How to pray taraweeh at home

How to pray taraweeh at home

By Muhammad Mahmoud As-Sawwaf

How to pray taraweeh at home

Prayer is an individual duty incumbent on every sane and adult Muslim, man and woman.

The Arabic word for Prayer is salah. Literally, it means supplication or glorification; supplication because it represents one of the foremost of its parts, and glorification because its main goal is to glorify Almighty Allah.

As Islam enjoined Prayer on Muslims, the Prophet of Mercy Muhammad (peace be upon him) expounded its nature and entity, and the Companions and their successors followed his suit, and the Muslim scholars were, and still are, applying the same course, Prayer has been technically referred to:

“The worship and glorification of Allah by specific words and actions, commencing with the words ‘Allah is the Greatest’ and ending with the words ‘May peace and mercy of Allah be upon you’; It is a specially ordered and regulated form which the Islamic religion has brought into being and which all Muslims follow as a light and guide.”

Nevertheless the word still retains its linguistic meaning of “supplication” and “glorification”. The meaning of our saying “Prayers belong to Allah” is that Allah alone is entitled to receive the supplications whereby it is intended to glorify Him.

The meaning of our saying, “O Lord, bless Muhammad” is “O Lord, glorify him in this life by exalting his name; grant success to his mission, and preserve his Shari`ah (Islamic Law).” Also, it means “O Lord, glorify him in the Hereafter by accepting his intercession on behalf of his Ummah (community of Muslims) and doubling his recompense and reward.” It has been said that its meaning originated when Allah commanded us to “pray for” the Prophet on whom He had bestowed His love, but because we are incapable of discharging that divine duty, we leave it to Him saying, “O Lord, bless Muhammad for You know what befits him.”

The blessing of Allah on His Prophet is mercy, that of the angels is asking Allah’s forgiveness, while ours is supplication and exaltation. Almighty Allah says,

Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace. (Al-Ahzab 33:56)

Prayer is an individual duty incumbent on every sane and adult Muslim, man and woman. A child is required to perform Prayer from the age of seven so that he will be brought up to love it and will make a habit of it. He is to be beaten to perform it at the age of ten if by then he refuses to do so.

There are many verses in the Qur’an concerning Prayer. Following are only a few of them,

Verily, Prayer is enjoined on believers at stated times to be conducted at appointed hours. (An-Nisaa’ 4:103)

Verily, And enjoin Prayer on thy people and be constant therein. We ask thee not to provide sustenance: We provide it for thee. But (the fruit of) the Hereafter is for righteousness. (Ta-Ha 20:132)

And establish Prayer and pay alms and bow down in the company of others bowing down. (Al-Baqarah 2:43)

There are also many hadiths concerning the importance of Prayer, the obligation to perform it, its qualities, and the punishment awaiting those who renounce it.

Source: Quoted with slight modifications from the author’s “The Muslim Prayer Book: Rules, Concepts & Merits.”

Let’s know how to pray Taraweeh at home in Ramadan so that you can follow the Sunnah of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (ﷺ) and gain the prosperities of Taraweeh that is also an essential part of this holy month.

Before proceeding you should know that for men, it’s better to perform Taraweeh prayers at the mosque but in case you missed it or couldn’t be available to perform prayers at the mosque, then you can pray at home.

The prayer (Namaz) of Taraweeh is the same as how you perform the prayers of Sunnah or Nafl. There is no basic difference between Sunnah and Taraweeh prayers.

You can recite any Surah from the Holy Quran that you remember after reciting Surah Fatiha (Alham Sharif) and perform the Salah of Taraweeh as you pray other Sunnah or Nafl.

There are 20 Rakats (unit of prayer) in Taraweeh that you have to perform 2 Rakat every time until you complete it to a total of 20 Rakats. Just remember to recite Taraweeh Dua after every 4 Rakat.

In case if you don’t remember the Dua of Taraweeh that is recited after every 4 Rakat, then you can also recite Durood Sharif or Astaghfar, whatever you remember.

Table of Contents

How to pray Taraweeh at home (Hanafi) step by step

Nowadays, many people are confused about the Rakats of Taraweeh to perform and ask, is that 8 or 20? Taraweeh is consists of 20 Rakats that you have to perform every night of Ramadan after the Salah of Isha

The 20 Rakats are from the time of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (ﷺ) that is also followed by Ahle-Sunnat (Hanafi) and 8 Rakats are concocted by Ahle-Hadees with false references. So let’s know how to pray Taraweeh at home step by step.

Niyat (Intention) for 2 Rakat

Make a Niyat (intention) of praying 2 Rakat of Taraweeh by saying these words “I intend to pray 2 Rakat Salah of Taraweeh Suunat-e-Maukida for the sake of Allah and face towards Kaaba Sharif.

You can also just assume these words in your memory but it’s better to whisper with your mouth. Thereafter start your Salah by saying Allahuakbar and attach thumbs of your hands through your ears.

Remember that for every 2 Rakat you will have to do the same Niyat until you complete the whole Taraweeh of 20 Rakats, which means you will have to do the Niyat 10 times.

Dua-e-Sana and Surah Fatiha

Put your right hand onto your left hand on the bottom of your abdomen and start reciting Dua-e-Sana that is

“Subhaanaka Allahumma Wabi Hamdika Wata Baarakasmuka Wata Aala Jadduka Wala Ilaha Gairuka”

After Dua-e-Sana recite Surah Fatiha (Alham Sharif) and in last say Ameen by just whispering, then after, recite any of the Surah from the Holy Quran that you remember

But kept in mind that in the next Rakat you will have to recite a shorter Surah than the previous one.

Ruku and Sujood

Now go in Ruku by saying Allahuakbar, remember that whenever the body position changes you will have to say Allahuakbar except returning from Ruku, in that you will say “Samiallah Huliman Hamidah”

While in Ruku you have to say “Subhaana Rabbial Azeem” at least 3 times and a maximum of 7 times. Then return from Ruku by saying “Samiallah Huliman Hamidah” then go in Sujood by saying Allahuakbar.

In Sujood you have to recite “Subhaana Rabbi Al Aala” at least 3 times and a maximum of 7 times. Do the Sujood 2 times as it is a must and every time in going and coming from back from Sujood recite Allahuakbar.

As now recite the 2nd Rakat by just changing the Surah you recited after Surah Fatiha and recite another, and everything will be the same with one Ruku and 2 Sujood.

Attahiyat and Durood Ibrahim

Now when you are sitting you have to recite Attahiyat and after that Durood Ibrahim. Then after recite

“Allahumma Inni Zalamto Nafsi Zulman Qaseerauon Wala Yagferuz Zunuba Illa Anta Fagfirli Magferatam Min Indika Warhamni Innaka Antal Gafururraheem”

And then Salam side by side by saying “Assalamoalaikum Warahmatullah” on both sides while seeing on the shoulder.

Now your 2 Rakat has been completed, in the same way, you can pray your 20 Rakats of Taraweeh at home but remember to recite the Dua of Taraweeh after every 4 Rakats.

Taraweeh Dua in English Text

Subhanal Malikil Quddus;
Subhana dhil Mulki wal Malakuti;
Subhana dhil izzati wal aDhmati wal haybati wal Qudrati;
wal kibriyaa’i wal jabaroot;
Subhanal Malikil hayyil ladhi, la yunaamu wa layamutu;
Subbuhun, Quddusun, Rabbuna Rabbul malaa’ikati war-rooh;
Allahumma Ajirnee Minan Naar;
Ya Mujeero, Ya Mujeero, Ya Mujeer.

Can you pray Taraweeh alone?

Yes, you can pray Taraweeh alone, there are no obligations in praying the Taraweeh alone only if you have missed the Jamaah at the Mosque but it’s better to pray with Jamaah in the Mosque.

Is Taraweeh Sunnah or Nafl?

Taraweeh is Sunnah and It’s Sunnat-e-Mu-Akkadah, which means if you missed praying it before Subha-Sadiq (early dawn) then you don’t have to pray it but missing it intentionally is a sin.

Conclusion

I hope with this article most of your queries would be solved on how to pray Taraweeh at home or at Mosque. If you are having any queries or any suggestions to improve this article, feel free to comment.

How to pray taraweeh at home

Across the world, Muslims are commemorating Ramadan, one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar. Throughout Ramadan, those who are able fast from dawn to sunset, and a schedule of prayers up to five times a day are adhered to. Ramadan this year began on Tuesday, April 12 and lasts through to Wednesday, May 12.

Typically, prayers are said at a mosque, led by an imam, however, with the social distancing guidelines mosques are unable to open their doors.

This means meals to break the fast – Iftars – are held at home, and Friday prayers and Taraweeh cannot take place as usual.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) issued guidance before Ramadan began, explaining the restrictions.

They said: “At present, it is unlikely that social distancing measures will be lifted and we will be able to return to our normal routines.

Read More: How to say Happy Ramadan in Arabic

“As such, congregational acts of worship for Muslims outside of the home will still be banned to stop the spread of the virus.

“This includes taraweeh prayers at the mosque or anywhere outside our own homes, spiritual talks in the community or iftars (breaking of the fast) with friends and family to attend.

“We will all be seeking to adapt to these changes while still enjoying the spiritual lift and community spirit that Ramadan provides.’

Muslims have been asked to hold Iftar via mediums like Zoom and FaceTime if they wish to share it with their family, instead of travelling.

Ramadan began on Thursday, April 23 and will end in the evening of Saturday, May 23.

As Ramadan ends, Eid al-Fitr begins – known as the festival of breaking the fast.

Eid lasts for one day, ending in the evening of Sunday, May 24.

In several countries, Eid is a public holiday, but not in the UK despite several campaigns to make it so.

During Eid, Muslims will often purchase new clothes for the occasion, and take part in festivals and celebrations.

Many will wake up early to pray at a mosque or outdoor prayer venue.

Gifts and cards are often exchanged among friends and family, and lavish meals shared.

Whether lockdown restrictions will prevent Eid celebrations remains to be seen, as Muslims may be asked once more to celebrate virtually to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

Across the world, Muslims are commemorating Ramadan, one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar. Throughout Ramadan, those who are able fast from dawn to sunset, and a schedule of prayers up to five times a day are adhered to.

Typically, prayers are said at a mosque, led by an imam, however, with the social distancing guidelines mosques are unable to open their doors.

This means meals to break the fast – Iftars – are held at home, and Friday prayers and Taraweeh cannot take place as usual.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) issued guidance before Ramadan began, explaining the restrictions.

They said: “At present, it is unlikely that social distancing measures will be lifted and we will be able to return to our normal routines.

Read More: Ramadan: Tez Ilyas revealed what annoys him about fasting questions

How to pray taraweeh at home

How to pray taraweeh at home

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“As such, congregational acts of worship for Muslims outside of the home will still be banned to stop the spread of the virus.

“This includes taraweeh prayers at the mosque or anywhere outside our own homes, spiritual talks in the community or iftars (breaking of the fast) with friends and family to attend.

“We will all be seeking to adapt to these changes while still enjoying the spiritual lift and community spirit that Ramadan provides.’

Muslims have been asked to hold Iftar via mediums like Zoom and FaceTime if they wish to share it with their family, instead of travelling.

How to pray taraweeh at home

The MCB has encouraged the public to stream any Islamic lectures and to organise prayers – including taraweeh – at home as a family.

The taraweeh are ritual prayers performed by Muslims at night after the Isha prayer during the holy month of Ramadan.

Typically the prayers last more than an hour and involve reading one Juz’, and usually eight or 10 raka’at.

Juz’ is one of thirty parts of varying lengths into which the Quran is divided, while a raka’at is a portion of the salat, the prescribed prayers said five times a day, which combines a ritual of bows and prostrations with the recitation of prayers.

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How to pray Taraweeh at home

1. Pray Isha (four raka’at)
2. Pray two raka’at sunnah of Isha
3. Set your intention to start praying tarawih/qiyam. Pray the first four rak’at of tarawih (2 raka’at at a time).
4. Take a short break.
5. Pray the next four raka’at (again, two raka’at at a time).
6. Here, you can either end your tarawih and move on to witr, or continue praying.
7. Pray witr (either one or three raka’at).

How to pray taraweeh at home

Ramadan began on Thursday, April 23 and will end in the evening of Saturday, May 23.

As Ramadan ends, Eid al-Fitr begins – known as the festival of breaking the fast.

Eid lasts for one day, ending in the evening of Sunday, May 24.

In several countries, Eid is a public holiday, but not in the UK despite several campaigns to make it so.

During Eid, Muslims will often purchase new clothes for the occasion, and take part in festivals and celebrations.

Many will wake up early to pray at a mosque or outdoor prayer venue.

Gifts and cards are often exchanged among friends and family, and lavish meals shared.

Whether lockdown restrictions will prevent Eid celebrations remains to be seen, as Muslims may be asked once more to celebrate virtually to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

Question

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

It is better for a woman to pray in her house than in the mosque, whether that is an obligatory or supererogatory (naafil) prayer, including Taraweeh prayer.

The scholars of the Standing Committee said:

A woman’s praying in her house is better for her than her praying in the mosque, whether it is an obligatory or supererogatory prayer, Taraweeh or otherwise.

End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah – vol. 1 (7/201)

A woman may pray Taraweeh at home according to whatever she is able to do, paying attention to the Sunnah as much as possible. If she has memorised the entire Book of Allah and she is able to make the prayer lengthy, then she may pray eleven rak‘ahs, or thirteen, praying two by two, then praying Witr at the end.

If she cannot make her prayer lengthy, then she should pray two by two, whatever Allah has decreed that she should pray, then when she thinks that she has done as much as she is able to, she should pray Witr at the end, with one rak‘ah.

The scholars of the Standing Committee said: Taraweeh prayer is eleven or thirteen rak‘ahs, saying the tasleem after each two rak‘ahs, and praying Witr at the end (with one rak‘ah) is referable, following the example of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). But if anyone prays with twenty or more rak‘ahs, there is nothing wrong with that, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The night prayers are two (rak‘ahs) by two, then if one of you fears that dawn is about to break, he should pray one rak‘ah, so as to make what he has prayed odd-numbered.” Agreed upon. So he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not specify a particular number of rak‘ahs.

End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah, vol. 1 (7/198)

A woman does not have to have memorised the Qur’an in order to pray Taraweeh in her house; rather if she has memorised it, or a goodly amount of it, she may pray with whatever she has memorised of the Qur’an.

If she was not able to memorise enough to help her pray at home, there is no blame on her, or on any man, if they pray reading from the Mus-haf (printed copy of the Qur’an).

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

If there is a need to read from the Mus-haf, for one who is an imam leading the prayers, or a woman who is praying Tahajjud at night, or a man who has not memorised the Qur’an, there is nothing wrong with that.

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb (8/246)

If there are a number of women in the house, there is nothing wrong with her leading them in praying in congregation. She should stand in the middle of the row, and recite whatever she is able to, and if she reads from the Mus-haf there is nothing wrong with that.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

It is better for a woman to pray in her house, even if there is a mosque in which Taraweeh prayers are held, and if she prays in her house, there is nothing wrong with her leading other women in the house in prayer. In this case, if she has only memorised a little of the Qur’an, she may read from the Mus-haf.

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen.

There is nothing wrong with a woman praying Taraweeh or other prayers in the mosque, with the congregation of men, especially if that will be more effective in encouraging her to offer a lengthy prayer, and will help her to do that regularly, even if offering prayers – both obligatory and supererogatory – at home is better for her – in principle – than her offering prayers in the mosque.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

What is the Islamic ruling on a woman praying Taraweeh in the mosque?

He replied: The basic principle with regard to a woman’s prayer is that her home is preferable and better for her, but if she thinks that there is an interest to be served by praying in the mosque, so long as she covers herself properly, because that is more motivating for her, or because she can benefit from listening to lessons, then there is nothing wrong with that, praise be to Allah. It is also good because of what it involves of great benefits and encouraging people to do righteous deeds.

End quote from the Shaykh’s website:

He was also asked:

Is it permissible for a woman to pray Taraweeh in the mosque with the men?

He (may Allah have mercy on him) replied:

Yes, it is mustahabb for her to do that if she fears that she will be lazy at home, otherwise her house is better. But if there is a need for that, there is nothing wrong with it. The women used to offer the five daily prayers with the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), although he said: “Their houses are better for them.”

But some women may feel lazy or unmotivated at home. So if she goes out to the mosque, fully covered and observing hijab, and avoiding any wanton display, with the aim of praying and listening to people of knowledge, then she will be rewarded for that, because this is a righteous aim.

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb (9/489)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:

It is better for her to pray Taraweeh at home, but if praying in the mosque is more motivating for her and helps her to focus better, and if she prays at home she fears that she may neglect her prayer, then in this case the mosque may be better.

End quote from al-Liqa’ ash-Shahri.

For more information, please see the answers to questions no. 3457 and 65562

Islam is not just a religion. It is a way of life. A life based our attempts to be righteous and disciplined. Life made more colorful by Tarāweeh and countless Ramadan nights.

But what is Tarāweeh and what makes it so important? Let’s take a closer look at this special prayer and its role in our lives as Muslims.

But First….

Tarāweeh was first prayed by the Prophet PBUH during the last year of his life. On the 1st night, some believers joined the Prophet in prayer.

The number of people who prayed Tarāweeh rose day after day until the 4th night when a huge crowd gathered in the masjid to wait for the Prophet PBUH and pray Tarāweeh as one group.

However, it is narrated that the Prophet peace be upon him did not appear in the masjid. Instead, he prayed Tarāweeh on his own and said:

“Nothing prevented me from coming out to you except the fact that I feared that it would be made obligatory for you.” (Muslim).

But since Umar al Khattab’s time, most Muslims pray Tarāweeh in congregation. The sense of solemnity in praying Tarāweeh made it a very special communication tool between Muslims and Allah, especially during Ramadan.

And today, we are experiencing the same level of peace and tranquillity, thanks to old practices that made Islamic prayers a more personalized experience.

What is Tarāweeh?

Technically, Tarāweeh is a series of Sunnah prayers that are commonly prayed during Ramadan nights, specifically the night following Eshā’ Salāh. There are two main classifications of Tarāweeh: nafl or Sunnah mu’akkadah.

Many of us also associate Tarāweeh with rest and relaxation because it is typically prayed right after waking up in the late-night (or early morning, depending on how you look at it!), just before the break of dawn.

What is the Most Ideal Time to Pray Tarāweeh?

Historically, the best time to pray has always been noted after periods of rest, especially after long prayers. Many historical praying practices during the period of Ramadan went like this: 1) recite the Eshā’ prayer, 2) rest or sleep, 3) pray the tarāweeh prayer, along with the witr during the final 3rd of the night.

I Have No Option But To Pray Taraweeh at Home – Is That Cool?

It’s always comforting to know that we can pray the tarāweeh prayer in either a masjid or right at the comforts of our home, just like the Prophet PBUH did on the fourth night.

As most of us cannot get out of the house, you can also form small prayer groups at home and make special memories with your family members. An opportunity to bond and grow together in faith? We won’t say no to that!

What About If We’re Just A Group Of Women?

If it’s just a group of sisters praying together only, you would stand side by side whilst one leads the prayer.

And Can A Child Lead?

It is found in a Prophetic narration that once a community was praying behind a seven-year-old child. So from this, it’s been noted that if the child is of sound knowledge and understanding and has the most knowledge of the Qur’an of the family or group of people, then this is permissible.

It’s also a great way of encouraging the child to feel empowered by their faith too!

Okay, So How Should I Pray the Taraweeh Prayer?

  1. “Prayers at night are to be offered two by two (two rak’āt at a time). If any of you fears that the time of dawn is approaching, then let him pray one rak’ah as Witr.”(10) — [Abdullāh ibn Umar’s].
  1. “The Prophet pbuh would pray 20 Rak’āt and then witr in the month of Ramadhan.”(11) [Abdullāh ibn Abbās].

Variations in the narrations of the life of the Prophet Pbuh greatly affect the tarāweeh prayer. While some versions suggest that 8 rak’āt is enough to complete tarāweeh, others recommend completing 20 rak’āt.

So just like performing any other rituals and praying practices, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to praying tarāweeh. It mainly depends on three factors: 1) your eagerness, 2) your physical and mental state, 3) your beliefs.

Either way, tarāweeh bears similarity with a regular salāh since it is prayed by dividing two rak’āt into sets.

Just remember, at the end of the day, the goal behind praying tarāweeh is to find meaning behind your prayer. It can draw you a step closer to Allah.

Can I hold The Qur’an During My Taraweeh and Recite the Qur’an looking at The Book?

There is a difference of opinion on this. Some scholars will allow the recitation whilst holding the Qur’an. And an example of this is the scholars of the Shafi’ee fiqh would permit the use of a mushaf. However, some scholars of the Hanafi fiqh discourage or prohibit the use of a mushaf during the Taraweeh prayer.

What Are The Rewards?

“Whoever draws nearer (to Allāh) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time”(5) [Prophet Muhammad Pbuh].

Ramadan gives us the gift of hope, faith, and love. It gives us the opportunity to pray sincerely and develop a strong relationship with Allah, and we can do that by performing short prayers in the form of Taraweeh.

Tarāweeh is not a compulsory prayer, although the sunnah was a minimum of eight Rak’ah’s so depending on your concentration level and your eagerness to pray, the amount of Rak’ah’s is up to you.

But our advice is don’t get into the 8 or 20 arguments. Every prayer is heard and rewarded by Allah, especially the ones that are not compulsory in the time of Ramadan.

And Finally, Can I Rest Inbetween Each Two Rak’ah Prayers?

Yes. It’s an important thing to note is that you can rest in between your prayers, especially after two rak’ah’s of two.

This way, you can give your all in every prayer you perform. As long as you pray with the right intention in your heart, you can be sure that Allah will not let any of your prayers go unnoticed.

And The Rest Is Up To Him!

Ramadan or not, it’s always our hearts and spirits that matters, not the length of your taraweeh prayer. Just have a sincere intention. Put the effort in. Have that desire to make this Ramadan the best one when it comes to your personal Taraweeh prayers.

May we all be successful, have all our prayers and be blessed all abundantly this Ramadan.

Question:

Should tarawih be made at home or in the mosque with others?

Country: United States

The 8th century mujaddid Zain al-Din al-’Iraqi relates the following incident in his work Taqrib al-Asanid wa Tartib al-Masanid,

“’Urwah (Allah be pleased with him) relates on the authority of A’ishah (Allah be well pleased with her) that the Prophet Muhammad went out one night during Ramadan. He offered prayers in the mosque, and some men prayed behind him. On the second night, he again went out and even more people gathered. By the third or forth night, the mosque became so full that it could not accommodate the attendees, but the Prophet Muhammad did not come out. The people began to call him for the prayer, but he did not respond. When morning came, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be well pleased with him) said to him, “The people remained waiting for you last night.” The Prophet Muhammad replied, “Your presence was not unknown to me, however, I feared that the prayer would become obligatory upon you.” In one narration, Imam Bukhari added, “And when the Prophet Muhammad passed, the situation remained like that.”

‘Iraqi’s son, Wali al-Din, mentioned various fawa’id from the above narration in his commentary of his father’s work Tarh al-Tathrib fi Sharh al-Taqrib, such as:

1) Praying the night prayers of Ramadan congregationally, in a mosque, is best because the Prophet Muhammad performed the prayer in such manner, only leaving it out of fear that it be made obligatory. Al-Shafi’i along with many of his companions held this view. Also, Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Ahmad, and some of the Malikis maintained this position.

In his Musannaf, Ibn Abi Shaybah relates that ‘Ali, Ibn Mas’ud, Suwayd bin Ghaflah, and others performed the prayer in this manner. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab ordered that the prayer be performed and the companions and the rest of the believers continually carried out its performance until it became one of the distinguishing marks of the religion, much like the Eid prayers.

2) Wali al-Din al-‘Iraqi goes on to mention that some ‘ulama considered it better to perform the prayer individually, in one’s home, since the Prophet Muhammad regularly performed it that way, both before and after the above incident and he did this until he passed away. In fact, this practice continued throughout Abu Bakr’s caliphate until the 14th hijri year during ‘Umar’s caliphate.

Ibn Abi Shaybah relates that Ibn ‘Umar, his son Salim, Qasim bin Muhammad, ‘Alqamah, and Ibrahim al-Nakha’i did not stand with the people in prayer during Ramadan. Imam Malik, Abu Yusuf and some of the Shafi’is held to this position. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr relates this position from Imam al-Shafi’i himself.

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Significantly, Imam Muzani related this qawl,

“He (i.e Imam al-Shafi’i) said, “With respect to standing [in prayer] during the month of Ramadan [i.e. tarawih], the prayer of one praying alone is better according to me.” (Mukhtasar al-Muzani pg. 34)

Imam al-Mawardi presents two possible interpretations for Imam al-Shafi’i’s statement in his monumental work al-Hawi al-Kabir:

According to the first interpretation, the supererogatory prayers performed individually, like the two rak’ah before fajr, are more emphasized than standing in prayer during Ramadan i.e. for tarawih. In this interpretation, Imam al-Shafi’is statement is considered to be a comparison between the virtuousness night prayers during Ramadan and other supererogatory prayers. This is the view Imam Abu al-’Abbas bin Surayj.

In the second, it is better to perform tarawih individually so long as it does not become neglected. This is the view of many; moreover, it is supported by the hadith related by Zaid bin Thabit that the Prophet Muhammad said, “Pray in your homes. Verily the prayer of a person in his home is more virtuous than in the mosque except for the prescribed prayers.”

Mawardi concludes his discussion by stating, “ If the group prayer will be neglected due to one’s absence (by praying individually), then it is better to pray it in a group since such neglect extinguishes a mosque’s nur and causes a documented prophetic practice to be abandoned.” (al-Hawi al-Kabir 2/291)

This issue was further addressed by other commentators on Muzani’s abridgement, namely Imam ‘Abd al-Wahid bin Isma’il al-Ruwyani and Imam al-Haramayn. Ruwyani expounds on the issue in Bahr al-Madhhab. There, he attempts to reconcile the conflicting interpretations of al-Shafi’i’s words. In Nihayat al-Matlab, Imam al-Haramayn concludes, without given preponderance (ar: tarjih), that there are three opinions. They are: 1) it is better to perform it individually, 2) it is better to perform it in a group, and 3) it is better to perform it alone when one is hafiz and knows that laziness will not prevent him from praying. (See: Nihayat al-Matlab 2/355-56) Imam al-Haramayn’s student, Imam Ghazzali, transmitted the findings of his teacher in al-Wasit.

Islam is not just a religion. It is a way of life. A life based our attempts to be righteous and disciplined. Life made more colorful by Tarāweeh and countless Ramadan nights.

But what is Tarāweeh and what makes it so important? Let’s take a closer look at this special prayer and its role in our lives as Muslims.

But First….

Tarāweeh was first prayed by the Prophet PBUH during the last year of his life. On the 1st night, some believers joined the Prophet in prayer.

The number of people who prayed Tarāweeh rose day after day until the 4th night when a huge crowd gathered in the masjid to wait for the Prophet PBUH and pray Tarāweeh as one group.

However, it is narrated that the Prophet peace be upon him did not appear in the masjid. Instead, he prayed Tarāweeh on his own and said:

“Nothing prevented me from coming out to you except the fact that I feared that it would be made obligatory for you.” (Muslim).

But since Umar al Khattab’s time, most Muslims pray Tarāweeh in congregation. The sense of solemnity in praying Tarāweeh made it a very special communication tool between Muslims and Allah, especially during Ramadan.

And today, we are experiencing the same level of peace and tranquillity, thanks to old practices that made Islamic prayers a more personalized experience.

What is Tarāweeh?

Technically, Tarāweeh is a series of Sunnah prayers that are commonly prayed during Ramadan nights, specifically the night following Eshā’ Salāh. There are two main classifications of Tarāweeh: nafl or Sunnah mu’akkadah.

Many of us also associate Tarāweeh with rest and relaxation because it is typically prayed right after waking up in the late-night (or early morning, depending on how you look at it!), just before the break of dawn.

What is the Most Ideal Time to Pray Tarāweeh?

Historically, the best time to pray has always been noted after periods of rest, especially after long prayers. Many historical praying practices during the period of Ramadan went like this: 1) recite the Eshā’ prayer, 2) rest or sleep, 3) pray the tarāweeh prayer, along with the witr during the final 3rd of the night.

I Have No Option But To Pray Taraweeh at Home – Is That Cool?

It’s always comforting to know that we can pray the tarāweeh prayer in either a masjid or right at the comforts of our home, just like the Prophet PBUH did on the fourth night.

As most of us cannot get out of the house, you can also form small prayer groups at home and make special memories with your family members. An opportunity to bond and grow together in faith? We won’t say no to that!

What About If We’re Just A Group Of Women?

If it’s just a group of sisters praying together only, you would stand side by side whilst one leads the prayer.

And Can A Child Lead?

It is found in a Prophetic narration that once a community was praying behind a seven-year-old child. So from this, it’s been noted that if the child is of sound knowledge and understanding and has the most knowledge of the Qur’an of the family or group of people, then this is permissible.

It’s also a great way of encouraging the child to feel empowered by their faith too!

Okay, So How Should I Pray the Taraweeh Prayer?

  1. “Prayers at night are to be offered two by two (two rak’āt at a time). If any of you fears that the time of dawn is approaching, then let him pray one rak’ah as Witr.”(10) — [Abdullāh ibn Umar’s].
  1. “The Prophet pbuh would pray 20 Rak’āt and then witr in the month of Ramadhan.”(11) [Abdullāh ibn Abbās].

Variations in the narrations of the life of the Prophet Pbuh greatly affect the tarāweeh prayer. While some versions suggest that 8 rak’āt is enough to complete tarāweeh, others recommend completing 20 rak’āt.

So just like performing any other rituals and praying practices, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to praying tarāweeh. It mainly depends on three factors: 1) your eagerness, 2) your physical and mental state, 3) your beliefs.

Either way, tarāweeh bears similarity with a regular salāh since it is prayed by dividing two rak’āt into sets.

Just remember, at the end of the day, the goal behind praying tarāweeh is to find meaning behind your prayer. It can draw you a step closer to Allah.

Can I hold The Qur’an During My Taraweeh and Recite the Qur’an looking at The Book?

There is a difference of opinion on this. Some scholars will allow the recitation whilst holding the Qur’an. And an example of this is the scholars of the Shafi’ee fiqh would permit the use of a mushaf. However, some scholars of the Hanafi fiqh discourage or prohibit the use of a mushaf during the Taraweeh prayer.

What Are The Rewards?

“Whoever draws nearer (to Allāh) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time”(5) [Prophet Muhammad Pbuh].

Ramadan gives us the gift of hope, faith, and love. It gives us the opportunity to pray sincerely and develop a strong relationship with Allah, and we can do that by performing short prayers in the form of Taraweeh.

Tarāweeh is not a compulsory prayer, although the sunnah was a minimum of eight Rak’ah’s so depending on your concentration level and your eagerness to pray, the amount of Rak’ah’s is up to you.

But our advice is don’t get into the 8 or 20 arguments. Every prayer is heard and rewarded by Allah, especially the ones that are not compulsory in the time of Ramadan.

And Finally, Can I Rest Inbetween Each Two Rak’ah Prayers?

Yes. It’s an important thing to note is that you can rest in between your prayers, especially after two rak’ah’s of two.

This way, you can give your all in every prayer you perform. As long as you pray with the right intention in your heart, you can be sure that Allah will not let any of your prayers go unnoticed.

And The Rest Is Up To Him!

Ramadan or not, it’s always our hearts and spirits that matters, not the length of your taraweeh prayer. Just have a sincere intention. Put the effort in. Have that desire to make this Ramadan the best one when it comes to your personal Taraweeh prayers.

May we all be successful, have all our prayers and be blessed all abundantly this Ramadan.