Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Tarawih Is Twenty Rakaats

Until approximately two centuries ago there were no two answers to this question. Every person until this time unanimously agreed that Tarawih in the month of Ramashan is Twenty Rakaats.

At that time, a group calling itself the Ahlul Hadith emerged and began propagating the fallacy that Tarawih is only eight Rakaats. Hence not only do they deprive themselves from the rewards of the entire twenty Rakaats, they also mislead other simple-minded people who are unaware of the facts and deprive them as well. At the same time those of weak Imaan who find the twenty Rakaats difficult due to their laziness and lack of realisation of the tremendous rewards of Tarawih, have found a scapegoat in the baseless propaganda of the Ahlul Hadith and its followers.

The reality, however, is that Twenty Rakaats of Tarawih is Sunnatul Mu'akkadah i.e. a greatly stressed Sunnah.

In the time of Rasulullah SAW the Tarawih Salaat was performed individually and in small groups. Rasulullah SAW stressed its performance but did not perform it with the congregation since he feared that it may then become Fardh (compulsory) upon the Ummah.

In one narration, it is nevertheless mentioned that Rasulullah SAW performed Twenty Rakaats of Tarawih and the Witr in Ramadhan. (Musannad ibn Abi Shu'aiba and Bayhaqi).

This practice of performing the Tarawih individually and in small groups continued in the time of Saiyidina Abu Bakr RA and the initial years of the Khilafah of Saiyidina Umar RA. Thereafter Saiyidina Umar RA appointed Ubayy ibn Ka'ab RA as the Imaam and gathered everybody in one Jama’ah behind him for the full Twenty Rakaats of Tarawih. At that time there were numerous Sahaabah RA present. All of them agreed on this decision of Saiyidina Umar RA. If this decision was contrary to Deen, the Sahabah RA would have never tolerated it. Their consensus on this manner is itself a Shar'ee proof of Twenty Rakaats being Sunnah.

A number of narrations mention the performance of Twenty Rakaats by the Sahabah RA. Therefore, we find that the Four Great Imams of Fiqh, despite a number of minor differences among them on the interpretation and application of various aspects, are unanimous that Tarawih is Twenty Rakaats. This is authentically recorded in their books.

The aspect of Tarawih is really as clear as daylight. Therefore, one will find that in the Haramayn of Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwarah up to this day, from the very time of Umar RA, Twenty Rakaats is performed in Jamaah. The Sahabah RA, the Tabi'in (those who came after the Sahabah RA, the Imams of Fiqh (jurisprudence) and the entire Ummah, with the exception of the so called Ahlul Hadith of recent times, has been unanimous on Twenty Rakaats.

In one Hadith Rasulullah SAW is reported to have said:

"After me there will be much differences. Hence hold on to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of my rightly guided Khulafaa." (Riwayat Mishkaat)

Twenty Rakaats of Tarawih with Jamaah was the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Khulafaa. In this latter day difference, who should we follow?

The Sunnah of the Khulafaa of RasulullahSAW? ...or the way of those who contradict them?

Only idiocy will approve and adopt the latter.

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