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Question Summary:
You have mentioned that no more than 3 can participate in a Nafl Jamaat per the Hanafi Madhab. If there are several people in the Masjid, does this mean we need to make separate Jamaats of 4 each?

Question Detail:

(Please refer to your response to Q4520). During the last nites of Ramadan, there are many people (in excess of 30) who spend the nite in the Masjid, and would like to participate in Tahajjud and Qiyamullail Salaats. ? Also, I?ll be interested in knowing if the restriction you?ve mentioned exists in the other schools of thought. ? In a multi-madhab society like the Americas, how can one expect to adhere to these kind of restrictions? ? Also if you don?t mind, please explain the source of this restriction, did the prophet s.a.w.s. impose this thru? any hadith at all? If not, wouldn?t you agree that imposing restrictions in Deen, when the prophet s.a.w.s. did not do so, is a form of innovation?

Answer :

According to the Hanafi Madhab, no more than 3 people can participate in
Nafl Salaat together. This does not mean that if there are more people, then
accordingly several Jamaats of 3 each may gather together. This practice, if
continued, will lead an innovation. It was not the general practice of
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) or Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) to
perform Nafl Salaat in congregation.

If this practice is done continuously in a way whereby others are invited to
also participate, then it will be termed as Bid'at. Yes, if it is done very
rarely (keeping in mind the restriction of no more than 3 people), then it
will be permissible. As for the restriction of no more than 3 people, this
is found in a Hadith of Hadhrat Anas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) who says that,
'Once Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) performed Nafl Salaat and behind
him stood Anas (Radhiallaahu Anhu), a child and Umm Sulaim (Radhiallaahu
Anha).

Thus, the original position of the Shari'ah is that there should not be any
Nafl Jamaat. This is an exception to the general rule and should thus be
confined to the conditions mentioned.

Each person may perform as much Nafl he wishes individually. This is the
rule of the Hanafi Madhab, and every Hanafi should follow this even if the
other members of the Jamaat are of other Madhabs.

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

for: Mufti Ebrahim Desai
FATWA DEPT.

CHECKED AND APPROVED: Moulana Imraan Vawda

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