Ramadaan Series {Day 11} – How Many Rak’ahs is Sunnah for Tarawih Prayer?

3 of the 4 Imams said 20 is Sunnah.

Imam Maalik (rh) said 33 is Sunnah.

Others said more.

Hanbalis generally say 20.

How do we explain this?

The Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) was 11 rak’ah which was related by A’aisha (ra) in Sahih Bukhari. However, in another Hadith, which is Sahih, a Sahaabi asked the Prophet (saw) about the night prayer which he (saw) replied, it’s two by two and if you fear dawn complete it with one, to the nearest meaning.

Allah knows best.

So what do we do?

The Sunnah is to pray two by two as the Prophet (saw) mentioned for the night prayer. For this reason, some of the Salaf would pray 33, Imam Ahmad (rh) would generally pray 300 rak’ah per night.

The best approach is, as Imam Ahmad (rh) mentioned, pray with the Imam and stay with him until he leaves and you get the reward for praying the entire night and Allah knows best.


The All or Nothing Mentality

This is when a Muslim thinks that if they don’t do everything all at once then they shouldn’t do anything at all. This is the trick of the Shaytaan.

For example, one might say that I missed Fajr prayer and due to this my day has started off wrong so I’m not going to pray the rest of the prayers and I’ll start again tomorrow.

Rather, one should continuously try to build up their ibaadah slowly, as opposed to wanting to pray qiyaam ul layl in the last third of the night straight away. First start off with your fard prayers if they weren’t being prayed. Then move on to the Sunnah and add more gradually.

Signs of Arrogance and Ujb (Self Amazement)

From the signs of arrogance and ujb (self amazement) is when one fasts and looks down on those that are eating! How does he know that they don’t fast other days or they don’t fast more than him?!

When you are keeping a Sunnah fast on a Monday for example, and you question why someone else is eating, then repent as you have a disease of the heart.

Important Points for the Day of ‘Eid

  • Smile and be cheerful and don’t be grumpy. This is from the Sunnah outside of ‘Eid day let alone on the day of ‘Eid itself.
  • Make an effort to smell and look good.
  • It’s permissible to greet each other after the salaah in whichever way it is of a person’s custom, be it a handshake, hug and so on.
  • Make the day of ‘Eid a memorable day for the youngsters: buy them sweets and spoil them, rather than just making it an ordinary boring day.
  • Make it a special day for the women. If possible, order their favourite food instead of making them cook.
  • Be someone positive who spreads positivity and happiness and not someone who is doom and gloom.

Fasting Outside of Ramadaan

Remember to fast three days a month as a minimum, as the Prophet (saw) advised Abu Hurairah (ra). Aa’isha (ra) mentioned that the Prophet (saw) would fast 3 days a month and wasn’t concerned with which days they were.

The days that are firm in the Sunnah are the white days and Mondays. This great action shouldn’t be left insha’Allah.

Why Study One Madhab and Have Only One Teacher at First?

  • What is the purpose of following a madhab and sticking to one in the initial stages of seeking knowledge?
  • Why is it better to only have one teacher at the beginning?

We follow a madhab to have structure in learning.

We stick to one madhab initially because there are many different opinions and learning about more than one, in the beginning, can become confusing. It is learning about the basic opinions of the masters of the madhab.

Having more than 1 teacher at the beginning can confuse the student and they won’t get the most from their teacher as they will be splitting their time between them. It also depends on the structure of each teacher; they will be different and this will make it even more confusing for the student.

It’s strange to see those that try to study many madhabs at the beginning, or they say we follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah only and no madhab!

Adaab of The People of Ilm

You never ever hear them backbite anyone. If they are asked about someone, in terms of ilm, they are just!

When a woman goes past, even if they glance at her, they instantly remove their glance and cast it in another direction, even if she looks amazingly beautiful!
This is called following the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم)