Q 1: What is the ruling of Islam on
Tarawih (special supererogatory night Prayer in Ramadan)? How should it be offered?
There is much controversy about this issue; some Imams (those who lead congregational Prayer) start it by saying "Rise for Qiyam (stand for optional Prayer at night), may Allah reward you!", and then offer two Rak'ahs (units of Prayer), after which they say, "O, Allah! Send Your peace and blessings upon Prophet Muhammad" in a loud voice. When the Imam says this, all the Ma'mums (persons being led by an Imam in Prayer) repeat it after him. In the second two Rak'ahs, he reads Surahs Al-Ikhlas (Part No. 2; Page No. 495) and Al-Mu`awwidhatayn (Surahs Al-Falaq and Al-Nas) in a loud voice, and the Ma'mums also repeat it after him. On finishing Tarawih, he does the same thing three times. If a person tells them that this act was not reported, they reply that it is a good deed and a good Bid`ah (innovation in religion). Is there anything called a good Bid`ah in Islam? What is your view on this? How should this Salah be offered? May Allah reward you with the best.
Saying: "Rise for Qiyam (standing for optional Prayer at night), may Allah reward you!"; the saying of the Imam: "O, Allah! Send Your peace and blessings upon Prophet Muhammad" in a loud voice; repeating this by the Ma'mums; and reciting Surahs Al-Ikhlas and Al-Mu'awwidhatayn in a loud voice after offering two Rak'ahs, are all Bid`ah. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
If a person innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid (reason), these are to be rejected.
He (peace be upon him) used to say in the Friday Khutbah (sermon):
The best of speech is embodied in the Book of Allah, and the best of the guidance is the guidance given by Muhammad (peace be upon him). The most evil affairs are novelties; and every Bid`ah leads to misguidance.
Muslim in his Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith.
Thus, it is evident that every Bid`ah leads to misguidance, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said. There is nothing in Islam called a good Bid`ah.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.