In a handout by al-Albani’s followers in England, by the title “Some common questions answered” (dated October 1990), there appeared the following question and answer (No. 22):
(a) Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reports that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) never prayed more than 8 rak’aats in taraweeh, so how come nobody disapproves of 20?
(b) Is it true that Umar (Allah be pleased with him) introduced it?
(a) As regards the taraweeh prayer – people agree that the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and the best way is 11 rak’aats. As regards any addition – then this is DISAPPROVED of and DECLARED AS A BID’AH (A bad innovation) by Shaykh al-Albani and by a few earlier scholars – that being reported from Imam Malik, Ibn ul-Arabee and as-San’aanee (see Salat-ut-taraweeh of Shaykh al-Albani). (b) It is not true that Umar (Allah be pleased with him) either prayed or ordered 20 rak’aats. Rather he ordered Ubayy ibn Ka’b to lead the people with 11 rak’aats (al-Muwatta 1/137, with a Sahih Isnad).
I do not wish to go into much detail on this issue, but Insha’Allah a separate publication is what is really required, to show which opinion is the most correct. But any way it should be said that the vast MAJORITY of the scholars of hadith, Fiqh, and even the four Mujtahid Imams are in agreement that 20 rak’ahs are the most appropriate, followed by 3 rak’ahs of witr, and this is also the opinion of the Imam of the “Salafiyya”, Ahmad ibn Taymiyya