One-Night Khatms in Taraweeh and shabinah

[The excerpt is from the work of Maulana Abdul Hay Lakhnawi rahimahullah, translated by Maulana Zameelur Rahman]

10-days1-300x197[1]A question often arises about what the people today frequently do on the 27th night or another night of Ramadān. They adorn the masjid with carpets, hang many lamps and appoint huffāz that are quick in their recitation and have good retention to complete the whole Qur'ān in a single night during Salāt al-Tarāwīh. Hence, one leads after another, and each of them recites as much as is possible for him in two or more rak'ats until the khatm is completed close to dawn or suhūr time in accordance with the speed of the reciters. They call it khatm shabīnah. Is this permissible or not?

I answered that the completion of the Qur'ān itself in one night is encouraged, but the attachment of reprehensible matters to it is reprehensible. Its elaboration is that there are some things that are good and some which are reprehensible in what they are accustomed to and believe to be good:

First, the completion of the Qur'ān in one night, which is a wonderful thing, practised by many of the Salaf. In fact, some of them completed it in a single rak'ah!

Second, speedy recitation, as they make the recitation fast, to the point that the letters do not emerge from their [correct] points of emergence, let alone contemplation (tadabbur) and measured reading (tartīl)! This is something reprehensible, as Ibn Abī Dāwūd transmitted from Muslim ibn Mikhrāq that he said: I said to 'Ā'ishah that there are some people of whom one recites the [entire] Qur'ān twice or thrice in one night. She said: "They recited and did not recite! I would stand with the Messenger of Allāh one night and he recited al-Baqarah, Āl-'Imrān and al-Nisā' and he did not pass by a verse in which is glad-tidings but he supplicated and expressed desire, nor by a verse in which is warning except he supplicated and sought refuge."

In fact, amongst them are some who make it so fast that he leaves out verses and one listening to him is unable to correct him due to the speed of his recitation. In fact, some of them do not correct him because it would disrupt his speed. Is there anything more reprehensible than this?! I saw something even worse than this, which is that when the hāfiz completes the recitation, the listeners stretch their tongues with praise of him, saying, "How fast was your recitation!", "How beautiful was your voice!" etc., and they do not warn him against what he did, of leaving out measured reading and omitting verses.

Third, the laziness of the listeners, as when the hāfiz stands for recitation, they [sit down and] wait until the rukū' of the first rak'ah, and only when he intends to go down to rukū' do they join in with him. It is right to say about them: "And when they stand for Salāh, they stand up lazily". (4:142)

Fourth, creating antipathy in the muqtadis, as when the huffāz lengthen the recitation it causes difficulty on those who join him. Thus, some of them sit and some of them alternate between their feet and some of them break the rak'ah and listen while sitting down outside the Salāh. What evil is greater than this?! This is why the fuqahā' have expressly said that one ought to recite in Tarāwīh the amount that is not burdensome on them.

Fifth, lighting many candles above need, which is a matter of frivolity and play which must be avoided, as the fuqahā' have expressly stated in many places. These and their likes are evils which take out the good thing to the level of reprehensibility. How many a good thing is rendered reprehensible by the adjoining of a [blameworthy] attachment?! And Allāh knows best the truth.  

Iqāmat al-Hujjah 'alā anna l-Ikthār fi l-Ta'abbud laysa bi Bid'ah, pp. 154-6

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