Taraweeh prayer is Sunnah of Prophet(saws) not (Shara’i) Bidah of Umar(ra).


Taraweeh prayer is Sunnah of Prophet(saws) not (Shara’i) Bidah of Umar(ra).

Introduction.

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

One of the oft-repeated allegation of Shias against Umar(RA) is that he innovated Taraweeh prayer, which Sunnis pray during the month of Ramadan. While the fact is that, all what Umar(RA) did was he combined all the small groups of people who were already praying in the Mosque during Ramadan, into one large group so that they could pray behind one Imam rather than several different Imams, and it is this administrative decision which he called “a good innovation”(lingually). Umar(RA) wasn’t referring to the prayer as an innovation, because the prayer had been going on since the time of the Prophet(SAWS), rather he called his administrative decision to combine all the different Jamaats into one uniform Jamaat behind a single Imam a good innovation.

Shia in their blind hatred became so blind that they could not even properly see what Umar(RA) actually did in the first place. He did not convert Qiyaam from an individual act of worship to a congregational act of worship, nor did he transform it from act of worship done privately at home to an act of worship done publicly in the Masjid, because he didn’t need to do so, since people were already praying it in small Jamaat in public. The congregational aspect of Qiyaam was already well-established and in practice even before Umar(RA) came into the picture.

In this article we will be answering the most common arguments that are levelled against Umar(RA) by the Shias in regards to Taraweeh.

We have divided this article in the following Sections:

I. Evidence of Taraweeh Prayer after Isha in Ramadan from Reliable Reports.

II. Evidence for offering Voluntary Prayer in Congregation.

III. Umar(RA) used the term “Good Bidah” in Linguistic sense not Shara’i sense.

(IV). The Evidence of Praying Taraweeh for whole month of Ramadan.

(V). Taraweeh and Tahajjud are same prayer with different characteristics.

VI. Did Umar(RA) change Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS) from 8 Rakah to 20 Rakah ?.

VII. Answer to the opinion of Ibn Umar(RA) And Ubay bin Ka’b(RA) about Taraweeh.

VIII. Tahajjud at Home being more virtuous doesn’t mean Taraweeh in Mosque is prohibited.

IX. Correct Zaidi Shia position about the view of Imams of Ahl al-bayt in regards to Taraweeh.

X. Testimony of Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) and Ali ibn Abi Talib(RA) that Umar(RA) wasn’t an innovator.

XI. Scrutinzation of a Fabricated Sermon attributed to Ali(RA) in Shia books.

XII. Actual Stance of Ali(RA) in regards to Qiyaam in Ramadan with Congregation.

 

I. Evidence of Taraweeh Prayer after Isha in Ramadan from Reliable Reports.

Argument I(a):
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

The reality: The Prophet (s) offered Tahajjud during those three nights and not Tarawih

It is important to note that:

  1. Tarawih is 20 or 8 Rakah prayer after Isha عشاء Prayer
  2. At no point did Rasool (saww) pray 20 or 8 Rakah Salah after Isha prayers.

What Rasool (saww) offered for 3 nights, was only and only TAHAJJUD Prayer (which starts after Midnight).

Our stance is backed up by the following hadith, wherein the Prophet prayed after the “Middle of Night”.

Narrated ‘Urwa: That he was informed by ‘Aisha, “Allah’s Apostle went out in the MIDDLE OF NIGHT(i.e. For Tahajjud) and prayed in the mosque and some men prayed behind him. In the morning, the people spoke about it and then a large number of them gathered and prayed behind him (on the second night). In the next morning the people again talked about it and on the third night the mosque was full with a large number of people. Allah’s Apostle came out and the people prayed behind him. On the fourth night the Mosque was overwhelmed with people and could not accommodate them, but the Prophet came out (only) for the Morning Prayer. Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 229

In light of this tradition we deem it imperative that people stop falsely suggesting that the Sunnah is evidenced by the fact the Prophet (s) prayed 8 or 20 Rakah Salah after Isha Prayer. The fact is no such evidence exists and we challenge our opponents to negate our assertion.

Answer:

Shias should avoid making bold challenges out of ignorance just to impress their fellow Shias. They have no proper knowledge about Sunni practices.

Firstly, as per the correct view, the time of Taraweeh prayer in Ramadan starts after Isha and it remains until the Adhan(call to prayer) of Fajr is announced.

Mufti Azeez ur-Rahman Usmani al-Hanafi stated:

If Taraweeh is prayed in the last part of the night then it is correct. [Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband, vol 4 page 210].

Mufti Azeez ur-Rahman Usmani al-Hanafi also stated:

From one hadeeth we came to know that, after Isha prayer any voluntary(Nafil) prayer is counted as Tahajjud, and one would receive the reward of Tahajjud from  it, as mentioned in Shaami  from the hadeeth of Tabarani. [Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband, vol 4 page 223].

Shia Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Hussein Sistani stated:

The time for Salat al-Layl starts from middle part of night as per the famous opinion. Even though it is better, but It’s not unlikely (i.e. it’s possible) that the time of Salat al-Layl starts after Isha prayers and remains till the Adhan of Fajr. However, it is better to pray near the time of Fajr prayer. [Tauzeeh al-Masail, page 131].

Secondly, Prophet Muhammad(saws) didn’t just lead prayer only those days mentioned in the hadeeth which was mentioned by Shias, rather Prophet(saws) lead the Taraweeh prayer on other occasion as well, and it was TILL one-third of the night. Suppose the duration between Isha and Fajr prayer was Nine hours, then one-third of the night would means until three hours after Isha.

Prophet Muhammad(saws) praying Taraweeh after Isha is proven from other reliable reports which mentions ANOTHER OCCASSION where Prophet(saws) led people in Taraweeh. And contrary to Shia claim, that the time of Tahajud starts AFTER midnight, we find that Prophet(saws) led Sahaba in Qiyam al-Layl TILL one-third of night. These are clear evidences of Prophet Muhammad(saws) leading Taraweeh prayer in congregation after Isha. Hence undoubtedly  it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(saws).

As per reliable reports Prophet(SAWS) prayed Taraweeh from after Isha till Suhoor/Sehri(The meal before daybreak).

(a). It was narrated that Abu Dhar(ra) said: “We fasted Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah(SAWS), and the Prophet(SAWS) did not lead us in Qiyam until there were seven days left of the month, then he led us in Qiyam until one-third of the night had passed. Then, when there were six days left, he did not lead us in Qiyam. When there were five days left, he led us in praying Qiyam until half the night had passed. We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah(SAW), why don’t you lead us in praying Qiyam for the rest of the night?’ He said: ‘If a man prays with the Imam until he leaves, that will be continued for him as if he spent the whole night in prayer.’ Then, when there were four days left, he did not lead us in praying Qiyam. When there were three days left he sent for his daughters and women, and gathered the people, and he(SAWS) led us in praying Qiyam until we feared that we would miss Al-Falah. Then he did not lead us in praying Qiyam for the rest of the month.” Dawud (one of the narrators) said: “I said: ‘ What is falah?’ He said: ‘Suhur(The meal before daybreak).’ [Sunan al-Nasai, vol 2, page 303-304, #1365 ; Sahih as Zubair Ali Za’ee] ; [Jami al-Tirmidhi, vol 2, page 230-231, #806 ; Hasan Sahih as per al-Tirmidhi] ; [Sunan Abu Dawood, page 237, #1375 ; Sahih as per Albani] ; [Sunan ibn Majah ,Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 1327].

(b). Nu’aim bin Ziyad Abu Talhah said: “I heard An-Nu’man bin Bashir on the minbar in Hims saying: “We prayed Qiyam with the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) during Ramadan on the night of the twenty-third until one-third of the night had passed, then we prayed Qiyam with him on the night of the twenty-fifth until one-half of the night had passed, then we prayed Qiyam with him(SAWS) on the night of the twenty-seventh until we thought that we would miss Al-Falah– that is what they used to call suhur.[Sunan al-Nasai, vol 2, page 458, #1607 ; Hasan as per Zubair Ali Za’ee] ; [Salat al-Taraweeh, page 9-10 : Isnad Sahih as per Albani].

Imam al-Hakim after quoting this hadeeth stated:

وفيه الدليل الواضح أن صلاة التراويح في مساجد المسلمين سنة مسنونة وقد كان علي بن أبي طالب يحث عمر رضي الله عنهما على إقامة هذه السنة إلى أن أقامها

A clear evidence is present in this report that, Muslims praying Taraweeh in the Mosques is Masnoon Sunnah. Ali ibn Abi Talib(ra) used to urge Umar(ra) to establish this Sunnah, until he eventually established it. [Mustadrak al Hakim, vol 1, page 607, #1608].

Taraweeh from Shia Reports:

(c). Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa ibn ‘Ubayd from Yunus from abu al-‘Abbas al-Baqbaq and ‘Ubayd ibn Zurarah who has said the following: “Abu Abd Allah(as), has said that the Messenger of Allah(saws), would increase his salat (prayer) during the month of Ramadan. After al-Atmah(Isha prayer), he would perform more prayers. People behind would stand up (for prayer), but he would go inside and leave them. Then, after he came out, they would come and stand up behind him (for prayer), but he would leave them and go inside several times.’ He (the narrator) has said that the Imam then said, ‘You must not perform salat (prayer) after al-Atmah(Isha prayer), during the times other than the month of Ramadan.’ [Al-Kafi, vol. 4, page 94] [Majlisi declared the hadeeth as Sahih in Miraat al-Uqool, vol 16, page 378].

(d). Ali ibn Al-Hassan ibn Fadhal has narrated from Isma’il ibn Mehran from Al-Hassan ibn Al-Hassan Al-Marwazi from Younus ibn Abdur-Rahman from Muhammad ibn Yahya who has said the following: I was with Abu Abdullah(as), when he was asked if one should increase his optional prayer during the month of Ramadan. He said: “Yes, the Messenger of Allah(saws), would increase his prayer during the month of Ramadan, after Al-‘Atmah(Isha prayer), he would perform more prayers in his mosque. People would gather behind him for prayer, but when their numbers increased, he would go inside his house and leave them. When the people dispersed, he came back to the mosque and prayed as he did before, and when the number of people increased behind him, he left them and entered his house again, he did this several times‘. [Tahdhib Al-Ahkam, vol 3, page 68].

Note: Isha prayer was called al-Atmah prayer by the people. [See Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 1, page 337, #564].

Comment: The above Shia narrations clearly prove that Prophet(SAWS) would pray after Isha in the mosque and – (just like in Sunni books) – that the Prophet(SAWS) would come to the mosque and when the crowd would increase, he would go to his home, and AGAIN come back to mosque when the crowed had decreased, and unlike Sunni hadiths, these narrations do NOT limit this practice of the Prophet(SAWS) to 3-4 days i.e. we have Shia narrations asserting that the Prophet(SAWS) consistently and repeatedly performed his Ramadan night prayer (Qiyam) in the mosque, with a congregation behind him. The narration (in Tahdhib) uses the term ‘miraaran‘, i.e. several times, to indicate that he didn’t just lead congregational night prayers in Ramadan (i.e. Tarawih) once or twice, but rather many times. A point worth noting is that, If  prayer after Isha in congregation was prohibited as Shias claim, then why didn’t Prophet(SAWS) stop on the very first time. This point indicates to the fact, that the reason for stopping this prayer in congregation was NOT not because there is something wrong with this prayer, or something wrong in the congregation rather the problem was related to its popularity, and the fear that it might be made obligatory on the people.

 

Argument I(b):
A Shia website stated:

Sunnies present this Tradition of Abu Dhar, and then claim it to be authentic too. But what they don’t realize that they are big fools if they are authenticating this tradition, while it is CONTRADICTING much more Authentic Traditions of Sahih Bukhari and others, they are in Tawattur as compared to this lone tradition of Abu Dhar.

Answer:

Due to their bias, Shias have failed to understand a simple matter. The reason Hadeeth of Abu Dhar(RA) differs(not contradicts) from the Hadeeth of Ayesha(RA) in Bukhari, is because it is about a different occassion. Shias themselves try to list out the multiple ways the Hadeeth of Abu Dhar(RA) differs(or contradicts as per Shia) from the Hadeeth of Ayesha(RA) and Zaid bin Thabit(RA) in order to cast doubts  on it, but they don’t realize that all those differences are a clear proof of it being a different occassion. Moreover, Abu Dhar(RA) wasn’t alone in narrating it, rather a similar report was narrated by Nu’man bin Bashir(RA).

 

Argument I(c) :
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:
Allah’s Apostle made a small room (with a palm leaf mat). Allah’s Apostle came out (of his house) and prayed in it. Some men came and joined him in his prayer. Then again the next night they came for the prayer, but Allah’s Apostle delayed and did not come out to them. So they raised their voices and knocked the door with small stones (to draw his attention). He came out to them in a state of ANGER, saying, “You are still insisting (on your deed, i.e. Tarawih prayer in the mosque) that I thought that this prayer (Tarawih) might become obligatory on you. So you people, offer this prayer (i.e. Tahajjud or the so called Tarawih) at your homes, for the best prayer of a person is the one which he offers at home, except the compulsory (congregational) prayer.”
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 134

We can see that Rasool (saw) cited this Tahajjud (or the so called Tarawih) Prayer, and stated:

  1. Offer this Tahajjud (or so called Tarawih) prayer at your homes.

  2. Conduct the said prayer individually not in congregation at home.

  3. These individual Nawafil exceed those offered in a Mosque until Qiyammah whether or not the Prophet (s) is alive is an irrelevant consideration)

Answer:

Answer to these arguments is in the hadeeth itself, which unfortunately Shias failed to understand. The reason that the Prophet(SAWS) gave for discontinuing the night prayer in congregation was that, he(SAWS) feared that this prayer might become obligatory and then the people would not be able to do it. The point worth reflecting over is that the Prophet(SAWS), even after knowing that people were joining behind him in congregation, went on to continue this prayer in the Mosque in congregation for 3-4 days, and it was only after the crowd increased, that the Prophet(SAWS) stopped. Why didn’t he stop on the very first day when he noticed the small crowd? This point indicates to the fact, that the reason for stopping this prayer in congregation was NOT not because there is something wrong with this prayer, or something wrong in the congregation rather the problem was related to its popularity, because if praying the night prayer in congregation (Taraweeh) was haram, the Prophet(SAWS) would not continue for 3-4 days, rather he would formally inform the people on the very first day that this prayer should not be performed in congregation in the mosque.

Respected Sunni Scholars answered this argument in similar manner.

(i). Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said:

The Prophet(saws) used to encourage and urge people to pray qiyaam in Ramadan. At his time, the people used to pray qiyaam in the mosque, in scattered groups and individually, and he(saws) led his companions in praying qiyaam in Ramadan for several nights. Then he stopped doing that, on the basis that he feared that it might be made obligatory for them, then they would be unable to do it, but there was no fear of that after he(saws) died. [Jaami‘ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam, page 597-598, hadeeth #28].

(ii). Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad Ibn Taymiyah stated:

With regard to qiyaam in Ramadaan, the Messenger of Allaah(SAWS) introduced this to his ummah, and he led them in prayer for a number of nights, because at his time they used to pray in congregation and individually. But he did not persist in leading them in one congregation, lest that be made obligatory for them. When the Prophet(saws) died, sharee’ah was established (and would not change after that). When ‘Umar(ra) became caliph, he united them behind one imam, Ubayy ibn Ka’b, who united the people in one congregation on the orders of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab(ra). ‘Umar(RA) was one of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, of whom the Prophet(SAWS) said: “I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the way of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs after me; cling tightly to it.” So what he did was Sunnah. [Majmu al-Fatawa li Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, vol 11, page 498].

(iii). Imam Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr stated:

This indicates that praying qiyaam in Ramadan is one of the Sunnahs of the Prophet(saws) and is recommended and encouraged. It was not introduced by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, rather he revived something that the Messenger of Allaah(saws) loved and approved of. Nothing stopped Prophet(saws) from doing it regularly except the fear that it might be made obligatory upon his ummah. He(saws) was kind and compassionate towards his ummah. ‘Umar knew from the Messenger of Allaah(saws) that the obligatory duties would not be increased or decreased after his death(saws), so he revived this practice and enjoined it upon the people. That happened in 14 AH, and ‘Umar has the honour of being the one who revived this Sunnah.  [Al-Tamheed, vol 8, page 108-109].

As for the claim that praying voluntary prayer(Nafil) at home is better, then that doesn’t make praying voluntary prayer at mosque as prohibited or unlawful. Even Shias pray voluntary prayers after obligatory prayer in mosque. The only thing that can be argued based on this report is that, praying voluntary prayer at home is better and more virtuous. For example, reciting long Surah in night prayers(Qiyaam) is better but that doesn’t make recitation of short Surah as prohibited. To understand this point in a more proper manner, let’s see the below report.

It was narrated that Umm Humayd the wife of Abu Humayd al-Saa’idi came to the Prophet(saws) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I like to pray with you.” He said, “I know that you like to pray with me, but your prayer in your room is better for you than your prayer in your courtyard and your prayer in your courtyard is better for you than your praying in your house, and your prayer in your house is better for you than your prayer in the mosque of your people, and your prayer in the mosque of your people is better for you than your prayer in my mosque.” So she issued orders that a prayer-place be prepared for her in the furthest and darkest part of her house, and she used to pray there until she met Allaah (i.e., died).” [Musnad Ahmad, vol 45, page 37-38, #27090 : Hasan as per Shuaib Arnaut ; This hadeeth was classed as Sahih by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Saheeh #1689; al-Albani in Sahih al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 1/135 ; al-Hafidh ibn Hajar in al-Fath 2/350 said Isnad Hasan].

Now, just because Prophet(SAWS) said, that prayer for a woman is better in her home, that doesn’t mean women are prohibited from praying in a mosque. In the same way praying voluntary prayer(Nafil) in mosque is not prohibited.

Infact, as per Shia reports we cited before, Prophet(SAWS) himself prayed voluntary prayer during Ramadan in the Mosque.

 

II. Evidence for offering Voluntary Prayer in Congregation.

Argument:
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Side Comment: Nawafil (optional) prayers cannot be offered in Congregation (Jammah).

This is an undeniable fact and but the advocates of Tarawih will argue why Rasool (saww) offered the Nawafil of Tahajjud (which is also known as Qiyam-ul-Lail) in congregation over three nights?

The answer is, Rasool (saw) didn’t offer any optional prayers during those three nights, he offered the compulsory prayers, which is why others were permitted to pray behind him (s) in congregation.

Qiyyam-ul-Lail was made compulsory for Rasool (saw) by Allah (swt) who states:

وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا

[Shakir 17:79] And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.

Rasool (saw) was only offering the Compulsory Prayer with the Niyyah (intention) of “Fardh” فرض , when others behind him, they only followed the Niyyah of Imam.

It is wrong to suggest that Rasool (saw) ever offered optional prayers behind a congregation made the Jamma’ah for any Nafl Prayer during his whole life. That is why he stressed that the Tahajjud (or so called Tarawih) prayers be offered at home.

Answer:

Again, this claim by Shias is based on their lack of knowledge and ignorance. Night prayer on Prophet(SAWS), was made obligatory in Makkah when Surah Muzammil(Makki Surah) was revealed and this command was abrogated after an year, after that Night prayer became supererogatory.

Sa’d bin Hisham asked to Ayesha(RA) : Inform me about the observance (of the night prayer) of the Messenger of Allah (SAWS). Ayesha(RA) said: Did you not recite:” O thou wrapped up”? He said: Yes. She said: Allah, the Exalted and the Glorious, made the observance of the night prayer at the beginning of this Surah obligatory. So the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) and his Companions around him observed this (night prayer) for one year. Allah held back the concluding portion of this Surah for twelve months in the Heaven till (at the end of this period) Allah revealed the concluding verses of this Surah which lightened (the burden of this prayer), and the night prayer became a supererogatory prayer after being an obligatory one. [Sahih Muslim, vol 2, page 259, #746].

Secondly, We have already proven from reliable traditions of Abu Dhar(ra) AND An-Nu’man bin Bashir(ra) that Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) prayed Taraweeh(Nafil prayer) in congregation and it wasn’t the Tahajjud prayer as per Shiapen’s definition.

However, to educate Shias of their utter ignorance, we would like to quote several other reports where in we find that either Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) himself led Nafil prayer in congregation or approved those who prayed Nafil in congregation, which makes the Shia claim null and void.

(a). Mahmud bin Rabi’ Al-Ansari, who remembered that the Messenger of Allah(saws) spat a mouthful of water from a bucket into a well that belonged to them, narrated that : ‘Itban bin Malik As-Salimi who was the chief of his people Banu Salim and had participated in (the battle of) Badr with the Messenger of Allah(saws) said: “I came to the Messenger of Allah(saws) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, my sight is failing and the flood comes and prevents me from reaching the mosque of my people, and it is too hard for me to cross the water. Do you think you could come and perform prayer in my house in a place which I can then take as a place of prayer?’ He said: ‘I will do that.’ The following day, the Messenger of Allah(saws) and Abu Bakr(ra) came, when the heat of the day had grown intense. He asked permission to enter, and I gave him permission. He did not sit down until he said: ‘Where would you like me to perform prayer for you in your house?’ I showed him the place where I wanted him to pray, so the Messenger of Allah stood and we lined up behind him, and he led us in praying two Rak’ah (units). Then I asked him to stay and eat some Khazirah that had been prepared for them.'” [Sunan ibn Majah, vol 1, page 493-494, #754 : Sahih as per Zubair Ali Za’ee] ;  [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 2, page 166, #1186].

(b). Narrated Anas: The Apostle of Allah(saws) came to us and there was none in our house but I, my mother and my aunt Umm Haram. He (the Holy Prophet) said: Stand up so that I may lead you in prayer (and there was no time for prescribed prayer). He led us in prayer. A person said to Thabit: Where stood Anas with him (the Holy Prophet)? He replied: He was on the right side. He then blessed us, the members of the household with every good of this world and of the Hereafter. My mother said: Messenger of Allah (and then, pointing towards Anas, said), here is your little servant, invoke the blessing of Allah upon him too. He then blessed me with every good, and he concluded his blessings for me (with these words): Allah! increase his wealth, and his children and make (them the source of) blessing for him. [Sahih Muslim, vol 2, page 163, #1501Chapter: It is permissible to offer voluntary prayers in congregation….].

(c). Narrated ‘Ishaq: Anas bin Malik said, “My grandmother Mulaika invited Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) for a meal which she herself had prepared. He ate from it and said, ‘Get up! I will lead you in the prayer.’ ” Anas added, “I took my Hasir, washed it with water as it had become dark because of long use and Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) stood on it. The orphan (Damira or Ruh) and I aligned behind him and the old lady (Mulaika) stood behind us. Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) led us in the prayer and offered two rak’at and then left.” [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, page 255-256, #380] ; [Sahih Muslim, vol 2, page 162, #1499].

(d). Narrated Jaabir(RA) that Ubayy Ibn Ka’ab(RA) came to the Messenger of Allaah(SAWS) and said, “I did something yesterday night(of Ramadan)” the Messenger of Allaah said, “What did you do?” he said, “Some women came to my house and said we don’t know much Qur’aan so we shall pray behind you and will listen to the Qur’aan.” So I led them in 8 raka’hs of prayer and offered the Witr prayer.” The Messenger of Allaah(SAWS) remained silent and as if he approved it.” [Musnad Abu Ya’la, vol 2, page 359, #1803] ; [Majma al-Zawaid, vol 2, page 74 ; Isnad Hasan as per al-Haythami] ; [Zubair Ali Za’ee declared the chain as Hasan in Tadad Rakat Qayam-e-Ramzan ka Tahqeeqi Jaiza, page 21].

(e). A’ishah(RA) said: During Ramadan, the people used to pray at night inside the mosque of the Prophet (saw) and they’d be in random groups. If a man has memorized some Qur’an, he’d lead a party of five or six in these prayers. In one of these nights the Prophet (saw) ordered me to prepare for him a prayer mat outside my room and after he prayed the last Isha he left. Upon his arrival at the mosque, people gathered around him so he led them in long prayers during the night. [Musnad Ahmad, vol 43, page 332-334, #26307 ; Grade: Sahih liGhayrihi].

(f). Narrated Thalaba bin Abi Malik al-Qurdhai(Taba’ee) AND Abu Huraira(Sahabi) : The Messenger of Allah(SAWS) came out and saw that the people were praying during (the night of) Ramadan in the corner of the mosque. He asked: Who are these people ? It was said to him that those were people who had not learnt Quran. But Ubayy bin Ka’b is praying and they would pray behind him. The Prophet(SAWS) said: They did right and it is good what they did. [Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi, vol 2, page 697, #4611 : Bayhaqi said Mursal Hasan] ; [Sunan Abu Dawood, vol 2, page 141-142, #1377 : Hasan as per Zubair Ali Za’ee] ; [al-Albani said: There is Mawsool(connected) report in  Sunan Abu Dawud 1377 which isn’t problematic to be used in Mutabiat(support) and Shawahid. Salat al-Taraweeh, page 9].

Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Taymiyah said:

Voluntary prayers done in congregation are of two types, one of which it is Sunnah to do in congregation, such as the eclipse prayer, prayers for rain, and qiyaam during Ramadaan (Taraweeh). These are always done in congregation as is the Sunnah. The second type are not done in congregation, such as qiyaam al-layl, the regular Sunnah prayers, Duha prayer, tahiyyat al-masjid (greeting the mosque) and so on. But if they are done in congregation occasionally, that is permissible. As for doing them in congregation on an ongoing basis, that is not prescribed, rather it is a reprehensible innovation. The Prophet(SAWS) and the Sahabaah and Taabi’een were not accustomed to offering naafil prayers in congregation. The Prophet(SAWS) only rarely offered voluntary prayers in congregation. He used to pray qiyaam al-layl on his own, but when Ibn ‘Abbaas stayed overnight with him, he prayed with him. On another occasion, Hudhayfah prayed with him, and on another occasion Ibn Mas’ood prayed with him. Similarly he also prayed at the house of ‘Utbaan ibn Maalik al-Ansaari, in a place that he (‘Utbaan) took as a prayer place for himself, so he prayed with him, and he also led Anas and his mother and the orphan in prayer, but in general his voluntary prayers were offered alone. [Majmu al-Fatawa li Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, vol 23, page 413-414]

Shias made exception for certain non-obligatory prayer in congregation:

Aside of the evidences from Sunni sources, we find that even Shias made exception for praying certain voluntary prayer in congregation, they view that “Salat al-Istisqa(prayer for rain)” which is non-obligatory prayer and an optional prayer, can be offered in congregation. Hence they shouldn’t have a problem if Sunnis following the Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS) pray Taraweeh in congregation during Ramadan only, as an exception.

Shia Ayatullah Sayyid Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani stated:

Mustahab prayers as a precaution cannot be offered in congregation in any situation, except Istisqa prayers (invoked for the rain) or prayers which were obligatory at one time, but became Mustahab later, like, Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Azha prayers, which are obligatory during the presence of Ma’soom Imam (A.S.) and are Mustahab during his occultation. {Fatwa Screenshot} ; {Sistani.org online}.

Shia Ayatullah Sayyid Mohammed Saeed al-Hakeem stated:

It is permissible to offer the five daily prayers, including the Friday prayers, in congregation as well as the prayer of Signs (Ayat), prayer on the deceased, Eid prayers and the prayer of Istisqa (for the seeking of rain). {Fatwa Screenshot} ; {alhakeem.com online}.

 

III. Umar(RA) used the term “Good Bidah” in Linguistic sense not Shara’i sense.

Argument III(a) :
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Narrated Abu Huraira: Ibn Shihab (a sub-narrator) said, “Allah’s Apostle died and the people continued observing that (i.e. Nawafil offered individually, not in congregation), and it remained as it was during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and in the early days of ‘Umar’s Caliphate.” ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Abdul Qari said, “I went out in the company of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, ‘Umar said, ‘in my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter) (i.e. let them pray in congregation!)’. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka’b. Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, ‘Umar remarked, ‘what an excellent Bid’a (i.e. innovation in religion) this is; but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.’ He meant the prayer in the last part of the night(Tahajjut). Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 227

Maulana Waheed uz Zaman Khan in his commentary of Bukhari wrote the following relating to this hadith:

“From the words of Hadhrat Umar (i.e. what a good Innovation), it becomes clear that he did not personally join that prayer. Perhaps Hadhrat Umar thought that Nafl prayers are better at home and during the latter part of the night. Muhammad bin Nasr Marozi narrated that Ibn Abbas said that he was with Umar that people started making noises. Upon this Hadhrat Umar inquired what was that. Others told him that people are going back after offering Tarawih. Hearing this, Hadhrt Umar said: “The night that has been left, is better that what has passed away”

Ahle Sunnah as well as Nawasib/Wahabies claim that:

  • One can pray Nawafil in a mosque congregation (as the Sahaba were praying in small congregations in above mentioned hadith)
  • Umar didn’t start an entirely new Innovation, but he merely formalised a practice wherein those Sahaba that had hitherto prayed in small group congregations could now do so in a single large congregation

And our reply is as follows:

  • Umar had merely replaced a Bidah of the Sahaba playing Nawafil in congregations with another Biddah, namely them all praying in a single congregation. Replacing one Bidah, with another Biddah does not make that Bidah a halal act!

  • As Caliph, it was obligatory upon Umar Ibn Khattab to stop those people (who were praying in small congregations) from this Biddah. Unfortunately rather than cutail such a Bidah, he placed his support behind it, by formalising it and publicising it!

Answer:

As we have proven from reliable reports that Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) himself prayed Taraweeh in congregation and he even prayed other Nafil prayers in congregation, this refutes the Shia allegation that Sahaba who were praying Taraweeh in congregation BEFORE Umar(RA) united them behind one Imam, was a (Shara’i) Bidah. Sahaba were praying in congregation because unlike Shias, they knew & understood the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(saws) very well, they knew that Prophet(saws) himself led people in Taraweeh.

As for Umar’s(RA) usage of the word Bidah for Taraweeh then that wasn’t used in a Shara’i manner, rather he used it in a Lughwi(linguistic) manner. The only new thing Umar(RA) did was to congregate people in one large group behind one Imam, whereas before they were praying in different small groups, and it is this act which he called “Bidah”, and that too in the lingual sense, not in the Sharia sense, because “Bidah” means “something new” in the lingual sense, whereas in the religious sense, it means adding something new to the religion and that is haram(prohibited), but in the lingual sense it is not haram otherwise cars and refrigerators would be haram because these are all modern inventions and innovations. Thus what needs to be understood is that people were already praying behind different Imams in small groups. According to this narration, all Umar did was he combined all the small groups into one large group so that they could pray behind one Imam rather than several different Imams, and it is this administrative decision which he called “a good innovation”, and Indeed, it was a good innovation (lingually). Thus, he wasn’t referring to the prayer as an innovation, because the prayer had been going on since the time of the Prophet(SAWS), rather he called his administrative decision to combine all the different Jamaats into one uniform Jamaat behind a single Imam a good innovation.

The statement of Umar(ra) was explained by Scholars in the following manner.

(a). Imam Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: 

This indicates that praying qiyaam in Ramadaan is one of the Sunnahs of the Prophet(SAWS) and is recommended and encouraged. It was not introduced by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, rather he revived something that the Messenger of Allaah(SAWS) loved and approved of. Nothing stopped him from doing it regularly except the fear that it might be made obligatory upon his ummah. He(SAWS) was kind and compassionate towards his ummah. ‘Umar knew from the Messenger of Allaah(SAWS) that the obligatory duties would not be increased or decreased after his death(SAWS), so he revived this practice and enjoined it upon the people. That happened in 14 AH, and ‘Umar has the honour of being the one who revived this Sunnah.  [Al-Tamheed, vol 8, page 108-109].

(b). Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said: 

With regard to what was said by some of the Salaf(earlier generations) about regarding some innovations as good, that refers to innovation in the linguistic sense, not in the technical shar‘i sense. An example of that is what ‘Umar(RA) said, when he united the people in praying qiyaam in Ramadan behind a single imam in the mosque; when he came out and saw the people praying in that manner, he said: What a good innovation this is. And it was narrated from him that he said: If this is an innovation, then what a good innovation. What he meant was that this deed had not been done in this manner before this time, but it had a basis in Islamic teaching that may be referred to, such as the fact that the Prophet(SAWS) used to encourage and urge people to pray qiyaam in Ramadan. At his time, the people used to pray qiyaam in the mosque, in scattered groups and individually, and he(SAWS) led his companions in praying qiyaam in Ramadan for several nights. Then he stopped doing that, on the basis that he feared that it might be made obligatory for them, then they would be unable to do it, but there was no fear of that after he(SAWS) died. [Jaami‘ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam, page 597-598, hadeeth #28].

(c). Imam Ibn Kathir said:

Every newly-invented matter is an innovation [and every innovation is misguidance]. And bidah is of two types. Sometimes it is a bidah shar’iyyah (with its Shariah meaning), such as his saying, “For every newly-invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance…” and sometimes it is a bidah lughawiyyah (with its linguistic meaning), such as the saying of Amir al-Mu’minin Umar bin al-Khattab regarding his uniting them together for the Tarawih prayer and making them maintain this practice, “What an excellent innovation this is…” [Tafseer al-Quran al-Adheem, vol 1, page 398].

(d). Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Taymiyah said: 

Umar described taraweeh prayer as good innovation in linguistic terms, not in a technical shar‘i sense. That is because the word innovation (bid‘ah), in linguistic terms, includes everything that is introduced without precedent. With regard to innovation (bid‘ah) in the technical, shar‘i sense, this refers to something for which there is no shar‘i evidence.  If the words of the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) indicate that something is recommended or obligatory after his death, or is indicated in general terms, even though it was not done until after his death – such as the book of charity [a document that listed the rates of zakaah on livestock] that Abu Bakr(RA) issued – then doing that action after his death may correctly be called an innovation in linguistic terms, because it was something new. In fact the very religion that the Prophet(SAWS) brought may be called an innovation and may be called something new in linguistic terms, as the envoys of Quraysh said to the Negus (ruler of Abyssinia) concerning the companions of the Prophet(SAWS) who migrated to Abyssinia: These people left the religion of their forefathers and did not enter the religion of the King [i.e., Christianity]; rather they brought an innovated religion that is not known. Moreover, a deed which is supported by the Qur’an and Sunnah is not an innovation in shar‘i terms, even if it may be described as an innovation in linguistic terms. The word innovation is more general in meaning in the linguistic sense than in the technical shar‘i sense. It is known that the words of the Prophet(SAWS), “Every innovation is a going astray,” do not refer to every new thing that is done. In fact the religion of Islam – and indeed every religion brought by the Messengers – was a new thing. Rather what he meant is what is newly introduced of deeds (in the religion) that were not prescribed by him(SAWS).  As that is the case, they used to pray the qiyaam of Ramadan (i.e., Taraweeh) at the time of the Prophet(SAWS) both in congregation and individually. He said to them on the third or fourth night, when they gathered: “Nothing prevented me from coming out to join you except the fact that I would not like it to be made obligatory for you. So pray in your houses, for the best prayer a man can offer is in his house, except the prescribed obligatory prayers.” So he(SAWS) explained the reason why he did not come out (to lead them in Taraweeh prayers), which was the fear that it might be made obligatory. Thus it is known that the reason for his coming out to join them was still valid, and that were it not for the fear of it being made obligatory, he would have come out to join them.  But at the time of ‘Umar’s caliphate, he(RA) united them behind a single reciter and put lamps in the mosque. This way of doing it – which was to gather in the mosque behind a single imam, with lamps in the mosque – was something that they had not done before, hence it was called an innovation, because it may be described as such in linguistic terms, but it was not an innovation in shar‘i terms, because the Sunnah indicates that it was a righteous deed, were it not for the fear that it might be made obligatory. Fear that it might be made obligatory ceased with the death of the Prophet(SAWS), so there was no longer any reason not to do it.  [Iqtida’ as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, page 593-595].

(e). Allama Ibn ‘Abideen said:

It was mentioned in al-Ikhtiyaar (a Hanafi book of fiqh) that Abu Yusuf asked Abu Hanifah about Umar’s action and Abu Hanifah responded back by saying that Taraaweeh is a Sunnah Mu’akkadah and that Umar didn’t do it from his own self as an innovator, for the foundation of his action is from the Prophet(SAWS). [Radd al-Muhtaar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtaar , vol 2, page 493].

(f). Ibn Hajar al-Haytami said the same thing (i.e. that it’s only a bid’ah in the linguistic sense) and that it is not a bid’ah in the sense of Shariah. [al-Fataawah al-Hadeetheeyah, page 484].

(g). Shaykh al-Albani stated: 

The words of ‘Umar, “What a good innovation this is”, do not refer to innovation in the technical shar‘i sense, which means introducing something into the religion with no precedent. Rather he was referring to innovation in a linguistic sense, which is something new that was not known before he introduced it. There can be no doubt that offering Taraweeh prayer in congregation behind a single imam was not known or practised during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and the first half of ‘Umar’s caliphate, so in that sense it was something new. But because it was in accordance with what the Prophet(SAWS) did, it is Sunnah and is not an innovation, and he only described it is good because of that. [Salat al-Taraweeh, page 43].

(h). Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: 

The scholars have explained that what ‘Umar meant by that was the linguistic sense, according to Arabic usage, because he(ra) united the people behind a single imam, whereas at the time of the Prophet(SAWS) and Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq they used to pray in scattered groups. During his(RA) time, he united them behind a single imam; he passed by them one night as they were praying and said: What a good innovation this is, i.e., uniting them behind a single imam in an ongoing and organised fashion. This has to do with the linguistic meaning according to Arabic usage; he did not mean that it was an innovations in the technical, shar‘i sense. It is not possible that he(RA) could have introduced or approved of (reprehensible) innovations. [Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb vol 3, page 33-34].

(i). Imam al-Bayhaqi said:

Prophet(SAWS) left it due to the fear that it would become an obligation to the Ummah , and Umar(RA) did not fear this as what Prophet(SAWS) feared and he saw that to make them pray the Taraweeh under one Imaam is not against Quran , Sunnah , Ijma and hence it’s not Bidah of misguidance(Bidah Shariah), rather it’s a new matter which has foundation in Deen from the report of Ayesha(RA) regarding the prayer of the Prophet(SAWS). [Sunan al-Sagheer, vol 1 page 297, #817].

(j). Abul Hassan ibn Battal said that the reason why Umar revived the Prophet’s Sunnah of Taraweeh was because the reason for the Prophet’s discouragement (i.e. that it would become compulsory on the ummah) disappeared. [Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari li Ibn Battal, vol 4, page 147]

(k). Imam al-Hakim after quoting a hadeeth stated:

وفيه الدليل الواضح أن صلاة التراويح في مساجد المسلمين سنة مسنونة وقد كان علي بن أبي طالب يحث عمر رضي الله عنهما على إقامة هذه السنة إلى أن أقامها

A clear evidence is present in this report that, Muslims praying Taraweeh in the Mosques is Masnoon Sunnah. Ali ibn Abi Talib(ra) used to urge Umar(ra) to establish this Sunnah, until he eventually established it. [Mustadrak al Hakim, vol 1, page 607, #1608].

(l). Imam Al-Shatibi stated:

Salat al-Tarawih during Ramadan in congregation in the mosque, since the Prophet(SAWS) established it and the people gathered behind him. Al-Shatibi quotes the narrations in this regard from the Sunan of Abu Dawud. He explains that the Messenger(alayhis salaam) stopped praying tarawih in the mosque after three days because he feared it might be made obligatory on the Ummah which may cause them hardship, citing the hadith of Ayesha(ra) in Sahih al-Bukhari. Al-Shatibi says: Pay careful attention, for in this hadith is that which proves it is sunnah since his standing [in prayer] with them first is a proof for the standing in the mosque in congregation during Ramadan and his prohibition to come out after that, for fear of it becoming obligatory, does not prove it is absolutely prohibited because his age was the age of revelation and legislation, so it was possible revelation would come to him if he practiced it with the people with persistence. Thus when the cause of legislation disappeared with the death of Allah’s Messenger(SAWS), the matter returned to its origin, and the permissibility is established, as nothing abrogated it. Abu Bakr did not establish it for one of two reasons: either because he saw people standing in the last part of the night and what they were on was better according to him than their gathering under an imam in the first part of the night – this was mentioned by al-Turtushi; or because of the shortness of his time to look into these peripheral matters along with his preoccupations with the apostates and other than that which was more pressing than Salat al-Tarawih. And when Islam became established in the time of ‘Umar(RA) and he saw people in the mosque scattered, as has come in the narration, he said, ‘it would better if these [people] gathered under one reciter’ and when that was done for him, he drew attention to the prayer in the last part of the night being better. Then the predecessors agreed on the correctness of this and its approval, and the ummah does not agree on misguidance. Legal theorists have explicated that ijma’ is not but a [result] of evidence from the Shari’a. “If it is said that Umar (RA) called it a bid’ah and deemed it good by his statement “what a blessed bid’ah this is” so when one bid’ah is deemed good in the Shar’iah, the general [principle] of deeming bid’ah good is established. The response is: ‘Umar only called it bid’ah by consideration of the apparent situation from the perspective that Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) left it and it so happened that it did not occur in the time of Abu Bakr(RA), not that it is bid’ah in the [proper] sense. Thus, whoever calls it bid’ah by this consideration there is no fundamental quarrel, and thereupon it is not permissible to adduce this as proof for the permissibility of innovation in the sense discussed [previously], because that is a kind of distortion of words from their [proper] contexts.[al-I’tisaam, vol 1, page 323-327].

Even Zaidi Shia regarded Taraweeh as Sunnah:

On page 185, The great Zaidi Shia Imam  Yahya bin Hamzah bin Ali bin Ibrahim al-Hussaini(died 749 AH) strongly criticises fellow Zaidis for their rejection of Tarawih. He argues that it is an established Sunnah, prayed by the Prophet(SAWS), ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib(RA) and other Sahabah.

On page 186, The great Zaidi Shia Imam  Yahya bin Hamzah bin Ali bin Ibrahim al-Hussaini emphasises the legality of Tarawih and that it is an established Sunnah according to great Imams and jurists of Ahl Al-Bayt such as: Imam Zaid ibn ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah ibn Al-Hassan and ‘Abdullah ibn Musa ibn Ja’far (i.e. Al-Sadiq). [Al-Intisar ‘ala ‘Ulama Al-Amsar, vol 4, page 185-186].

 

Argument III(b) :
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Umar’s advocates claim that he started Tarawih in order to revive the Sunnah of our Rasool (saw), who had offered Tahajjud prayers for three nights in his mosque. This is again conjecture, at no point did Umar insist that he was merely reinstituting the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) who had offered congregational Tahajjud prayers in the mosque for three nights.

Contrary to this, when Umar Ibn Khattab introduced Tarawih (after Isha Prayers) he said: “A good New Innovation”. If today’s Salafis insist that Umar’s usage of the words ‘Good New Innovation’ that merely meant reviving the Sunnah of the Prophet (s), they are again adopting conjecture that has no basis in the eyes of Allah (swt).

Answer:

Shia in their blind hatred became so blind that they could not even properly see what Umar(RA) actually did in the first place. He did not convert Qiyaam from an individual act of worship to a congregational act of worship, nor did he transform it from act of worship done privately at home to an act of worship done publicly in the Masjid, because he didn’t need to do so, since people were already praying it in small Jamaat in public in the Masjid even before Umar(RA) entered the Masjid on that fateful night.

‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Abdul Qari said, “I went out in the company of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 32, Number 227].

Therefore, the congregational aspect of Qiyaam was already well-established and in practice even before Umar(RA) came into the picture, since Sahaba were well aware of the Sunnah and teachings of Prophet(SAWS).

 

(IV). The Evidence of Praying Taraweeh for whole month of Ramadan.

Argument:
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Why do Wahabies pray Tarawih for 30 Nights of Ramadhan in congregation?

  1. Our Rasool (saw) offered Tahajjud congregational prayers (or so called Tarawih) for just three nights during Ramadhan. Why have you extended this Sunnah of three nights to an entire thirty nights during Ramadhan?

  2. Moreover, why have you restricted it to the thirty nights of Ramadhan and not three hundred and sixty five nights a year? (i.e. Did Rasool ever tell you that this Congregational Tarawih prayer can only be offered during Ramadhan and would be Haram and would be rendered haram if replicated during other times of the year?)

Answer:

Reply to Point #1.

The evidence of Praying whole month of Ramadan in congregation with an Imam is derived from the below two reports and how the Sahaba understood the statements and wish of Prophet(Saws).

(a). Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) saying regarding Ramadan, “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.”[Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 3, page 135, #2008].

(b). It was narrated that Abu Dhar(ra) said: “We fasted Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah(SAWS), and the Prophet(SAWS) did not lead us in Qiyam until there were seven days left of the month, then he led us in Qiyam until one-third of the night had passed. Then, when there were six days left, he did not lead us in Qiyam. When there were five days left, he led us in praying Qiyam until half the night had passed. We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah(SAW), why don’t you lead us in praying Qiyam for the rest of the night?’ He(SAWS) said:If a man prays with the Imam until he leaves, that will be continued for him as if he spent the whole night in prayer.’  [Sunan al-Nasai, vol 2, page 303-304, #1365 ; Sahih as Zubair Ali Za’ee] ; [Jami al-Tirmidhi, vol 2, page 230-231, #806 ; Hasan Sahih as per al-Tirmidhi] ; [Sunan Abu Dawood, page 237, #1375 ; Sahih as per Albani].

(c). Imam Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said:

Praying qiyaam in Ramadaan is one of the Sunnahs of the Prophet(SAWS) and is recommended and encouraged. It was not introduced by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, rather he revived something that the Messenger of Allaah(SAWS) loved and approved of. Nothing stopped him from doing it regularly except the fear that it might be made obligatory upon his ummah. He(SAWS) was kind and compassionate towards his ummah. ‘Umar knew from the Messenger of Allaah(SAWS) that the obligatory duties would not be increased or decreased after his death(SAWS), so he revived this practice and enjoined it upon the people. That happened in 14 AH, and ‘Umar has the honour of being the one who revived this Sunnah.  [Al-Tamheed, vol 8, page 108-109].

(d). Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said:

The Prophet(SAWS) used to encourage and urge people to pray qiyaam in Ramadan. At his time, the people used to pray qiyaam in the mosque, in scattered groups and individually, and he(SAWS) led his companions in praying qiyaam in Ramadan for several nights. Then he stopped doing that, on the basis that he feared that it might be made obligatory for them, then they would be unable to do it, but there was no fear of that after he(SAWS) died[Jaami‘ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hikam, page 597-598, hadeeth #28].

(e). Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Taymiyah said:

As that is the case, they(Sahaba) used to pray the qiyaam of Ramadan (i.e., Taraweeh) at the time of the Prophet(SAWS) both in congregation and individually. He said to them on the third or fourth night, when they gathered: “Nothing prevented me from coming out to join you except the fact that I would not like it to be made obligatory for you. So pray in your houses, for the best prayer a man can offer is in his house, except the prescribed obligatory prayers.” So he(SAWS) explained the reason why he did not come out (to lead them in Taraweeh prayers), which was the fear that it might be made obligatory. Thus it is known that the reason for his coming out to join them was still valid, and that were it not for the fear of it being made obligatory, he would have come out to join them.… Fear that it might be made obligatory ceased with the death of the Prophet(SAWS), so there was no longer any reason not to do it.  [Iqtida’ as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, page 593-595].

Reply to Point #2:

The simple answer to the question that why Taraweeh is not performed in a Mosque outside the month of Ramadan is that, such a practise isn’t proven from the Sunnah of Prophet(saws). If Shias don’t find this simple response to be satisfactory then we would like to respond them from their own Shia hadeeth, where we find that the Imam ordered not to perform prayer after Isha in other than the month of Ramadan. Which implies that after Isha there is a prayer specifically in Ramadan.

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa ibn ‘Ubayd from Yunus from abu al-‘Abbas al-Baqbaq and ‘Ubayd ibn Zurarah who has said the following: “Abu Abd Allah(as), has said that the Messenger of Allah(saws), would increase his salat (prayer) during the month of Ramadan. After al-Atmah(Isha prayer), he would perform more prayers. People behind would stand up (for prayer), but he would go inside and leave them. Then, after he came out, they would come and stand up behind him (for prayer), but he would leave them and go inside several times.’ He (the narrator) has said that the Imam then said, ‘You must not perform salat (prayer) after al-Atmah(Isha prayer), during the times other than the month of Ramadan.’ [Al-Kafi, vol. 4, page 94] [Majlisi declared the hadeeth as Sahih in Miraat al-Uqool, vol 16, page 378].

 

(V). Taraweeh and Tahajjud are same prayer with different characteristics.

Argument V(a) :
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Some blind ignorant people (including the Mufties of Saudia) allege that “Qiyamul Lail قیام الیل “(i.e. Tahajjud) and Tarawih after Isha Prayer are the same thing.

Answer:

Strong and Solid proofs suggest that Tahajjud and Taraweeh are a same thing. We would like to give few evidences to prove this fact.

(a). It was narrated that Abu Dhar(ra) said: “We fasted Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah(SAWS), and the Prophet(SAWS) did not lead us in Qiyam until there were seven days left of the month, then he led us in Qiyam until one-third of the night had passed. Then, when there were six days left, he did not lead us in Qiyam. When there were five days left, he led us in praying Qiyam until half the night had passed. We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah(SAW), why don’t you lead us in praying Qiyam for the rest of the night?’ He said: ‘If a man prays with the Imam until he leaves, that will be continued for him as if he spent the whole night in prayer.’ Then, when there were four days left, he did not lead us in praying Qiyam. When there were three days left he sent for his daughters and women, and gathered the people, and he led us in praying Qiyam until we feared that we would miss Al-Falah. Then he did not lead us in praying Qiyam for the rest of the month.” Dawud (one of the narrators) said: “I said: ‘ What is falah?’ He said: ‘Suhur(The meal before daybreak).’ [Sunan al-Nasai, vol 2, page 303-304, #1365 ; Sahih as Zubair Ali Za’ee] ; [Jami al-Tirmidhi, vol 2, page 230-231, #806 ; Hasan Sahih as per al-Tirmidhi] ; [Sunan Abu Dawood, page 237, #1375 ; Sahih as per Albani]

Comment: It is clear from this narration that the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) led the Taraweeh prayer in three parts of the night and by praying it after Isha until the end of the night he informed us of its time. It is likely that no time would have remained for Tahajjud(as taraweeh on the 27th night was prayed till so late in the night that there were fears of missing the dawn meal), therefore no doubt remains about Taraweeh and Tahajjud being one prayer. Shias can’t make the excuse that Prophet(saws) might have skipped Tahajjud prayer on this night, because they believe that Tahajjud prayer was obligatory on Prophet(saws).

Allamah Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri while commenting on above hadeeth stated:

“There is no way out or alternative in accepting that the Taraweeh of the Messenger of Allaah(SAWS) was eight rak’ahs, and it is not established by any narration that he(SAWS) prayed Taraweeh and Tahajjud separately. [al-Urf al-Shadhee, vol 2, page 208].

(b). Allamah Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri al-Hanafi stated:

In General (Hanafi)Scholars stated that Taraweeh and Tahajjud are two different prayers, but in my view both of these are one and same prayer, even though they have different characteristics. For example Taraweeh is regularly performed, it is prayed in congregation, It is prayed in the beginning portion of the night, sometimes its prayed until Sahr, but on the other hand Tahajjud is prayed in last portion of the night, its not prayed in congregation. And deeming them different prayers due their different characteristics is not correct in my view. Infact, Taraweeh and Tahajjud are one and same prayer; When its prayed in the beginning of the night then its called Taraweeh, and when its prayed in the last portion of night its called Tahajjud. And due to their different characteristics giving them different name for each, is not an innovation, because as per the agreement of the Ummah there is no problem in giving different names. However, they would have been proven to be two different prayers when it would have been proven that Prophet(SAWS) prayed Taraweeh and Tahajjud in the same night. [Faydh al-Bari, vol 2, page 567].

Comment: To understand this issue, we give the example of Zuhr prayer in general, as it is obligatory to offer it in four Rakah(units) in congregation. But while travelling it is not obligatory to offer it in congregation and it is also reduced to two Rakah. Therefore, due to their different characteristics we cannot declare that the general Zuhr prayer is different than the Zuhr prayer while travelling.

(c). The Muhadditheen and Imams have mentioned the hadeeth of Ayesha(ra) about Prophet(saws) leading people in the nights of Ramadan under the Chapters of Taraweeh and Qiyaam (Tahajjud), In other words, Same hadeeth was mentioned under chapters of Taraweeh and Tahajjud, which proves that Taraweeh and Tahajjud were same prayer in the view of Muhadditheen and Imams. For example: In Sahih al-Bukhari, Imam Bukhari has mentioned this hadeeth in “The book of Taraweeh”(See Sahih al-Bukhari vol 3, page 136-137) and as well as in “The book of Tahajjud”(See Sahih al-Bukhari vol 2, page 142-143). Also See [Sahih muslim Book 4, Hadith #1667 ; Chapter: Encouragement to pray qiyam during Ramadan, which is Tarawih]

(d). Allamah Anwar shah Kashmiri al-Hanafi stated:

Mohammad bin Nasr have formed several chapters about Qiyaam al-Layl(night prayer)and stated that some of the Salaf have disallowed the person who already prayed Taraweeh to pray Tahajjud. [Faydh al-Bari, vol 2, page 567].

This is also a clear evidence that the Salaf considered Tahajjud and Taraweeh to be same prayer.

 

Argument V(b) :
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Tahajjud Time starts only after the middle of the night (i.e. praying any Nafl after Isha doesn’t count in Tahajjud)

Answer:

This is the misconception of Shias, Tahajjud time starts after Isha and it remains until the Adhan(call to prayer) of Fajr is announced.

Mufti Azeez ur Rahman Usmani al-Hanafi stated:

From one hadeeth we came to know that, after Isha prayer any voluntary(Nafil) prayer is counted as Tahajjud, and one would receive the reward of Tahajjud from  it, as mentioned in Shaami  from the hadeeth of Tabarani. [Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband, vol 4 page 223].

Shia Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Hussein Sistani stated:

The time for Salat al-Layl starts from middle part of night as per the famous opinion. Even though it is better, but It’s not unlikely (i.e. it’s possible) that the time of Salat al-Layl starts after Isha prayers and remains till the Adhan of Fajr. However, it is better to pray near the time of Fajr prayer. [Tauzeeh al-Masail, page 131].

 

Argument V(c) :
A Shia Website stated:

Prolonged Congregational Prayer are disliked and makes Rasool (saw) Furious.

Narrated Abu Mas’ud: A man came and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I keep away from the morning prayer because so-and-so (Imam) prolongs it too much.” Allah’s Apostle became furious and I had never seen him more furious than he was on that day. The Prophet said, “O people! Some of you make others dislike the prayer, so whoever becomes an Imam he should shorten the prayer, as behind him are the weak, the old and the needy.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, Number 672]

Answer:

The Shia have spoken half-truth. Infact, prolonged OBLIGATORY congregational prayers are disliked, whereas this isn’t the case for optional/voluntary prayers. As per reliable reports, Prophet Muhammad(saws) himself prolonged night prayer, even when he prayed it in congregation.

(a). Abdullah ibn Masood reported: I prayed with the Messenger of Allah (saws) and he lengthened it till I entertained an evil thought. It was said to him what that thought was. He said: I thought that I should sit down and forsake him. [Sahih Muslim, vol 2, page 298, #773 ; Chapter: It is recommended to recite for a long time in the night prayers].

Abdullah said: “I prayed one night with the Messenger of Allah (saws) and he kept standing until I thought of doing something bad.” I said: “What was that?”He said: “I thought of sitting down and leaving him. [Sunan ibn Majah, vol 2, page 353, #1418 : Sahih as per Zubair Ali Za’ee]

(b). Hudhaifa reported: I prayed with the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) one night and he started reciting al-Baqara. I thought that he would bow at the end of one hundred verses, but he proceeded on; I then thought that he would perhaps recite the whole (surah) in a rak’ah, but he proceeded and I thought he would perhaps bow on completing (this surah). He then started al-Nisa’, and recited it; he then started Al-i-‘Imran and recited leisurely. And when he recited the verses which referred to the Glory of Allah, he glorified (by saying Subhan Allah-Glory to my Lord the Great), and when he recited the verses which tell (how the Lord) is to be begged, he (the Holy Prophet) would then beg (from Him), and when he recited the verses dealing with protection from the Lord, he sought (His) protection and would then bow and say: Glory be to my Mighty Lord; his bowing lasted about the same length of time as his standing (and then on returning to the standing posture after ruku’) he would say: Allah listened to him who praised Him, and he would then stand about the same length of time as he had spent in bowing. He would then prostrate himself and say: Glory be to my Lord most High, and his prostration lasted nearly the same length of time as his standing. In the hadith transmitted by Jarir the words are:” He (the Holy Prophet) would say:” Allah listened to him who praised Him, our Lord, to Thee is the praise.” [Sahih Muslim, vol 2, page 297-298, #772 : Chapter: It is recommended to recite for a long time in the night prayers].

(c). Awf bin Malik said: “I prayed Qiyam with the Prophet (saws). He started by using the Siwak and performing wudu, then he stood and prayed. He started reciting Al-Baqarah and he did not come to any verse that spoke of mercy but he paused and asked for mercy, and he did not come to any verse that spoke of punishment but he paused (and sought refuge with Allah from that). Then he bowed and he stayed bowing for as long as he had stood, and he said while bowing: ‘Subhanaka Dhil-jabaraut wal-malakut wal-kibriya’ wal-‘azamah (Glory be to the One Who has all power, sovereignty, magnificence and might.)’ Then he prostrated for as long as he had bowed, saying while prostrating: ‘Subhana Dhil-jabarut wal-malakut wal-kibriya’ wal-‘azamah (Glory be to the One Who has all power, sovereignty, magnificence and might.)’ Then he recited Al Imran, then another surah and another, doing that each time.” [Sunan Nasai, vol 2, page 158, #1133 ; Sahih as per Zubair Ali Za’ee].

(d). Ibn Abbas reported: I spent one night in the house of my mother’s sister Maimuna, daughter of Al-Harith, and said to her: Awake me when the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) stands to pray (at night). (She woke me up when) the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) stood up for prayer. I stood on his left side. He took hold of my hand and made me stand on his right side, and whenever I dozed off he took hold of my earlobe (and made me alert). He (the narrator) said: He (the Holy Prophet) observed eleven rak`ahs. He then sat with his legs drawn and wrapped in his garment and slept so that I could hear his breathing while asleep. And when the dawn appeared, he observed two short rak`ahs of (Sunnah) prayer. [Sahih Muslim, vol 2, page 283, #1792].

Therefore, those who prolong the voluntary night prayer, are actually following the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(SAWS).

 

VI. Did Umar(RA) change Sunnah of Prophet(SAWS) from 8 Rakah to 20 Rakah ?.

Argument:
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Umar Ibn Khattab prayed 20 Rakah during Tarawih while Rasool (saw) offered 8 Rakah in Tahajjud

One of the biggest differences between Tahajjud and Tarawih is the fact that the established Sunnah of our Rasool (saw) was to offer 8 Rakah during Tahajjud whereas Umar Ibn Khattab initiated Tarawih, with a 20 Rakah Salah.

This also proves that when Umar Ibn Khattab started Tarawih, he had no intention of reviving the Sunnah of Rasool (saw) who offered Tahajjud for 3 nights in a mosque congregation.

Answer:

It is true that Sunnah of Prophet(saws) is to pray Eleven Rakah(8 Rakah + 3 Rakah witr) in Qiyaam.

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah(ra) that the Prophet(SAWS) led us in prayer for eight rakah and witr in the month of Ramadan.  Then next time, we gathered in the mosque and waited that Prophet(saws) would come out until it was morning. So when Prophet(saws) came to us, we said to him: O Messenger of Allah(saws), we expected that you would come and lead us in prayer. He said: I feared that Witr(prayer) might be made obligatory upon you. [Sahih ibn Khuzaymah, vol 2, page 138, #1070] ; [Zubair Ali Za’ee declared the Chain as Hasan in Tadad Rakat Qayam-e-Ramzan ka Tahqeeqi Jaiza, page 21] ; [Mullah Ali Qari al-Hanafi stated: It is proven authetically that Prophet(saws) led his companions in prayer for Eight Rakah with Witr (Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih, vol 3, page 343)].

Ibn Hammam al-Hanafi stated: “And the conclusion for all this is that the Sunnah Qiyaam of Ramadan(Tarawih) is 11 Rakaat with witr in congregation. Prophet(saws) did this, but he left it due to a reason. [Fath al-Qadeer Sharh al-Hidaya, vol 1, Page 485-486].

However, it is not true that Umar(ra) initiated Taraweeh prayer with 20 Rakah. Shaykh Zubair Ali Zaee stated that Twenty Rakah isn’t proven from Umar(ra) from a Sahih connected chain. [Tadad Rakat Qayam-e-Ramzan ka Tahqeeqi Jaiza, page 26].

On the contrary, what is proven from AUTHENTIC and reliable reports is that Umar(ra) ordered Ubay ibn Ka’b and Tamim al-Dari to lead people in night for Eleven Rakah, based on the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(saws).

Yahya related to me from Malik from Muhammad ibn Yusuf that al-Sa’ib ibn Yazid said, “Umar ibn al-Khattab ordered Ubayy ibn Kab and Tamim ad-Dari to watch the night in prayer with the people for Eleven Rakah. The reciterof the Qur’an would recite the Mi’in (a group of medium-sized suras) until we would be leaning on our staffs from having stood so long in prayer. And we would not leave until the approach of dawn.” [Muwatta Malik, Book 6, Number 6.2.4] ; [Allamah Muhammad al-Nimawi al-Hanafi deemed the Chain as Sahih in Athaar al-Sunan, page 287-288, #775] ;  [Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba, vol 3, page 352, #7754 : Isnad sahih as per Shaykh Usamah bin Ibrahim] ; [The chain was Authenticated by Allamah Subki, as quoted by al-Suyuti in Al-Hawi lil-Fatawi, vol 1, page 337] ; [Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee authenticated the chain in Tadad Rakat Qayam-e-Ramzan ka Tahqeeqi Jaiza, page 25] ; Allamah Muhammad al-Nimawi al-Hanafi stated this report has got other Mutabiat(supportive chains) as well in Athaar al-Sunan, page 288].

Imam Malik said:

I chose Eleven Rakah of Qiyam al-Ramadan and even Umar bin al-Khattab Gathered people on this and this is the Prayer of Messenger of Allah(SAWS), and I don’t know from where people introduced so many more Rak`ah [Kitab al-Tahajjud, page 176, #890].

Allamah Muhammad Anwar Shah Kashmiri al-Hanafi stated:

Taraweeh and Tahajjud being one is supported from the action of Umar(ra), because he used to offer Taraweeh at his home in the last part of the night, while he ordered people to pray in congregation in the Mosque, even then he would not join them. The reason behind it is that, he knew that Prophet(saws) used to pray this prayer in the last part of the night. He even remarked on those people stating: the prayer which you people perform in the initial part of the night is lesser in reward in comparison to praying it in the last part of the night. Thus, here Umar(ra) considered Taraweeh and Tahajjud as the same. [Faydh al-Bari, vol 2, page 567].

Offering Twenty Rakah in night prayer is also allowed:

As for those who pray twenty Rakat in Taraweeh, then there is no problem in it. From  authentic ahadeeth it is deduced that, there is no specified number of rakaat in Qiyaam al-Layl and one can pray as many Rakat as he likes, even though the practise of the Prophet(SAWS) was to pray 11 Rakat.

Ibn Umar said: “While the Prophet(SAWS) was on the pulpit, a man asked him how to offer the night prayers. He replied, ‘Pray two rakat at a time and then two and then two and so on, and if you are afraid of the dawn (the approach of the time of the Fajr prayer) pray one rak’at and that will be the witr for all the rak`at which you have offered.” Ibn `Umar said, “The last rak`at of the night prayer should be odd, for the Prophet(SAWS) ordered it to be so. [Sahih al-Bukhari vol 1, page 298, #472]

Also we read in a Shia report:

Narrated Abu Basir that: “Once we visited Abu Abd Allah(as), and abu Basir asked, ‘What do you say about alsalat(prayer) during the month of Ramadan?’ He (the Imam) replied, ‘The month of Ramadan has a special respect and right, unlike the other months. You should perform salat (prayer) as much as you can in optional forms during the nights and days. If you can, perform a thousand Rak‘at salat (prayer) every twenty-four hours you can. Imam Ali(as), toward the end of his life would say one thousand Rak‘at salat (prayer) in twenty-four hours. O abu Muhammad, you should perform more salat (prayer) during the month of Ramadan.’ I then asked, ‘I pray to Allah to keep my soul in service for your cause, how many Rak‘ats (should one perform)?’ He said, ‘During the first twenty nights, say twenty Rak‘ats each night; eight Rak‘ats before al-‘Atmah and twelve Rak‘ats thereafter, besides the prayers you would say before. During the last ten days, you should say thirty Rak‘at every night; eight Rak‘at before al-Atmah, and twenty-two Rak‘ats thereafter besides what you had been saying before these nights. [al-Kafi, vol 4, page 93-94].

Hence we find a lot of Authentic evidences of variant number of Rakaats in taraweeh. When we read the practice of the Salaf us-Saliheen which include the Sahaba, Taba’een and Taba Taba’een, we find that some of them prayed 11 Rakaat , some prayed 13 rakaat, some prayed 19 rakaat, some prayed 23, some prayed 36 and some even prayed 39 rakaat.

Imam Shafe’i stated:

There is no problem in this (prayer of Taraweeh/qiyam al-Ramadan) and there is no limit in (number of rakah) because this is nafil prayer, If prostration is less and Qiyam is long then it is good and I like this view, and If there are more bowing and prostration, even it is good. [Kitab Qiyaam Ramadan, page 57, #63].

 

VII. Answer to the opinion of Ibn Umar(RA) And Ubay bin Ka’b(RA) about Taraweeh.

Argument(VII a) :
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Musanaf Abdulrazaq, Volume 4 page 264:

عبد الرزاق عن الثوري عن منصور عن مجاهد قال جاء رجل إلى بن عمر قال أصلي خلف الإمام في رمضان قال أتقرأ القرآن قال نعم قال افتنصت كأنك حمار صل في بيتك

‘Mujahid reported that one person came to Abdullah Ibn Umar and asked: ‘Shall I pray during Ramadhan behind an Imam?’ He (Abdullah Ibn Umar) asked: ‘Can you recite the Quran?’. He answered: ‘Yes’. Upon this (Abdullah Ibn Umar) said: ‘Then why do you want to stand quietly like a donkey, go and pray at your home’

Abdullah Ibn Umar deemed those that prayed behind an Imam during Tarawih to be ‘Donkeys’!

Answer:

This report is weak due to Tadlees of narrator Sufyan al-Thawri, who was a Mudallis and he is narrating this report with “AN”, without clarification of hearing.

Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee stated:

The correct view in regards to Sufyan Thawri is that, apart from being an Imam and Ameer al-Momineen in Hadeeth, he was also a Mudallis. And he used to do Tadlees from Weak and other unreliable narrators. Therefore,  his Mu’an’an (narrated with AN), narrations outside of Sahihayn(Bukhari & Muslim), without Mutabi’aat and Shawaahid [Supporting evidences] and without verification of Samaa(hearing) are Da’eef(weak) and rejected. Hafidh Ibn Hajar placing Sufyan Thawri in the Second category of Mudalliseen isn’t correct, he belongs to the Third category of Mudalliseen, as Imam Hakim Nishapuri has mentioned him in the Third category.(Ma’rifat Uloom al-Hadeeth, page 106 ; Jami al-Tahseel page 99).

Hafidh Ibn Hibban stated: Those Mudallis narrators who were Thiqa(Trustworthy) and Aadil(Just), from whom we don’t take evidence from their ahadeeth, except when they clarify their hearing what they narrated. For example, (Sufyan) Thawri, A’mash, Abu Ishaq, and other like them…(al-Ahsaan, vol 1, page 90).

This analysis is appropriate and correct and I have adopted this view in Noor al-Ainain and al-Tasees fi Mas’ala al-Tadlees. Previously I had written that Sufyan Thawri belonged to Second category of Mudalliseen, whose Tadlis wasn’t problematic, however my view was incorrect and I retract from that view. So consider it abrogated and nullified.

Badruddin Ayni al-Hanafi stated: Sufyan(Thawri) is from Mudalliseen, and report narrated with “AN” by a Mudallis is not used to establish evidence, except when the hearing is proven from another chain.(Umdat al-Qari, 2/112)

[Source: al-hadeeth, #42, page 27-28].

Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee also quoted:

Hafidh Dhahabi wrote: He(Sufyan Thawri) used to do Tadlees in his transmission. And sometimes he would commit Tadlees from weak narrators.(Siyar alam al-Nubala, vol 7, page 242)

Hafidh al-Alai wrote: For example those narrators who commit Tadlees from Majhool(anonymous) people who are unknown, like Sufyan al-Thawri.(Jami al-Tahseel fi Ahkam al-Maraseel, page 99).

[Source: al-hadeeth, #33, page 36].

Moreover, Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee {in al-Hadeeth #67 , Pages 11 ; 12 ; 13 ; 14 ; 15 ; 16 ; 17 ; 18 ; 19 ; 20} cited examples from thirty(30) scholars proving that Sufyan al-Thawri belonged to third category of Mudalliseen, whose reports are considered weak when he narrates with “AN” without clarification of hearing.

Note: This report from Ibn Umar(ra) is weak and unreliable, however some Muhaqqiqs those who graded the reports based on the categorization(Tabaqat) of Mudalliseen by Ibn Hajar, graded it as Isnad Sahih(chain is authentic), but this grading is based on the erroneous inclusion of Sufyan Thawri in Second category of Mudalliseen by Ibn Hajar, hence their grading is rejected.

As for Shias who enjoy mocking Sunnis using this weak report should know that, in their books a noble companion of Prophet(saws) – Ammar(RA) – who is revered and considered an early Shia of Ali by the Shias, was compared to a donkey (Ma’azAllah). So they should worry about the insult of early Shia of Ali(ra) from their own book.

Narrated Zurarah that Imam Baqir(as) stated: One day Messenger of Allah(saws) told Ammar(ra) during a journey that, I have been informed that you became ritually impure, so what did you do? Ammar replied: O Messenger of Allah, I rolled in dust. He(saws) said: The donkeys roll like this. Why didn’t you strike the ground with your hands and then wipe your forehead and palms.[Man La Yahduruh al-Faqih, vol 1 , page 71, #213] ; [Man la Yahduruh al-Faqih(Urdu), vol 1 , page 80-81].

 

Argument VII(b) :
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Abi bin Ka’b’s views on Tarawih

By now we know that the Bidah of Tarawih in congregation was started by Umar and Abi bin Ka’ab was appointed to be the first Imam to lead this Bidah. Let us now read about the level of interest Abi bin Ka’ab had regarding the said Bidah:

أن عمر بن الخطاب [ رضي الله عنه ] جمع الناس على أبي بن كعب فكان يصلي لهم عشرين ليلة ولا يقنت بهم إلا في النصف الباقي فإذا كانت العشر الأواخر تخلف فصلى في بيته فكانوا يقولون أبق أبي

“Ubaid bin al-Hassan reported that Umar Ibn Khattab gathered people behind Abi bin Ka’b and he used to lead them in 20 Rakah prayers,… but during the last ten days of Ramadhan, then Abi bin Ka’b used to stay in his home and offer his prayers there, while other people used to say that Abi bin Ka’b ran away”.
Sunnan Abu Daud, Volume 1 page 154

Answer:

This hadeeth is weak and unreliable.

Allamah Badr uddin al-Ayni al-Hanafi declared the chain of this report as disconnected(Inqita) because  narrator Hassan al-Basri didn’t witness the era of Umar(ra). [Sharh Abu Dawood by al-Ayni, vol 5, page 343].

Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee declared it Da’eef(weak). There is disconnection in the chain. Narrator Hassan al-Basri didn’t witness the era of Umar(ra). Imam Nawawi weakened the chains of this report. [Sunan Abu Dawood, vol 2, page 173, #1429].

Shaykh al-Albani declared it Da’eef(weak). [Sunan Abu Dawood, page 247, #1429].

Moreover, the text of this report in no way could be used to prove Taraweeh is Shara’i Bidah, because Ubay bin Ka’b(ra) used to lead people for first twenty nights of Ramadan. If he considered it to be something evil or bad, he wouldn’t have led people at all. The maximum, one could use this weak report is to argue that, In Ramadan praying nafil(voluntary) prayers alone at home is more virtuous than praying them in congregation in the Mosque, nothing more.

What is interesting is that, the first Imam to lead Taraweeh in Masjid Nabawi after Umar(RA) combined all the small groups into one large group was Ubay ibn Ka’b(RA), who Shias consider to be one of the closest and staunchest Shia of Ali(RA) and the best memorizer and reciter of the Quran. So, one of the closest Shias of Ali(RA) led the first unified Taraweeh congregation after the Prophet(SAWS), and it seems Ali(RA) never objected or advice him to stop leading people in Taraweeh prayer.

 

VIII. Tahajjud at Home being more virtuous doesn’t mean Taraweeh in Mosque is prohibited.

Argument:
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Imam of Deobandies Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri stated:

“Imam Malik, Imam Yousuf, Imam Tahawi and some companions of Imam Shaf’i prefer that like other Nawafil it is better to offer Tarawih at home without a congregation, while Rasool (saw) said that prayers are better at home except those that are compulsory.”
Anwar-ul-Bari (the commentry of Sahih Bukhari), vol. 2, page 88, published in Gujranwala, Pakistan

Similarly Imam Nawawi stated:

واتفق العلماء على استحبابها واختلفوا في أن الأفضل صلاتها منفردا في بيته أم في جماعة في المسجد

“The scholars agree on its merit but they differ on whether it is better to pray it at one’s home individually or in congregation in a mosque”

We further read:

وقال مالك وأبو يوسف وبعض الشافعية وغيرهم الأفضل فرادى في البيت

“Malik, Abu Yusuf, some Shafi’i scholars and others say that it is better to pray it individually at home”
Sharh Sahih Muslim, Volume 6 page 39

Answer:

If someone believes that Apple is better than Mango, that doesn’t mean Mango is prohibited. The reward of praying Tahajjud(praying in last part of night) at home being more than reward of Taraweeh(praying after Isha) in Mosque, doesn’t mean that praying Tarawih is prohibited or non-meritious. To understand this issue let us give an example from Shia report.

عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام: ان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله كان في السفر يجمع بين المغرب والعشاء، والظهر والعصر، انما يفعل ذلك إذا كان مستعجلا. قال عليه السلام:
وتفريقهما أفضل

It was reported from Abu Abdullah(AS) : Prophet(SAWS) use to combine between prayers Maghrib with Isha and Zuhr with Asr when he was on journey, or in a hurry. And Imam(AS) said: Seperating them is better! [Dhikra al-Shia fi Ahkam al-Sharia, vol 2, page 334] ; [Report Authenticated by Ayatullah Sayyid al-Musawi Sabzawari in Madhab al-Ahkam fi bayan al-Halal wa al-Haram, vol 5, page 72] ; [Authenticated by Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Muhaqqiq Damaad in Kitab al-Salat, page 69].

From this Shia report we can see that, praying Maghrib and Isha prayers seperately is better than combining them, but no Shia would argue that just because seperating Maghrib and Isha is better than combining them, so combining prayers is non-meritious or prohibited. The same goes for praying Taraweeh. And there are many other examples such as, Praying certain prayers in its initial time is better than praying them in the ending time, Or Praying obligatory prayer in congregation being better than praying alone ; but none of these imply that the lesser meritious deed is prohibited.

Our view: A person who isn’t a memorizer of Quran, who prayed Taraweeh in congregation in the Mosque has done a Hundred (100) times better deed than the person who doesn’t pray any voluntary night prayer in Ramadan at home. Likewise, A person who prayed Taraweeh in congregation in the Mosque fearing that he/she won’t be able to pray Tahajjud has done a Hundred (100) times better deed than the person who missed to pray Tahajjud at home. These are the facts which no unbiased and intelligent person could deny.

 

IX. Correct Zaidi Shia position about the view of Imams of Ahl al-bayt in regards to Taraweeh.

Argument:
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Even Sunni scholar Shokani accepted this that Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) deemed Tarawih to be misguided innovation.

(قالت العترة: إن التجميع فيها بدعة)“The progeny of the Prophet (s) say that congregation in Tarawih is an INNOVATION”.
Nayl al-Awtar, volume 3, page 50

Answer:

It’s is true that Some Zaidi Shia claim that Taraweeh is bid’ah, they even claim (with no evidence) that this is the Ijma’ (consensus) of the Imams of Ahl Al-Bayt, as even mentioned by Shawkani, most likely he presented the claim of Zaidi Shia(as he often does in his book), because we find this same claim in some Zaidi Shia books.

As for this Zaidi Shia claim, then it’s against established facts. It goes against the authentic narration of ‘Ali(ra) from the Zaidi book of hadith (Musnad Zaid) where Ali(ra) literally commanded and instructed others of how to pray Tarawih! And the claim of these Zaidi Shias was even refuted by other Zaidi scholars and authorities who based on Zaidi texts favoured the opinion that Tarawih is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) and affirmed by the Imams of Ahl Al-Bayt, with ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib at the forefront!

We read in Zaidi book Musnad al-Imam Zaid:

Zaid bin Ali narrated on the authority of his father(Ali ibn Hussain) —his grandfather(Hussain bin Ali)— ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib(AS), that he commanded that the one who stands in prayer with the people during Ramadan and prays twenty units should give the final salutations after every two units. He should take a break (yaraawah) after four units so one could relieve oneself and repeat the ritual ablution. He should pray the odd prayer (witr) at the last part of the night while leaving.

Footnote states: Imam Al-Mahdi Muhammad ibn Al-Mutahhar (a major Zaydi scholar) said: We have narrated that the Prophet(SAWS), prayed it (i.e. Tarawih) in the nights and they (i.e. Sahabah) prayed with him, then he abstained [from it] and prayed it at his home. We have [also] narrated that he(SAWS), said: ‘I have feared that it (i.e. this prayer) might be enjoined (made obligatory) on you, and you being incapable of fulfilling it’.

In this (report) there is proof for the legality of the witr prayer in congregation.

[Source: Musnad al-Imam Zaid, page 139 ; Chapter: Standing in the Prayer during Ramadan].

In the book Al-Intisar ‘ala ‘Ulama Al-Amsar – The largest Zaydi book of Fiqh, an encyclopedia of comparative law of all schools of thought by Yahya bin Hamzah bin Ali bin Ibrahim al-Hussaini(died 749 AH) a descendant of Imam Ali al-Naqi, from San’aa Yemen.

On page 183 of this book, The great Zaidi Shia Imam Yahya ibn Hamzah cites a Sunni hadith and an authentic Zaidi hadith (from Musnad Zayd where ‘Ali instructs others how to pray Tarawih!) in support of the legality of Tarawih. He also mentions a famous narration where ‘Ali (during the caliphate of ‘Othman) saw lanterns shining in the mosque (i.e. during Ramadan Tarawih prayers) and said, ‘May Allah have mercy upon ‘Omar, he made our mosques shine with Nour (light). May Allah shine his grave with Nour (light).’

On page 184 (and 185), the great Zaidi Shia Imam Yahya ibn Hamzah refutes the attack of some Zaidis on Sayyiduna ‘Omar ibn Al-Khattab. Some of the Zaidi Shias, either due to their ignorance or bias, misuse a famous statement of ‘Omar(RA) regarding the Tarawih prayer (‘What an excellent innovation this is …’) claiming that ‘Omar himself affirmed that it is his innovation

On page 185, the great Zaidi Shia Imam Yahya ibn Hamzah strongly criticises fellow Zaidis for their rejection of Tarawih. He argues that it is an established Sunnah, prayed by the Prophet(SAWS), ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and other Sahabah and that opposing hadiths must be reconciled instead of the Sunnah [of Tarawih] being rejected.

On page 186,  Zaydi Shia Imam Yahya ibn Hamzah emphasises the legality of Tarawih and that it is an established Sunnah according to great Imams and jurists of Ahl Al-Bayt such as: Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah ibn Al-Hassan and ‘Abdullah ibn Musa ibn Ja’far(i.e. al-Sadiq). [Al-Intisar ‘ala ‘Ulama Al-Amsar, vol 4, page 183-186].

 

X. Testimony of Prophet Muhammad(SAWS) and Ali ibn Abi Talib(RA) that Umar(RA) wasn’t an innovator.

(a). Abu Muslim(al-Jazmi) says that Yazeed bin Abu Sufiyan participated in a battle with people, and when they got the battle booty, a person received a precious slave girl as his share. Yazeed bin Abu Sufiyan took that slave girl in his possession, so that man came to Abu Dhar, to help him in this matter. Abu Dhar asked him(Yazeed bin Abu Sufiyan) to return the girl, but he refused thrice. Abu Dhar said: I did this because, I have heard Messenger of Allah(saws) saying that: The first to change My Sunnah will be a Man from Banu Umayyah, and he will be called Yazeed. Yazeed bin Abu Sufiyan asked him(Abu Dhar) : For sake of Allah! Am I that person? He replied: No. Then He(Yazeed bin Abu Sufiyan) returned the slave girl to that person. [Tareekh Madinat Dimashq, vol 65, page 249-250] ; [Shaykh Zubair Ali Za’ee declared the chain as Hasan and defended this report in Tehqiqi Islahi Aur ilmi Maqalaat, vol 6, page 356-357].

Comment: So as per the Testimony of Prophet Muhammad(saws) the first person to change his Sunnah wouldn’t be Umar, rather a person from Banu Umayyah named  Yazeed. Also Umar(ra) wasn’t from the Tribe of Banu Umayyah, he was from the Tribe of Banu Adi.

(b). It was narrated that Abd Khair said: I heard Ali(RA) say: Allah took His Prophet(saws) in the best way any Prophet was ever taken, then Abu Bakr(ra) was appointed as his successor and he did what the Messenger of Allah(saws) had done and followed the Sunnah of his Prophet; and Umar was appointed and he did likewise. [Musnad Ahmad eng, vol 1, page 500, #1059] ; [Musnad Ahmad vol 2, page 315, #1059 : Chain is Hasan as per Shuaib Arnaut].

(c). Abd Khair that he heard Ali(RA) say while he was sitting on the minbar: “The Messenger of Allah(SAWS) died and Abu Bakr was appointed as his successor, and he did what he had done and followed on his(Prophet’s) footsteps(Seerah), and persisted in doing so until Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, took his soul in that state. Then ‘Umar was appointed as his successor so he did what they had done and followed their(Prophet and Abu bakr) footsteps(Seerah) until Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, took his soul in that state.” [Fadhail al-Sahaba, vol 1, page 101-102, #72 : Chain is Hasan as per Shaykh Wasi Ullah Abbas] ; Slightly different chain in [Fadhail Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq, page 34, #14 ; Chain is Hasan] ; [Kitab al-Sunnah, vol 2, page 552 : Isnad Jayyid(good) as per Shaykh al-Albani].

Comment: So as per these reliable reports Ali(RA) declared that Umar(RA) followed the Sunnah and Seerah of Prophet(SAWS). He wouldn’t have praised Umar(RA) in this manner had Ali(ra) deemed Umar(RA) to be an innovator.

(d). al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah said: When Umar died, the daughter of abu Hathmah cried him saying: “O Umar, he straightened the curve, cured the disease, he buried the Fitnah and established the Sunnah. He departed (from this world) with untarnished clothes and little shortcomings.” Mughirah said: When Umar was buried I went to Ali as I liked to hear what he had to say about Umar, I saw him brushing his hair and beard while being wrapped in a cloth after bathing, he had no doubt that authority would be his, he(Ali) then said: “May Allah have mercy upon Ibn al-Khattab, the daughter of abi Hathmah spoke the truth for he achieved the goodness (of this world) and remained safe from its evils. By Allah, she never said it (knowing it) but she was taught it. [Tareekh al-Tabari, vol 4, page 218].

(e). In Shia Book we read:

Ali ibn Abi Talib(RA) said: May Allah reward such and such man, he straightened the curve, cured the disease, abandoned mischief, and established the Sunnah. He departed (from this world) with untarnished clothes and little shortcomings. He achieved the goodness (of this world) and remained safe from its evils. He offered Allah’s obedience and feared Him as He deserved. He went away and left the people in dividing ways wherein the misled cannot obtain guidance and the guided cannot attain certainty.[Nahjul Balagha, page 350, Sermon 228] ; [Najhul Balagha, page 473, Sermon 226].

Mutazili Shia Ibn Abi al-Hadid writes under the commentary of this Sermon:

The one meant here is “Umar bin al-Khattab”, I have found the original copy of Nahjul Balagha in Abi al-Hasan(Shareef) al-Radhi’s own handwriting and he wrote “Umar” under the word “such and such”. Narrated to me Fakhaar bin Ma’ad al-Musavi al-awdi the poet, “I asked the head of the order of Ahlul-Bayt, abu Ja’far Yahya bin Abi Zaid al-Alawi [about this matter] and he said: “Umar bin al-Khattab”, I told him: “Would the chief of believers praise him this much!?” He replied: “Yes”. [Sharh Nahj-ul-Balaghah, by ibn Abi al-Hadid vol 12, page 3].

Some Shia Scholars try to create doubts over this testimony of Ibn Abi al-Hadid, by making claims based on assumptions that, Ali(RA) was praising one of his companion, possibly Malik al-Ashtar, however the heading of this sermon – “About a companion who passed away from this world before the occurrence of Troubles” – this itself proves that, it wasn’t regarding Malik al-Ashtar who died in 39 AH, as we know that all the troubles, trials and afflictions had started till that year. On the other hand we find in an authentic report that afflictions will not start till death of Umar(ra). [Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 4, page 476-477, #3586]. Also, It was narrated that Qais al-Kharifi said: I heard Ali say: The Messenger of Allah(SAWS) came first, followed by Abu Bakr, and the third one was Umar. Then turmoil(fitnah) struck us, and that is what Allah willed. Abu Abdur-Rahman said: My father said regarding the words, then turmoil{fitnah) struck us: He[Ali] was showing modesty thereby. [Musnad Ahmad, vol 1, page 486, #1020 : Isnad Hasan].

Shia scholar Allamah Ali bin Moosa al-Tabreezi acknowledged this fact stating:

What is intended by the word “fulan(such and such man)” here is the second Caliph(Umar), even though others say that someone else is intended. The Imami explanation for this is that , it was to win the hearts of his followers. [Miraat al-kutub, vol 6, page 712].

Therefore, Undoubtedly, these words of Ali(RA) were for Umar ibn Khattab(RA), as viewed by Shareef al-Radhi and the head of the order of Ahlul-Bayt, Abu Ja’far Yahya bin Abi Zaid al-Alawi and Shia Scholar Allamah Ali bin Moosa al-Tabreezi.

Fatwa of Imams from Ahl al-Bayt(al-Baqir and Jafar) in regards to Umar(RA).

Salim ibn Abi Hafsa said: I Asked Abu Ja’afar Muhammad ibn Ali(al-Baqir) and Ja’afar bin Muhammad(al-Sadiq) about Abu Bakr and ‘Umar peace be upon them and they told me: “Ya Salim, be loyal to them and cut your ties from their enemies as they were two Imams of guidance.” , [Fadhail al-Sahaba wa Manaqibihim wa Qawl Ba’adihim fi Ba’ad, page 51-53, #28 & #29; Isnad: Hasan].

As per the Fatwa of Imams from Ahl al-Bayt, – Imam al-Baqir(rah) and Imam Jafar(rah) – Umar(RA) was declared an Imam of guidance, they didn’t deem him to be someone who innovated in the religion. Therefore, Sunnis are following the Fatwa of Imams from Ahl al-bayt.

 

XI. Scrutinzation of a Fabricated Sermon attributed to Ali(RA) in Shia books.

Argument:
Shia Website[Shiapen] stated:

Did Mawla Ali (as) ever stop people from praying Tarawih?

The Defenders of Tarawih often use this excuse to prove its legitimacy, namely that Khalifa Ali bin Abi Talib never stopped his subjects from offering Tarawih prayers. This is a blatant lie. Mawla Ali (as) sought to stop people from perpetuating this Biddah but the people had become so indoctrinated by the ‘Sunnah Shaikhain’ i.e. Sunnah of first two Caliphs, that it was impossible to show them the right path.

The following extract is from one of the Sermons of Mawla Ali (as) that clarifies many hidden / distorted historical facts.

“The Caliphs before me intentionally practiced such acts in which they went against Rasool Allah (saww). They broke the promises (which they made with Rasool) and changed the Sunnah of Rasool Allah (saww). If (today) I ask people to leave all these things (innovations) and restore things back to the way they were at the time of Rasulullah (s), my army shall rebel and abandon me, and I shall be left alone. All that shall remain turning to me shall be those Shi’a who recognise my virtues and rank.

He then elaborate with examples:

“If I return Fadak to the heirs of Fatima and if I order to restore the “SA’a” (a unit for measuring wheat) of Rasool Allah (s). And if I return the properties, which were given by Rasool (s) to their original owners, and deny the decisions which were based on injustice (and tyranny), and snatch the women who were illegally taken by some people and return them to their husbands, and if I deny the (unjust) distribution of Fadak, and start giving the shares to every one equally (as were originally given by Rasool (s), but earlier caliphs started giving according to status), …. and restore the condition of Khums of Rasool (saww), and restore the mosque of the Prophet (s) to its original position, and make “Masah alal Khaffin” haram, and issue the punishment (“Had”) for drinking “Nabeedh” (alcohol made out of barley), and give the fatwa for Mut’ah being Halaal, and start saying 5 Takbirs at funeral, and make it obligatory upon people to recite “Bismillah” loudly during Salat …… and ask people to follow the Quranic and Sunnah way of giving Talaq, and ask people to give all the Sadaqat, and to restore the way of ablution, bathing and prayer to it’s original form and time, and give back the fidya (which was unjustly taken) to people of Najran, and return the slave girls of people of Persia, and ask people to return to Qur’an and Sunnah of Rasool (s), then all people will abandon me (and I will be left alone). I ordered people that they should only gather for Fardh (obligatory) prayers during Ramadhan, and told them that congregation (Jamah) in Nafal (i.e. Tarawih) is a Bidah (innovation) then all of these people started shouting that Sunnah of Hadhrat Umar has been changed.
Rudhutul Kafi, Sermon of Al-Fatan wa Al-Bidah, page 59, published in Iran.

Answer:

Problems in the Isnad(Chain) of this Report:

Shia Scholar Baqir Majlisi stated: The Report is Da’eef(weak) ala Mashoor. [Miraat al-Uqool vol 25, page 131].

The name of the narrator Ibrahim bin Uthman in the chain is a scribal error, it is actually Ibrahim bin Umar. And Ibrahim bin Umar never heard from Sulaym bin Qays, rather it was only Abban bin Abi Ayyash, who heard from Sulaym bin Qays. Hence the chain is Munqati(disconnected) as the name of Abban bin Abi Ayash is not mentioned in the Isnad(chain). Interestingly, Ibrahim bin Umar and Abban bin Abi Ayash both are weak narrators.

Narrator Ibrahim bin Umar Al-Yamani was declared Da’eef Jiddan(extremely weak) by Ibn Al-Ghada’iri, one of the earliest Shia rijal and hadith Scholars.[Rijal Ibn al-Ghadairi, page 36].

Even if we assume that Abban bin Abi Ayash was present in the chain to make it connected chain, even then it’s problematic because Abban bin Abi Ayyash is also a weak narrator.

Shia Scholar Al-Tusi weakened narrator Abban bin Abi Ayash. [Rijaal al-Tusi, page 126].

Shia Scholar Ibn Al-Ghadha’iri too weakened him and adds that the Shias suggest that he fabricated the book of Sulaym bin Qays. [Rijal Ibn al-Ghadairi, page 36].

Shia Scholar al-Hilli declared Abban ibn Abi Ayyash  “extremely weak“. [Khulasah al-Aqwaal, page 325, #1280]

But what is weird is that, even though Majlisi weakened this report, yet he considers it Reliable(Mo’tabar) because the report is mentioned in Kitab Sulaym bin Qays. However, the unacademic view of Majlisi is incorrect because Kitab Sulaym bin Qays itself fabricated and unreliable, as we shall prove.

Views of Esteemed Shia Scholars in regards to Kitab Sulaym bin Qays:

(a). Shia Scholar Ibn Al-Ghaḍa’iri stated:

This famous book is ascribed to him, and our companions used to say: “Sulaym is unknown and he is not mentioned in a single report.” I have found him mentioned in several instances outside his book independently of Aban bin Abi ‘Ayyash. Ibn ‘Uqdah mentioned him among the companions of the commander of the faithful, and he listed some ḥadiths transmitted from him. The book is fabricated without a doubt. [Rijal Ibn al-Ghadairi, page 63].

(b). Shia Scholar Shaheed al-Thani stated:

And the way (of transmission) is not reliable. In it is Ibrahim ibn Umar as-Sanani and Abban ibn Abi Ayyash. [al-Tahrir al-Tawusi, page 136, #175].

(c). Shia Shaykh al-Mufeed stated:

This book (Kitab Sulaym) is not reliable, and it is not permissible to act upon most of it, and Distortion and tampering have occurred with its content, so the religious should not act upon everything that that is in it (at all), and not rely on what is written in it or imitate its narrations. [Tasheeh al-I’tiqaadaat al-Imamiyyah, page 149].

(d). Shia Scholar Baqir Al-Bahbudi stated:

There is no doubt that the book is fabricated, and there are signs that suggest this: Like that Mohammad bin Abi Bakr (who was an infant at the time) advised his father upon his deathbed and that the Imams are thirteen.” [Ma’rifat al-Hadeeth, page 359].

(e). Shia Scholar Sayyid Ali Burjardi in the bio of Abban ibn Abi Ayyash, said: Weak. And our companions attributed the FABRICATION of Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays to him.[Taraif al-maqal, vol 2, page 7, #6556].

(f). Shia Scholar Hossein Modarresi stated:

The book is one written by commoners for commoners. It is a display of primitive, unsophisticated beliefs among the rank and file of the Shi’ites of Kufa during the late Umayyad period with clear residues of the usual Kaysani exaggerations on the virtues of the House of the Prophet. It also refers to the Umayyad positions on some of the matters discussed. Many such popular, unsophisticated Shi’ite lines of interpretation and belief were later transformed and developed by the Shi’ite rationalists of the fourth and fifth centuries. Later Shi’ite scholars therefore had problems with the ideas expressed in the book as well as a number of factual errors in it (see Mufid, Tashih ̇: 149, stating that the book is unreliable and that corrupt material has been incorporated into it). However, the text being such an old and persistently popular book among the Shi’ites, and its chain of transmission up to the first alleged transmitter, Aban bin Abi Ayyash, being conventionally held to be strong, some Shi’ite scholars of the early centuries and later times thought that Aba ̄n, who was generally known as an unreliable transmitter, may have been responsible for the corrupt material (see Ibn al-Ghadairi ̄1: 36, 63, 118–19, also emphasizing that the book is undoubtedly a fake and that Aba ̄n is the one suspected of the forgery [also quoted in Ibn al-Mutahhar, Muhanna’iyya: 124]; Ibn Dawud: 178, 414, repeating Ibn al-Ghadairi’s remarks). A prominent recent Shi’ite scholar, while confirming that the book is a fake, holds that this forgery “was done for a good purpose” and that its maker piled up allsorts of data, some well known, others incorrect, but in general aimed to serve a purpose. [Tradition and survival – a bibliographical survey of early Shī’ite literature, Vol 1, page 83-85].

(g). Abu Al-Hasan Al-Sha’rani stated:

The truth of the matter is that the Book of Sulaym was forged for a righteous cause in analogous manner to Kitāb Al-Husayniyyah, the Tara’if of Ibn Dawud, Al-Rihlah Al-Madrasiyyah by Al-Balaghi and similar texts. It’s forger compiled known and unknown details, and since he was fallible, he included incorrect things in it. Apparently, it was fabricated near the end of Umayyad rule…  [Sharh Usul Al-Kafi, vol 2, page 307].

Problems in the Matn(text) of this Report:

The Matn (text) is a clear-fabrication (besides portraying ‘Ali as a weak authority who bows down to the demand of the people which is – allegedly – in violation to the religion!), not supported by any historical account whatsoever. If Ali(RA) vocally opposed Tarawih, how come all the other classical Muslim historians failed to register his opposition in their books, even though they registered his other stances in which he opposed the previous Caliphs in their books. For example, ‘Ali(RA) differed with the previous Caliphs on the issue of Hajj Tamattu, and Sunni scholars clearly recorded his opposition to the stance of the Caliphs, even though he was not even a Caliph at that time. The fact is that Sunni scholars, historians and narrators of Hadith never hesitated from documenting, recording and registering in their books the points on which ‘Ali opposed the previous Caliphs or differed with them. Rather, they carefully recorded all such noteworthy instances in their books. How come, they carefully and meticulously record ‘Ali’s stances of opposition against the previous Caliphs when he is simply a regular citizen of the state, but fail to record the attempts he allegedly made to ‘ban’ or ‘oppose’ Tarawih when he became Caliph? Does this make sense?

Moreover, In text of this report it is stated, {Ali(ra) wanted, “to issue punishment (“Had”) for drinking “Nabeedh” (alcohol made out of barley)”} , However, this is wrong since Nabeedh is a harmless juice, which is non-intoxicating. Nabidh was not drank for intoxication, but rather as a flavoured-drink, this does not fall under the prohibition of drinks which cause intoxication. Therefore, the ruling of prohibition does not fall upon this specific drink Nabidh. The alcohol found in Nabidh naturally occurs from fermentation, and it is commonly known that according to Ahlus-sunnah Nabidh is forbidden after it ferments and thereby becomes toxic, which is why it is only consumed for the first 2-3 days after its preparation. After that period, the content would be thrown away for fear that it might become intoxicating.

Moreover, the Prophet(SAWS) commonly drank Nabidh which was not fermented. There are many narrations to this effect; For example:

Narrated by Anas: I served drink to Allah’s Messenger(SAWS) in this cup of mine: honey, Nabidh, water and milk. [Sahih Muslim, vol 5, page 259, #2008].

We even have Shia narrations regarding the permissibility of Nabidh.

عن عبد الرحمن بن الحجاج قال: استأذنت لبعض أصحابنا على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فسأله عن النبيذ فقال: حلال

Imam Jafar was asked about Nabidh , he said : it is Halal(permissible). [Wasail al-Shia, Vol 25, page 339].

In a similar narration Kalbi says that I said to Imam Jafar: What do you say about Nabidh? He said: It is halal. [Madinatul Mua’jiz, Vol. 5, page 463].

Similarly Shia Shaykh al-Tusi stated:
ولا بأس بشرب النبيذ غير المسكر، وهو أن ينقع التمر أو الزبيب ثم يشربه وهو حلو قبل أن يتغير.

There is no sin in drinking nabidh that is not intoxicating. It is prepared by soaking dates or raisins (in water) and then drinking the water when it is sweet before it changes (ferments). [al-Nihaya, page 592].

Moroever, we have the statements of Shia scholars who have said that wudhu (ablution) can be done with nabidh, because the Prophet(SAWS) did so.

Shaikh Saduq in Man la yahduruhul faqih stated:

ولا بأس بالتوضوء بالنبيذ لان النبي صلى الله عليه وآله قد توضأ به

There is no problem in performing ablution with Nabidh , for the Prophet(SAWS) performed ablution with it. (Man la yahdhuruhul faqih, Vol. 1, page 15).

As for punishing the ones who drank intoxicants then, There are authentic reports in Sunni and Shia books, that those who drank intoxicant were punished by the Caliphs before Ali(RA).

عَلِيٍّ، رضى الله عنه قَالَ جَلَدَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي الْخَمْرِ وَأَبُو بَكْرٍ أَرْبَعِينَ وَكَمَّلَهَا عُمَرُ ثَمَانِينَ وَكُلٌّ سُنَّةٌ

Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib: The Apostle of Allah(SAWS) and AbuBakr gave forty lashes for drinking intoxicant and Umar made it eighty. And all this is sunnah, the model and standard practice. [Sunan Abu Dawood, vol 5, page 89, #4481 : Sahih as per Zubair Ali Za’ee and al-Albani].

Hudayn ibn al-Mundhir ar-Ruqashi, who was AbuSasan, said: I was present with Uthman ibn Affan when al-Walid ibn Uqbah was brought to him. Humran and another man bore witness against him (for drinking wine). One of them testified that he had seen him drinking wine, and the other testified that he had seen him vomiting it. Uthman said: He could not vomit it, unless he did not drink it. He(Uthman) said to Ali: Inflict the prescribed punishment on him. [Sunan Abu Dawood vol 5, page 89, #4480: Sahih]

We read in Shia book:

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنِ ابْنِ فَضَّالٍ عَنِ ابْنِ بُكَيْرٍ عَنْ زُرَارَةَ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا جَعْفَرٍ ( عليه السلام ) يَقُولُ أُقِيمَ عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ وَ قَدْ شَرِبَ الْخَمْرَ فَأَمَرَ بِهِ عُمَرُ أَنْ يُضْرَبَ فَلَمْ يَتَقَدَّمْ عَلَيْهِ أَحَدٌ يَضْرِبُهُ حَتَّى قَامَ عَلِيٌّ ( عليه السلام ) بِنِسْعَةٍ مَثْنِيَّةٍ فَضَرَبَهُ بِهَا أَرْبَعِينَ

Zurarah said: I heard Abu Ja’far (as) say: Ubaydullah bin Umar was to be punished for drinking wine, so Umar ordered that he be beaten as punishment but no one stepped up to do this task, then ‘Ali (as) stood up and hit him with a solid object forty times. [al-Kafi vol 7 page 214 ; Grading: Muwathathaq like Sahih as per Majlisi  in Miraat al-Uqool, vol 23, page 330].

We read Shia book in al-Kafi, under the chapter “What is required as punishment for the one who drinks”

عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنْ يُونُسَ عَنْ أَبِي بَصِيرٍ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ( عليه السلام ) قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُ كَيْفَ كَانَ يَجْلِدُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ (صلى الله عليه وآله ) قَالَ فَقَالَ كَانَ يَضْرِبُ بِالنِّعَالِ وَ يَزِيدُ كُلَّمَا أُتِيَ بِالشَّارِبِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَزَلِ النَّاسُ يَزِيدُونَ حَتَّى وَقَفَ عَلَى ثَمَانِينَ أَشَارَ بِذَلِكَ عَلِيٌّ ( عليه السلام ) عَلَى عُمَرَ فَرَضِيَ بِهَا .
Yunus from abu Baseer from abu ‘Abdullah (as): I asked him: “How did the Prophet (SAWS) used to whip?” He (as) said: “They would hit him with their boots and increase more if he drinks more until he (SAWS) stopped at eighty, ‘Ali (as) advised ‘Umar to do so and he accepted it.” [al-Kafi vol 7, page 214 : Grading: Majlisi said “Sahih” in Miraat al-uqool, vol 23, page 329-330].

Therefore, in the light of all these points we declare with certainty that, this fabricated Sermon in Shia book has been falsely attributed to Imam Ali(RA).

 

XII. Actual Stance of Ali(RA) in regards to Qiyaam in Ramadan with Congregation.

Abu Bakr ibn Ayash asked ‘Ata: ‘Did Ali(RA) lead the people for prayer (i.e. Tarawih) in the month of Ramadan? Ata answered: Are the words of children taken seriously?, By Allah, He(RA) did lead them. [Fadhail Ramadan, by ibn Abi Dunya, page 75, #45].

Similarly, Narrated Abu Bakr ibn Ayash, who said: ‘I asked ‘Ata if Ali(RA) used to lead them in prayer in Ramadan (i.e. Tarawih)? He answered: “The best companions of ‘Ali(RA) such as Zadhan, Abu Al-Bukhtari and others used to call their families and lead them in prayer in the mosque in Ramadan.” [Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba, vol 5, page 157, #7904]

[Note: As per Ibn Hajar in [Taqreeb al-Tahdheeb, page 1118, #8042] Abu Bakr ibn Ayash is a Thiqa Narrator, and when he became old his memory became weak. Moreover, he isn’t mentioning an Isnad, rather a direct conversion, which makes the above reports atleast Hasan(fair) in their grading].

Imam al-Hakim after quoting a report stated:

وفيه الدليل الواضح أن صلاة التراويح في مساجد المسلمين سنة مسنونة وقد كان علي بن أبي طالب يحث عمر رضي الله عنهما على إقامة هذه السنة إلى أن أقامها

A clear evidence is present in this report that, Muslims praying Taraweeh in the Mosques is Masnoon Sunnah. Ali ibn Abi Talib(ra) used to urge Umar(ra) to establish this Sunnah, until he eventually established it. [Mustadrak al Hakim, vol 1, page 607, #1608].

Shias should have no issue in the accepting the statement of Imam Hakim and must accept it whole-heartedly, as they take his views for granted, like in the case of his statement in regards to Ali’s birth in Ka’aba.

 

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions.

Article by Ibn Ahmed al-Hindi.

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