Q 1: What is the ruling of Islam
on Tarawih (special supererogatory night Prayer in Ramadan)? How should it be performed?
There is a great difference among people concerning this. Some people say: "Come to Tarawih! May Allah reward you well!", before they begin their Salah. Then, they offer two Rak`ahs, and then a person says: "O Allah, confer peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad". They say so in a loud voice. The Imam says these words and the Ma'mums (persons being led by an Imam in Prayer) repeat them after him. After performing the second two Rak`ahs, the Imam recites Surah Al-Ikhlas and Al-Mu`awwidhatayn (Surahs Al-Falaq and Al-Nas) in a loud voice. The Ma'mums also repeat this recitation after him. After finishing Tarawih, he recites the Surahs mentioned above three times. When we told them that doing so is Bid`ah (innovation in religion) as it was not reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) or the Companions, they said that this is an excellent Bid`ah. What is the ruling on doing that? How can we perform this Sunnah? May Allah reward you well!
Saying: "Come to Tarawih! May Allah reward you well!", the Imam and Ma'mum's saying: O Allah, confer peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad" and reciting Surah Al-Ikhlas and Al-Mu`awwidhatayn (Surahs Al-Falaq and Al-Nas) in a loud voice after completing two Rak`ahs are Bid`ah. It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"He who innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid (reason) (commits sin) and these are to be rejected."
(Part No. 7; Page No. 209) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.