Ramadan Q & A #3
by: Ahmad Musa Jibril

QA1: In our masjid, during taraweeh the Imam recites the Qur'an very fast. He reads the first few words correctly then all the ayah's from then on, the listener is able to hear 1 letter per word in a verse; meaning only few words in the verse can be heard. Will we get the complete ajer praying with the Imam ? Did the sahaba pray Qur'an faster to ease it on people or shorten the time spent for taraweeh?

An Imam can speed up recitation. There is a name given to that called (alhader) that is reciting the Qur'an fast, yet read in tajweed, and more importantly, in full pronunciation of each and every letter must be done.

An Imam can and should take into consideration to ease up on the people behind him, as the prophet (sallah allahu alieh wasalam) ordered, and as the sahabah did but cannot do so on the account of misreading the Qur'an. The Imam can read less than a juz in a fast but well-pronounced matter.

The description you mentioned is not reciting, but rather an unacceptable mumbling. One should refrain from that. The Imam should be told to slow down or be replaced. I know some Imam who do that in order to avoid being caught in his mistakes. The purpose of recitation is to listen, comprehend, think and have khushoo3. A shorter salah with khushoo3 and listening to Allah's words is better than a longer salah with no khushoo3.

The Salaf at times made long prayers and other times made them shorter. They made them longer by reading more, and shorter by reading less, as you will see in the following examples. They never made them shorter by reading fast to the point those behind them did not comprehend what they were reading:

AlSaeb bin Yazeed said Omar ordered Ubai bin Ka3b and Tameem Aldary to lead the prayer in Ramadan. They used to read in the two hundreds (meaning around 200) to the point they used to lean on canes from the length of the standing, and they did not go back home until it was shortly before fajer.

AlSaeb said the reader used to read in Ramadan during Umar's (radia allahu anh) time with fifty to sixty verses or close to that.

Note that both occurred during Umar's time (radia allahu anh), and in one he made longer and in another made it ¼ of the previous time.

Umar Ibn AlMunther said that during the time of Abdallah Ibn Aluziber we used to read 50 verses in every raka3ah.

Umar bin Abdel Aziz ordered they pray thirty-six raka'at with ten verses recited in every raka'at.

Ahmad bin Hanbal was asked, "May a person read the Qur'an twice in Ramadan as a taraweeh?" He replied, "It depends on what the people can handle, and if they can accommodate that with their jobs." Similar statements were made by the Hanafieh.(lataef al ma3aref p.18.

You can see that it depends on what people can handle and want, but what is most important is that the words be fully pronounced with tajweed. Anything less that full correct pronunciation is inappropriate.

If the matter is not corrected then one is better off praying in his home reciting what little he may know with comprehension and khusoo3.

QA2: After taraweeh, when we pray witr, the Imam makes three raka'at. In the second raka'at the Imam sits for Tashahud after the sujood, then he continues with the 3rd raka'at, makes dua'a and goes on for the final tashahud. Is the witr considered to be void because it is similar to Maghrib? Since this is how witr is led every time, do we leave the prayer after taraweeh, without making witr?

Witr has three methods:
1) To pray two and make salam then pray one alone.
2) To pray all three without sitting for tashahud after the 2nd rak3ah.
3) To pray all three and sit for tashahud like maghrib prayer.
The first two have proof for them either by the prophet (sallah allahu alieh wasalam) or his companions, while the third has proof against it.

The prophet (sallah allah alieh wasalam) said "Don't make your witr like maghrib." (alhakim 1/304; Baihaqy 3/31; Darqutny 172)

The meaning of not making it similar to maghrib is for one not to sit for tashahud after the first two raka'at, but rather pray three straight raka'at with one tashahud. That is the scholarly interpretation of the hadith. Please see Fath Albary 4/301; Awn al ma3bood #1423 and Salat al taraweeh for Albany p, 97.

Knowing that, you will see that method of witr is incorrect and one should not pray behind an Imam who performs witr in that manner. You will inshallah get the reward of a full taraweeh if you walk out prior to this type of witr because one is doing so for a very valid reason.

QA3: If someone has a long-term condition that they cannot fast in Ramadan, what should they do? If they should give money to feed others,s it only for the poor? Since they won't be fasting 30 days, do they have to feed someone every single day or can they feed the amount of people they have to feed all at once?

There are two types of illnesses:
a) Temporary- where most likely, by the will of Allah, the person will be cured within day weeks or even months.
This person must make up those days when he is able to.

b) There are those who are ill with a type of illness that they most likely will not be cured from. Or, their condition does not allow them to fast for the remainder of their life due to the illness or medication necessary that must be taken on daily basis.

This second type needs to feed a poor person for every day they were unable to fast. That person should be poor, Allah said, "And if you're unable to fast then feed a poor." (2/184, Ibn Abbas (radi allahu anh) said this verse is not abrogated. It applies to the elder or who cannot fast) AlBukhari

The verse specifies a miskeen, which is slightly different than a faker (poor). In Surah AlKahf verse 79, Allah described the long story a group of people who owned a ship or leased it for business purposes as masakeen. They probably had a business but were not well off. Hence, a miskeen is in better condition than a poor person. Basically, a miskeen is one who is in debt even if he has good income. Some scholars say something similar to one whose yearly income is 5,000 but is in need or debt for 10,000 in that year.

And, Allah knows best.

-Ahmad Musa Jibril



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