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Concerning Fasting
  The Rulings of Ramadaan
Author: Islamic Society of the University of Essex
Article ID : IBD090003  [32990]  
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There is no evidence to suggest that the Messenger (S) prayed both Tahajjud and the Taraaweeh prayer on those four nights (relying on the fact that the Tahajjud and Taraaweeh prayers are two different prayers). All the various names such as Tahajjud, Taraaweeh, Qiyaamul-Lail refer to the eight raka'ahs and three witr which the Messenger (S) used to prayer whether in Ramadaan or not as Aa'ishah has explained.

Jaabir Ibn 'Abdullah agreed with 'Aaeisha, he said: " When the Prophet prayed with the people one night during Ramadaan he prayed eight raka'at and then made Witr." [Ibn Hibbaan].

When Umar enlivened this practice of having the Taraweeh prayer done in congregation under Ubay Ibn Ka'b, he had him pray eleven raka'at as was the practice of the Messenger (S). Sa'eed Ibn Yazeed said. "Umar lbn Al-Khataab ordered Ubay Ibn Ka'ab and Tameeman Ad Daarie to establish eleven raka'at with the people. The reciter used to recite hundreds of verses and we used to lean on our sticks because of their long standing, and we did not leave until the beginning of Fajr." [AI-Muwatta of Immam Maalik]

The above is the most authentic narration relative to the number of raka'at that Umar (R) had established. Any other narration relative to the number of rakaah (most of them are related to Umar) for the night prayer is weak. Furthermore they contradict what is firmly established from the Messenger of Allaah (S).

12. AL-I'ATIKAAF (Seclusion in the mosque)

The meaning of I'atikaaf
It means to be established on something. So for the person who commits himself to be in the masjid is called a Mu'takiff (i.e. one who is involved in I'atikaaf).

Its Ruling
It is recommended during Ramadaan as well as any other time during the year. It is also established that the Messenger (S) did I'atikaaf in the Masjid during the last ten days of Shawaal. [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

So 'Umar (R) said to the Prophet (S): "I made an oath during Jaahiliyyah to do I'atikaaf for one night in the Masjid al-Haram (the masjid in Makka - the Ka'bah)." He said: "Fulfill your oath [so he did it for one night]." [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It is definitely much better to do I'atikaaf in Ramadaan as this was the regular practice of the Prophet (S). It is narrated from Abu Huraira (R) who said: "The Messenger of Allah (S) used to do I'atikaaf during every Ramadaan for ten days, but in the year when he died he did I'atikaaf for twenty days." [Bukhaaree]

Also it is best to do it for the last ten days of Ramadaan because: "The prophet used to do I'atikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadaan until he died." [Bukhaaree]

Its conditions
It is not allowed to do I'atikaaf except in the Masjid. Allah (T) said, which means:

{... and do not have sexual intercourse with them while you are doing I'atikaaf in the Maasajid...} [Baqarah 2:187]

It is also recommended that the one who does I'atikaaf should also fast as is related from 'Aeisha ( R ).

I'atikaaf is not to be done in any Masjid. The statement of the Messenger of Allah (S) restricts it to only three. He said: "There is no I'atikaaf except in the three Masjids." (The Kaabah, The Prophet's Masjid and Baital - Muqaddis in Jerusalem)

What is allowed for the one who is doing I'tikaaf
It is allowed for him to leave the Masjid to fulfill any need that he has. 'Aeishah (R) said: "He would not enter the house except if he had some need to fulfill while he made I'atikaaf." [Bukhaaree and Muslim]
It is allowed for the person who is in I'atikaaf to put his head out of the Masjid for it is to be washed or combed. Ae'ishah (R) said: The Messenger (S) use to enter his head into my house while he was in I'atikaaf and then I would comb his hair. [Bukhaaree and Muslim]

It is allowed for the one who does I'atikaaf and other than him to perform wudoo in the masjid. "The Messenger (S) performed a light wudhoo in the Masjid." [Ahmad]

It is allowed for him to erect a small tent at the rear of the masjid for his I'atikaaf.

It is allowed for him to have a mattress for his bed in the masjid as is established from the Messenger (S).

13. THE NIGHT OF QADR (Decrees)

The Virtues of this Glorious Night are very great indeed for any believer who prays, supplicates and remembers Allah (T) much with sincerity and have hope in His reward. The Muslims who are all commissioned to tenaciously follow the Sunnah of the Messenger (S) must not raise any banner for this night. They must, however, race with one another to worship Allah (T) with Eemaan and hoping for His reward.

The Virtues of the Night of Decrees
1. It is enough to mention as a virtue that the night of Qadr (decrees) is better than a thousand months.

Allah (T) said, which means:

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