AN ACADEMIC REPLY TO THE IMAM OF
AHLE-HADITH MASJID IN LENASIA -
ON 8-RAKA'AAT OF TARAWEEH SALAAH
All praise is due to Allah, the Exalted,
and peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Beloved Messenger Muhammad, his
family and all his companions.
This is an open letter to the Imam of
Ahle-Hadith Masjid in Lenasia,
Assalaamu Alaikum! Dear Imam Sahib,
I recently did received a JUMBO size
poster from you which is printed in
On what grounds do you want to challenge
the so-called 'validity' of the 8-raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah? If you are truly an Ahle-Hadith scholar, you
should really be basing your facts entirely on the authentic Ahadeeth of
Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM).
Why do you quote - completely out of context purposely - and use the
Hanafee scholars in your JUMBO poster to support your erroneous deed of
performing 8-raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah?
You have quoted only a few Ahadeeth in your JUMBO poster, why is this
so? Surely these are not the only Ahadeeth relating to the salaah read by
Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) during the month of Ramadaan. Are you
afraid that by quoting the many other Ahadeeth it would have become clear how
contrary your acts are to the Ahadeeth of Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI
WASALLAM)? Inspite of these contrary acts you still call yourself an Ahle
Hadith? What right have you to such a
Let me remind you of a few noteworthy facts
from authentic Ahadeeth relating to salaah read by Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU
ALAYHI WASALLAM) during Ramadaan. Since
you claim to be an Ahle Hadith, I will base my arguments entirely on a few
authentic Ahadeeth and prove to you and your followers how far-fetched you and
your group are from practising the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad
(SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM).
HADITH NO 1:
Narrated Urwah (Radiyallahu Anhu) that he
was informed by Hazrath A’ishah (Radiyallahu Anha): 'The Messenger of Allah (SALLALLAHU
ALAYHI WASALLAM) went out (of his house) in the middle of the night and
prayed in the Masjid and some men prayed behind him (in congregation). In the
morning the people spoke about it and then a large number of them gathered
and prayed behind him (on the second night). On the next morning the people
again talked about it and on the third night the Masjid was full with a
large number of people. On the fourth night the Masjid was overwhelmed
with people and could not accommodate them, but the Messenger of Allah
(SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) came out (only) for the morning prayer (Salaatul
Fajr). When the morning prayer was
finished, he recited the Tashahhud and (addressing the people) said:
"Your presence was not hidden from me
but I was afraid lest the night prayer (qiyaam) should be enjoined (made Fard)
upon you and you might not be able to carry it on." So, the Messenger of Allah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI
WASALLAM) died and the situation remained like that i.e. the people prayed the
night prayer individually.'
HADITH NO 2:
Narrated Abu Salamah bin Abdur Rahman
(Radiyallahu Anhu) that he asked Hazrath A’ishah (Radiyallahu Anha):
'How was the prayer of the Messenger of
Allah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) in Ramadaan?' She replied: 'He did not pray more than
eleven raka'aat in Ramadaan or in any other month. He used to pray 4 raka'aat - let alone their
beauty and length; and then he would pray 4 raka'aat - let alone their beauty
and length; and then he would pray 3 raka'aat (Witr).' She added:
'I asked: 0 Messenger of Allah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM)! Do you sleep before praying the Witr?' He replied:
'0 A’ishah! My eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep.'
The above-mentioned Ahadeeth is quoted from
Sahih Al-Bukhari translation of Dr. Muhsin Khan VOL III page 128 (1986 edition)
from the Book of Taraweeh Prayers under the chapter: The superiority
of praying at night in Ramadaan.
These Ahadeeth are also contained in Sahih Muslim, Mu’atta, Tirmidhi, Abu
Dawood and Nisai.
The following Ahadeeth are contained in the
Mu’atta of Imam Malik (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) in chapter 66 Hadith Numbers 245
and 246 under the section: Salaah in Ramadaan:
HADITH NO 3:
Saa'ib bin Yazeed (Radiyallahu Anhu)
reported that Hazrath 'Umar bin al-Khattab (Radiyallahu Anhu) ordered Ubayy bin
K'ab (Radiyallahu Anhu) and Tameem al-Daarie (Radiyallahu Anhu) to say eleven
raka'aat. Saa'ib bin Yazeed (Radiyallahu
Anhu) said that the Imam used to recite one hundred verses in one rak'ah so
that (while standing) we leaned against timber and did not finish until it was
HADITH NO 4:
Yazeed bin Rumaan (Radiyallahu Anhu)
reported that the people used to say twenty three raka'aat in the time of 'Umar
(ie. twenty rak'aat Taraweeh Salaah and three rak'aat of Witr).
HADITH NO 2 and a few other similar
Ahadeeth were quoted in your JUMBO size poster to support your stand of
performing the 8-raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah. Let us understand this Hadith with
an open mind and a sincere heart of a Mu'min.
Let us not stubbornly follow a few who have clearly misunderstood this
Hadith of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM). Let me point out a few facts pertaining to
POINT NO 1:
Hazrath A’ishah (Radiyallahu Anha) is
reported as saying that Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) used to read
eleven (11) raka'aat of salaah in Ramadaan and in months other than Ramadaan. Also note two other points in connection with
- the word TARAWEEH is not even mentioned
in this Hadith
- there is no mention in this of the salaah
being performed with congregation (jamaa'ah)
If this salaah was performed in the months
other than Ramadaan as well, then how can this salaah be the Taraweeh
Salaah? Taraweeh Salaah is performed in
the month of Ramadaan only. It is
therefore conclusively evident that the salaah referred to in this Hadith is
none other than the Tahajjud Salaah and NOT the Taraweeh Salaah. The reason being that the Tahajjud Salaah is
performed every night throughout the year and not only in the month of Ramadaan
as the Hadith itself confirms.
POINT NO 2:
According to this Hadith, Rasoolullah
(SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) read this salaah every night consecutively
throughout his life of Prophethood. Why
do you and your group perform this salaah only in the month of Ramadaan? This practice is contrary to what this Hadith
POINT NO 3:
According to this Hadith, the eleven (11)
raka'aat salaah which Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) used to read was
read by him during the latter half of the night. Why do you and your group perform this salaah
in Ramadaan during the early hours of the night and go to bed so early. This practice again is contrary to what the
POINT NO 4:
According to this Hadith, the eleven (11)
raka'aat of salaah read by Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) was read at
his home without congregation and not in the Masjid. Why do you and your group perform this salaah
as Taraweeh in the Masjid and with congregation? These practices are again
contrary to what the Hadith confirms.
POINT NO 5:
Nowhere in this Hadith, or in all the books
of Ahadeeth, is there any mention of the word TARAWEEH. This terminology is obtained from the Fiqh
(Islamic Jurisprudence). Why do you and
your group read this salaah as TARAWEEH SALAAH?
This is absolutely shocking. Are
you really an Ahle Hadith?
POINT NO 6:
According to Hadith No 1 above, Rasoolullah
(SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) used to read this salaah for a prolonged length of
time. From other Ahadeeth it is also
known that his feet used to swell on account of his prolonged standing in
salaah. Why do you and your group complete the Taraweeh Salaah in such a short
time? Is this not contrary to the idea conveyed by Hadith No 1 above?
POINT NO 7:
The reading of 8 raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah
with congregation in the Masjid for every night consecutively in the month of
Ramadaan cannot be found in any of the books of Ahadeeth? This was
neither the practice of Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) nor did he
command it. Why do you and your group
perform the 8 raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah every year during the whole month of Ramadaan? If you claim to be an Ahle Hadith, then
please live your life according to the Ahadeeth. Inspite of being so contrary
to the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM), you still have the
audacity to deceive innocent Muslims by publishing JUMBO size posters and
challenge the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaa'ah scholars on 8 raka'aat Taraweeh
Salaah. Is this not a great mischief?
POINT NO 8:
In the two years of the Khilaafah of
Hazrath Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu), there is no mention in any of the books of
Ahadeeth or Islamic History that Hazrath Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu) performed
8 raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah with congregation.
If Hadith No 2 above really referred to the Taraweeh Salaah and if this
was the Sunnah of Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM), Hazrath Abu Bakr
(Radiyallahu Anhu) would have definitely continued to uphold and command this
sunnah. This fact also proves that the 8
raka'aat of salaah mentioned in Hadith No 2 refers to the Tahajjud Salaah. You and your group have completely
misunderstood this Hadith. Please read
all Ahadeeth intelligently and not merely on a literal basis like the Modernist
POINT NO 9:
During the two years of the Khilaafah of
Hazrath Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu), there is no mention in the books of
Ahadeeth of Hazrath A’ishah (Radiyallahu Anha) commanding her father Hazrath
Abu Bakr (Radiyallahu Anhu) to establish the 8 raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah in
Ramadaan. This itself is a great proof that the Hadith No 2 above does not refer
to the Taraweeh Salaah but refers to the Tahajjud Salaah. Hazrath A’ishah (Radiyallahu Anha) must have
witnessed at least 50 Ramadaan after Rasoolullah's (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM)
death. You don't have to be a genius to
discover this. If Hazrath A’ishah
(Radiyallahu Anha), a highly educated and illustrious scholar and wife of the
Prophet (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM), did not command the Ashaab-e-Rasool to
perform the 8 raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah in Ramadaan with congregation, then why
do you command Muslims to perform the 8 raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah in
Ramadaan? Do you regard yourself
superior in knowledge to Hazrath A’ishah (Radiyallahu Anha) in matters of
religion? Astaghfirullah! Are you really an Ahle-Hadith? Please reconsider your claim.
HADITH NO 3 and HADITH NO 4,
which appears consecutively one after another in the same Mu’atta, seems to
contradict one another. This again proves that the eleven raka'aat of salaah
refers to the Tahajjud Salaah and not the Taraweeh Salaah. Imam Malik (Rahmatullahi Alayhi), being a
great Jurist (Faqeeh), could not have compiled contradictory reports in his
From the above points of consideration, it
can be easily concluded that you and your Ahle-Hadith group have committed a grave
mistake in understanding the Ahadeeth on the salaah read by Rasoolullah
(SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM) during Ramadaan.
Because your leaders have erred in their interpretation of the Ahadeeth,
you are too stubborn to give up and admit their mistakes. Keep your stubbornness aside and be sincere
to Rasoolullah (SALLALLAHU ALAYHI WASALLAM).
By being proud and stubborn and not accepting the Truth (Haqq), Allah
puts a veil over your eyes and seals your heart. This is the Law of Allah as mentioned in the
beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah in the Holy Qur’an. Once this happens, volumes and volumes of
books can be written to show you the Truth but you will not be able to see it.
After all that I have mentioned above, I
hope that you are now thinking not twice but many times on your
'great JUMBO size' challenge of the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jama'ah scholars on the
issue of the 8 raka'aat Taraweeh Salaah.
Could you please reply in detail, point-by-point, answering every single
argument discussed in this article before you go on a JUMBO size platform for a
JUMBO size challenge.
May Allah, the Exalted, guide us all onto
the Straight Path. The Path of those
upon whom He has bestowed His Favours, not the path of those upon whom His
Wrath descends nor of those who are astray.
Wassalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah!
ABDUL HAQ ABDUL KADIR
Umhlanga Rocks, KZN, South Africa.