Saturday, July 13, 2013

Concerning the Number of Rak'aat of the Taraaweeh Prayer (Q&A)

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Question: Is there a specific number (of rak’aat) for the Night Prayer or not?

Answer: There is no specific number (of rak’aat) that one is obligated to abide by when performing the Night Prayer. So if a person spends the whole night in prayer, there is no harm in this. And if he prays twenty rak’aat or fifty rak’aat, there is nothing wrong with this either. However, the best number (of rak’aat) to pray is that which the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to do, which was either eleven or thirteen rak’aat. This is because when the Mother of the Believers, ‘Aa’ishah, was asked about how the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would pray in Ramadaan, she replied:

“He would not exceed eleven rak’aat whether in Ramadaan or out of it.” [1]

However, these rak’aat must be done in the prescribed manner. One must prolong his recitation, bowing, prostrating, standing after bowing, and sitting between prostrations in it. This is contrary to what the people do today – they pray in a rush and prevent the followers from doing what they are required to do in prayer.

An Imaam is a position of leadership. And when someone is a leader, he must do what is best and most fitting (for the people). As for an Imaam not having any concern except to leave early, this is wrong. Rather, a person should do what the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to do, such as prolonging his standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting in accordance to what is mentioned in the texts. He should also lengthen his supplication, recitation of the Qur’aan, glorification of Allaah and so on.

[1] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no. 1147) and Muslim (no. 1670)

Source:  Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-'Uthaimeen
48 Su'aalan fis-Siyaam (


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this valuable information about rakat of night salat. May Allah help us to offer all the prayers and forgive us. Thanks

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