Prophet prayed tahajjud and not tarawih
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My query: i had heard at a gathering an Aalimah stating that the Beloved Prophet (saws) During Ramadaan never used to perform Taraweeh during the nights of Lailatul-Qadr. As in- he used to perform salatul-lail during these nights and did not perform Taraweeh and the Salatul-lail together the same night. Is this true? as far as i have heard about a hadeeth stating that he `never missed a tahajjud prayer in his lifetime.` wouldnt that be applicable in his practice during Ramadan too?
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Prophet prayed tahajjud and not tarawih
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It is indeed true that the Messenger of Allah (saws) always performed the Tahajjud or late night prayers, as these prayers were made obligatory upon him (saws) alone by Allah Subhanah; but for the believers this prayer is voluntary.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verse 79:And offer Tahajjud prayers at night; this is an additional prayer for you. That time is not far when your Lord may exalt you to a laudable position.
It is preferable to pray eleven or thirteen rak'at for tahajjud
One may choose between praying them all together or to separate them. 'Aishah says: "The Messenger of Allah never prayed more than eleven rak'at, during Ramadan or otherwise. He would pray four rak'at, and don't ask about how excellent they were or how lengthy they were. Then, he would pray four rak'at, and don't ask about how excellent they were or how lengthy they were. Then, he would pray three rak'at. I asked: 'O Messenger of Allah, do you sleep before praying witr?' he replied: 'O 'Aishah, my eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep."' This is recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim who also record that al-Qasim ibn Muhammad said that he heard 'Aishah say: "The Messenger of Allah's prayer during the night would be ten rak'at and then he would make witr with one rak'ah."
Your Question: i had heard at a gathering an Aalimah stating that the Beloved Prophet (saws) During Ramadaan never used to perform Taraweeh during the nights of Lailatul-Qadr. As in- he used to perform salatul-lail during these nights and did not perform Taraweeh and the Salatul-lail together the same night. Is this true?
Salaat-ul-layl (Night Prayers) would include all the prayers one does at night, including the Tarawih prayers of Ramadan, the Tahajjud prayers, or any other voluntary prayers a believer performs at night. Thus all the night prayers, whether they be Tarawih, Tahajjud, or any voluntary prayers prayed at night, would be termed salaat-ul-layl.
Hadrat Aishah (r.a.) says: "The Prophet (saws) offered salah (tarawih) in the mosque and many people prayed with him. The next day he (saws) did the same and more people prayed with him. Then the people gathered on the third night but, the Prophet (saws) did not come out to them. In the morning, he (saws) said to them: 'Surely I saw what you did, and nothing prevented me from coming out to you, save that I feared that [the tarawih prayer] would be made obligatory upon you.' And that was during Ramadan."
Related by Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, and others.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.134 Narrated by Zaid bin Thabit
The Messenger of Allah (saws) made a small room (with a palm leaf mat). He (saws) came out (of his house) and prayed in it. Some men came and joined him in his prayer. Then again the next night they came for the prayer, but Allah's Messenger (saws) delayed and did not come out to them. So they raised their voices and knocked the door with small stones (to draw his attention). He (saws)came out to them in a state of anger, saying, "You are still insisting (on your deed, i.e. Tarawih prayer in the mosque) that I thought that this prayer (Tarawih) might become obligatory on you. So you people, offer this prayer at your homes, for the best prayer of a person is the one which he offers at home, except the compulsory (congregational) prayer."
From the above authentic hadiths, it is evident that the Messenger of Allah (saws) prayed the tarawih in congregation only for a couple of nights in Ramadan, and then did not lead the congregation but advised the believers to perform them at their homes.
There is nothing mentioned in the Sunnah which would imply that the Messenger of Allah (saws) prayed both the Tarawih and the Tahajjud prayers during the night of Laylatul-Qadr, but there is indeed an authentic narration from the Mother of the Faithful, Umm al Mumineen, Hadrat Aisha (r.a.) which states that the Messenger of Allah (saws) prayed no more than eleven rakahs of night prayer, in Ramadan or otherwise.
Hadrat Aishah (r.a.) says: "The Messenger of Allah (saws) never prayed more than eleven rak'at, during Ramadan or otherwise. He (saws) would pray four rak'at, and don't ask about how excellent they were or how lengthy they were. Then, he (saws) would pray four rak'at, and don't ask about how excellent they were or how lengthy they were. Then, he (saws) would pray three rak'at. I asked: 'O Messenger of Allah, do you sleep before praying witr?'. He (saws) replied: 'O 'Aishah, my eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep."'
Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
From the above authentic narration of Hadrat Aisha (r.a.), it seems the Messenger of Allah (saws) would only pray the salaat-ul-layl once, during Ramadan or otherwise.
Abu Dawood relates that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: The night prayer is sets of two rak'at. If one fears the coming of the dawn, he should perform one rak'ah, thereby making all of them odd [witr].
But one must understand that any of the salaat-ul-layl, whether they are tarawih in Ramadan, or tahajjud, or extra voluntary night prayers, etc. there is absolutely no limit to how many rakahs or times one may pray. One may pray only two rakahs + witr if he wishes to do so, or one may pray all night if he wishes to do so and end with the witr prayers; there is absolutely no minimum or maximum number of rakahs or times one may perform the salaat-ul-layl; during Ramadan or otherwise.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,