Difference between taraweeh and tahajjud
What is the difference between taraweeh and tahajjud?
Some scholars have said that at the time of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salam it has NOT been established from any hadith narration that the Tahajjud prayers and the Taraweeh prayers in the month of Ramadan were two separate prayers that he offered separately.
Rather they were one and the same salaat, the only difference being in the time that he offered this prayer and also the manner.
During the month of Ramadan when he led the people in salaat (Taraweeh) he would begin in the earlier portion of the night whereas his normal time for Tahajjud was the later portion of the night.
The other difference was Taraweeh was prayed in congregation in the masjid whereas the the Tahajjud prayers were usually offered at home.
Even though technically both of the Taraweeh and Tahajjud prayers are considered the one prayer (salaatu Lail) because of these differences most of the Muhaditheen (hadith scholars) in their hadith books have placed two separate chapters for Tahajjud and Taraweeh.
Imam Bukhari seems to depict this view that they are both one and the same salaat under the chapter:
باب قيام النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم بالليل فى رمضان و غير ه
The Prophet’s sallallahu alaihi wa salam night prayers in Ramadan and other months.
He brings the hadith of Aishah رضى الله عنه ا where she says that the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salam did not pray more than eleven rakaats in the night prayers whether in Ramadan or the other months.
The question then arises that if the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salam only offered eleven rakaats (eight plus three Witr) why then do we pray twenty?
It should be noted that the position of all the four schools is that Taraweeh is not less than twenty rakaats.
This practice was introduced formally by Umar رضى الله عن ه when he instructed Ubayy ibn Ka’b to lead the people in praying twenty rak’ahs in qiyaam in Ramadaan, and he used to pray Witr with three rak’ahs.
It should be understood that the sunnah established and legislated by the four khulafa is considered as something legislated by the Shariah according to the hadith of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salam;
عليكم بسنتى وسنة الخلفاء الراشدين …
“Hold fast to my sunnah and the sunnah of my rightly guided successors…”
If this practice of praying twenty rakaats of Taraweeh was introduced by Umar رضى الله عنه without any instruction from the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salam then it will be because of his understanding that to pray twenty rakaats would have been approved of by the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salam and that is why no one from amongst the Sahabah questioned him or rejected his injunction of twenty rakaats of Taraweeh. Scholars have said that twenty rakaats was the consensus of the entire Sahabah from the time of Umar رضى الله عن ه .
Despite what has just been stated above that this practice of praying twenty was introduced by Umar رضى الله عن ه it has been mentioned in
البحر الرائق and رد المحتا ر
that Abu Yusuf asked Abu Hanifah regarding this practice of Umar رضى الله
عن ه and he replied ” the Taraweeh (of Umar رضى الله عنه ) is an emphasised sunnah. It is not something fabricated by Umar رضى الله عنه of his own accord nor something that he innovated. He gave this instrunction only after acquiring and establishing an origin ( اص ل ) from the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salam.
This saying of Imam Abu Hanifa indicates that Umar رضى الله عنه only gave the instruction to perform Taraweeh in this manner due to an established origin which he understood from the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa salam.
And Allah knows best.
Ma’arifu Sunan (commentary of Sunanu Tirmidhi) by Sheikh Yusuf Binnori under the chapter ما جاء فى قيام شهر رمضان ؛
ولم يثبت فى رواية أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم صلى التراويح والتهجد على حدة فى
رمضان، فلم يكن فى عهده صلى الله عليه وسلم فرق بين التهجد والتراويح إلا أنه
صلى الله عليه وسلم لما صلى التراويح بالناس طولها و لم يكن فرق فى الركعات، بل
الفرق كان فى وقتها و وصفتها، فالتراويح كانت فى المسجد و بالجامعة بخلًف
التهجد فكان فى آخر الليل فى البيت من غير جماعة، افاده الشيخ ) انور شاه
الكشميرى ( .
Answered by Shaykh Mohammed Shakeeb