It is allowed to pray tarawih of the month of Ramadan in a congregation just as it is allowed to pray them on an individual basis. The majority of the scholars, however, prefer to pray them in congregation. The Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam, as stated earlier, prayed tarawih in congregation with the Muslims but he discontinued since he feared that it would be made obligatory. ‘Umar was the one who convoked the Muslims to pray tarawih behind one imam. Abdurahman ibn. Abdulqari reports: “One night during Ramadan, I went with ‘Umar to the mosque and the people were praying in different groups. Some were praying by themselves and others were praying in small groups. ‘Umar said: ‘I think it would be better if I gathered them under one imam.’ Then he did so and appointed Ubayy ibn Ka’b as the leader of the prayer. Then I went out with him on another night and all the people were praying behind one imam and ‘Umar said: ‘What a good innovation (bid’ah) this is,’ but, it is better to sleep and delay it until the latter portion of the night.” The people (however) prayed it at the beginning of the night. This is related by al-Bukhari, Ibn Khuzaimah, al-Baihaqi, and others.
The Recitation of the Qur’an in Tarawih
There is no particular Sunnah regarding the recitation during salat at-tarawih. It is related that some people of the early generations would pray with two hundred ‘ayyahs or so and the people would be leaning on staffs due to the protracted standing during the salah. They would not leave their prayers until shortly before dawn and some of them would rush their servants to prepare food for them fearing that dawn may break soon. They would recite al-Baqarah in eight rak’at and if they would complete it in twelve rak’at, they would consider their prayers to have been very short.
Ibn Qudamah says: “Ahmad said: ‘Recite of the Qur’an what is easy for the people and do not be hard upon them, especially during the short nights [i.e., during the summer].’”
[On the same subject], Al-Qadi says: ‘It is not preferred to recite less than the entire Qur’an during the month: in this way, the people will be able to hear the whole Qur’an. Do not recite more than one reading of the Qur’an as this may be hard upon the people. [While reciting], consideration should be given to the condition of the people. If the people concur that they would prefer a long recital, that would be best.’ Likewise, Abu Zharr said: ‘We prayed with the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam until we feared that we would miss the pre-dawn meal. And the imam would recite two hundred ‘ayyahs.’”
The Excellence of the Duha Prayer
Many hadith describe the excellence of the duha prayer.
Abu Zharr reports that the Prophet Sallallahu aleihi wasallam said: “Charity is required from every part of your body daily. Every saying of ‘Glory be to Allah’ is charity. Every saying of ‘Praise be to Allah’ is charity. Every saying of ‘There is no God but Allah’ is charity. Every saying of ‘Allah is the Greatest’ is charity. Ordering the good is charity. Eradicating the evil is charity. And what suffices for those (as a charity) are the two rak’at of duha.” This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Abu Dawud. Ahmad and Abu Dawud record from Buraidah that the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “In a human (body) there are 360 joints and man must make a charity for each one.” The people said: “Who can do that, O Messenger of Allah?” He responded: “One may cover the mucus that one finds in the mosque or remove something harmful from the road. If one could not do that, he could pray two rak’at of duha and that will be sufficient for him.”
Talking of the legal import of these hadith, ash-Shaukani says: “These two hadith point to the greatness, excellence, and importance of the duha prayer, stressing its legality as its two rak’at suffice for 360 charities. Something like this should be performed regularly and persistently. The hadith also establish the importance of saying ‘Glory be to Allah’, ‘Praise be to Allah’, and ‘There is no God but Allah.’ And [the importance of] ordering the good, eradicating the evil, removing the spittle, removing what is harmful from the path, and such other acts that will fulfill what is required of a person of daily charities.”
An-Nawas ibn Sam’an relates that the Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “Allah said: ‘Son of Adam, do not fail in performing four rak’at in the early day as it will be sufficient for the latter part of the day.”’ This is related by al-Hakim and at-Tabarani and its narrators are trustworthy. Ahmad, at
Tirmizhi, Abu Dawud, and an-Nasa’i relate it on the authority of Na’im al-Ghatfani with a good chain. At-Tirmizhi’s wording is: “Son of Adam, pray four rak’at for Me in the early day and it will be sufficient for you for the latter part of the day.”
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr says: “The Messenger of Allah sent an expedition and they obtained lots of booty and returned quickly. The people talked about their quick victory, abundant booty, and quick return. At this the Messenger of Allah said: ‘Shall I not guide you to a closer battle, a greater booty and a quicker return? Whoever makes wudu’ and then goes to the mosque to pray duha, that is the closer battle, better booty, and quicker return.”’ This is related by Ahmad and at-Tabarani. Abu Ya’la has something similar to it.
Abu Hurairah says: “My friend [the Messenger of Allah] advised me to do three things: fasting three days of every month, praying the duha prayer, and praying the witr prayer before I sleep.” This is related by alBukhari and Muslim.
Anas says: “During a journey, I saw the Messenger of Allah pray eight rak’at in the early day. When he finished, he said: ‘I prayed my prayer wishing and fearing. I asked my Lord for three things and He gave me two and withheld one. I asked Him not to put my ummah to trial by famine and He granted that request. And I asked that they would not be overtaken by their enemies and He granted that request. And I asked that they not be split into groups and parties and He refused that request.”’ This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa’i, al-Hakim, and ibn Khuzaimah who classifies it as Sahih.
Salatul Duha is a Prized Prayer
Salatul duha is a prized prayer and whoever wishes to earn reward should pray it, while there is no blame upon the one who does not pray it.
Abu Sa’id reports: “The Prophet Sallallahu alehi wasallam would pray duha until we thought he would never abandon it. And he would abandon it to the point that we thought he would no longer perform it.” This is related by at-Tirmizhi who says it is hasan.
Anas relates that the Messenger of Allah said: “Prayer in my mosque is equal to ten thousand prayers [elsewhere]. And prayer in the inviolable mosque is equivalent to one hundred thousand prayers [elsewhere]. And prayer in the battlefield is equivalent to one million prayers [elsewhere]. And what is more than all of that is two rak’at by a slave [of Allah] during the middle of the night.” This is reported by Abu ash-Shaikh, Ibn Hibban in his work ath-Thawab, and al-Munzhiri, in his book at-Targhib wat-Tarhib, is silent about it.
Recommended Time for the Duha Prayer
The time for duha begins when the sun is about a spear’s length above the horizon and it continues until the sun reaches its meridian. It is preferred to delay it until the sun has risen high and the day has become hot.
Zaid ibn Arqam relates: “The Messenger of Allah Sallallahu alehi wasallam went to the people of Quba’, and they were performing duha, and he said: ‘The prayer of devotion should be observed when the young weaned camels feel the heat of the sun.’” This is related by Ahmad, Muslim, and at-Tirmizhi .
To be continued