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The Number of Rak’ahs for Tarawih – Allamah al-Imam Badi ud din Shah ar-Rashidi as-Sindhi (1416H)

(from a speech delivered in 1945ce in the presence of the reviver of Islaam, the great Allaamah, the Imaam Abul-Wafa Thanaullaah Amritsari

Compiled and Translated 

Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansari

From The Distinctive Issues of Ahlul-Hadith

The Twelfth (12) Issue – The Number of Raka’hs for Tarawih

Concerning this then the recommended is 8 raka’hs and nothing else as it is narrated in Bukhaari from Ai’shah (Radhiallaahu Anha)

“That the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhee Wasalam) in ramadhaan or other than ramadhaan would not exceed 11 raka’hs” (Bukhaari, Muslim no 738, Tirmidhee)

If someone says this refers to and means tahajjud then it will be said to him according to old terminology Qiyaam of ramadhaan was known as taraweeh and you can refer to the books of hanafee fiqh for example Hidaayah and others and here Ai’shah (Radhiallaahu Anha) was asked about the qiyaam of ramadhaan of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhee Wasalam) and this means taraweeh so she answered he would pray 11 also specifying in ramadhaan and in other months so by doing this she highlighted the prayer of tahajjud in the months other than ramadhaan which was the same in the month of ramadhaan except known as taraweeh

Another hadeeth has been transmitted in Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan and Saheeh Ibn Khuzaimah which clearly proves he would pray 8 raka’hs for taraweeh (Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan no 920 Saheeh Ibn Khuzaimah no 1070 in addition to this it has been transmitted by Ibn Mundhir in al-Awsth no 2606 and Tabaranee in Jaam’e as-Sagheer 1/190) 

However this hadeeth contains a narrator by the name of Eesaa bin Jaariyyah who has some statements of criticism but Haafidh ad-Dhahabee who was an Imaam of the narrators of hadeeth said concerning this hadeeth in Meezaan ul-Ei’tidaal “the chain is of a middle level” (ie authentic but not of the best standard) (Meezaan ul-Ei’tidaal 3/311)

and as for the hadeeth transmitted by Ibn Abbaas in Musannaf Ibn Abee Shaybah and others that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhee Wasalam) prayed 20 raka’hs for taraweeh is totally weak and unreliable and concerning it Shaikh Ibn Humaam Hanafee wrote in Fath ul-Qadeer

“and that which has been transmitted by Ibn Abee Shaybah and Tabaranee and from him Baihaqee the hadeeth of Ibn Abbaas that he (Messenger of Allaah (Sallallahu Alayhee Wasalam) would pray 20 raka’hs in ramadhaan excluding the witr prayer is weak as it contains Abee Shaybah Ibraheem bin Uthmaan and his weakness is agreed up and it also opposes the authentic hadeeth” (Fath ul-Qadeer 1/467 and Zaila’ee has said the same in his Nasb ur-Rayaah 2/153)

An this is the ruling of Umar al-Farooq (Radhiallaahu Anhu) hence it is transmitted by Saa’ib bin yazeed in Muwatta Imaam Maalik

“Umar ordered Ubayy bin Ka’ab and Tameem ad-Daaree to lead the people in ramadhaan in 11 raka’hs” (Muwatta Imaam Maalik no 98)

Hence we find the correct amount is 8 raka’hs not more or less then this

Dear readers there are many other distinctive signs but for sake of brevity we shall rest with these ones only and every intelligent man will come to know the people of hadeeth are upon the truth and this is a good tiding that all the issues they (the Ahlul Hadeeth) extract are from the Quraan and hadeeth therefore they don’t have any connection with zaid, amr, bakr, khaalid, ismaa’eel, ahmad and umair and it is something like this what Nawaab Siddeeque bin Hasan khan said that they use evidences from the hadeeth and Quraan

Also may Allaah reward Maulana Abdul Hayy Lucknowee who said with great justice in Imaam al-Kalaam

“Whoever looks with the looks of justice and delves in the oceans of jurisprudence and principles (Fiqh and Usool) then he will know with certain knowledge that most of the subsidiary and issues of principle the scholars differ upon then from them the school (of thought) of the scholars of hadeeth is more stronger than other schools of thought and when I traverse parts (issues) that are differed upon then I find the statement of the scholars of hadeeth to be the closest to the truth and for Allaah is their amazement and to his gratitude and why should there not be as they are the inheritors of the prophets and the true inheritors of his sharee’ah and may Allaah counts us from amongst them and may we die upon their ways.” (Imaam al-Kalaam pg 216)

People this requires attention that Maulana Lucknowee an eminent scholar of the hanafees is saying how he favours the people of hadeeth hence it is obligatory upon every Muslim to join the saved group and save himself from the troubles of the other schools of thought and act upon the verse of do not follow other paths which will take you away from my path because it is this group who act upon the following verse,

“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger, and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination” (Soorah an-Nisaa(4):59)   

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