Clarifying 2 Prevailing Doubts
Bismillah Ir Rahmaan Ir Raheem
All praise belongs to Allah and may the Prayers of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam, his family and companions.
In this post, may Allah bless you all, I will inshaAllah try to bring the evidences and the speech of the scholars of Islam, the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah about two prevailing doubts that are present amongst the Muslims.
The first is regarding the addition of “as salaatu khairun minan-Nawm (prayer is better than sleep)” in the adhaan for the Fajr prayer and whether this was an addition made by the noble Companion, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab radiyallahu ‘anhu.
This phrase comes in an authentic hadith collected by Imam Ahmad in his musnad (3:408):
“If you call the first Adhan of the morning prayer, say: As -Salatu Khairun minan-Nawm.”
“However, it should be known that the first Adhan referred to in the hadith is the Adhan which is called after the beginning of the prayer time and the second adhaan is the Iqaamah. Because the Iqaamah is also called an Adhaan; the Prophet sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam said:
“Between every two Adhaans there is a prayer.”
[Reported by Bukhari in the Book of the Adhaan, in the Chapter: Between every Two Adhaans there is a Prayer for Him Who Wishes; and by Muslim in the Book of the Prayer of the Traveller, in the Chapter: Between Every Two Adhaans There is a Prayer.]
What is meant by two Adhaans is the Adhaan and the Iqaamah.” [End Quote]
(Fatawa Arkan-ul-Islam. Vol. 1. Pg. 406 )
‘Umar bin al-Khattab, being from the four rightly guided caliphs, would not add something to the religion which was not commanded by Prophet sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam. This is because the Prophet has commanded us to follow the way of the four rightly guided caliphs in the hadith:
“You must keep to my Sunnah and of the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs, cling to it firmly… Beware of newly invented matters, for every new matter is an innovation and every innovation is misleading.”
Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4607) and by at-Tirmidthee (no. 2676). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Irwaa’ul-Ghaleel (no. 2455).
It does not make sense for the one who is believed without any doubt, that he would command the Ummah to follow someone who keeps away from his Sunnah and introduces innovations into the religion. Any rational minded individual will realize this reality.
The second doubt that will be addressed here inshaAllah ta’ala is the claim that ‘Umar bin al-Khattab radiyallahu ‘anhu started the taraweeh prayers after Prophet Muhammad sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam had stopped praying it.
The Taraweeh prayer is a Sunnah which was prescribed by the Messenger of Allah sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam and it is reported in the Two Sahihs on the authority of ‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Prophet sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam prayed in the masjid one night and some people prayed with him. Then he prayed on the next night and the people had become numerous, then they gathered on the third or the fourth night, but the Messenger of Allah sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam did not come out. Then in the morning, he said:
“I saw what you did, and nothing prevented me from coming out to you except that I feared it would become an obligation upon you.”
[Reported by Al-Bukhari in the Book of Tahajjud, in the Chapter: The Encouragement of the Prophet sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam to Offer the Night Prayer (1129); and by Muslim in the Book of the Travellers’ Prayers, in the Chaper: The Encouragement of Offering the Night Prayer in Ramadhan (177).]
[End Quote] Fatawa Arkan-ul-Islam. Vol. 2. Pg. 509
With this hadith, it is made clear that when ‘Umar started the Taraweeh prayers, he was not bringing an innovation into the religion, rather he renewed the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam.
It must be understood why the Prophet sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam stopped praying the Taraweeh prayers in Jama’ah and this is because he feared that it might become an obligation upon the Muslims. So this fear remained through the lifetime of Prophet sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam because revelation could come to him at any time. But after his death, this fear no longer remained because revelation had stopped and there was no way for something which was a Sunnah to become an obligation upon the Muslims without it being revealed from the One who legislated this religion of Islaam.
This affair, Muslims praying the taraweeh prayers separately remained so during the khilaafah of Abu Bakr until ‘Umar brought the Muslims together under a single Imaam, just as they had gathered behind the Messenger of Allah sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam.
And we know that the Messenger of Allah sallalahu ‘alayhe wasallam mentioned:
“Whoever introduced a good practice (sunnah) into Islaam then for him there is the reward of it and whoever works in accordance to it until the Day of Resurrection; their rewards will not diminish in the least. And whoever introduced an evil practice (Sunnah) into Islaam then upon him is the burden of it and whoever works in accordance to it until the Day of Resurrection, and their burden will not be diminished in the least.”
[Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah al-Bajalee]
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