Numbers of Rak'ah in Taraweeh prayer

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Question:

With reference to Fatwa: 82507 and 82508. You did not answer those questions as they were supposed to be. You just say whether offering of twenty prayers, that is Taraaweeh, is confirmed with the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) or not? On what bases do the leaders of Masjid Al-Haraam and Nabawi they offer twenty Raka's when there is clear Hadeeth of Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, says that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) never offered more than eight Raka's regardless of any month?

Fatwa:

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, may Allah exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) did not pray 20 Raka's during Taraaweeh prayers, but rather prayed only 11 Raka's as narrated by "'Aa'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) never prayed more than 11 Raka's in Ramadan or otherwise." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] But this narration does not mean that it is not permissible to pray more than 11 Raka's for many reasons:

Firstly, this is a report about an act of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and this does not mean that the matter is restricted to that number. Indeed the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) specified the number of Raka's prayed by night saying: "The prayers of the night are in twos (two Raka's followed by two Raka's and so on)." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Secondly, it is confirmed that the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, used to pray 20 Raka's Taraaweeh during the reign of the Caliphate 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him. This is the evidence of the scholars who hold this opinion, and this is the opinion of Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ash-Shaafi'ee, Ath-Thawri, Ibn Al-Mubaarak, may Allah have mercy on them, and this is the famous opinion of the Maaliki School. As-Saa'ib Ibn Yazeed, may Allah have mercy on him, said: 'They used to pray 20 Raka's during the reign of 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, in Ramadan.' [Maalik]

Thirdly, no scholar of the nation has stated that it is an innovation or not permissible to pray more than 11 Raka's. If any scholar says so in this century, then this is the first time that it is said and his statement will be rejected. May Allah have mercy on all of us.

Allah Knows best.

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