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Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
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najeeb
 
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Quote najeeb Replybullet Topic: taraweeh prayers
    Posted: 11 April 2008 at 10:44pm
bismillah wal salat a'ala muhammad wa aali muhammad...
salam,

this is my first discussion and i hope this will be a fruitful experience. I would like to start with the controversial topic of Taraweeh prayers.

The fact is that these prayers are performed by the Sunnis around the world every Ramadan in congregation in the Mosques, while the imami shia'a perform special nawafil at home.

Of course, each sect has their own arguments. Because of the differing views, I have researched it objectively for my own conviction. For now, I will avoid citing any traditions or references. I will come back to them as needed or requested.

Here are the facts:
1- Taraweeh prayers were not performed at the time of the prophet.
2- on different occasions during ramadan, the companions saw the prophet performing nawafil at night and they lined up behind him to follow his prayers. He admonished them and asked them not to repeat.
3- the prophet decreed that the obligatory prayers are best rewarded when prayed in congregation while the non-obligatory ones are best rewarded when prayed alone at home.
4- the concept of taraweeh was an innovation of umar, the 2nd caliph who encouraged it and started it.

clearly, this practice was not the sunnah of the prophet but a practice initiated by the second caliph, whoo took great pride for it. moreover, the prophet did not allow the companions to perform this practice. The Quran tells us to take from the prophet what he allows us and leave what he forbids us. as muslims, so now, i am convinced that taraweeh is not Sunnah.

please share your thoughts. references are available upon request.

salam





Edited by Andalus - 02 May 2008 at 10:24pm
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Quote minuteman Replybullet Posted: 12 April 2008 at 6:39am
 
 Please give your references. Taraveeh prayer is a Sunnah. The very early Muslims could not be misled so quickly into something bad. You give your supporting views.  Remember that the prophet performed such a prayer for three nights with others. After that he discontinued.
 
 But the people did continue their prayers individually in the mosque. If it was not any important prayer then why did the Muslims do it in the mosque (even if without Imam). They were doing it. Why they were doing it?? You are coming now after 1400 years and telling something strange as if they were doing wrong.
 
 The only change that was made in the Traveeh prayer was after the passing  away of the prophet, i.e. in the time of the 2nd Khalifah, hazrat Umar r.a. Remember that upto that time, the Muslims were praying extra prayers in the mosque individually. Please keep that in mind.
 
 Hazrat Umar only suggested that it would be better done in congregation, under an Imam who will recite the Quran. Hazrat Umar did not make it obligatory. It was left to every one's will, and there could be more than One Jama'at also, no harm. The number that was suggested was 20 Raka'at (portions). There was no harm.
 
 Traveeh has a unbroken history ( Sunnah). Also remember that it was not a bad suggestion by Hazrat Umar. There is a Hadith "My Companions (Sahabah) are like the shining stars. Whomsoever you will follow, you will be guided." So no harm in following the advice of Hazrat Umar r.a.
 
 Also Sunnah is of two types. One is obligatory. The other is non-obligatory.
 
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Quote najeeb Replybullet Posted: 12 April 2008 at 9:57am
salam,
thank you for your response. here are your points:
1- prophet performed such a prayer for three nights with others. After that he discontinued.
2- The Muslims were praying extra prayers in the mosque individually.
3- Umar only suggested that it would be better done in congregation
4- it was not a bad suggestion by Hazrat Umar
5- My Companions (Sahabah) are like the shining stars. Whomsoever you will follow, you will be guided.

I will discuss one point at a time so we can be more efficient. So I will start with point #1. Once we come to an agreement, we'll move to point 2. this way we can focus.

point 1: prophet performed such a prayer for three nights with others. After that he discontinued.

in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, #134 - Book: al-Adab; Page 1308, #6112 (Arabic version):
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 at your homes, for the best prayer of a person is the one which he offers at home, except the compulsory (congregational) prayer."

another one in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 11, #698 - Book: al-Adhaan; Page 163, #731 (Arabic version):
Narrated Zaid bin Thabit: Allah's Apostle made a small room in the month of Ramadan (Sa'id said, "I think that Zaid bin Thabit said that it was made of a mat") and he prayed there for a few nights, and so some of his companions prayed behind him. When he came to know about it, he kept on sitting. In the morning, he went out to them and said, "I have seen and understood what you did. You should pray in your houses, for the best prayer of a person is that which he prays in his house except the compulsory prayers."

from these narrations we take the following accurate points:
a- the fact that he made a small room to perform these nawafil in shows that these prayers were not to be congregational. Otherwise, he would have gone to the mosque and proclaim it.
b- the prophet used to perform THE RAMADAN NAWAFIL ALONE every night during his lifetime and so did the companions.
c- the prophet never called the companions to perform these prayers with him in congregation.
d- the companions chose to perform these prayers behind the prophet without his advise or even asking. As a result of their action, he came out to them in a state of anger, with an advice to perform these prayers at home and alone.
e- They never performed these prayers behind him again after that night.
f- he advised them to offer these prayers in their homes (HERE IS THE SUNNAH), because the best prayer of a person is the one which he offers at home, except FOR the compulsory (congregational) prayers.

So back to your point: the prophet performed these prayers ALONE, and ordered the companions NOT to perform these prayers in congregation BUT to perform them ALONE AT HOME, as this is BEST for them. Are we not supposed to follow his advice?

do u agree/desagree with any of these facts? these statements are not mine, they are the prophet's.

salam

Edited by najeeb - 12 April 2008 at 2:22pm
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Quote minuteman Replybullet Posted: 13 April 2008 at 1:21pm
 The statements will have to be checked. I do not agree with you. If the hadith is as you have posted (exactly as you have posted) then you have a point. If there is any variation then your point will not stand. I feel that the Hadith is not as you have mentioned. You have mentioned two hadith.
 
 The first one is different from the second Hadith. The second one seems to be better one. But it will have to be checked. Let us not waste time. I will try to check and give my reply. Until then I do not agree with you on your points. Please go on to discuss my second point. i.e.
2- The Muslims were praying extra prayers in the mosque individually
Thanks.
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Quote najeeb Replybullet Posted: 14 April 2008 at 10:00pm
bismillah wal salat a'ala muhammad wa aali muhammad...
salam,
let me give u the same narrations in arabic if it helps at all and as they are written in the book of bukhari:
The first one is (http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=0&Rec=9132):
وَقَالَ الْمَكِّيُّ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ ح و حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ زِيَادٍ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي سَالِمٌ أَبُو النَّضْرِ مَوْلَى عُمَرَ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ عَنْ بُسْرِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ ‏احْتَجَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حُجَيْرَةً مُخَصَّفَةً أَوْ حَصِيرًا فَخَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُصَلِّي فِيهَا فَتَتَبَّعَ إِلَيْهِ رِجَالٌ وَجَاءُوا يُصَلُّونَ بِصَلَاتِهِ ثُمَّ جَاءُوا لَيْلَةً فَحَضَرُوا وَأَبْطَأَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْهُمْ فَلَمْ يَخْرُجْ إِلَيْهِمْ فَرَفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَهُمْ وَحَصَبُوا الْبَابَ فَخَرَجَ إِلَيْهِمْ مُغْضَبًا فَقَالَ لَهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَا زَالَ بِكُمْ صَنِيعُكُمْ حَتَّى ظَنَنْتُ أَنَّهُ سَيُكْتَبُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِالصَّلَاةِ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ صَلَاةِ الْمَرْءِ فِي بَيْتِهِ إِلَّا الصَّلَاةَ الْمَكْتُوبَةَ

the second one is (http://hadith.al-islam.com/Display/Display.asp?Doc=0&Rec=1177):
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْأَعْلَى بْنُ حَمَّادٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا وُهَيْبٌ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ عُقْبَةَ عَنْ سَالِمٍ أَبِي النَّضْرِ عَنْ بُسْرِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ اتَّخَذَ حُجْرَةً قَالَ حَسِبْتُ أَنَّهُ قَالَ مِنْ حَصِيرٍ فِي رَمَضَانَ فَصَلَّى فِيهَا لَيَالِيَ فَصَلَّى بِصَلَاتِهِ نَاسٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِهِ فَلَمَّا عَلِمَ بِهِمْ جَعَلَ يَقْعُدُ فَخَرَجَ إِلَيْهِمْ فَقَالَ قَدْ عَرَفْتُ الَّذِي رَأَيْتُ مِنْ صَنِيعِكُمْ فَصَلُّوا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ فَإِنَّ أَفْضَلَ الصَّلَاةِ صَلَاةُ الْمَرْءِ فِي بَيْتِهِ إِلَّا الْمَكْتُوبَةَ

There are more and here is a 3rd one (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 92, #393 - Book: Holding Fast to the Qur'an and Sunnah)
Narrated Zaid bin Thabit: The Prophet took a room made of date palm leaves mats in the mosque. Allah's Apostle prayed in it for a few nights till the people gathered (to pray the night prayer (Tarawih) (behind him.) Then on the 4th night the people did not hear his voice and they thought he had slept, so some of them started humming in order that he might come out. The Prophet then said, "You continued doing what I saw you doing till I was afraid that this (Tarawih prayer) might be enjoined on you, and if it were enjoined on you, you would not continue performing it. Therefore, O people! Perform your prayers at your homes, for the best prayer of a person is what is performed at his home except the compulsory congregational) prayer." (See Hadith No. 229,Vol. 3) (See Hadith No. 134, Vol. 8)
حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ أَخْبَرَنَا عَفَّانُ حَدَّثَنَا وُهَيْبٌ حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ عُقْبَةَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا النَّضْرِ يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ بُسْرِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ اتَّخَذَ حُجْرَةً فِي الْمَسْجِدِ مِنْ حَصِيرٍ فَصَلَّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِيهَا لَيَالِيَ حَتَّى اجْتَمَعَ إِلَيْهِ نَاسٌ ثُمَّ فَقَدُوا صَوْتَهُ لَيْلَةً فَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُ قَدْ نَامَ فَجَعَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ يَتَنَحْنَحُ لِيَخْرُجَ إِلَيْهِمْ فَقَالَ مَا زَالَ بِكُمْ الَّذِي رَأَيْتُ مِنْ صَنِيعِكُمْ حَتَّى خَشِيتُ أَنْ يُكْتَبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَوْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ مَا قُمْتُمْ بِهِ فَصَلُّوا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ فَإِنَّ أَفْضَلَ صَلَاةِ الْمَرْءِ فِي بَيْتِهِ إِلَّا الصَّلَاةَ الْمَكْتُوبَةَ

They all convey the same point: the prophet advised (which is a sunnah) to prayer the ramadan prayers (nawafil) alone at home. He refused to let these prayers be performed in congragation.

POINT#2: The Muslims were performing extra prayers in the mosque individually (during ramadan), as the prophet told them to do, even though HOME was preferred location. This was the sunnah of the prophet, until Umar changed it.

POINT#3: Umar only suggested that it would be better done in congregation. If the prophet, who was more knowledgeable than Umar with regards to the Laws of Islam, commanded that these prayers are not to be performed in congregration, how could Umar think the contrary??? Has Umar become more knowledgeable than the prophet? Do the opinions of the companions overwrite the Sunnah of the prophet? I truly hope you don;t believe that:

Quran 33:36
It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

Quran 59:7
...and whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back,...
...وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا ...

salam
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Quote minuteman Replybullet Posted: 15 April 2008 at 12:22am
 
 I feel that you have provided the good references. It is too fine for me to read. But it is o.k. I agree and thank you. The meaning derived is resting on the fact that the prophet advised the Nawafil to be performed at home rather than the mosque. That was (and is) a good advice. But it does not forbid any one to perform Nafal prayers in the mosques.
 
 please try to understand that the prophet saying that nawafil can be better performed at home is not necessary to be followed in word and deed. If you do not agree to me then I may say that there should only be the Faradh (Obligatory, Congregational) prayers in the mosque, and no other prayer. But that would be wrong and I am sure that you will agree with me on that, I hope you understand my point.
 
 Please do not take the words of the prophet s.a.w.s. as the final words regarding all types of prayers. Otherwise, there will be no prayer of any kind in the mosque other than the congregational prayers. The advice of the prophet is however very good and valid even today. Let me know about my point here.
 
 Now we come to the other part. You agree that the people were in the habit of praying their Taraveeh in the mosque individually. It was Umar who changed the system and told them to pray collectively. Is that right? Is that the problem now?? Please tell me ! I will respond to that, Insha Allah.
 
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Quote najeeb Replybullet Posted: 16 April 2008 at 7:43pm
salam,
i am glad we agree on something. you are right what you say that the advice of the prophet does not forbid any one to perform Nafal prayers in the mosques. However, it is wrong to pray these particular nawafil (ramadan) in the mosque because it is not the sunnah of the prophet. The prophet might have prayed other nawafils in the mosque, but not the ramadan nawafil.

it is our duty as muslims to abide by the quran and the sunnah. The sunnah is clear regarding the nawafil:

"Once Abdullah bin Mas'ud asked the Prophet (s): "Which is better; to pray in my house or in the mosque?" The Prophet (s) replied: "Do you not see how near to the mosque my house is? To pray in my house is more beloved to me than to pray in the mosque except for the obligatory prayers."
Reference: Ibn Majah, Sunan, volume 1, page 439, number 1378

فَصَلُّوا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ فَإِنَّ أَفْضَلَ صَلَاةِ الْمَرْءِ فِي بَيْتِهِ إِلَّا الصَّلَاةَ الْمَكْتُوبَةَ

of course the words of the prophet are the final words. it is him that allah sent to mankind to guide, teach and advise. It is thru him that religion has been completed. so there is NO room for anyone to change what the prophet already established.

on what basis can someone less knowledgeable than the prophet come and change what the prophet had already established? today, the majority of the Muslims practice taraweeh the Umar way and left the prophet's way, which is the best of ways. Also remember that the prophet's way comes from Allah. How could someone override the prophet's way then? what is the rationale behind such thinking? how could the ways of the seal of prophethood, the master of all prophets and the beloved prophet of God be replaced? Don't u agree that Allah desires us to follow his prophet Muhammad? whether Fardh or not, it is still the Sunnah of the prophet. Like Allah said:

Quran 33:36
It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا

does this not mean the way of the prophet is not to be changed?

Quran 59:7
...and whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back,...
...وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا...

why should we not follow what the prophet advised and ordered? why should change our practices stemming from opinions to result (and have resulted) into desagreements? why not just pray in the mosque the prayers that were prayed by the prophet and at home those he prayed at home? what does someone have to come and change that??

If we both follow the established sunnah, we'll both agree and we would not be having this discussion. However and unfortunately, one's opinion has to come into play to change and complicate things. The advice of the prophet is the best we have and nothing surpasses it. His way is the true way and anything different is the wrong way. it is commonsense.

furtheremore, any practice that differs from the practice of the prophet is a bida'at, and was treated as such by its innovator, Umar:

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." 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. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night."

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ عَنْ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ عَنْ حُمَيْدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ‏أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ قَالَ ابْنُ شِهَابٍ فَتُوُفِّيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَالْأَمْرُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ كَانَ الْأَمْرُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ فِي خِلَافَةِ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَصَدْرًا مِنْ خِلَافَةِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا.
وَعَنْ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ عَنْ عُرْوَةَ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَبْدٍ الْقَارِيِّ أَنَّهُ قَالَ خَرَجْتُ مَعَ عُمَرَ بْنِ الْخَطَّابِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ لَيْلَةً فِي رَمَضَانَ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ فَإِذَا النَّاسُ أَوْزَاعٌ مُتَفَرِّقُونَ يُصَلِّي الرَّجُلُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَيُصَلِّي الرَّجُلُ فَيُصَلِّي بِصَلَاتِهِ الرَّهْطُ فَقَالَ عُمَرُ إِنِّي أَرَى لَوْ جَمَعْتُ هَؤُلَاءِ عَلَى قَارِئٍ وَاحِدٍ لَكَانَ أَمْثَلَ ثُمَّ عَزَمَ فَجَمَعَهُمْ عَلَى أُبَيِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ ثُمَّ خَرَجْتُ مَعَهُ لَيْلَةً أُخْرَى وَالنَّاسُ يُصَلُّونَ بِصَلَاةِ قَارِئِهِمْ قَالَ عُمَرُ نِعْمَ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ وَالَّتِي يَنَامُونَ عَنْهَا أَفْضَلُ مِنْ الَّتِي يَقُومُونَ يُرِيدُ آخِرَ اللَّيْلِ وَكَانَ النَّاسُ يَقُومُونَ أَوَّلَهُ

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 32, #227 - Book: al-Tarawih; Page 417, #2009, Page 418, #2010 (Arabic version)

does islam need any innovation when it is complete? again, use your commonsense and be objective.

salam

Edited by najeeb - 16 April 2008 at 8:36pm
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Quote minuteman Replybullet Posted: 17 April 2008 at 3:41am
 
 Sorry, I cannot convince you more than what I have done. You are not trying to understand that the words of the prophet were with preference. He did not forbid the Muslims to pray in the mosque. I have proved to you that during the life of the prophet, the Sahabah used to pray in the mosque at night (individually). That much is proved. People were doing it even though not collectively. So that is settled.
 
 Also keep in mind that prophet did not prohobit ny one from praying in the mosque at night.
 
 We know that the nawafil are best performed at home by gentlemen. The nawafil for ladies are best performed at home in the inner room. And so on. These are only preferred ways of doing things. If any one perfoms his Salat nawafil in the mosque then it is not a sin or any disobedience of the prophet. If you can understand and agree to that then we will take up the matter further on. Thanks.
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