Response to Traweeh from Shakir

Salaam Shakir

The most important guidelines for anything dealing with Qur’an are set by Allah and the Prophet:

1) you listen to the words attentively

2) you understand the full meaning of the words and composition of the verses and so on

While Taraweeh is in part a social activity in its very nature, it is also fully centered about reading and listening to Qur’an. Therefore the said guidelines above apply.

I cannot stand even for 2 Rak’a of long recitations of long Surahs, since my mind cannot focus and I do not understand the meaning of all the words and their compositions. Therefore within few minutes my mind dilly dallies and other thoughts occur.

As a result I attended the Traweeh but I did not remember Allah and I did something else other than its purpose.

Therefore my suggestions for my own Self, not an instruction to you, is to do what is the easiest that optimizes the two guidelines mentioned above.

I prefer to read 1 fully understood verse in each Rak’a and full understanding of Fatiha, and the duration easiest for my mind and my focus, therefore how the Rak’a numbers might add up that evening.

These are of course not perfect words and people do not like them, but I rather be honest in Presence of Allah, when it comes to Qur’an these days we are ignorant folk, all of us, and we need to face the fact and instead of acting to impress others or to make a point for others to see, pause to optimize the mentioned guidelines above.

Sadly for me to be truthful is far more suited than being pious.

Allah’s aid is most sought


5 thoughts on “Response to Traweeh from Shakir”

  1. If I asked any other person some would show me proofs for 8 rakah, and others for 20 rakah. Instead what I learned here is a completely different thought.NOT the NUMBERS, it is the QURAN where our genuine FOCUS should be.

    I’m grateful to Allah SubhanaHu wa Ta’ala that HE has granted me to meet Dara O. Shayda.

    Thank you Sayyidi.

    1. As’Salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi wa barkatuhu,

      I think there is a slight confusion in my understanding here. Taraweeh is meant to be a form of Qiyam in Ramazan. Recitation of Quran and pondering over it does not have to be combined with Taraweeh.

      People pray 8, 20 and 30 also.

  2. Salaam Shakir, Dara, and all

    I hesitate to launch in on this because I lack authority but the issue became important for me, too, several years ago and finding nothing obviously informative about it, I did some research at that time. I found that the numbers (which as you say, are NOT the point) seem to be a matter of personal preference and local custom. Cannot give reasons for those preferences and customs but did find something else that might be of interest – or it might at least let you off the mental hook of trying to decide if either system is culpably wrong or right. I feel sure that others know this better than I do, but since this aspect of the discussion seems rare, it might be useful to touch on it. Responses welcome.

    I found that the 20 ruku’ system is designed to facilitate tarawih within a 27-day nodal lunar month, and the 8 juz’ system is designed to facilitate tarawih a 30-day synodic lunar month. Since each system is marked in modern printed Qur’ans (at least, it is marked Qur’ans with English translations), I infer that each is canonical.

    In the end, though, as you and Dara have both said, the systems matter less than the focus on the Qur’an. I am away from all my notes, but my memory is that this would have been the Prophet’s position too. There is a hadith in which he said that he refrained from some optional prayers in congregation during the night (I believe it was this but it might have been something else of a similar kind) because he was afraid that if he practiced these too often people would think they were compulsory. So we have him on record as deprecating an emphasis on form in preference to personal sincerity.

    A peaceful Ramadan to all
    and always Barakah

  3. Salaam Sir and salaam to all.

    First of all I have to be honest in this regard. All these years I have been reading 20 rakah & I was happy with it. But last couple of years I have got some terrible brain issues, some disease and disorder that made me unable to use my brain as a normal person does. You know reading a single word takes a long process inside the brain.

    Gradually I became unable to complete 20 rakah and thinking about the authentic way to optimize it.But then found that there is a BIG dispute on this issue. So I asked the question not just for me, rather for every one.

    – I found that the 20 ruku’ system is designed to facilitate tarawih within a 27-day nodal lunar month-

    This is exactly what happens in Bangladesh. But problem with this system is the reciters literally RUSH to finish the QURAN. They read it so hastily only they realise what they read, no one is interested to carefully listen the QURAN rather every one waits when salah is gong to end! This is a sad reality but this actually happens every year. And this has become a custom.

    I think there is no problem if one to perform 8,20 or 36 as long as his capabilities and attention are okay.
    But for me I’m really unable to do many rakah.

    Thank you for your suggestions. May Allah rewards you with best rewards.

  4. Salaam to Deccan Muslim and everyone else

    The order for Salat:

    4:43 O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged (intoxicated), until ye can understand all that ye say…

    For example a person drunk or taking narcotics, should not pray until sober times.

    Therefore, extrapolate, a worshiper should not attend long Salats, Taraweeh or not, unless he or she is fully cognizant of the words recited and understand them.

    The Prophet taught the worshiper prior to attending such forms of worship, up to 10 verses at a time and no new verses until they learned those few (REF: Suyuti Itqan).

    Whether 1 or 8 or 20 matters not, what matters is the worshiper focused on the meanings and that requires education and that education requires serious investment of time and energy.

    As Shakir indicated, these one-size-fit-all long worships done in large crows might be a recipe for extremism. And he does have a point.

    In general I do not like to toy with words of Qur’an, for example I do not leave the Qur’an player on and walking around the house and do stuff as through music or some radio show. I sit and listen and track the words, if I cannot focus as such, I halt the player.

    Imagine lost in a desert with no water for days, suddenly coming across a tiny bit of water, how would you treat that water? Then treat the words of Qur’an as if thirsting.


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