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Is the dua between every four rakaats in taraweeh salah sunnah? where did it originate from?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

Assalamu Alaikum,

Q:The tasbeeh & dua made after every 4 rakaats of tarawih prayer at some masajids. Is it Sunnah & where did this originate? JazakAllah, may Allah (S.W.T.) grant you all the maximum rewards of this month Insha Allah.

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

A: The Tasbeeh and dua made after 4 rakaats of Taraweeh is not Sunnah.

The Fuqaha (Jurist experts) have mentioned that the short break after every four rakaats of Taraweeh is in order to take a short rest. In this regard, the great 10th Century Hanafi jurist, Shaikh Ibraheem Al Halbi wrote, ‘As for the ‘rest’ during the Taraweeh Salah, it is that a person sits between every four rakaats for the duration of four rakaats of Taraweeh Salah. In a similar manner, he will sit between the last four rakaats of Taraweeh and the Witr Salah. What is required of the rest (or break) is not that of literally sitting. But it means to wait until the other four rakaats begin. During the break, a person has the choice of sitting quietly or he can say ‘la ilaha illallah or subhanallah or even recite Quran. He can also perform nalf (optional rakaats) if he wishes (on an individual basis). This waiting (rest/break) is Mustahab on account of the practice of the Scholars/Muslims of Makkah and Madina. The practice of the people of Makkah was that they would perform Tawaaf after every four rakaats and to perform the two rakaats of the Tawaaf. The practice of the people of Madina was that they used to perform four rakaats of nalf (optional) Salah during the break. It therefore becomes evident from the Scholars/Muslims during the Tabi’een and the At’baa ut Tabi’een period that they used to have a break between the four rakaats of Taraweeh Salah.’

(Ghunyah Al Mutamalli Fi Sharh Munyah Al Musalli Known as Al Sharh Al Kabeer Pg. 404, Suhail Academy Lahore Pakistan 1987).

From the above, it is evident that during the break after every four rakaats of Taraweeh, one has the option to either remain silent or engage himself in any form of dhikr, recitation of the Quran etc. on an individual basis. Each person has this option and hence, one must not disturb another by what he does, nor can one impose any fixed practice upon others. It is also evident that there is no collective practice of dua or Tasbeeh that was recited and done on a congregational basis. This has also been explained by the great Hanafi Jurist Allama Ibn Abideen Shami. He writes ‘it is recommended to sit between every four rakaats of Taraweeh Salah, and also between the last four and the Witr salah. At this time of sitting, one has the choice of either making a Tasbeeh, recitation of the Quran, remaining silent or performing Salah, individually’ (Hashiya Raddul Muhtar Ala ad Durr Al Mukhtar Vol.2, Pg. 46 H.M Saeed Company Karachi).

These statements which have been mentioned by the great Scholars of the past, clearly indicate that on an individual basis, one has the choice to do as he pleases as mentioned before. However, there is no dhikr, tasbeeh or dua that must be done on a congregational basis. As mentioned by the jurists, ‘Congregational dua and dhikr is not evident in the Shariah.’ (Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol. 7, Pg. 344 Darul Iftaa Jamia Farooqiya Karachi 2009).

As for the tasbeeh that is recited, this has been mention in some books of fiqh, that one can recite it if one wishes on an individual basis. (Shami from the reference of Qohistani – Raddul Muhtar Ala ad Durr Al Mukhtar Vol.2, Pg. 46 H.M Saeed Company Karachi). This Tasbeeh however, is not evident from the books of ahadith (from the Prophet ﷺ or from the Sahabahs). In fact, while speaking about the practice of some who recite the Tasbeeh of ‘Subhaana Zil Mulki Wal Malakoot….’, the great Hanafi Jurist, Mufti Mahmood (A.R) wrote, ‘The Tasbeeh that is recited after four rakaats of Taraweeh, is not evident from any reliable book (source) of the Shariah. It has been mentioned in certain books. Probably, those words of the tasbeeh originated as a way of refutation against the Rawafidh (Shities) and have thereafter, been narrated and transmitted.’ (Fatawa Mahmoodiya Vol.7, Pg. 353 Darul Ifta Jamia Farooqiyah Karachi 2009).

Since the words of the Tasbeeh are great words through which Allah is glorified, it is permissible for one to recite it during the break in Taraweeh prayer. However, it must be done on an individual basis and not collectively. One must not believe that reciting this Tasbeeh is part of the Amaal (practices) of Taraweeh Salah, and one must not believe that these are duas of the Prophet ﷺ. If one wishes, he can recite it on an individual basis and he can also remain silent and rest. One who does not recite it, must not blamed or accused of having done something wrong.

With respect to the collective dua, this must also be viewed in light of the statements of the Fuqaha (jurist experts). One can do his own personal and individual dua during the break since he has the option of doing so. However, having a collective dua after every four rakaats is not evident. In fact, while responding to a question asked regarding collective dua after every four rakaats of Taraweeh Salah, the great Hanafi jurist, Mufti Mahmood (A.R) wrote ‘This collective dua is not evident from any of those who have been followed (from the pious predecessors). In fact, it is an innovation which must be left out.’ He further wrote while giving reference from Al Madkhal, ‘One should refrain from what people have innovated by collectively reciting dhikr after every Salah in their loud voices. Innovation in Islam is prohibited. The best guidance is that which came from the Prophet ﷺ, and then which came from the four Khalifahs, and then which came from the Sahabahs. Nothing of this sort has been narrated from the pious predecessors. So what was permitted and allowed for them will be permitted and allowed for us.’ (Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol. 7, Pg. 345 Darul Uloom Jamia Farooqiya Karachi 2009).

And Allah Knows best,

Mufti Waseem Khan.


This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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