
posted by abu mohammed on 23rd August 2010 - 15 comments


Haji Mokhtar Stork wrote on 29 Aug 2010
Muslims should realise the following over Tarawih:

1. Tarawih is a favourable Sunnah but it is not obligatory.
2. What is important here is that there has to be sincerity over performing Tarawih. It is pointless to perform it just for the sake of performing it.
3. From Hadith we know that Sayidna Umar r.a. to made Tarawih 20 rakaats, which could be the result of adding up numbers. The Prophet s.a.w. perform 8 rakaats. As far as I am concerned whether one wants to do 8 or 20 rakaats is irrelevant because it is not obligatory but a sunnah, but it must be done with sincerity and willingness.
Haji Mokhtar Stork wrote on 29 Aug 2010
TARAWIH PRAYERS (improvement to my last statement)

Muslims should realise the following concerning TARAWIH

1. Tarawih Prayers is a favourable Sunnah but it is not Obligatory.
2. If you want to perform it do so with sincerity and willingness. Do NOT argue about its numbers.
3. From Hadith we know that Sayyidna 'Umar (r.a.) made it 20 rakaats, while the Prophet (s.a.w.) did 8 rakaats. The 20 could be the results of adding up numbers.
4. As far as I am concerned it is irrelevant whether you want to do 8 or 20 rakaats because it is a Sunnah, but if you want to do so, do it sincerely and willingly (stop arguing about it as you will end up in hell!). This undertaking depends to great extent on a person's health, ability and capability to stand the ordeal. I use the words ORDEAL because most Tarawih sessions in Ramadhan complete the Qur'an and most common people do not understand a word but just go through the motions with their minds wandering here and there. Other congregations adopt less tiring sessions by simply reciting short surahs from the Qur'an, thus making it easier for non-Arabic communities (a lesser ordeal). For many Hafees, its an opportunity to earn some money, while the performance is similar to taking a speed train ride. So just what are our perspectives...are we doing so for the spiritual benefits or just advertising ourselves? (HMS)
Blogger's Reply:
Shukran Haji Mokhtar Stork,

from your comments it is apparent that you have not heard the talk. I would also advise you take a look at Seifeddines Blog;

from your points
Point 1. Favourable Sunnah which is now a Sunnah Muakkada.
Ponit 2. The point about the numbers is misinterpreting the Hadith
Point 3. From The Hadith we also know that the Prophet also did 20 rakats. Although both narations are there and both are weak, the point that Umar made it 20 Rakats and not one Sahaba objected to this, confirms that the Hadith for 20 is stronger. Umar did not add up numbers.
Point 4. To consider 20 as not being the Sunnah, this is clear rejection of a Sunnah from the Khulafa-e-Rashedeen. One can perform 8 Rakats but not on a regular basis, as this would be neglecting the Sunnah of The Khulafa. This will make one a Fasiq
The rest of your comment is from your understanding, But again Umar introduced the idea of reciting the whole Quran in Taraweeh.
It is not an ordeal, if someone cant pray it, its not on their head. This does not give us an excuse to pray less than 20 rakats. Infact I have seen that where 8 rakats are being prayed, this is more of an ordeal (for those who consider it a n ordeal) due to the length of the Qiyam.
Majority of the Ummah cant understand Arabic, this is not an excuse for neglecting their Deen.
Come on!

Soon someone will comment on Fasting and say it is too much of an ordeal with the non believers eating all day all around us. So What. Do we leave that alone. One day some will say I WAS a Muslim but I cant speak Arabic so the Religion is not for me!!!!!

No Offence;
Please dont find Excuses in the Deen.
Haji Mokhtar Stork wrote on 30 Aug 2010
Would you like to debate about Ahadith? How valid they are and why do we not find saying from Sayyidna Ali etc and how come someone (instead of staying at home) went to war with him is being respected? And about Tarawih in simple is not is a sunnah. If you want to do it fine...and if you want to do 8 won't end up in hell! The rest is an individual's choice.
Blogger's Reply:
Ya Habibi, I dont want to debate. What has this got to with Sayidina Ali RA, he also practiced 20 rakats. I did not say Taraweeh is Fard. Please read and hear every thing before making any judgement. Its safer.

InshaAllah, this will not end one up in Hell, but atleast it will help us stay away from it. Allah knows best.

Haji Mokhtar Stork wrote on 30 Aug 2010
Kindly accept my apologies. I accept your scholaristic work on the subject. My sole objective which was not explained clearly was to point out that performing the Tarawih is Sunnah and that it needs to be done sincerely and willingly, and that the number done should be left to the individual in accordance with his health etc. The problem these days is that people like being scholistic, quoting the Qur'an and Hadith without applying any wisdom to a variety of situations and circumstances. For example, Jumuat Prayer - the imam will quote a Hadith about listening to the khutbah etc but fails to advice the other party that is the cause of the problem, and as a result of it one has to put up with disturbances during Jumuat, where youngsters talk, make use of the handphones, even watch video clips....and I can't say a word just because of the where the hikmah and justice in delivering a message? Likewise, what is the definition of closing ranks during prayer as uttered by an imam? So we all get so close just to prevent shaitan from getting in and then havie difficulty praying, especially if you are a Shafi'e at the closing rakaat where he sits with crossed legs...part of which lands on you (unlike the Hanafees). Conveying a message as such requires far more insight and wisdom, especially in these modern times of ours. It has to be undertaken in a more wider context and not just the subject matter. Its fine to have straight lines but defining it is equally important. We do so at the mosque but then dump our cars in the middle of road just to turn up for Friday Prayer. Plus one end and minus the other for bad behaviour, irresponsibility, inconsideration....all problems dealing with character building and attitude. This is the issue today...the way Islam is preached. So while I do appreciate your detail over Tarawih, other equally important aspects need to be also raised so that a dimensional perspective and not a purely ritualistic presentation is made (over all issues in Islam). Once again kindly forgive me and accept my most humble apologies.
Blogger's Reply:
My Brother in Islam, there was no need for an apology. You have made feel very small. However, if you feel that you have offended me, then please note that it is nothing of the kind. By the way, I am not a scholar nor a teacher of Islam. I am a simple Muslim who likes to keep the truth out there.

Well said in your comment. There is a lot of truth in it. May Allah give us Wisdom ad understanding. Also, if I have offended you even in the slightest, then please forgive me in the name of Allah.
May Allah reward you greatly, Aameen.
Akbar wrote on 5 Sep 2010
We fight over sunnah or nafl namaaz, but never pray our Fardh namaaz!
Blogger's Reply:
I hope this is not an excuse to pray less than 20 Rakats. It is true, many people dont pray their Fard Salah but they attend every Taraweeh Salah.
Akbar wrote on 5 Sep 2010
Thanks for your intelligent answer. Jakah Allahu khair.
Akbar wrote on 6 Sep 2010
Thanks for your intelligent answer. Jakah Allahu khair.
Simon wrote on 7 Sep 2010
I appreciate the views re Tarawee. As a convert, I attended a tarawee, and felt spiritual peace being with brothers, and the beautiful cadences of the readings, not to mention the Surah Fatiyah whose meanin I know, but intellectually, there was less benefit because I know no classic arabic. I feel I learn more by reading an English translation of the Quran at home, although I appreciate the inherent dangers of translation, even with the most diligent translators.
Just One of the things I appreciate about Islam is its acceptance of debate in trying sincerely to do our best.
Blogger's Reply:
JazakAllah, Shukran, I am very pleased to hear that you have reverted back to Islam. Dont let your self down even if you feel that it is not benefitting you intellectually. There is a lot of spiritual benefit in it, this spiritual benefit will InshaAllah help your intellect.

I was born into a Muslim family, and unfortunately for me, I still cant understand Arabic. I can read and write Arabic and thats all, its and IndoPak thing. I use books translated by authentic Scholars and listen to talks by some of these too. Dont let your self down. From what I have seen, I can say that the reverts have progressed so much further than the likes of me and I feel ashamed when I see it. May Allah reward you and increase us all in Knowledge.

One more thing regarding the Quran, InshaAllah, one day I will do a blog on the "Jewels of the Quran". There is fantastic talk on this subject by "Shaykh Hassan Ali". It gave me whole different way of looking at the Quran. He basicaly says that the Quran is like an Ocean, if you stand at the Beach, all you can see is the surface of the water. If you start swimming in the Sea, you find so many things inside, and if you dive into it deep you will find treasures, like the treasures of a ship wreck. Same thing with the Quran, if we dive into it we can find so many answers, so many treasures, so many jewels. Allahu Akbar, even today, nobody can claim that they have extracted all of the Jewels of the Quran. We are constanly finding new treasures.

With regards to reading English Qurans, I have been told by a top scholar that the translation by Mohsin Khan is very bad. There a few websites I have included at the side of my blog, InshaAllah they may help you in your search of knowledge. Please remeber me in your Duas.

Haji Mokhtar Stork wrote on 18 Sep 2010
Wishing you Eid Mubarak. Sorry I do not have your direct e-mail. This is an article I produced through inspiration. You will find it interesting:

Understanding Allahs Graciousness and Mercy

The recent murder of cosmetics millionaire, Sosilawati Lawiya and three of her aides in Malaysia caused me to ponder and reflect upon Allahs state of ar-Rahman nir-Rahim (Most Compassionate, Most Merciful). I reached the conclusion that Allah extends His Mercy and Forgiveness to everyone regardless of whether they believe in Him or not. There is no limit to His Patience and Hope for mankind to turn over a new leaf. This is the prime reason why chapters in the Quran begin with In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. However most people overlook the fact that Allahs Mercy and Forgiveness is measured out and with the passage of time it is reduced until it reaches its end (term or time), after which Allahs Wrath descends upon the individual as a result of that persons own behaviour. Only goodness animates from Allah, while all evil is a result of our own doing (Quran). So it is only appropriate that the murders ended up the way they finally did.

Now what about the cosmetics millionaire and her aides? To understand this situation, one needs to view things in terns of a gear-bearing which interlocks with other gear-bearings. We are all bicycle wheels moving in an inter-related interlocked system, where every individual is undergoing accountability; where everyone is under the constraints of Qada and Qadar (predestines). From this perspective the murderers were actually fulfilling the divine decree in accordance with accountability.its a job that has to be done. Though the murderer in one sense was fulfilling the divine decree, he is at the same time heading towards his own final destiny in accordance with his own actions. As Allahs mercy diminishes so too will his punishment loom closer and reach its own conclusion.

Now ask yourself: If you know you are going to be murdered would you desire to be a millionaire? The answer will be No! Now sit down and reflect. The Quran is explicitly clear when Allah questions us and says: Do you think that you will be allowed to roam this earth uncontrolled? As such, there are wider implications over how we think, act and behaviour. We are nothing. Only Allah exists, and we have been created to serve Him and not our selfish desires. Everything belongs to Him. We are bestowed His gifts of position, wealth and power, to serve righteousness, goodness etcso remember that no matter how smart you are, or how cunning you are, or how manipulative and deceptive you are, you will never escape your final judgement or destination. Like gear bearings, they will turn towards their respective destinies. This is what Islam is all about i.e. submission and surrender to none other but the One and Only. Think about it and reflect upon your life to see where you are heading with your current attitude and robotic performance.always thinking in an egoistic arrogant manipulative manner about your rights. Your wealth, position or power is on loan to you. Act responsibly. Be generous, merciful, kind and helpful because nothing belongs to you. When you die, others fight over it, so it would be better to serve Him.

Haji Mokhtar Stork
Adam Abdul Aziz wrote on 5 Nov 2010

I was lucky enough to come across A-Z Guide to the Qur'an at my local Borders here in Australia. What a nice surprise to find Haji Mokhtar Stork working in good ol' Malaysia. I enjoy reading your articles and references to topics in the Qur'an, and find it beneficial. May Allah keep you and your family in His Guidance and Blessings always.
Blogger's Reply:
Jazakallah, what a small world, I dont know Haji Stork although he has commented on my posts, wow, I realy did like what he said, it was very nice of him. Salaams to you and if you see Haji Stork, then please do convey my Salaams to him.

Thank you for taking the time out to read my posts. I do apologies for the high number of posts, but unfortunately they are needed. If you havent already done so, then please subscribe to them, InshaAllah with yours and every one elses Dua's they will be of great benefit for the Ummah.
Mohtashim wrote on 18 Dec 2011

Alhumdullillah i am a Mukallid and follow the Hanafi Mazhab. Regarding the discussed hadith of Mother Aisha R.Z the 11 rakaat of tahajjud is 4[Tahajjud]+4[Tahajjud]+3[Witr]. However, I had an understanding that the Tahajjud prayers is Nafil and can be prayed in parts of 2 Rakaats only. So it should be 2+2+2+2+3=11 rather than 4+4+3=11. Correct me if I am wrong.
Blogger's Reply:
Jazakallahu Khair.

I am not an Alim nor a Mufti, so if you wish to clarify your question, then please speak to your local Imam or ask the question to the Mufti in the Q & A section.

You are correct that Tahujjud is Nafil, It was made Fard on Our Prophet (saw) only in the Early Years. It can be prayed in 2's and 4's.

It was taraweeh that was prayed in 2's, and this evidence was used to prove Dr. Zakir Naik to be false.

Allahu Alum.
Mohtashim wrote on 20 Dec 2011
Assalamualaikum Brother Muhammed,

I do not have qualified Aalim where I live. Also, I tried to reach Mufti Shabbir and Mufti Abid from Alittehaad and Ahnaf Service however not heard back from them on this and other masail. Would you be able to give me email addressed of some qualified Aalim of our school of thought [Hanafi] that i can get the answers from. Alternatively you can help me get the answers to my query from someone you may be in contact with.
Blogger's Reply:

I normally look in the Q & A section of this site and find most of the ansewers here, otherwise I try and look at: Ulama of South Africa United Kingdom, Leicester, Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam United Kingdom, Bolton, Mufti Abdur Raheem Limbada.

And finally, I ask my local Imam, Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera if I cant find my answer. His contact details can be found here
There are plenty of other sites too, but one must be carefull as to who they are.
Mufti Abdur Rahman Ibn Yusuf also has other sites in which there are some questions that have been answered,

I hope that helps.
Mohtashim wrote on 5 Oct 2012
Your article makes sense.

I got the fatwa below regarding my query.

Question: 36998 India

Can we pray 4 rakah as a whole in tahajjud? Answer: 36998 Feb 06,2012(Fatwa: 269/209/B=1433)

Yes, you can offer four rakah tahajjud salah with a single salam. But it is better to offer 2-2 rakah with single salam. If you find time offer eight rakah.
Allah (Subhana Wa Ta'ala) knows Best

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband
Blogger's Reply:
Jazakallahu Khair. May Allah reward you.
Bilal wrote on 10 Jul 2015
Is taraweeh sunnat al mukkedah(if we will leave it then it will be count in gunnah)
Bilal wrote on 10 Jul 2015
Is taraweeh sunnat al mukkedah(if we will leave it then it will be count in gunnah)
Blogger's Reply:
I am not a scholar, please refer to your local Imam
Write a comment
(required) - not published nor available to blogger
Blogs Disclaimer: The views expressed in these blogs are those of the author(s). The blog is monitored with set guidelines. Inapproproate content should be reported on our forums for the attention of our moderators.