The Fine Tuning Taraweeh And Witr.

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Bismihi Ta`ala 

*THE FINE TUNING TARAWEEH AND WITR.*


 While performing the Taraweeh salaah, the imaam need to know the condition and fitness of musallis following him. In fact, all jamaats salaah need fine tuning as per those who are weak at the back. If the musallis are fit and not tired, then Taraweeh salaah can be read fully with all its etiquettes and aadaabs and length. That is, we will complete the sunnah of one Khatme reading, we will read 7 tasbeehs or more in Ruku and Sujuds, we will read the douroud in the end and the duas also. But if the length of the salaah is a load on the musallis and there is fear that people will leave out 20 Taraweehs salaah completely or partly due to its load length, then the imaam is required to fine tune his taraweeh to make it shorter so as to have more musallis behind him. An open dialogue with the youth will help the imaam to know whether he needs fine tuning or not. The author of Durre Mukhtaar mentions that a alim should be one who knows the specificity of his people and era.

ومن لم يكن عالما بأهل زمانه فهو جاهلThe one who ignores the specificity of the people of his era is in fact an ignorant/jaahil.(Durre Muhtaar) This is because the 20 Taraweeh salaah itself is sunnah Muakkadah and a very emphasised sunnah. If a locality leave out Taraweeh, then the whole populace of that area will be sinful(Durre Mukhtaar):

فلو تركها أهل مسجد أثموا الدر المختارIn Bahrur Ra-iq, it is mentioned that leaving out Sunnah Muakaddah is sinful but not as sinful as leaving out a wajib:وَالصَّحِيحُ أَنَّهُ يَأْثَمُفَالْإِثْمُ لِتَارِكِ السُّنَّةِ الْمُؤَكَّدَةِ أَخَفُّ مِنْ الْإِثْمِ لِتَارِكِ الْوَاجِبِ بحر الرائقIn fact fuqahas stressed upon the importance of Taraweeh such that it is makrooh and reprehensible for a healthy person to read Taraweeh sitting without any reason. Hence it is not considered nafil as one may sit and read nafil optionally.(Raddul Muhtaar)

(وتكره قاعدا) لزيادة تأكدها رد الحتارBut one should also know that the Jamaat in the Masjid is Sunnat kifayah. That is it is not obligatory to join the jamaat of Taraweeh in the Masjid if there are other avenues of Taraweeh elsewhere.

وفي التراويح سنة كفاية، وفي وتر رمضان مستحبة على قول
 رد المحتار
But wherever Taraweeh is read, it is sunnah to complete the whole Qur-aan during the salaah. Not obligatory nor Sunnah Muakkadah. Not a sin to complete without khatme. So Fuqahas have mentioned that if the 20 Rakaats of Taraweeh with Khatme is a load upon the people of the locality, then it is more appropriate for the imaam not to do Khatme but read a few ayats and complete the 20 rakaats lightly, with less time. So that people don`t leave out the 20 rakaats sunnah muakkadah. This is a fine tuning in Taraweeh.Furthermore, in those circumstances, it would have better to do Khatme and economise on Douroud and duas. Hence the imaam will read thana, arouzou, bismillah and read in such a speed that qur-aan is well pronounced and meaningfully understood, but will leave out Douroud and Dua at the end and read only Allahoumma Swalli `Ala Muhammadin wa `Alaa ali Muhammad.

 ويأتي الامام والقوم بالثناء في كل شفع، ويزيد) الامام (على التشهد، إلا أن يمل القوم فيأتي بالصلوات) ويكتفي باللهم صل على محمد، لانه الفرض عند الشافعي (ويترك الدعوات) ويجتنب المنكرات هذرمة القراءة، وترك تعوذ وتسمية، وطمأنينة، وتسبيح، واستراحة الدر المختار
In such a salaah, it should not be like a run away train like I have seen in some part of the world nor should we abuse on long Ruku` and Sujud. Because moderation should be fine tuned according to the mould and fitness of the musallis.The imaam may read calmly full 3 Tasbeehs and change posture. Important to keep at least 3 seconds in between Ruku and Sajdah: Qawmah and between 2 sajdahs: Jalsah. Recommended to sit for at least 5 to 10 seconds between each set of 4 rakaats.  So the imaam or Hafiz should consult a mufti of his locality to fine tune his taraweeh so that more musallis participate in the jamaat. Do not look at only your fitness because behind you there may be those workers/businessmen/farmers that had not had the long nap you had in the afternoon.The author of Raddul Muhtaar pointed out that 20 Rakaats of Taraweeh was a world wide adopted action durinf his era. 20 and not 8.

( قَوْلُهُ وَهِيَ عِشْرُونَ رَكْعَةً ) هُوَ قَوْلُ الْجُمْهُورِ وَعَلَيْهِ عَمَلُ النَّاسِ شَرْقًا وَغَرْبًا . رد المحتار
Finally know that the time of Taraweeh starts after Esha and finishes at sehri time. And during the time of Khulafaa, there used to be a jamaat at Tahajjud time also. And that jamaat of 20 rakaats taraweeh at Tahajjud time was seen more virtuous by Hazrat Umar r.a.(Bukhari):

عن عبد الرحمن بن عبد القاري أنه قالخرجت مع عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه ليلة في رمضان إلى المسجد فإذا الناس أوزاع متفرقون يصلي الرجل لنفسه ويصلي الرجل فيصلي بصلاته الرهط فقال عمر إني أرى لو جمعت هؤلاء على قارئ واحد لكان أمثل ثم عزم فجمعهم على أبي بن كعب ثم خرجت معه ليلة أخرى والناس يصلون بصلاة قارئهم قال عمر نعم البدعة هذه والتي ينامون عنها أفضل من التي يقومون يريد آخر الليل وكان الناس يقومون أوله بخاري
Hazrat Umar r.a. have seen sahabahs into different jamaats of Taraweeh. So he wished that only one imaam lead them all. So he chose Ubayy bin Ka`b r.a. to be the imaam. People preferred to read it in first part of the night. But he highlighted that those who read Taraweeh during tahajjud time are more rewarded.(Bukhari)The continous 20 rakaats in Madinah Munawarah together with this hadith of Bukhari is clear Proof that 20 rakaats Taraweeh is in Bukhari itself:

عن عبد الرحمن بن عبد القاري أنه قالخرجت مع عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه ليلة في رمضان إلى المسجد فإذا الناس أوزاع متفرقون يصلي الرجل لنفسه ويصلي الرجل فيصلي بصلاته الرهط فقال عمر إني أرى لو جمعت هؤلاء على قارئ واحد لكان أمثل ثم عزم فجمعهم على أبي بن كعب ثم خرجت معه ليلة أخرى والناس يصلون بصلاة قارئهم قال عمر نعم البدعة هذه والتي ينامون عنها أفضل من التي يقومون يريد آخر الليل وكان الناس يقومون أوله بخاري
But nowadays, people are neglecting Taraweeh even after Esha. So out of question during Tahajjud time. Nonetheless it is makrooh to establish any salaah in jamaat during the nights of Ramadhaan besides 20 rakaats Taraweeh and 3 witr*(Durre Mukhtaar):

وفي التراويح سنة كفاية، وفي وتر رمضان مستحبة على قول، وفي وتر غيره وتطوع على سبيل التداعي مكروهة در المحتار
Sabina, Tahajjud with jamaat, witr jamaat outside Ramadhaan etc are all makroohs. Note that an imaam who already read 20 rakaats taraweeh will not be able to lead others who have not yet read their Taraweehs and looking for an imaam to read it.According to one riwayat, it is better to accompany the 3 witr salaah with 20 rakaats taraweeh. Since laziness prevail between us, this seems better. This qawl gets the support of ahadiths saying 23 rakaats that has already been sent.Nonetheless know that the best time of witr is after tahajjud salaah, before sehri time. Rasouloullah Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam said that it is better for someone who will wake up to postpone his witr to Tahajjud time.(Sahih Muslim)But the beloved prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam left Hazrat Abu Bakr r.a. praying witr after Esha time and sunnah(in the beginning of the night) saying that it is more precautionary and ihtiyaat(Ibn Majah).

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَقِيلٍ عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِأَبِي بَكْرٍ أَيَّ حِينٍ تُوتِرُ قَالَ أَوَّلَ اللَّيْلِ بَعْدَ الْعَتَمَةِ قَالَ فَأَنَتَ يَا عُمَرُ فَقَالَ آخِرَ اللَّيْلِ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَمَّا أَنْتَ يَا أَبَا بَكْرٍ فَأَخَذْتَ بِالْوُثْقَى وَأَمَّا أَنْتَ يَا عُمَرُ فَأَخَذْتَ بِالْقُوَّةِ ابن ماجة
In case that one dies during the night without praying witr, then that salaah will be liable to reckoning.Fuqahas stated that if we fear that we will not reach to read witr at the end of the night, then read it before sleeping(Raddul Mukhtaar):

وَالْحَالُ أَنَّهُ صَلَّى الْوِتْرَ أَوَّلَ اللَّيْلِ فَإِنَّهُ الْأَفْضَلُ 

So best to read witr with your 20 rakaats of Taraweeh, before sleeping. Especially when there is risk of dying during sleep. Hanafis are followers of the fiqh left by Abdullah bin Mas`ood r.a. in Iraq. A sahabah that reached the realms of fiqh like no other. Respected by other companions, he was the grand mufti of that area.The beloved prophet Swalallahou `Alaihi Wasallam told us, that after Him, we should follow the instructions of the two rightly guided Abu Bakr and Umar r.a., follow the indicative guidance of `Ammaar r.a. and to hold tightly the pattern set of Abdullah bin Mas`ood r.a.(Mustadrak Hakim; Tabrani) 

عن حذيفة بن اليمان رضي الله عنهما ، أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، قال : « اقتدوا باللذين من بعدي أبي بكر وعمر ، واهتدوا بهدي عمار ، وتمسكوا بعهد ابن أم عبد مستدرك لحاكم

It is a fact that although there are 4 mazhabs accepted in the ummah, but the leading Mazhab that has ruled from Baghdaad and Istanbul for over 12 centuries is Hanafiyah. 
So according to the school of thought of Hanafis, on the 3rd rakaat of witr, the imaam or one will do a takbeer after Al hamd and Surah and then read Du`a Qunoot:

 أَللّهُمَّ اِنَّا نَسْتَعِيْنُكَ وَ نَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَ نُؤْمِنُ بِكَ وَ نَتَوَكَلُ عَلَيْكَ وَ نُثْنِىْ عَلَيْكَ الْخَيْرَ وَ نَشْكُرُكَ وَ لاَ نَكْفُرُكَ وَ نَخْلَعُ وَ نَتْرُكُ مَنْ يَّفْجُرُكَ أَللّهُمَّ اِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَ لَكَ نُصَلِّى وَ نَسْجُدُ وَ اِلَيْكَ نَسْعى وَ نَحْفِدُ وَ نَرْجُوْ رَحْمَتَكَ وَ نَخْشى عَذَابَكَ اِنَّ عَذَابَكَ بِالْكُفَّارِ مُلْحِقٌ مصنف ابن ابي شيبة

Allahoumma innaa nasta ‘eenouka wa nastaghfirouka wa nou’minou bika wa natawakkalou ‘alaika wa nouthnee ‘aalaikal khaira wa nashkourouka wa la nakfourouka wa nakhla’ou wa natroukou mai yafjourouka. Allahoumma iyyaaka n’aboudou wa laka nouswalli wa nasjoudou wa ilaika nas ‘aa wa naHfidou wa narjoo raHmataka wa nakhshaa ‘azaabaka inna ‘azaabaka bil kuffaari mulHiq. (Musannaf ibn Abi Shaibah) After reading that du`a we will go in ruku and finish the salaah normally.Witr is wajib upon men and women irrespective Ramadhaan or not. It should be replaced if missed. And an additional amount of Sadaqatul Fitr should be given for witr in addition to 5 salaahs missed in case one dies without replacing salaahs.

Mufti Mackoojee

@MuftiMackoojee

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