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'A'isha reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ prayed one night in the mosque and people also prayed along with him. He then prayed on the following night and there were many persons. Then on the third or fourth night (many people) gathered there, but the Messenger of Allah ﷺ did not come out to them (for leading the Tarawih prayer). When it was morning he said: I saw what you were doing, but I desisted to come to you (and lead the prayer) for I feared that this prayer might become obligatory for you. (He the narrator) said: It was the month of Ramadan.
حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى، قَالَ قَرَأْتُ عَلَى مَالِكٍ عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَلَّى فِي الْمَسْجِدِ ذَاتَ لَيْلَةٍ فَصَلَّى بِصَلاَتِهِ نَاسٌ ثُمَّ صَلَّى مِنَ الْقَابِلَةِ فَكَثُرَ النَّاسُ ثُمَّ اجْتَمَعُوا مِنَ اللَّيْلَةِ الثَّالِثَةِ أَوِ الرَّابِعَةِ فَلَمْ يَخْرُجْ إِلَيْهِمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَلَمَّا أَصْبَحَ قَالَ ‏
"‏ قَدْ رَأَيْتُ الَّذِي صَنَعْتُمْ فَلَمْ يَمْنَعْنِي مِنَ الْخُرُوجِ إِلَيْكُمْ إِلاَّ أَنِّي خَشِيتُ أَنْ تُفْرَضَ عَلَيْكُمْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَذَلِكَ فِي رَمَضَانَ ‏.‏

Classification

Sahih (Authentic)

References

• Sahih Muslim, 761a
• Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Book of Prayers, Hadith 1666
• Sahih Muslim, Book of Prayers, Hadith 1666