Salmaan (RA) reports, “On the last day of Sha-baan Rasulullah (SAW) addressed us and said, ‘0 people there comes over you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night more greater in virtue than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah has made Fasting compulsory by day. And has made sunnah the Taraweeh by night. Whosoever intends drawing near to Allah by performing any virtuous deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a fardh in any other time. And whoever performs a fardh, shall be blessed with the reward of seventy faraaidh in any other time.
This is indeed the month of patience, and the reward for true patience is Jannah ( paradise. It is the month of sympathy with one’s fellowmen. It is the month wherein a true believer’s rizq is increased. Whosoever feeds another who fasted, in order to break the fast at sunset, for the feeder there shall be forgiveness of sins and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam (hell}, and for such feeder shall be the same reward as the one who Fasted (who he fed) without that persons reward being decreased in the least.”
Thereupon we said, “0 messenger of Allah, not all of us possess the means whereby we can give a fasting person to break his fast.” Rasulullah (SAW) replied, “Allah grants the same reward to the one who gives a fasting person to break the fast a mere date, or a drink of water, or a sip of milk.”
“This is a month, the first of which brings Allah’s mercy, the middle of which brings His forgiveness and the last of which brings emancipation from the fire of Jahan-nam.”
“Whosoever lessens the burden of his servants (bonds-men) in this month, Allah will forgive him and free him from the fire of Jahannam.”
“And in this month four things you should continue to perform in great number, two of which shall be to please your Lord, while the other two shall be those without which you cannot do. Those which shall be to please your Lord, are that you should in great quantity bear witness that there is no deity to worship except Allah (i.e. recite the Kalimah Tayyibah Laa llaaha illallaah) and make much Istighfaar beg Allah’s forgiveness with Astagirfirul-laah).” And as for those without which you cannot do, you should beg of Allah, entrance into paradise and ask refuge in Him from Jahannam.”
“And whoever gave a person who fasted water to drink, Allah shall grant that giver to drink from My fountain, such a drink where after that person shall never again feel thirsty until he enters Jannah.”
Reported by ibn Khuzaimah in his ‘Saheeh.
All the points which this Hadith draws attention have been further emphasized in numerous other Ahaadith on the great virtues of Ramadan. Quite a number of important points are brought to our notice.
Firstly, it should be noted that Rasulullah (SAW) delivered this sermon at the end of the month of Sha-baan the obvious reason being that he intended to put into our minds the great importance of Ramadan so that we could remember and not allow one second of this month to go by without giving it the full importance it deserves. Thereafter attention is drawn to Laylatul Qadr, about which more is said later. Then attention is drawn to the fact that fasting has been made compulsory by Allah who also made sunnah the Taraweeh ‘salaah by night.
From this Hadith it is noted that the command for Taraweeh prayers too comes from Allah Himself. Besides this in all the Ahadith wherein Rasulullah (SAW) says, I have made it sunnah”, is mainly to emphasize its importance. All the authorities of the Ahlus sunnah wal Jamaa’ah are agreed upon the fact that Taraweeh is sunnah. (Bur-haan mentions that only the Rawaafidh deny this.)
Maulana Shaah Abdulhaq Dehlawi wrote in his book: “Maa Thabata Bis sunnah” that should the people of any town fail to perform Taraweeh prayers, the Muslim ruler should make them do so by force.