What is the number of rak'ahs of Tarawih prayer; how many rak'ahs can be offered with one salutation?

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What is the number of rak'ahs of Tarawih prayer; how many rak'ahs can be offered with one salutation? What is the number of rak'ahs of Tarawih prayer? Known and unknown facts about the Tarawih prayer...
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

According to the Hanafi sect, the number of rak'ahs of the Taraweeh Prayer is based on the practice of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). Umar led the Taraweeh Prayer in Masjid an-Nabawi for twenty rak'ahs in the final times of his caliphate. After the period of Four Caliphs, no one objected to observing the Taraweeh prayer for twenty rak'ahs.

Scholars acted upon this hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) regarding this issue:

After me, follow my sunnah and the sunnah of the caliphs in the right path.” (Tirmidhi, Ilm, 16; Ibn Hanbal, IV, 126)

Furthermore, it is reported that Abdullah b. Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) observed the Taraweeh Prayer for twenty rak'ahs and afterwards he observed three rak'ahs of Witr prayer in the month of Ramadan. When Imam Abu Hanifa was asked about Umar’s application as regards to this issue, he answered:

“Taraweeh Prayer is a sunnah al-muakkada with no doubt. Umar’s observing this prayer in community and for twenty rak'ahs is not a personal preference and not an innovation, either. He did so depending on a juridical principle that he knew and on a will of Muhammad (pbuh).” (at-Tahtawi, Hashiya, 334).

It is more virtuous to perform tarawih prayer by saluting after every two rak'ahs, by saluting totally ten times. It is also permissible to salute after every four rak'ahs.   

If a person performs tarawih prayer by saluting after every two rak'ahs, he needs to perform it like the two-rak'ah sunnah of the evening (maghrib) prayer; if he performs tarawih prayer by saluting after every four rak'ahs, he needs to perform it like the four-rak'ah sunnah of the night (isha) prayer. At the beginning of the first rak'ah and every two rak'ahs, "Subhanaka" and "Audhu basmala" are read; "at-Tahiyyat" and "Salli-Barik" supplications are read at each sitting. When it is performed in congregation, the congregation intends to perform tarawih prayer and to follow the imam. The imam reads aloud when he leads tarawih prayer. (al-Qasani, Badaiu's-Sanayi', Beirut, 1974, I/288; Tahtawi, Hashiya, 335 ff)

It is more virtuous to perform tarawih prayer by saluting after every two rak'ahs, by saluting totally ten times. It is also permissible to salute after every four rak'ahs. It is also permissible to salute after the eighth, tenth, twelfth or twentieth rak'ahs.

Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad adopted the view of performing tarawih prayer saluting after every two rak'ahs.

According to Hanafis, it is makruh to perform tarawih prayer as a whole by saluting only after the twentieth rak'ah, but it is valid. 

According to Shafii madhhab, it is fard to salute after every two rak'ahs in tarawih prayer; if a person salutes after every four rak'ahs, his prayer becomes invalid; if he does it by mistake, it becomes a supererogatory prayer.

According to Malikis, it is makruh to salute after every four rak'ahs but the prayer does not become invalid. (see. Prof. Dr. Vehbe Zuhayli, İslam Fıkhı Ansiklopedisi)

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