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Is Taraweeh optional or must 20 rakats be prayed?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.com
Assalamualaikum, My question is that one of my uncle says Taraweeh(Salah) is nafil hence not necessary to pray. He also says that we can offer 8 or 12 rakats as Hazrat Mohd. SAS has done so and not necessary to offer 20 rakats only. In addition he offers taraweeh at home by saying its not necessary to complete a quran. Please justify at earliest.


(Fatwa: 1652/1570=D/1429)

(1) 20 rakah taravih is Sunnah Muakkadah, since the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used to perform 20 rakah salah (excluding tahajjud) the whole month of Ramazan. (He performed it individually according to the tradition of Hadhrat Ibn Abbas). Then at the time caliphate, Hadhrat Umar ibn Al-Khattab (رضی اللہ عنہ) persuaded all the Sahaba to perform it with Jamat, so the Sahaba offered 20 rakah taravih the whole month of Ramzan. Thus it became ijama (consensus) of all the Sahaba upon its being Sunnah.

(2) The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used to offer 8 or 12 rakah as tahajjud, but he offered 20 rakah as taravih.

(3) It is not necessary to recite the entire Holy Quran once i.e. it is not obligatory. There will be no sin if one does not recite the whole Quran, but one will be deprived of a lot of rewards, for there are lots of rewards in reciting or hearing the Holy Quran in salah. Likewise, one will not get reward of jamat of mosque if taravih is offered at home. Taravih will be valid but it is not good to miss jamat with no excuse and offer it at home.

Allah (Subhana Wa Ta’ala) knows Best

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.

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