What is the Number of Taraweeh Rakats?

Q-1 What is the position of four Sunni Imams about the number of Rakaats in Taraweeh prayers ? A local Masjid in our area prays 8 Rakaats of Taraweeh prayers. As a Hanafi I have prayed 20 Rakaats all of my life.What is the correct number ?

A-1 Alhamdulillah wassalatu wassalamu ala ashrafa rasulillah

Scholars of all four schools of the jurisprudence have agreed upon twenty rakaats of Tarawih prayer not counting the Witr. And twenty three rakaats including three rakaats of Witr. Imam Malik and Imam Baihaqi have narrated by Yazid bin Roman that people were performing twenty three rakaats of prayer at the time of Hazrat Umar radiallahhu anhu. (Muwatta Imam Malik 1/115, Sunna Baihaqi 2/ 496)

In another narration of Imam Malik and Baihaqi which is narrated by Saib bin Yazid that he said the people during Ramadan were performing twenty rakaats of tarawih prayer at the time of Hazraht Umar radiyallahu taala Anhu (Moattaa Imam malik 1/115, Sunnan Baihaqi 2/ 496)

In light of the above mentioned narrations we understand that this is proved by the Ijmaa (consensus) of the comapanions.This is so because we do not see any of the companions objecting to Hazrat Umar's action, So it is necessary to follow that action which has been done by Hazrath Umar . That is why All four Imams ( Imam AbuHanifa, Malik,Shafi'i and Ahmed bin Hanbal) have agreed on twenty rakaats of tarawih prayers.

Here is the quotation of their saying:

1-Hanafi:

إنها عشرون ركعة سوى الوتر عندنا ،وقال مالك رحمه الله تعالى : السنة فيها ستة وثلاثون( المبسوط، للسرخسي، ج2 ص 144)

Imam Sarakhasi who is great Hanfi scholar says : According to us it is twenty rakaats without witr and according to Imam Malik it is thirty six raakaats.

Another Hanfi Scholar Allama Kasani has stated the same as he says:

وأما قدرها فعشرون ركعة في عشر تسليمات، في خمس ترويحات، كل تسليمتين ترويحة، وهذا قول عامة العلماء.( بدائع الصنائع، الكاساني، ج1 ص 288)

The quantity of the Tarawih prayer is twenty Rakaats with ten Taslims and with five tarwihas ( siting after each four Rakaats) That is one tarwiha after each four rakaats. This is the general saying of (all) scholars.

Same is written in Hashiya Ibne Abedin as he says:

(قوله وهي عشرون ركعة) هو قول الجمهور، وعليه عمل الناس شرقًا وغربًا (رد المحتار على الدر المختار المسمى بـ «حاشية ابن عابدين»، ج2 ص 46.)

The Jamhoor (Absolute Majority) of jurists have agreed upon twenty rakaats of tarawih parayers and people all over the globe act upon the same way.

2- Maliki :

A great Maliki Scholar Allama Dardir says:

(والتراويح) : برمضان (وهي عشرون ركعة) بعد صلاة العشاء، يسلم من كل ركعتين غير الشفع والوتر. (و) ندب (الختم فيها) : أي التراويح، بأن يقرأ كل ليلة جزءًا يفرقه على العشرين ركعة (الشرح الصغير، للعلامة الدردير، ومعه حاشية العلامة الصاوي، ج1 ص 404 ،405)

The Tarawih prayer in Ramadan is twenty rakaats after Eisha prayer. After each two rakaats there should be Salaam..It is sunnah to finish complete Qur'an in Tarawih.

Another Maliki scholar Allama Nafrawi has stated the same as Allama Dardir but has mentioned one different narration from Imam Malik that he was performing thirty six rakaats of Tarawih. And this was Imam Maliks desirable position. But some other Maliki Scholars preferred twenty rakaats because the people were performing twenty rakaats as Hazrat Umar radiyallahu anhu did.

الفواكه الدواني، للنفراوي، ج1 ص318 ، 319

3- Shafi'i:

Imam Nawawi who is a great Shafi'i scholar says that Tarawih is twenty rakaats as he stated:

مذهبنا أنها عشرون ركعة بعشر تسليمات غير الوتر، وذلك خمس ترويحات، والترويحة أربع ركعات بتسليمتين، هذا مذهبنا، وبه قال أبو حنيفة، وأصحابه، وأحمد، وداود، وغيرهم، ونقله القاضي عياض عن جمهور العلماء. وحكي أن الأسود بن يزيد كان يقوم بأربعين ركعة ويوتر بسبع. ( المجموع، للإمام النووي، ج3 ص 527. )

According to us the quantity of the Tarawih prayer is twenty rakaats with ten Taslims without witr and with five tarwihas ( sitting after each four Rakaats) Making one tarwiha after each four rakaats. This is our opinion which is same as of Abu Hanifa and his companions, Imam Ahmed and Imam Dwood etc.And it is also said by great Shafi'i scholar Al Ibne Hajar Al- Haitami and Allama Ramli see:

تحفة المحتاج، لابن حجر الهيتمي، ج2 ص 240، 241. ، نهاية المحتاج، للرملي، ج2 ص 127.

4- Hanabla:

According to Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal, Tarawih is twenty Rakaats, as Allama Ibne Qudama Maqdasi Al-Hanbali has stated :

والمختار عند أبي عبد الله رحمه الله فيها عشرون ركعة. وبهذا قال الثوري، وأبو حنيفة، والشافعي. وقال مالك : ستة وثلاثون. وزعم أنه الأمر القديم، وتعلق بفعل أهل المدينة، فإن صالحًا مولى التوأمة، قال : أدركت الناس يقومون بإحدى وأربعين ركعة، يوترون منها بخمس (المغني، لابن قدامة، ج1 ص456.)

The desirable opinion among Abu Abdullah (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal) is that Tarawih prayer is twenty rakaats. The same is stated from Thouri, AbuHanifa, and Shafi'i. As per Malik he said: it is thirty six rakaats. He thinks this is from the former period and related to the action of Madina people because Saleh said: I saw people were performing forty one rakats, thirty six were counted as Tarawih and five of them as Witr.

In short from all of the above mentioned refrences we can understand that the Tarawih prayer was performed by offering twenty rakaats by Hazrath Umar Radiyallahu taala Anhu. And the companions accepted it and made no objection to his action. And this is the view of all four Imams. Other than that the eight or twelve rakaats performed these days could be considered as Qiyam- ul-lail (Salatut tahajjud) but will not be counted as Tarawih prayer.

And Allah Allah knows the best.

 

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