Monday, 9 August 2010

Number of Raka'ats in Taraweeh-Ramadhan

The Ramadan nightly prayer has a special merit over other nights. The Messenger of Allah said: "Whoever observes night prayer in Ramadan as an expression of his faith and to seek reward from Allah, his previous sins will be blotted out." (Muslim)
In this hadith, faith means faith in what Allah has promised the observers of night prayers. To seek reward mean, the observer's intent is not for eye service or seeking special recognition from someone. Taraweeh is derived from the Arabic root word, Raaha, which means to rest, relax and use as recreation. It is so called because the believers used to prolong it. After every four raka'ats they would stop for rest and relaxation and resume until Taraweeh was complete.

Taraweeh In Jamaa`ah
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was the first to establish the Sunnah of congregational, jamaa`ah prayer of Taraweeh in the Masjid. Then he did not continue with the Sunnah for fear that it might be made mandatory on the Ummah in Ramadan, and they might not be able to do it. In the books of Bukhari and Muslim, 'Aishah (RAA) has been reported as saying: "The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) observed Taraweeh prayer in the Masjid one night
and people prayed with him. He repeated the following night and the number of participants grew. The companions congregated the third and fourth night, but the Messenger did not show up. In the morning he told them, "I saw what you did last night, but nothing prevented me from joining you except my fear that it might be made mandatory on you in Ramadan."
This hadith is a clear indication that the Taraweeh in congregation was not an innovation of 'Umar (RAA), the second Caliph, despite his saying to the contrary. For it has been related that: "Umar bin Al-Khattab attended the Masjid at night in Ramadan and saw people praying individually in every corner of the Masjid with a few in groups. He did not like the sight a bit.
'Umar said, `I thought it would be better to gather these under one Imam'. So, he combined them under 'Obayi bin Ka'ab and Tamimu Ad-Dari to alternate and lead the believers in eleven raka'ats of night prayer. The next day `Umar was in the Masjid which was full with Taraweeh prayers. He was delighted. He said: `Well, this is the best Bid'ah (innovation).'"
`Umar's use of the word Bid'ah in this report has been presented and
unjustifiably cited as justification for concocting up various so called
good innovations. In truth, the Caliph 'Umar's act to gather the believers in Jama'ah is not bid'ah. For it was the Messenger of Allah himself who started jama'ah by praying in congregation the first and second day, then stopped only as he feared it would become mandatory. After his death, the fear of Taraweeh becoming mandatory (Fard) was not only remote, it was impossible. With the death of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), there will be no
more revelation to change any law or rule by abrogation.

Number of Raka'ats in Taraweeh
As for the number of Raka'ats in Taraweeh and Witr, the worthy ancestor, Salaf as-Saalih disagreed on the amount of Raka'ats. These numbers are mentioned for Raka'ats: 39, 29, 23, 19, 13, and 11 Raka'ats. Of all the numbers mentioned, none is sounder than 11 Raka'ats. 'Aishah (RAA) was asked how was the prayer of the Prophet (PBUH)? She replied: "He did not pray in Ramadan or some other times more than eleven Raka'ats." (Muslim/Bukhari)
However, there is nothing wrong with praying more than 11 Raka'ats. Perhaps that is why different numbers are observed. The Prophet himself was asked about night prayer and he said: "It may be done in two Raka'ats, and if anyone fears the appearance of morning, he should pray one Rak'ah as a Witr for what he has already prayed." (Bukhari/Muslim)
As this hadith indicates, if a person is to pray individually at night, by daybreak he would have prayed one hundred and one Raka'ats, or more. In their desire to pray more Raka'ats, some people make Taraweeh in extreme speed. That is wrong, especially when the speed leads to a breach of certain rules of prayer. In that case, the prayer will not be valid. Similarly, it is undesirable for an Imam to pray with such speed whereby the followers will have difficulty observing the necessary deeds in Salaat.

Neglecting Taraweeh
No one should neglect Taraweeh without a good reason, for it is a part of physical and spiritual training. Its observation, soon after Iftar, insures timely and proper digestion of food. Besides, there are spiritual rewards awaiting the observers of this prayer. No one would like to leave the Masjid before the prayer is over.
Everybody should attend the Masjid prayers, including women, provided they are properly covered. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "Prevent not the women servants of Allah, from going to the Masjid of Allah." However, when they attend the Masjid they should wear no perfume, nor raise their voices, and or show their beauty. Allah (SWT) States: "...they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof..."
(Al-Qur'an, 24:31)
What ordinarily appears, refers to the outer garments, for when the
Messenger (PBUH) commanded women to attend Eid prayer, Umm 'Atiyah (RAA) said: "O Messenger of Allah, some of us do not have the outer garment (Jilbab). The Messenger of Allah told her to let a sister (who has more than one) give her one to wear." (Agreed upon)
It is Sunnah that they pray behind the men in the rear lines. The Messenger has been reported as saying: "The best lines for men are the front lines and the worst lines for men are the rear lines. The best lines for women are the rear and the worst lines of women are the front line. (Muslim)
Women should leave the Masjid as soon as the Imam says: As-Salaamu 'Alaikum. They should not delay without a valid reason. In a hadith by Umm Salmah (RAA), she said: "When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saluted to end prayer, the women would stand up to leave and the Messenger would remain in his place for a while." Umm Salmah (RAA) said: Allah is the best knower, but perhaps the Messenger did that so women would leave before men could overtake them". (Bukhari)

    It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever prays at night in Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."1
This hadith is indicative of the virtue of praying qiyam in Ramadan, and shows that this is one of the means of forgiveness of sin. Whoever prays Taraweeh as it should be prayed has prayed at night (qiyam al-layl) in Ramadan.
Forgiveness is conditional upon "faith and hope of reward," as stated here. What is meant by "faith" is that when the person stands to pray qiyam, he believes in Allah, may He be exalted, and believes in His promise and in the virtue of praying qiyam, and in the greatness of its reward with Allah. "Hope of reward" means that he is seeking the reward from Allah and is not doing it for any other purpose such as showing off, etc.
 It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to encourage them to pray qiyam during Ramadan, without commanding them to do it. Then he said: "Whoever prays at night in Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven."
So the Muslim should be keen to pray Taraweeh, and should be patient in completing the prayer with his imam. He should not neglect any part of it, or leave before his imam, even if his imam does more than eleven or thirteen rak'ahs, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever prays qiyam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded that he spent the night in qiyam." It is only a few nights, which the wise man makes the most of before they are gone.
Abu Dawud said: It was said to [Imam] Ahmad while I was listening: "Can qiyam - i.e., Taraweeh - be delayed until the end of the night?" He said: "The way of the Muslims is dearer to me."

  If a person is keen to pray whatever rak'ahs he wants to at the time of the pre-dawn (suhoor time), then he should not pray witr again at the end of his prayer, rather it is sufficient for him to pray witr with his imam in Taraweeh, because of the hadith of Talq ibn 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "There cannot be two witrs in one night."

 With regard to the hadith of Ibn 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) - according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Make the last of your prayers at night witr" - this is to be understood as referring to one who prays at the end of the night and did not pray witr at the beginning of the night.

 The command here is to be understood as a recommendation, not an obligation. It is not essential to conclude the prayer at the end of the night with witr, based on the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed at the end of the night, after his witr.

     Abu Dawud said: I said to Ahmad: "Does praying after witr invalidate witr?" He said: "No." Abu Dawud said: I heard Ahmad say concerning one who prayed witr at the beginning of the night then got up to pray qiyam: "He should pray two rak'ahs."
    It was said: "Does he not have to pray witr?"
    He said: "No."
    He said: I heard someone ask him about someone who wanted to pray after witr: "should he pray two by two?"
    He said: "Yes, but after witr he should lie down."

    The imam should take care to pray properly in Taraweeh. He should pray with proper focus and humility, reciting in a proper manner and being at ease in ruku' and sujud. He should beware of rushing lest he fails to attain the proper level of khushu' (focus and humility) and lest he make the weak, elderly and sick among the people behind him get too tired.

Al-Sa'ib ibn Yazeed said: 'Umar ibn al-Khattab commanded Ubayy ibn Ka'b and Tameem al-Dari to lead the people in praying eleven rak'ahs of qiyam. He said: The reciter used to recite the surahs that contain more than a hundred verses, until we would lean on sticks because of having to stand for so long, but we did not leave until dawn was approaching.

When the worshipper has said the tasleem at the end of witr, he should say: Subhan al-Malik al-Quddus (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy) three times, elongating the vowels and raising his voice the third time, because it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did that.

 O Allah, accept this (worship) from us, for You are the All-Hearing, All-Knowing, and accept our repentance, for You are the Acceptor of Repentance, the Most Merciful

Dua at the time of breaking fast (iftar)

Once Moosa (AS) asked Allah Ta'ala: O Allah! You have granted me the honor and privilege of talking to you directly, Have you given this privilege to any other person? Allah Ta'ala replied, O!! Moosa during the last period I am going to send an ummat, who will be the Ummat of Mohammed (SAW) with dry lips, parched tongues, emaciated body with eyes sunken deep into their sockets, with livers dry and stomachs suffering the pangs of hunger - will call out to me (in dua) they will be much closer to me than you O Moosa! while you speak to me there are 70000 veils between you and me but at the time of iftaar there will not be a single veil between me and the fasting Ummati of Mohammed (SAW) O!! Moosa I have taken upon myself the responsibility that at the time of iftaar I will never refuse the dua of a fasting person!
........Sub'hanallah! ! ..........

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: "He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbor remains hungry by his side." .

"By Allah, he has no faith (the Prophet [SAW] repeated it three times) whose neighbors are not safe from his wickedness." (Bukhari)

Ramadan is a great opportunity to share Islam and more specifically, its values of spirituality, generosity and kindness with others, especially your neighbors. It's a great time to do Dawa..

. Begin with Dua

Make Dua that Allah give us( and our family the sincerity, strength, motivation and wisdom to do this. Dawa is hard work, and it needs preparation, commitment and organization.

I AM calling to you from afar. Calling to you since the very beginning of days, for aeons of time - calling since always. "I don't hear", you say, "what is it and where?" I AM That in you which has been always: I AM That in you which will never end. Even if you say, Who is calling? Where will you run? Just tell Me, can you run away from yourself? For I AM the Only One for you; there is no other. Your Promise, your Reward AM I alone your Punishment, your Longing and your Goal.

"Have fun praying and getting ready for the Day of Judgment coz that day will NOT be fun :) P.S.: don’t forget to make dua for me.

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