Details of Prophet’s SAW Qiyam : How Many Rakaah?


taught by Sh Omar Suleiman on ILMFLIX

How many rakaah?

It’s about quality not quantity. They had no concept of quantity, all they thought about was quality.

Fatima, Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz’s wife said -> Umar ibn Abdul Azeez didn’t pray more than 2 rakaah but he prayed them with ihsan. Prophet saw didn’t pray more than 11 inside and outside Ramadan. Aishah said “Don’t ask about how long and beautiful those rakaah were.” When Aisha made that statement, there are other narrations that showed that indeed Prophet saw prayed more than 11. Ibn Abbas narrated the Prophet saw praying 13 and Zayd ibn Thaabit and Umm Salamah narrated that the Prophet saw prayed 13 rakaat. What Aishah was saying was that the habit of Prophet saw was 11.

Later on, on individual level, sahabah understood it was about quality, so it never realy was an issue for them. On society level, Aishah lived longer than the sahabah, in late 50s after hijrah, she saw sahabah rayed 20 rakaat and she never objected. She was just describing the khushu Prophetsaw had in his salat

Naafi said about ibn Umar (famous for his application of the sunnah), “Every night he’d keep praying 2 , 2, 2 and once in a while he’d look at me and ask if its Fajr yet, if I said no he’d keep praying and if I said yes he’d make istighfaar until Fajr.” This shows that even Ibn Umar didn’t see it as quantity but as quality.

So just pray as much as you can handle. In SubulusSalam : Umar, before he gathered people to pray behind one imam in Ramadan, he had different group according to how fast the reciter was. He told the fastest to recite 30 ayaat in 1 rakaat (the fastest one at their time is not like our fastest). Then he’d find the one with the moderate pace and tell him to recite 25 ayaat per rakaah and the slowest pace to recite 20 ayaat per rakaah. Then, when he gathered everyone behind one imam Ubayy ibn Kaab and Tameem Ibn Daws Ad Daari, Ubayy was reading more than 100 ayaat per rakaah in total of 11 rakaat, and people were getting tired, leaning and dozing off, so Umar doubled that and made it from 11 to 22 to give them a chance to break the Quran up more.

That practice (sunnah of khulaafaa rashideen) was done by Uthman, Ali. After Ali people couldn’t even handle 20 rakaat so they added another 14 rakaat , 36, till it reached 39. At the time of imam Malik they prayed with 39 rakaah for about 300 years in Madinah. It’s about breaking it up. Pray whatever you’re capable of what your praying.

Prophet saw said, “Keep praying until you don’t recognize what you’re saying anymore and then go to sleep.” He found ropes in the masjid and asked what they were and they said this was Zaynab Bint Jahsh’s rope and she’d use it when she couldn’t stand anymore due to sleepiness. Prophet saw said to take it away.


This is my notes from the ILF class Stranger In the Night, taught by Sh. Omar Suleiman. I thought I’d share my notes this way (piece meal)  on top of uploading them as 1 big file. It will also motivate me to actually finish cleaning it up in sha Allah! May it be of benefit. Ameen.


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