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It was narrated from 'Aishah that:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ prayed in the masjid one night, and some people followed his prayer. Then he prayed the following night and more people came. Then they gathered on the third or fourth night and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ did not come out to them. When morning came he said: "I saw what you did, and nothing prevented me from coming out to you but the fact that I feared that this would be made obligatory for you," and that was in Ramadan.
أَخْبَرَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، عَنْ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَلَّى فِي الْمَسْجِدِ ذَاتَ لَيْلَةٍ وَصَلَّى بِصَلاَتِهِ نَاسٌ ثُمَّ صَلَّى مِنَ الْقَابِلَةِ وَكَثُرَ 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 يُفْرَضَ عَلَيْكُمْ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ وَذَلِكَ فِي رَمَضَانَ ‏.‏

Classification

Sahih (Authentic)

References

• Sunan an-Nasa'i, 1604
• Sunan an-Nasa'i, Vol. 2, Book of Qiyam Al-Lail (The Night Prayer) and Voluntary Prayers During the Day, Hadith 1605
• Sunan an-Nasa'i, Book of Qiyam Al-Lail (The Night Prayer) and Voluntary Prayers During the Day, Hadith 1605