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They Walked Out of the Prophet’s Masjid After the 10th Rakʾah: An Account of Major Scholars Clinging to the Narrations on 11 Rakaʿāt in the Night Prayer

Shaykh Nizār ibn Hāshim al-Sudānī

An account of how numerous scholars held firm to not exceeding the actions of the Prophet (ﷺ) in performance of the night prayer.

There is no evidence to increase upon the established eleven rakʿahs mentioned in the ḥadīth of our mother ʿĀʾishah1 and that of Ibn ʿAbbās2, as well as the command the Caliph ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb gave to his two imams3 for the night prayer, regardless if this increase happens in the beginning (e.g. tarawīḥ), middle, or end of the night (e.g. tahajjud). The best of guidance is his guidance (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and the guidance of his companions, may Allāh be pleased with them.

I prayed in the Prophet’s Mosque and I saw our mashāyikh actualizing this sunnah, may Allāh preserve those of them who are alive and have mercy upon those who have passed away. When the Imām would finish praying the tenth rakʿah in tarāwīḥ out of twenty-three rakʿahs (prayed), which is in opposition (to the Sunnah), they would withdraw from the Imām and exit the masjid with a large gathering of students of knowledge: the likes of Shaykh al-ʿAllāmah Muḥammad Amān al-Jāmī, Shaykh al-ʿAllāmah Ḥammād al-Ansārī, Shaykh al-ʿAllāmah Rabīʿ al-Madkhalī, Shaykh al-ʿAllāmah Ṣafī al-Raḥmān al-Mubārakfūrī.

I was also informed that al-ʿAllāmah Shaykh al-Albānī would not pray tarāwīḥ in Madīnah in the Prophet’s mosque but he would rather pray at a mosque which would suffice with the Sunnah – eleven rakʿat, may Allāh have mercy upon him. Perhaps the reason he did this was because he was of the view that the imām should be followed in his error, the error here being increasing beyond the Sunnah in the Prophet’s Mosque. Thus, the shaykh left off going there and went elsewhere instead due to this view and ijtihād. As for the rest of these senior scholars, perhaps they shared the same view as our Shaykh, Rabīʿ, the lion of Sunnah, that the imām is not followed in error, so they completed (prayers) with the imām during his correctness while withdrawing and opposing him in his error of increasing (the number of prayer units beyond eleven rakʿahs).

Therefore, these textual evidences, narrations, the mentioned actions of the senior scholars of our time, and likewise the statement of al-ʿAllāmah Shaykh Ibn Bāz, may Allāh have mercy upon him, in regards to this issue, “what is foremost is to suffice with the sunnah”, as well as what al-ʿAllāmah al-Albānī has penned and spread in the form of speech and writing, all this should be sufficient—if Allāh wills—and plentiful in evidence, following and finding sufficiency in the Sunnah.

If al-ʿAllāmah al-Albānī has declared this made-up tahajjud (i.e. praying tahajjud after completing tarawīḥ) to be an innovation, then it is so because he is an Imām of Sunnah! I am behind him in this and will be until I die, if Allāh wills.

Endnotes:

[1] ʿĀ’ishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) said, “The Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not increase upon eleven rakʿahs (in the night prayer) in Ramadān or outside of it.” (Muslim no. 738, Bukhāri no. 1147). ʿĀ’ishah (may Allāh be pleased with her) was the most knowledgeable concerning the practice of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) at night.” (Fat’ḥ al-Bārī 4/54).
[2] Kurayb, the freed slave of Ibn ʿAbbās (may Allāh be pleased with him), said: I asked Ibn ʿAbbās, ‘How did the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) pray at night?’ He said: ‘He prayed eleven rakʿahs including Wiṭr.’” (An-Nasāʾī no. 687).
[3] Mālik reported that Muḥammad b. Yūsuf reported that al-Sāʾib b. Yazīd said: ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb commanded ʾUbay b. Kaʿb and Tamīm al-Dārī (may Allāh be pleased with them) to lead the people in eleven rakʿahs. (Muwaṭṭaʾ 1/115, its men are trustworthy and the chain is authentic).

Source: الرد على من يحتج للزيادة في التراويح بصلاة الحرمين
Translated by: Munīb al-Ṣumālī

Published: March 31, 2024
Edited: March 31, 2024

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