Taraweeh Salaah – Night 4
By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia – Canada
In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Tonight’s Tarawee consists of the last quarter of Lantana(Juz 4) to the end of Wal-Muh’sanat(Juz 5). The Surah covers three quarter of Surah An-Nisaa. This Surah is closely related with the previous Surah and deals with the social problems that the Muslim community had to face immediately following the Battle of Uhud.
The principals laid down in this Surah have always been regarded as Muslim Law and social practice for The Muslim Ummah for all times. This Surah can be divided into two different parts: (1) Dealing with general family life, the rights of women in Islam; treatment towards orphans and the rights of orphans; laws dealing with inheritance and marriage; (2) Dealing with the Muslim community in Madinah as well as dealing with the hypocrites and the Jews. Hence in this Surah, we find the regulations laid down for both our private law as well as our attitude towards our territorial neighbours.
The Surah begins with an appeal to the unity of mankind since Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal created mankind from “a single soul”. Women and orphans have certain rights which must always be fulfilled. We are asked to treat women and orphans in a just manner. Husband and Wife must honour each other. Close family relationships that are blessed with offspring are healthy and are a great source of Allah’s Pleasure. This leads to the discussion of Laws and Inheritance, indicating that justice must extend to the distribution of wealth to all family members. We must follow Allah’s Commandments towards family while they are alive as well as when they have departed from this Doonya.
The Bani Isra’eel are accused of indulging in twisting words and making fun of the Divine Commandments and believing in magic and evil. The hypocrites are also warned. The only salvation left for these misguided people is to accept Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam as the true Messenger of Allah and to accept the Holy Qur’an as the final revealed message with complete confidence. Muslims are told to be well prepared against their enemies as well as against the hypocrites. The lives of Muslims are sacred and a believer should never kill another believer. If one slays a believer in error, full compensation should be made to his family.
Do not judge those who offer Salaam to you; instead investigate the matter thoroughly before passing judgement. Do not live in a place that is hostile towards Islam – if you are able to migrate to a safer place. We are asked to shorten our Salaat in times of danger and on journeys. Do not go astray but follow the Laws of Allah as laid down in the Holy Qur’an. Muslims are told that the best form of charity is charity that is given secretly; restore brotherhood and peace between quarreling Muslims. Shirk is not forgiven.
Being just to orphans and women is part of Imaan. Practice justice even if the verdict is against yourself or your family members. Strengthen your faith by rejecting evil deeds and hypocrisy. Speak truthfully and avoid hurting the feelings of others. All the Prophets of Allah Alayhim Salaam brought the same message of Truth…the Message of Islam thus do not say: “We believe in (the teachings of) some but reject (the teachings of) others.”
In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Tonight’s Tarawee consists of the second half of Tilka(Juz 3) and three quarters of Lantana(Juz 4). Tonight we cover and complete Surah Al-i-Imran in its entirety [The Family of Imran].
Surah Al-i-Imran is cognate to Surah Al-Baqara, but the matter is here treated from a different point of view. The reference to the Battle of Badr (Ramadan A.H.2) and the Battle of Uhud (Shawwal A.H. 3) gives us a clue to the dates of these passages. Like Surah Al-Baqara, Surah Al-i-Imran takes a general view of the religious history of mankind, with special reference to the People of the Book, proceeds to explain the birth of the new Ummah of Islam and their ordinances, insists on the need of struggle and fighting in the cause of Truth, and exhorts those who have been blessed with Islam to remain constant in Faith, pray for guidance, and maintain their spiritual hope for the future.
The new points of view developed are: (1) The emphasis here is laid down on the duty of the Christians to accept the new light; the Christians are specially appealed to, as the Jews were specially appealed to in Surah Al-Baqara; (2) the lessons of the Battles of Badr and Uhud are set out for the Muslim community; and (3) the responsibilities of that community are insisted on both internally and in their relations to those outside. The People of the Book had only a portion of the Book, and if they reject the complete Book, the People of Imaan must part company with them, and their day is done. The story of the Family of Imran (the father of Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam) leads us from the Mosaic Dispensation to the miracles connected with the birth of Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam and his ministry.
Allah’s revelation being continuous, all people are invited to accept its completion in Islam, and controversies are deprecated. The Muslims are asked to hold together in union and harmony, and are promised security from harm from their enemies, and enjoined to seek friendship among their own people. The great Battle of Badr showed how Almighty Allah helps and upholds the virtuous and how patience, perseverance, and discipline find their reward; on the other hand, the lessons of Uhud must be learnt, not in despair, but in the exercise of the higher virtues and in contempt of pain and death. The misfortunes at Uhud are shown to be due to the indiscipline of some, the indecision and selfishness of others, and cowardice on the part of the hypocrites, but no enemy can hurt Allah’s Cause. The taunts of the enemy should be disregarded, and sincere prayer offered to Allah Who would grant His servants success and prosperity.
The Holy Quran’s revelation has, step by step, confirmed the Laws of Nabee Moosa and the Gospel of Nabee Esa Alayhim Salaam. It is a guide from Almighty Allah, and appeals to reason and understanding. Let us understand it rightly, in reverence and truth, unswayed by those who reject faith, and seeking ever the reward of the Pleasure of Allah, through firmness, patience, discipline, and charity, and offering others the Light which we have ourselves received.
In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Tonight’s Tarawee consists of the last three quarters of Sayakool and the First Half of Tilka. The Surah covered is the final third of Surah Al-Baqara
In the very first Sipara, we are told how Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam, together with his son Hazrat Isma’il Alayhis Salaam built the Holy Ka’bah, which stood for the centre of Tawhid and the Unity of Islam. Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salaam prayed upon completing the construction of the Holy Ka’bah: “O our Lord! Make us among those who submit to Your Will and make our offspring an Ummah that bows down to Your Will.” Upon this, the brotherhood of the Muslim Ummah was established and the symbol of that unity was the Holy Ka’bah.
The rules of of Huqooq-ul-la and Huqooq-ul-Ibad were laid down for the Muslim Ummah. Huqooq-ul-la dealt with mankind’s relationship with Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal while Huqooqul-Ibad dealth with man’s relationship with his fellow man. The Most Glorious and Noble Qur’an emphasizes that righteousness does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that doing things whose importance cannot be comprehended, but in faith, (Imaan), kindness, prayer, Ibadah, Charity, Zakaat, patience, Sabr, caring and sharing, adversity under suffering and good moral conduct and behaviour in general.
Rules and regulations are laid down relating to Halal and Haram foods, Laws of inheritance, fasting, Jihad, Drinking and gambling; treatment of orphans, and women, prohibition from taking interest (Ribah) etc. In short, if one desires to be a good Muh’min, he or she must follow the Divine Commandments of Almighty Allah Exalted. Nothing short of this can make a Muh’min a true and confirmed Muslim.
The subject of Jihad is discussed with reference to Nabee Dawood Alayhis Salaam battle with Jalut (Goliath) and his ultimate victory. Nabee Dawood Alayhis Salaam was blessed with great physical strength. He was a true and mighty defender of Almighty Allah’s Din. We are also told about Nabee Isa Alayhis Salaam and how he was strengthened with the “Divine Word of Rabbul Ala’meen”. We learn how Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam called upon the Bani Isra’eel to cease their evil ways.
References to Nabee Isa and Nabee Moosa Alayhim Salaam regarding the question of Jihad was covered the first night of Tarawee. From the examples of these three great prophets – Alayhim Salaam, we are informed how the three levels of Jihad work: (1) Arming oneself with nothing but the truth (2) fighting and overcoming the evils within ourselves and replacing it with true Imaan (3) Defending the Glorious Din of Al-Islam.
As Muslims, we know that our beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam was Rahmatul Liel Ala’meen and that he possessed all these qualities for His Jihad.
In conclusion we are told that true goodness lies in practical deeds of Muhabbat, kindness, strong Imaan and manliness. Almighty Allah’s Nature is discussed in the most beautiful, eloquent and sublime Ayat-ul-Kursi – the Verse of the Throne. There are two major aspects remaining before the Surah comes to an end. The first is an announcement from Almighty Rabbul Ala’meen to mankind urging man to have true faith in the Divine Commandments and that our faith must be proven by our personal responsibilities as true believers. Secondly, man is taught a beautiful prayer and that he should forever turn to none other than the Most Glorious Creator and Sustainer for all his needs.
Note to the Khateeb or Speaker: It would be advisable to recite verses 285 and 286 together with its meanings.
In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
“Blessed is He Who hath revealed unto His slave the FURQAN [the Criterion of Right and Wrong], that He may be a warner to mankind. He unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, He hath chosen no son nor hath He any partner in the Sovereignty. He Who created all things, and ordered them in due proportion”. [Surah Al-Furqan: Verses 1 and 2].
“We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an,In order that you may learn wisdom.” [Surah Yusuf Verse 2].
In the spirit of the above verses these notes are being prepared in order to foster an interest in understanding the Most Glorious and Noble Qur’an with the sincere intention of recognizing it as a practical Divine Book with which to influence our lives. How much more inspiring would it have been if only all of us would have understood a minute portion of its Divine Message. It is hoped Insha’Allah that that we can all derive full advantage of this humble effort. It is humbly suggested that this brief synopsis of the Surah/Surahs as recited each night during Ramadan be explained to the Jamaat prior to commencing the Tarawee prayers.
May Almighty Allah Jallah Wa’ala in His Infinite Mercy and Bounty accept our humble efforts and may He accept all our Duahs,Supplications, Ibadah and good deeds during this glorious month of Ramadan and throughout the coming years – Insha’Allah Bie Itt’Nillah. Ameen Ya Rabbul Ala’meen.
The Surahs recited for the first night of Tarawee consists of: Surah Al-Fatiha and two thirds of Surah Al-Baqara.
SYNOPSIS OF SURAH FATIHA
The prayers and invocations with which our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam began a prayer-service would appear to be little else than the acknowledgement and affirmation before Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala of His Glory, His Unity, His Majesty and His Greatness and of one’s own humbleness.”O Allah! With Thy glorification and Thy Praise; Blessed is Thy name, and great is Thy Glory, and there is no god save Thee.”O Allah! I seek refuge in Thee from the enticement, the whisper and the spit of Shaytaan Lanathulahi Alay.” Refuge is then sought from Shaythaan and in order to keep the Salaat and reverence for the Most Holy and Glorious Qura’n safe from his evils it is begun with Bismillah, in accordance with the Quranic dictum: Verse 98 of Surah An-Nahl:
“And when thou recitest the Qura’n, seek refuge in Allah from Shayhaan the outcast.”
Let us now take Surah Al- Fatihah. Our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wassallam said that Surah Al- Fatihah is the greatest and most virtuous in the Most Holy and Glorious Qura’n and declared: “By Him Who is in possession of my life, a ‘Surah’ like this one has neither been revealed in the Taura’h, nor in the Zaboor, nor in the Injeel nor even in the rest of the Most Holy Qura’n.” Hazrat Hassen Al- Basri Rahmatullahi Alay reports the saying of our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alyhi Wasallam “that whoever reads Surah Fateha with total and complete understanding is like one who has read the Taura’h, the Zaboor, the Injeel and the Most Holy and Glorious Qura’n. It is also reported in a Hadith that Shaytaan Lannatulahi Alay lamented, wept and threw dust on his head on four different occasions; first when he was cursed; secondly when he was cast out of Jannah; thirdly when our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam received his Prophethood and fourthly, when Surah Al-Fatihah was revealed. Surah Al- Fatihah is without any doubt, a priceless gem of the Holy Qura’n. If the scholars, moral teachers and spiritual mentors of the world were to get together to produce a text which could suffice for all of mankind, irrespective of the diversity of their needs and circumstances, and through which they could express in their prayers what lay at the bottom of their hearts they could not bring forth the like of it.
Since Surah Al-Fatihah is the first chapter of the Holy Qura’n, it has been referred to as Fatihatul-Kitaab or the opening of the Qura’n. Because of its intrinsic value, it has been assigned a place of honour in the Most Holy and Glorious Qura’n and allowed to appear at the very beginning of the opening chapter. Indeed, the Most Holy and Glorious Qura’n endorses its importance in the following terms as declared by Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala in verse 87 of Surah Al-Hijr:
“O Prophet! It is a fact that We have given thee seven oft-repeated verses and the great Qura’n.”
These Seven oft-repeated verses are the Opening Surah and they sum up the entire teaching of the Holy Qur’an. What can be a more precious gift to a Muslim than the Glorious Qur’an or any Surah of it? All the wealth in the world, honour and material possessions sinks into insignificance in comparison with it. Surah Al-Fatihah is also called “Umm-ul-Qur’an ” (the core of the Qur’an), “Al-Kafia” (the Sufficient), “Al-Kanz” (the Treasure House), “Asasul-Qur’an” (the basis of the Qur’an) and “Sab’a-al-Mathani” (The oft-repeated seven), each emphasizing a particular aspect of its great and paramount importance. To style this chapter as “Umm-ul-Qur’an” (the core of the Qur’an) is to acknowledge that in its tense comprehensiveness, it concentrates within its ambit the thought-content of the entire Qur’an, and that, on that account, it rightly deserves the place of honour among its chapters. If any one of us were to read nothing but Surah Al-Fatihah out of the Qur’an and grasp its true meaning, we would understand all the essentials of the Faith which form the subject of detailed exposition by the Qur’an. Hence, knowledge of the contents of Surah Al-Fatihah is regarded as indispensable to a Muslim. According to Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam is reported to have said that “there is no Salaat for him who does not recite Surah Fatihah.” What plainer view can be taken of human devotion to Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala and all that it implies than what is presented in Surah Al-Fatihah?
Here are but seven brief phrases, each one of not more than five words, every word crystal clear and impressive. Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala is here invoked in His Attributes, the manifestations of which mankind beholds day in and day out, however much he may, through indifference, neglect to reflect over them. Here you have mankind’s admission of his absolute dependence on none other than Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala, his acknowledgement of the Divine Kindness shown to him, his earnest yearning to be saved from the pitfalls of life and to be led along the straight path i.e. The Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem By way of Surah Al-Fatiha – Almighty Allah Azza Wajjal teaches us and He introduces Himself to us and He tells us with words of wisdom and with the expression of Truth of His Sovereignty, His Qualities and His relationship with mankind and with the rest of His creation. He tells us to commit ourselves totally and completely to Him Alone if we want to succeed in this life as well as in the Aghirah. The essence of Surah Al-Fatiha is that mankind is crying out to the Glorious Creator and Sustainer: “O Almighty Rabbul Ala’meen! Help me and show me the Right Path, the Royal highway leading to the Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem”.
[The Cow revealed in Madinah and contains 286 Verses].
Surah Al-Baqara sums up the teachings of the Most Glorious Qur’an. When mankind is crying out to the Glorious Creator and Sustainer: “O Almighty Rabbul Ala’meen! Help me and show me the Right Path, the Royal highway leading to the Path of Seerathal Mustaqeem” – Almighty Allah Jallah Wa’ala replies with Surah Al-Baqara. The revelation of Surah Al-Baqara is when Almighty Rabbul Ala’meen Exalted replies by saying: “Here is the help that you asked for.” Surah Al- Baqara discusses the creation of mankind, his ultimate fall from Grace as well as the Divine promise of forgiveness in spite of his wrong doing. We are told the story of the Bani Isra’eel and how they transgressed the Divine Will of Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala and how they persisted in their evil ways.
Surah Al Baqara also covers the story of Nabee Moosa Alayhis Salaam and Nabee Esa Alayhis Salaam, and how they had to deal with the corruption and evil ways of their people. We are also told how the Yahood and Nasara despite been blessed with divine scriptures and prophets rejected Nabee Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam and the Din of Islam out of pride and jealousy. Which Muslim, Christian or Jew does not know the name of Nabee Ebrahim Alayhis Salatu Wassallam? Two thirds of mankind revere him as their leader. Nabee Moosa A.S., Nabee Esa A.S. and our Beloved Nabee Muhammad Sallalahoo Alayhi Wassallam are all his descendants. It is the lamp of Taqwa and Imaan lit by him that has for so long illuminated the entire world. Nabee Ebrahim A.S. was born in the city of Ur in what is now Iraq over four thousand years ago. At that time the people had completely forgotten Almighty Allah Subahanahoo Wata’ala. No one recognized Almighty Allah as the Master and Supreme Creator and no one lived in surrender and obedience to Him or to His Laws.
Together with his illustrious son – Hazrat Isma’il Alayhis Salaam they built the Ka’bah in the Holy City of Makkah and purified it, thus establishing the one and only true and complete Din of Islam for mankind. The Holy Ka’bah was to be the very centre and home of Taqwa and Tawhid. The name of this Surah i.e. Surah Al-Baqara [The Cow – Verses 67 to 71] deals with the hypocrisy and evil deeds of people who have gone astray. This is when people reach the abyss of a spiritual death and referred to by Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala as “deaf”, “dumb” and “blind” despite the fact that they are physically alive.
The final summation of Surah Al-Baqara confirms to us that our honesty and upright conduct are not mere matters of policy or convenience: all our life in this world must be lived as in the presence of Almighty Allah Jallah Wa’ala. The finest example of Faith we have in our Beloved Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam’s life; full of faith. Let us render willing obedience to the Will of Rabbul Ala’meen Exalted. Our responsibility though great, is not a burden greater than any one of us can bear. Let us pray for Almighty Allah’s assistance, and He will Insha’Allah, surely help and assist us. Ameen.
By Sheikh Abdul Hamid Lachporia – Canada
In the Name of Almighty Allah Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Tonight’s Tarawee consists of the remaining Surahs of Amma (JUZ 30) and the Surahs to be recited tonight are listed hereunder with brief explanations of their meanings.
SURAH AL DUHA: [The Glorious Morning Light].
In this Surah the vicissitudes of human life are referred to, and a message of hope and consolation is given to man’s soul from Allah’s past mercies, and he is bidden to pursue the path of goodness and proclaim the bounties of Allah. This is the general meaning. In particular, the Surah seems to have been revealed in a dark period in the outer life of the Nabee Sallallahoo Alayhi Wasallam, when a man of less resolute will might have been discouraged. But the Nabee S.A.W. is told to hold the present of less account than the glorious Hereafter which awaited him like the glorious morning after a night of stillness and gloom. The Hereafter was, not only in the Future Life, but his later life on this earth, full of victory and satisfaction.
SURAH AL SHARH or Al INSHIRAH: [The Expansion of the Breast].
This short Surah gives a message of hope and encouragement in a time of darkness and difficulty. It was revealed to the Nabee S.A.W. soon after the last Surah [Al Duha], whose argument it supplements. The Nabee S.A.W.’s mind and heart had indeed been expanded and purified; the burden which pressed on his soul had been removed; and his name exalted in this world and the next. For the righteous man there is no trouble but is linked with ease and joy; he must strive at every stage, and look to Allah Alone as the goal of all his hopes.
SURAH AL TIN: [The Fig].
This Surah appeals to the most sacred symbols to show that Allah created man in the best of moulds, but that man is capable of the utmost degradation unless he has Faith and leads a good life. Nature and history and the Light of Revelation, through the ages, show that man, created by Allah can fall to the lowest depths, unless he lives a life of faith and righteousness. Then will he reach his goal: if not he must stand his Judgement – none can doubt – before the Wisest and Justest of Judges.
SURAH AL ALAQ OR IQRA: [The Clinging Clot or Read]
The first five verses were the first direct revelation to the Prophet (SAW), noble is the mission of the Prophet (SAW), chosen to share publicly the message of Allah, the Lord and Cherisher of all His Creation, Whose measureless bounties include the instruction of man in new and ever new knowledge. But alas for man! he fancies himself self-sufficient, turns away from the Path, and misleads others. But nothing is hidden from Allah. He will bring all untruth and sin in rebellion to Judgement, and subdue all evil. The righteous bow in adoration to Allah, and draw closer to Him.
SURAH AL QADR: [The Night of Power and Honour].
The subject matter is the mystic Night of Power [or Honour], in which Revelation comes down to a benighted world – it may be to the wonderful Cosmos of an individual – and transforms the conflict of wrongdoing into Peace and Harmony – through the agency of the angelic host, representing the spiritual powers of Mercy of Allah, and bless every nook and corner of the heart! All jars are stilled in the reign supreme of Peace, until this mortal night gives place to the glorious day of an immortal world!
SURAH AL BAYYINAH: [The Clear Evidence].
The mystic night of Revelation is indeed blessed. But those who reject Truth are impervious to Allah’s Message, however clear may be the evidence in support of it. Faith and Good Life lead straight to the Goal – The Beauteous Gardens of Bliss Eternal!
SURAH AL ZALZALAH: [The Earthquake].
The Hour of Judgement must needs be heralded by a mighty Convulsion. The earth will give up her secrets and tell her tale of all man’s doing. Men will march in companies and clearly see the inwardness of all their deeds. Not an atom of Good or Evil done, but will be shown in the final account of men convinced.
SURAH AL ADIYAT: [Those that Run].
Its subject matter is the irresistible nature of spiritual power and knowledge, contrasted with unregenerate man’s ingratitude, pettiness, helplessness, and ignorance. There are those that fight with eager charge, the hosts of evil, and storm its citadel. But unregenerate Man shows less than gratitude for Allah’s most gracious Bounties. His life bears witness to his treason and his greed. Allah’s Knowledge is all-embracing. All things hidden will be laid bare at Judgement.
SURAH AL QARI’AH: [The Great Calamity].
This Makkan Surah describes Judgement Day as the Day of Clamour, when mankind will be distracted and the landmarks of this world will be lost, but every deed will be weighed in a just balance, and find its real value and setting. Those whose good deeds will show substance and weight will achieve a Life of good pleasure and satisfaction, while those whose good will be light will find themselves Alas, in a blazing Pit of Punishment.
SURAH AL TAKATHUR: [The Piling Up].
This Surah gives a warning against acquisitiveness i.e. the passion for amassing worldly and material things, whether in the good things of this world, or in manpower or in other forms of megalomania, which leave no time or opportunity for pursuing the higher things of life.
SURAH AL ‘ASR: [Time Through the Ages].
This Surah refers to the testimony of Time through the Ages. All history shows that Evil came to an end. But Time is always in favour of those who have Faith, live clean and pure lives, and know how to wait, in patience and constancy.
SURAH AL HUMAZAH: [The Scandalmonger].
This Surah condemns all sorts of scandal, backbiting, and selfish hoarding of wealth, as destroying the hearts and affection of men. The Fire of Wrath will envelop them and wither up their hearts and minds, and consume that largeness of life which is the portion of mankind.
SURAH AL FIL: [The Elephant].
Let no man be intoxicated with power or material resources. They cannot defeat the purpose of Allah. So Abrahah Ashram fired by religious fanaticism led a large expedition against Makkah intending to destroy the Ka’bah with his elephant or elephants. A shower of stones, thrown by flocks of birds, destroyed him and his army almost to a man. The stones produced sores and pustules on the skin, which spread like a pestilence.
SURAH QURAYSH: [The Tribe of Quraysh].
This Makkan Surah may well be considered as a pendant to the last. If the Quraysh were fond of Makkah and proud of it, if they profited, by its central position and it guaranteed security, from their caravans of trade and commerce, let them be grateful, adore the One True Creator and accept His Message. Who gave the Quraysh their talents for the arts of peace, for trade, for commerce and for journeys south and north at proper seasons, and made their home inviolable in Makkah? Surely they, if any, should adore their Lord and listen to His Message of Unity and Truth.
SURAH AL MA’UN: [The Neighbourly Assistance].
The subject matter is the meaning of true worship, which requires Faith, the practical and helpful love of those in need, and sincerity rather than show in devotion and charity.What remains if you deny all Faith and personal responsibility? Why then help the helpless or teach others deeds of charity? Vain were worship without heart and soul. What do you think of men who make great show, but fail to meet the simple needs of daily life?
SURAH AL KAWTHAR: [The Abundance].
This Surah sums up in the single mystic word Kawthar [Abundance] the doctrine of spiritual Riches through devotion and sacrifice. The converse also follows: indulgence in hatred means the cutting off of all hopes of this life and the Hereafter. To the man of Allah, rich in divine blessings, is granted a Fountain unfailing, they will quench the spiritual thirst of millions. Turn, then, in devotion and sacrifice to Allah, nor heed the venom of Hatred, which destroys its own hopes, alas, of the present and the future!
SURAH AL KAFIRUN: [Those Who Reject Faith].
This Surah defines the right attitude to those who reject Faith. In matters of Truth we can make no sacrifices, but there is no need to persecute or abuse anyone for his faith or belief. The man of Faith holds fast to his faith, because he knows it is true. The man of the world, rejecting Faith, clings hard to worldly interests. Let him mind his worldly interests, but let him not force his interests on men sincere and true, by favour, force, or fraud.
SURAH AL NASR: [The Help].
This beautiful Surah was the last of the Surahs to be revealed as a whole, though the portion of the verse 3 of Surah Al Ma’idah: “This day have I perfected your religion for you” etc., contains probably the last words of the Holy Qur’an to be revealed. The date of this Surah was only a few months before the passing away of the Beloved Nabee S.A.W. from this world, Rabi 1, A.H. 11. The place was either the precincts of Makkah at his Farewell Hajj, Dhu al Hijjah A.H. 10, or Madinah after his return from the Farewell Hajj. Victory is the crown of service, not an occasion for exultation. All victory comes from the help of Allah. Praise and Glory belongs only to Allah: to Him we humbly Turn and pray for Grace, for He is oft-Returning in Grace and Mercy.
SURAH AL MASAD or AL LAHAB: [The Plaited Rope] or [The Flame].
“Abu Lahab: “Father of Flame” – was the nickname of an uncle of the Nabee S.A.W; from his fiery hot temper and his ruddy complexion. He was one of the most inveterate enemies of early Islam. When the Nabee S.A.W. called together the Quraysh and his own family members to come and listen to his preaching and his warning against the sins of the people, the “Father of Flame” flared up and cursed the Nabee S.A.W. saying “Perdition to Thee!” This Surah carries the general lesson that cruelty ultimately ruins itself. The man who rages against holy things is burnt up in his own rage. His hands, which are the instruments of his action, perish, and he perishes himself. No boasted wealth or position will save him. The curses, insults, threats and spite, harmed not the innocent, but hit the wrondoers themselves and branded them with eternal infamy!
SURAH IKHLAS: [The Purity of Faith].
The nature of Allah is here indicated to us in a few words, such as we can understand. Here we are specially taught to avoid the pitfalls into which men and nations have fallen at various times in trying to understand Allah. Keep Faith all pure and undefiled. There is Allah, the One and Only; Eternal, Free from all needs; on Whom depend, to Whom go back all things; He hath no son nor father nor partner. There is no one like unto him.
SURAH AL FALAQ: [The Daybreak].
In Allah’s Created World, there are all kinds of forces and counter forces, especially those put in motion by beings who have been endowed with some sort of will. The forces of Good may be compared to light, and those of evil to darkness. Allah can cleave the depths of darkness and produce light (Surah Al An’am verse 96], and therefore we should cast off fear and take refuge in Divine Guidance and Goodness. Banish fear, and trust His Providence. No danger, the, from the outer world, no secret plottings from perverted wills, no disturbance of your happiness or good, can effect the fortress of your inmost soul.
SURAH AL NAS: [Mankind].
The previous Surah pointed to the necessity of seeking Allah’s protection against external factors which might affect an individual. Here the need for protection from internal factors, mankind being viewed as a whole, is pointed out. This Surah is a pendant to the last Surah, and concludes the Most Glorious and Holy Qur’an with an appeal to us to trust in Almighty Allah Rabbul ‘Aala’meen, rather than man, as our sure shield and protection. It warns us specially against the secret whispers of evil within our own hearts.
Allah is the Heavenly Sovereign Who gives Laws and Allah is the Goal to which we will be returned and Judged. Let man but place himself in Allah’s hands, and never can Evil touch him in his essential and inner life.
There is a growing misconception among present-day Muslims (especially the younger generation) that the Tarâwih Salâh which is performed during the month of Ramadhân constitutes eight rakâts only. This is however incorrect because:
1. It is in conflict with the Sunnah
2. It is in conflict with the Ijmâh [consensus] of the Sahâbah (R.A.)
3. It is in conflict with the Ijmâh (consensus) of the four madhâhib.
THE SUNNAH IN THIS REGARD
Although many, Ulema (eg. Hafiz Ibn Taymiyyah, Allâmah Subki and Qâdi Shawkâni) are of the opinion that Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam never fixed the exact number of rakâts for the Tarawih salâh, we are convinced that the Sunnah is twenty rakâts because the twenty rakât Tarâwih was introduced by Hadrat Umar R.A. and Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallarn had commanded us to follow the Khulafa-e-Râshdîn (especially Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat Umar R.A.). Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: “Hold firmly on to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Khulafa-e-Râshidîn.” “Follow the two after me (i.e. Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat Umar.
Allâmah Badrud-Dîn Aini, writes that we understand from the above Hadîth that those who follow Hadrat Abû Bakr and Hadrat Umar R.A. will be rewarded and those who do not follow them will be punished.
THE IJMA [CONSENSUS] OF THE SAHABAH R.A.
The twenty rakât Tarâwih that was introduced by Hadrat Umar R.A. was unanimously accepted by all the Sahâbah R.A. without any objection. In other words, they had ijma [consensus] in this regard. Many âyât of the Qur’ân and ahâdith of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam denote the Shari authority (hujjiyyah) of Ijmâ’. Among those are:
“And whoever opposes the Rasul after the guidance (of Allah) has been manifested unto him, and follows other than the believers way. We appoint for him that unto which he himself has turned, and we expose him unto Jahannam – a hopeless journey’s end.” “My Ummah will never unite upon bâtil (falsehood., deception).
In addition to the above, it should also be borne in mind that consensus of the Sahabah R.A. represents the highest and most authoritative form of ijmâ’.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE FOUR MADHAHIB
While Imam Hanifah, Imam Shâfi’i and Imam Ahmed bin Hanbal R.A. agree that the Tarâwih Salâh comprises of twenty rakâts, there are two narrations from Imam Mâlik According to one narration he too agrees that the Tarâwih Salâh comprises of twenty rakâts. Ibn Qâsim has however narrated from Imam Mâlik, that he preferred thirty-six rakâts and three rakâts witr thereafter. (Most Mâliki textbooks however mention the twenty rakât narration only).
This however does not mean that Imam Mâlik rejected the ijmâ’ of the Sahâbah R.A. The standard practice n Madinah at that time was thirty-six rakâts and the reason for performing thirty-six rakâts was that the people of Makkah would perform tawâf after every four rakâts of Tarâwih. Because tawâf can only be performed in Makkah, the people of Madinah would perform an additional four rakâts nafl salâh after every four rakâts of Tarâwih.
Considering the above and the fact that these additional sixteen rakâts (4×4) were regarded as nafl (and not Sunnah mu’akkadah as in Tarâwih) and were performed individually. we may conclude that Imarn Mâlik and the other Fuqahâ of Madinah also agreed that the actual Tarâwih comprises of twenty rakâts only.
According to Sheikh Atiyyah Muhammad Sâlim, from the fourth Hijri century, only twenty rakâts Tarâwih were performed in Madinah. Thereafter in the 8th century when Imam Zain-ud-Dîn AI-Irâqi was appointed the Imam of Masjid-un-Nabawi the people would return to the Masjid later during the night to perform the additional sixteen rakâts. The famous historian As-Sa’ûd writes that this practice continued until the late ninth and early tenth Hijri century.
It is not permissible to oppose the consensus of the four madhâhib. This is understood from the fact that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had commended us to follow the Sawâd-al-A’zam (vast majority). Since all the other true madhâhib do not any longer exist, these four madhâhib represent the Sawâd-al-A’zam.
Many Ulema (eg. Abu Ja’far Tahâwl, Abu Eesa Tirmizi, Ibn Rushd Qurtabi, Ibn Qudâmah Maqdisi, etc.) have discussed the divergent opinions of the Fuqahâ [jurists] in various topics. None of them have ever mentioned a single Faqîh [jurist] who held the opinion that the Tarâwih salâh had eight rakâts only.
THE NARRATION OF HADHRAT Â’ISHA R.A.
Imam Bukhari R.A., has recorded a narration from Hadrat Â’isha R.A.. in which she says:
“Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would never read more than eleven rakâts – neither in Ramadhân nor in any other month. He would perform four rakâts and do not ask of their beauty and length. He would thereafter perform another four rakâts and do not ask of their beauty and length. He would thereafter perform three rakâts.” Hadrat Â’isha R.A. says that she (once) asked Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam whether he slept before performing the witr salâh. Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam replied: “O Â’isha! My eyes sleep but not my heart.”
This Hadîth is often cited in substantiation of the claim that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam performed only eight rakâts in the Tarâwih Salâh. It is however incorrect to make such a deduction from this Hadîth because this Hadîth is discussing the Tahajjud Salâh and ‘h Salâh and not the Tarâwih The words “nor in any other month” are a clear indication that this Hadîth is not regarding the Tarâwîh Salâh. (Tarâwih is not Performed in any other month besides Ramadhân.)
There is a Hadith in which Hadrat Â’isha R.A. narrates that during the last ten days of Ramadhân. Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam would stay awake throughout the night and he would exert himself in ibâdah. It is possible that upon hearing this narration from Hadrat Â’isha R.A. some people would think that compared to the rest of the Year, Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam read more rakâts of Tahajjud Salâh in Ramadhân. In order to dispel such doubts, Hadrat Â’isha R.A. explained that Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam’s Tahajjud Salâh always comprised of eleven lengthy Rakâts irrespective of whether it was Ramadhân or any other month.
Imam Bukhâri R.A., has quoted the above mentioned Hadith of H@rat A’isha R.A. in the following chapters of his Al-Jâmi As-Sahîh:
The chapter regarding Nabî’s (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) salâh during the nights of Ramadhân and other months.
The chapter regarding the virtue of salâh during Ramadhân.
The chapter that Nabi’s Sallallahu alaihi wasallam eyes would sleep but not his heart.
The chapter on Witr salâh.
Imam Bukhari’s R.A. not including this Hadith in the chapter on Tarâwih indicates that he too understood that this Hadith discussed the Tahajjud salâh and not the Tarâwih Salâh. In fact, none of the Muhaddithîn [scholars of Hadîth] have included this Hadith in the chapter on Tarâwih. Imam Muhammad Al-Marwazi R.A. has in his book “Qiyâm-ul-Layl” dedicated a separate chapter to discuss the number of rakâts of the Tarâwlh salâh. Despite quoting a number of Ahâdith in this chapter, he has not in the slightest manner indicated to this Hadîth of Hadrat Â’isha R.A.
IS TAHAJJUD AND TARAWIH THE SAME?
Proponents of the eight rakât Tarâwih reject the above explanation saying that Tahajjud and Tarâwih is the same salâh. This claim Is also incorrect because there is a vast difference between the two. Among the various differences between the Tahajjud and Tarâwih salâh is:
Tahajjud was introduced in Makkah and Tarzâwih in Madinah,
Tarâwih is performed immediately after the Esha salâh whilst Tahajjud is performed much later at night (in the last third of the night).
NOTE: Neither Imam Bukhâri and Imam Marwazi nor any other Muhaddith regarded Tahajjud and Tarâwih as the same!
There is a Hadith that is attributed to Hadrat Jâbir R.A. in which he narrates that once during the month of Ramadan Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam led them in eight rakâts (of Tarâwih) and thereafter the Witr salâh. The following night they gathered in the Masjid hoping that Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam would once again lead them in salâh as he had done the previous night. They however continued waiting for Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam till the morning. In the morning Rasulullah Sallallahu wlaihi wasallam explained to them the reason for not joining them. He said that he had feared that Witr would be made compulsory, upon them.
This Hadîth is however extremely, weak and can never form the basis for any Shar’i ruling. The person claiming that he is narrating this Hadîth from Hadrat Jâbir R.A.. is Eesa bin Jâriyah. He is an extremely unreliable narrator. Imam Nasa’i and Imam Abû Dawûd R.A. have both called him “Munkar-ul-Hadîth” – one whose narrations are Munkar. A munkar narration is the narration of an untrustworthy narrator that contradicts the narration of a group of trustworthy narrators. Imam Nasa’i R.A. has also called him “Matrûk”. Matrûk literally means left alone but in this context it means that Eesa bin Jâriyah is an unreliable narrator. The Muhaddithîn normally use the word Matrûk (and many other words) to show the unreliability of a narrator.
Muhammad bin Humaid Ar-Râzi, another narrator in this Hadith’s chain of transmisson [sanad] is also very weak. Some Muhaddithîn (eg. Imam Abu Zur’ah) have declared him a liar.
THE NARRATION OF HADHRAT SÂ’IB IBN YAZID R.A.
Imam Mâlik R.A. has recorded a narration from Hadrat Sâ’ib bin Yazid R.A. that Hadrat Umar R.A. had commanded Hadrat Ubay bin Ka’b and Hadrat Tamim Dâri R.A. to lead the people in eleven rakâts of salâh (eight rakâts Tarâwih and three rakâts Witr).
It is often claimed on the basis of this narration that Hadrat Umar R.A. had commanded the performance of only eight rakâts Tarâwih and not twenty.
However, a thorough study of the chains of transmission (asânid) of this narration reveals that three people have narrated from Hadrat SS’lb bin Yazld R.A. They are:
i) Hârith bin Abdir Rahmân
ii) Yazld bin Khusayfah
iii) Muhammed bin Yusuf
Hârith bin Abdir Rahmân and Yazid bin Khusayfah have narrated twenty rakâts from Hadrat Sâ’ib R.A. Yazid bin Khusayfah also has three students namely Ibn Abi Dhib, Muhammed bin Ja’far and Imam Mâlik. All three have narrated twenty rakâts from Yazid.
Muhanimed bin Yusuf also has three students. They are:
Da’ud bin Qays
While Imam Mâlik narrates eleven rakâts from Muhammed bin Yusuf, Ibn Ishâq narrates thirteen rakâts and Da’ud bin Qays narrates twenty one rakâts.
When a Hadith is transmitted in different manners so that the contents of each transmission differ and it is not possible to give preference to any particular transmission, the Muhaddithîn call it Mudtarib. The Mudtarib Hadith is regarded as unsound and insufficient evidence for the deduction of any Shar’î ruling. Muhammed bin Yusuf’s narration is an ideal example of a Mudtarib Hadith.
On the contrary, the narrations of Harith bin Abdir Rahmân and Yazîd bin Khusayfah are authentic and supported by many other narrations in the books of Hadîth.
HÂFIZ IBN TAYMIYYA’S R.A. OPINION
Some of Ibn Taymiyya’s writings imply that he was of the opinion that eight rakâts, twenty rakâts, thirty rakâts, thirty-six and forty rakâts are all sunnah. It is clear from the preceding discussion that we do not agree with him. Nevertheless, he also explains that the more virtuous (and preferred) practice differs according to the condition of the Muslims. If the Muslims are able to perform eight very lengthy rakâts as was the practice of Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam, the performance of eight rakâts would be better. However, if they are unable to perform such lengthy rakâts it would be better for them to perform twenty rakâts.
NOTE: The length of Rasulullah’s Sallallahu alaihi wasallam salâh (that he performed at night) may be estimated from the following:
He would perform salâh until his feet would swell.
He would continue performing salâh until half the night had passed.
He sometimes continued performing salâh until the Sehri time had almost expired.
Hadrat Abu Dharr R.A. narrates that one night he performed salâh with Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. He says: “I stood in salâh with him (i.e. Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) until I began resting my head on the wall due to the length of his salâh.
Considering the worldly commitments of modern day, Muslims and their physical weakness, it is obvious that none of them can manage such lengthy rakâts. Therefore, even according to Ibn Taymiyya’s opinion, twenty rakâts is best for them.
In view of the preceding discussion we conclude that:
The Sunnah Tariiwih consists of twenty rakâts and not eight.
The performance of only eight rakâts in Tarâwih cannot be established from any sound Shar’î evidence/proof.
Dars Imam Tirmizi – quoting Allamah Habib-ur-Rahmân A’zmi, Suyuti, Nawawi and Nawab Sideeq Hasen Khan.
Surah Nisâ Âyah 115.
Sunan Ibn Majah 283 / Tirmizi V.2 Pg.49.
Al-Manâr Ma’Nur-ul-Anwâr Pg. 226.
Âp Ke Masâil Aur Un Ka Hal Pg. 54.
Rakât-e-Tarâwih Pg. 60-61 (Moulana Habib-ur-Rahmân A’zmi) Dars Tirmizi V.2 Pg.653.
At-Tarâwih. Sheikh Atiyya Muhammed Sâlim Pg. 60, 67, 69.
Ibn Mâjah – Mishkât Pg. 30 Al-Aqd-Al-Jayyid Pg. 37.
Bukhâri V.1 Pg. 135, 152, 269, 503.
Ahsan-ul Fatâwa V.530. Fatâwa – Raheemiyya V. 1 Pg. 331 Dars Tirmizi Pg. 663 V.2.
Ahsan-ul- Fatâwa V. 3 Pg. 530.
Ahsan-ul Fatâwa V.532.
Qiyâm-ul Layl Pg. 90.
Fatâwa Rahimiyya V.1 Pg. 335: Although Abu Zur’ah and Ibn Hibbân have commented positively regarding Eesa bin Jâriyah, the Muhaddithîn still declare him unreliable because their principle is that when a narrator is declared reliable by some scholars and unreliable by others, the opinion of those who regard him unreliable will be given preference.
Fatâwa Rahimiyya V.1 Pg. 335
Mu’atta Imam Mâlik Pg. 98.
Âp Ke’ Masâ’il Aur Un Ka Hal V.3 Pg. 39-41.
Dars – Tirmizi V.2 Pg. 654 Footnotes (continued from Pg. 653).
Bukhâri Ma’al Fath V.3 Pg. 12/V. 8 Pg. 449.
Tirmizi (Chapter on the Qiyâm of Ramadhân) V. 1 Pg. 99 Fâruqi Kutub Khana – Pakistan.