7 Best Reasons Why 20 Rakat Taraweeh Is Haram in Islam
There is no doubt that praying 20 rakats taraweeh in Ramazan is a bidah in Islam. Most Muslims tend to follow this innovation instead of praying 8 rakats which is the truth and the main reason I see for this is because of the ignorance and arrogance to accept the clear facts that prove that praying 8 rakats Taraweeh is the truth. The topic of praying Taraweeh becomes a hot topic during the month of Ramazan because of the misguidance that has plagued this ummah. Many still wrongly pray 20 rakats of Taraweeh which is a clear innovation that is based on weak hadiths. The truth is praying 8 rakats is what that has been established. When it comes to how many rakats should be prayed during Taraweeh, even the scholars are divided in it and there are many contradicting views among them as well. These contradicting opinions among the scholars have led to widespread confusion and as a result have made it to look as a perennial argument going on for generations. When the month of Ramazan arrives, Muslims divide in to two factions and start arguing what is the correct way of praying Taraweeh and by the time the argument ends the whole month of Ramazan is over. In an era where even the scholars have divided opinions on the issue on the amount of rakats of Taraweeh, Islam has given a simple solution to crisis. If there is a division among Muslims on any particular issue, Allah (swt) counsels us to refer it to the Quran and the Sunnah of the messenger of Allah (sal). Allah (swt) says,
“And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best (way) and best in result.”
Now, Let us analyse the story behind praying 20 rakats by giving 7 main reasons why it is haram to pray 20 rakats taraweeh.
Reason-1-The Prophet (sal) prayed 8 rakats
Narrated by Aisha (rali):
"Allah's messenger (sal) did not increase upon eleven rakats in Ramazan (8 rakats of Taraweeh and 3 rakats of witr)".
(Sahih al Bukhari, Malik and Abdul Razzaq)
The above hadith of Aisha (rali) is confirmed by Jabir ibn Abdullah (rali) who mentioned when the prophet (sal) led the people in prayer during Ramazan, he prayed 8 rakats and the witr (reported by ibn Hibban in his sahih, at Tabarani in his sahih and many other books)
Aisha(rali)'s hadith mentioned above of the prophet(sal) not increasing above eleven rakats is further explained by Aisha(rali) herself in another hadith reported in Bukhari, Muslim and others including Abu Dawud with an authentic isnad where Aisha(rali) was asked about the prophet)sal)'s night prayer during Ramazan and she replied:
"Allah's messenger would not perform more than eleven Rakat (for the night prayer) in Ramazan or out of it. He would pray four rakat, but do not ask about how fine or long they were. Then he would pray another four rakat, but do not ask about how fine or long they were. Then he would pray three rakat.”
The above hadith proves that the prophet (sal) prayed 8 rakats of Taraweeh plus 3 rakats of witr.
During the time of the prophet (sal), the Taraweeh prayers were prayed with his family members and a few others in congregation and he discontinued praying in congregation as he feared that it would be a burden for the people.(saheeh Abu Dawud authenticated by Albani in Irwa-ul-Ghaleel )
Later Umar (rali) revived this by gathering everyone to pray in congregation and ordering Ubayy bin kab and tamim ad dahee to lead the people in prayer
(Sahih al bukhari)
Some people try to quote the below hadith to prove that the prophet (sal) prayed over eleven rakats (8 rakats Taraweeh and 3 rakats witr).
Narrated by Ibn 'Abbas (rali):
I spent a night in the house of my maternal aunt Maimunah, daughter of al-Harith. The Prophet (sal) offered the night prayer. He then came and prayed four rakats and slept. He then stood up and prayed. I stood at his left side. He made me go round and made me stand at his right side. He then prayed five rakats and slept, and I heard his snoring. He then got up and prayed two rakats. Afterwards he came out and offered the dawn prayer.
(Abu-Dawud-Graded sahih by Albani)
Another hadith too mentions this incident.
Narrated by Ibn `Abbas (rali):
“I stayed overnight in the house of my aunt Maimuna bint Al-Harith (the wife of the Prophet (sal)) while the Prophet (sal) was there with her during her night turn. The Prophet (sal) offered the `Isha' prayer (in the mosque), returned home and after having prayed four rakat, he slept. Later on he got up at night and then asked whether the boy (or he used a similar word) had slept? Then he got up for the prayer and I stood up by his left side but he made me stand to his right and offered five rak`at followed by two more rakat. Then he slept and I heard him snoring and then (after a while) he left for the (Fajr) prayer.
Using these hadiths some try to argue that the prophet (sal) in total prayed 21 rakats. They try to come with the conclusion that the prophet prayed 4 rakats after Isha at the masjid + 4 at Maimuna (rali)’s house + 8 after he woke up from sleep + 5 after the 8 rakat + 2 rakat. = 21 rakat of night prayer. The answer to this is very clear from the hadith itself that the prophet (sal) prayed only 4 rakats after Isha +5 rakats + 2 rakats before going for Fajr prayers and the total is 11 rakats and not 21. What should be noted is that the last two rakats that the prophet (sal) prayed most probably was the final two rakats before Fajr. The evidence to back this claim is in another hadith and the hadith is as follows,
Aisha (rali) narrated that the prophet (sal) said,
"The two Rak'ah before the dawn (Fajr) prayer are better than this world and all it contains."
Even for the sake of argument if we agree that the last two rakats that the prophet (sal) prayed was not the two Sunnah rakats before Fajr, there is clear evidence to prove that the prophet (sal) never missed the two Sunnah rakats before fajr.Aisha (rali) narrated,
“The Prophet (sal) did not adhere more firmly to any nafl prayer than the two rakats of Fajr.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
This hadith proves that he was very firm in praying the two Sunnah rakats before Fajr. There is no doubt that the prophet (sal) prayed only 8 rakats Taraweeh.
Sa'id bin Jubair said that Ibn 'Abbas told him:
“He (the Prophet) got up and prayed eight rakats in pairs, and then observed witr with five rakats and he did not sit between them”
(Abu-Dawud-Graded sahih by Albani)
Some even try to quote the the below hadith to prove that praying 20 rakats is okay.
The prophet (sal) said:
“Whoever stands with the imam until he finishes (the prayer), the reward of Qiyaam al-layl will be recorded for him.”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 806; classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 646)
The argument generated from this hadith by pro 20 rakat defenders is that you should follow the imam till the imam finishes the full Taraweeh prayer even if he completes 20 rakats. What needs to be understood is that you should follow the imam as long as he follows the Sunnah and if he is going against the Sunnah by praying the innovated practice of praying 20 rakats, then you should not follow him and only complete the 8 rakats in maximum with the imam and move away. One example is in the below hadith,
Jabir ibn Abdullah (rali) narrated,
“Muadh ibn Jabal used to pray with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. Then, he returned to his people and led them in prayer. Muadh prayed the evening prayer and recited Surah al-Bakarah, until a man left the prayer and Muadh was critical of him. The news reached the Prophet and he said three times, “You put them to trial!” The Prophet ordered him to recite two medium chapters from the end of the Quran (al-mufassal).”
In this hadith, muadh bin Jabal (rali) prayed too long and the prophet (sal) did not rebuke the person who left without obeying the imam. Ali (rali) narrated that the prophet (sal) said,
“There is no obedience to anyone if it is disobedience to Allah. Verily, obedience is only in good conduct.”
In another narration, the Prophet said, “There is no obedience to a created being if it is disobedience to Allah Almighty.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Sheikh Naseeruddin Albani mentioned the following with regards to the prophet (sal) not increasing beyond eleven rakats,
“For 20 years the Messenger of Allah did not increase in Ramadan or outside Ramadan upon 11 Rakah. If we do not take this text (hadeeth of Aisha (rali)) as an evidence which prevents the Muslim from increasing upon this number of Rakah, then what Sunnah can we prevent the people from increasing upon, nothing at all whatsoever. Then what is a Bidah? The Bidah which you understand from the statement of the Prophet -alayhi as Salam: 'Every Bidah is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hell fire (Nasai with a sahih isnad).' Then what is termed as a Bidah? Is it not increasing upon what the Messenger brought of obedience and worship”.
(Silsilah al-Huda wa Noor no-723)
The prophet (sal) praying 23 rakats
There are a large number of false and fabricated hadiths which says that the prophet (sal) prayed 23 rakats.
There is a hadith where the hanafi madhhab famously quote and the hadith is as follows,
Narrated by Imam Abu Shaybah in his musannaf on the authority of ibn Abbas (rali) saying;
“The prophet (sal) used to go back home and pray other extra rakats other than what he led in the three days of jamaat.’
This hadith is a fabricated hadith (mawdoo hadith) because abul Hakim is a liar and Suyuti concludes it's a fabricated hadith. Imam Suyuti who is a Sufi scholar and a blind follower of the Shafi madhhab did not give his final wording that the prophet (sal) never increased above 11 rakats nor did the sahaba increased above 11 rakats.
Reason-2-The Chain of Narration Of the 20 Rakat Hadith is Not Authentic
The most famous hadith that is quoted by innovators to prove that praying 20 rakat Taraweeh is a Sunnah is in the hadith of people praying 20 rakats during the time of Umar (rali).
Umar (rali) Praying 20 Rakats
The hadith of Umar (rali) praying 20 plus rakats during Ramazan has a weak chain of narrators and it does not mention of him praying it. Rather it is the people who were praying it.
Narrated by yazid ibn Rahman:
‘People used to pray (during Umar (rali)”s khilafat) 23 rakats rakats of Taraweeh”
(Narrated by imam Baihaqi)
Imam Baihaqi after narrating this hadith said that yazid ibn Rahman did not live during the time of Umar (rali). He came later which means that he was not alive during the time of Umar (rali). Imam Baihaqi says this hadith has a broken line of narration. Same judgement on this hadith was given by imam Suyuti and other leading scholars who came to the conclusion that the hadith which says that Umar (rali) lead the people in prayer during ramazan by praying 23 rakats is a daif (weak) hadith. The line of this narration is a maqtu narration(narration with a broken chain) as imam Baihaqi and other scholars name it stating that the narration is broken to the point of which the narrator who said that at the time of Umar(rali), people prayed 23 rakats did not witness the khilafat of Umar(rali). From this point it is clear that a person who did not witness this event is not worthy of narrating it. If he is narrating it, he should say of who was witnessing it at the time when Umar (rali) was supposed to be praying 23 rakats.
The above hadith has two weaknesses.
One is the weakness in the line of narration. The isnad is a broken narration that falls under hadith"munkati"which falls under daif category. The other is the weakness in its text (Matn) which will be explained in the third best reason why praying 20 rakats is haram... Let me give a simple example. Let us take the example of someone claiming that he saw Ronald Reagan talking with Margaret thatcher in the white house. The person who is claiming that he saw this incident happening was born in 2005. If you take a closer look of this claim, you would realize that this story is a lie because Ronald Reagan died in 2004 and he left the white house as the president in the year 1989 and Margaret thatcher left office in 1990. After analyzing these simple facts, it is clear that the person claiming to have seen Ronald Reagan and Margaret thatcher talking in the white house is nothing but a joke .Sheikh Naseeruddin al Albani (Rahee) said the following with regards to praying 20 rakats Taraweeh in Ramazan,
“This chain which mentions the word 'twenty' is the foundation of those who say it is permissible to pray twenty Rakah in the Salat ul Taraweeh, its Isnad is apparently authentic, and this is why some of them authenticated it, however, it has a defect, rather defects which prevent saying it is authentic and makes it weak and rejected”
(Salat –ul-Taraweeh – Page-49)
Sheikh Albani further said,
“Tirmidhi indicated in his book 'Sunnan' that twenty Rakah from Umar and other than Umar from the Companions is not established, he said: ‘It has been narrated from Alee and Umar and other than them from the Companions of the Prophet -Sallallaahu alayhi wa Salam. Shafi also said the same from Umar, as was conveyed by his companion al-Muzni from him in his summarized book. Therefore, their statement of 'It has been narrated...' Is actually them regarding the narration as weak, as is well known to the scholars of Hadeeth.”
Reason-3- The Text (Matn) of the hadith of Umar (rali) praying 20 is weak.
In the earlier reason I explained why the chains of narrators are weak. There is another weakness in this narration and that weakness is in the text (Matn). Let me again repeat the full narration.
Narrated by Yazid ibn Rahman:
“People used to pray (during Umar (rail’s) khilafat) 23 rakats rakats of taraweeh”
(Narrated by imam Baihaqi)
Now we know that the narrator, Yazid ibn Rahman did not live during the time of Umar (rali) and this is a lie on Umar (rali). A person who did not witness this event is not worthy of narrating it. If the narrator, Yazid ibn Rahman was not alive during the time of Umar (rali), he should narrate from the person who actually saw this event happening. This is clearly a lie on Umar (rali). Now the second problem with this hadith is that the hadith only mentions about people praying 23 rakats and not Umar (rali) but the entire hadith is spoken as if it was Umar (rali) who prayed the 23 rakats which is not the case.
The above hadith has two weaknesses as explained earlier. This hadith only says that during the khilafat of Umar (rali) a group of people prayed 23 rakats. The khilafat of Umar (rali) stretched from the borders of indo-Pakistan, from Spain and the African continent. Just because someone prays 23 rakats does not become the Sunnah of Umar (rali). Let me give a historical example. Let’s say that a person is claiming that he saw that people were dining during the time of Queen Elizabeth and tries to peg that incident to the queen. Now the claim of this person becomes clearly false because he is only saying what a group of people did during the time of Elizabeth and not actually the queen herself. Similarly this hadith is completely wrong not only through the isnad but also through the text of the hadith as well. Even for the sake of argument if we agree that this hadith of praying 20 rakats is authentic, it still has to be rejected because the hadith is only mentioning a group of people and not Umar (rali) praying 20 plus rakats.
Reason-4-The Hadiths of Other Sahabah Praying 20 Plus Rakats in Ramazan are Also Not Authentic.
There are false hadiths attributing to the companions of the prophet (sal) praying or ordering others to pray 20 plus rakats. There are so many other weak and fabricated hadiths stating that the companions of the prophet (sal) prayed more than 11 rakats. One such hadith is in the hadith of Ali ibn Abi talib (rali) in which he ordered a man leading them in Ramazan to pray 20 rakats. This hadith is in Baihaqi and imam Dahabi said it's an unknown narration and imam Baihaqi said that it is a weak narration. The innovators try to prove that praying of 20 rakats by using many false hadiths and what is clear is that no authentic evidence exists to prove that praying 20 rakats of taraweeh is a Sunnah. Sheikh Naseeruddin al Albani mentioned the following in his book Tamaam al Minna,
“If it was established from one of the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (rightly guided Caliphs) or other than them from the scholars of the Companions of an increase upon 11 Rakah, then it would not permit us except to hold the opinion with the permissibility of increase of Rakah due to our knowledge of their excellence, understanding and being far away from innovating in the Deen. Therefore, if it is not established to me that they increased in the number of Rakah and I adhered only to what is established from the Prophet -Sallallaahu alayhi wa Salam- then how can my reward be that I am accused of declaring the Salaf to be ignorant?! I swear by Allah that this is one of the greatest calamities; indeed Allaah Ta’aala is the one from who help is sought.”
Imam Malik said the following on praying more than eleven rakats in Ramazan,
“I chose 11 Rakah of Qiyam e Ramadan and Umar bin al Khattab Gathered people on this prayer and this is the Prayer of Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, and I don’t know from where people innovated these so many more Rak`ah”
(Kitab Al Tahajjud hadeeth no: 890 by Abdul Haq Al Shabeeli)
Reason-5-The Scholars Who Were In Favour of Praying 20 plus Rakats Have Clearly Done a Mistake
There are many scholars among the Salaf who wrongly gave their fatwa that you can pray Taraweeh more than eleven rakats and all of such fatwas are clearly wrong fatwas. Allah (swt) says,
“If you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (SAW), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day”
It is haram to blind follow anyone and the authentic hadiths have clearly proven that praying 20 rakats is baseless hence an innovation. Nowadays, Muslims are famous for blind following any tom and dick and end up becoming ignorant fools without direction. Allah (swt) warns against blind following. He says,
“And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie”
Hudayfah (rali) narrated that the prophet (sal) said,
“Do not be blind followers, saying that if our people are good we will be good and if they are unjust we will be unjust. Rather, decide for yourselves. If the people are good, be good. If they are evil, do not be unjust.”
(Tirmidhi and Imam Tirmidhi graded it hasan sahih)
That said; now let us have a look at the various wrong fatwas given by various scholars on praying Taraweeh. Sheik ul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahee) said,
“It is proven that Ubayy ibn Ka'b used to lead the people in praying twenty rak'ahs in qiyaam in Ramadaan, and he used to pray Witr with three rak'ahs. Many scholars think that this is the Sunnah, because he established that among the Muhajireen and Ansar and no one objected to that. Others regarded it as Mustahab to pray thirty-nine rak'ahs, based on the fact that this was the practice of the people of Madeenah in the past.”
(Majmoo' al-Fataawa -23/112)
Ibn Qadamah al Maqdisi said,
“The favoured view according to Abu ‘Abd-Allaah (i.e., Imam Ahmad), is that it is twenty rakats. This was the view of al-Thawri, Abu Haneefah and al-Shafi. Malik said it is thirty-six”
Imam Nawawi said,
“Taraweeh prayer is Sunnah according to scholarly consensus. Our view is that it is twenty rakats with ten tasleems, and it is permissible to pray it individually or in congregation.”
Ibn Baz said,
“It is proven that 'Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) told the one whom he appointed among the Sahabah to pray eleven rakats, and it is proven that they prayed twenty-three rakats based on his command. This indicates that the matter is broad in scope and that the matter was flexible according to the Sahabah. That is also indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): "The night prayers are two by two."
The many wrong fatwas of scholars are in some instances based on the following hadith,
Ibn Umar (rali) narrated,
The prophet (sal) said,
“The night prayer is performed two by two. If you worry that morning is near, pray one cycle as that will be your witr prayer.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)
The above hadith has been quoted by sheikh ibn Baz as well and this hadith is wrongly understood to mean that you can pray even a hundred rakats. The meaning of this hadith is that Taraweeh should be prayed as two by two rakats in other words two rakat and the tasleem and ten again the same thing up to eight rakats. It is haram to pray 4 or 5 rakats in a row in Taraweeh and this is the meaning of this hadith.
Reason-6-Umar (Rali) too prayed 8 Rakats
There is ample evidence to prove that praying 8 rakats of taraweeh is the Sunnah. There is an authentic narration by Yazid of muwatta Malik in which Umar (rali) ordered ubay bin kahb and tamim at dahee to lead the people in prayer for the 11 rakats of taraweeh (8 rakats of taraweeh and 3 rakats of witr).
The above Sunnah of Umar (rali) praying 8 rakats Taraweeh is the same Sunnah of the prophet (sal) who too prayed 8 rakats. Jabir ibn Abdullah (rali) said,
“The prophet (sal) led us (in) 8 Rakah and witr in the month of Ramadan”
(Ibn Khuzaymah -1070 with a sahih isnad)
Some try to disprove the above hadith of the prophet (sal) leading 8 rakats in prayer as having a weakness and they try to argue that one of the narrators,” Humayd al Razi is a liar. The truth is, this hadith is narrated from several other reliable narrators from Yaqub bin Abdullah. The narrations are mentioned by, Jaafar bin Humayd Al koofi (Al Kaamil 5/1889, Al Mu’jamal Sagheer of Tabarani-1/190 Abu Al Rabee’ )Sahih Ibn Hibban 2401, 2402) Abdul A’laa bin Hammaad (Musnad Abi Yala-3/336 hadeeth no.1801, Al Kaamil 5/1888] Malik bin Ismael (Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah 2/138, hadeeth 1070) Ubaid Ullah Yani Ibn Moosa [Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah 2/138, hadeeth 1070 and all these narrators are trustworthy narrators so objecting the hadith based on one narrator is a foolish argument. Some also view that another narrator who is Yaqub al Qama is weak and that is not true because Imam Bukhari, ibn Hibban, Ibn Khuzaymah, Haythami and many others narrated from him and declared him to be a trustworthy narrator.
There is also another authentic hadith proving that the prophet (sal) approving praying 8 rakats Taraweeh. Ubayy Ibn Ka’b narrated,
“I prayed 8 Rak’ah and Witr in Ramadan and when I told the prophet pbuh about it, he (prophet (sal)) remained silent. Hence this became the agreed Sunnah (Sunnat-ur-Ridhaa)”.
(Musnad Abi Yala 3/236 hadeeth no.1801-Haythami said that it was narrated by Abu Yala and at Tabarani al Awsat its chain of narration is hasan sahih as mentioned in Majma az-zawaid-2/74)
Reason-7-Taraweeh and Qiyam ul Layl are the same
Many of you would have come across arguments by those who argue that praying 20 rakats is valid by saying even the people Mecca in the kaba too pray 20 rakats and if what they are doing is wrong then the scholars in Saudi Arabia would forbid such a thing. First of all this argument will only be uttered by the ignoramus who bathe in their cocooned stupidity and are arrogant to accept the truth. When observed on how the Taraweeh is prayed in Mecca, you can realize that the imams move away after praying the 8 rakats and it is the people who continue praying 20 rakats because we find that Muslims from all over the world come to Mecca and some hold erroneous views and one of them are praying 20 rakats. Even for the sake of argument if we agree that the imams pray 20 rakats then what‘s the big deal? Where does it say that we should blindly follow the scholars? Only people without and iota of intellect will believe in such gibberish nonsense. Some try to dismiss the truth that Taraweeh and Qiyam ul layl are not the same and are separate. This argument is wrong because there is no authentically established narration of the prophet (sal) or the rightly guided caliphs praying Qiyam ul layl or Taraweeh separately. What is mentioned in the authentic hadiths are the names “tahajjud” and ‘qiyaam ul layl”. Nowhere is the word Taraweeh mentioned and given that fact, it is utterly ludicrous to distinguish between Taraweeh and Qiyam ul layl. It is as if rejecting the word ”Tawheed” by stating that such a word does not exist in the Quran or sunnah and stating that the word” Ahad(one)” and ‘Tawheed(oneness of Allah)” are different. Narrated Abu Hurayrah (rali):
“The Messenger of Allah (sal) used to commend prayer at night during Ramadan, but did not command it as duty. He would say: If anyone prays during the night in Ramadan because of faith and seeking his reward from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven for him. When the Messenger of Allah (sal) died, this was the practice, and it continued thus during Abu Bakr's caliphate and early part of 'Umar's. Abu Dawud said: This tradition has been transmitted by 'Uqail, Yunus, and Abu Uwais in like manner. The version of 'Uqail goes: He who fasts during Ramadan and prays during the night.”
(Abu Dawud-Graded sahih by Albani)
In this hadith, the Arabic word for night prayer is mentioned as “قِيَامِ رَمَضَانَ” (night prayer in Ramalan). Now let us look how the night prayer was performed other than the month of Ramazan.
“Ibn `Abbas said, "The Prophet (sal) slept till he snored and then prayed (or probably lay till his breath sounds were heard and then got up and prayed)." Ibn `Abbas added: "I stayed overnight in the house of my aunt, Maimuna, the Prophet (sal) slept for a part of the night, and late in the night, he got up and performed ablution from a hanging water skin, a light (perfect) ablution and stood up for the prayer. I, too, performed a similar ablution, and then I went and stood on his left. He drew me to his right and prayed as much as Allah wished, and again lay and slept till his breath sounds were heard. Later on the Mu'adh-dhin (call maker for the prayer) came to him and informed him that it was time for Prayer. The Prophet (sal) went with him for the prayer without performing a new ablution." (Sufyan said to `Amr that some people said, "The eyes of Allah's Messenger (sal) sleep but his heart does not sleep." `Amr replied, "I heard `Ubaid bin `Umar saying that the dreams of Prophets were Divine Inspiration, and then he recited the verse: 'I (Abraham) see in a dream, (O my son) that I offer you in sacrifice (to Allah)."
From this, it is clear that praying 20 rakats is an utter lie which has no basis and praying 8 rakats of taraweeh is the truth. Qiyam ul layl means standing in prayer and the prophet (sal) stood long in prayer even on normal days. Aisha (rali) said,
“Rasulullah (sal) kept standing (in prayer) so long that the skin of his feet would crack. I asked Rasulullah (sal): "Why do you do this, while you have been forgiven of your former and latter sins?'' Rasulullah (sal) said, "Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?''
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Imam Bukhari included the hadiths of Qiyam in the heading of “Tahajjud’ and another heading as “Taraweeh”
After analyzing all the available authentic hadiths, it is clear that there is no authentic evidence to prove that the prophet (sal) or any of his companions praying 20 rakats and all such hadiths are either weak or fabricated. Islam is an easy religion. It is also clear that Taraweeh, Tahajjud, Qiyam ul layl are all the same because the prophet (sal) never differentiated between them and whoever tried to argue that taraweeh and Qiyam ul layl are two different prayers is speaking without any evidence to support such a claim. It is clear that praying 8 rakats Taraweeh is the truth.