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Taraweeh Prayer In Ramadan

What is Taraweeh Prayer?

Taraaweeh prayer is an emphasized Sunnah according to the consensus of the Muslims, as al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Majmoo’. Its a prayer that is performed at the night.

To know what is the Taraweeh prayer, we should first know what are the prayers that can be performed during the night. After the obligatory prayer at night which Isha prayer, there are some other nafl (preferred but not obligatory) prayers that can be performed too. One is called Qiyam Al-Layl (standing at night), the prayer of Qiyam Al-Layl can be performed at night after the Isha prayer.

Qiyam Al-Layel is given another name in Ramadan which is Taraweeh, the reason of such name is that Muslims used to rest after every four Rak'at, the word Taraweeh is a plural form of Tarweeha which means "rest". Commonly the word Taraweeh is used to describe this prayer in Ramadaan, the Muslims used this term from early times

Muhammad Shaqrah says: “The reason for this name is that due to long recitation the people used to rest after every four rak'ah. Eventually this practice became a necessary element of Taraweeh even with short recitations. This led people to think that ‘Tarawih’ is the correct name revealed to Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).” 

It should be noticed that the Tahajjud(waking up at night) prayer is also one of the Qiyam prayer but this prayer is performed after one sleeps then wake up at night. Also, there is another prayer that is included in the Qiyam Al-Layel which called prayer of witr, this prayer is the end of the night prayers . One rak’ah with which one concludes the night prayers at the end of the night, or in the middle of the night, or at the beginning of the night after ‘Isha’ prayer. You pray whatever you can, then you conclude it with one rak’ah.
 

The Excellence of Qiyam (Taraweeh) in Ramadan:

 Taraaweeh prayer was encouraged by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) Abu Hurayrah said: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said "He who prays during the night in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven" (Agreed Upon)

The Majority of scholars say that by all his pasts sins it means his minor sin not major sins if the person stand all the nights of Ramadan in prayer and not just a few nights. As for the major sins to be forgiven, the scholars say that a person is required to make sincere repentance

It was narrated that Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever stands with the Imam until he finishes, it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 806; Abu Dawood, 1375; al-Nasaa’i, 1605; Ibn Maajah, 1327. Classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Khuzaymah (3/337), Ibn Hibbaan (3/340) and al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 447.

This reward (the reward of spending the whole night in prayer) is not attained by anyone except the one who stands with the imam for the whole prayer, until he completes it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said. 

 

Praying Taraweeh in the Jama'ah:

It is a Sunnah to pray the Qiyam al-Layl (Taraweeh) of Ramadan with the Jama'ah (congregation); and this is better than praying it individually. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself established the practice of praying Qiyam al-Layl in Jama'ah, approved of it from the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) and greatly emphasized its merits.

A'isha (may Allah be pleased with) reported: “The people used to pray during the night of Ramadan in the Prophet’s Mosque in separate groups. A man who knew some Qur'aan would lead five or six people in Jama'ah. On one such night, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) instructed me to lay down a mat for him (in the Masjid) by the door of my apartment and I did so. After praying Isha, Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) went to that mat, all those who were in the Masjid gathered behind him; and he (peace be upon him) led them in the prayer for a long portion of the night; then he departed and entered (my apartment), leaving the mat where it was.

In the morning, the people described that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) led some men in prayer on the previous night. So that night, more people gathered until the Masjid was full. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) went out the second night and prayed; and they followed him in the prayer.


The next morning people talked about it and on the third night the number of people increased in the Masjid. Again the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) went out and they followed him in prayer.


On the fourth night, the Masjid was overrun with people. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) prayed Isha with them and went inside his house, but the people stayed, so Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) asked me: “What do they want Aa'ishah?” I said: "O Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)! The people have gathered to follow you (in the prayer).” He peace be upon him) said:“Fold away your mat.”, which I did. He (peace be upon him) was aware of the people waiting for him that night; some men even called out, 'The Prayer.'


In the morning, Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) went out for the Fajr prayer and after he finished his Salaat he turned to the people, said the Shahadah and stated: “O people, by Allah all praise is due to Him, I was not unaware of your presence last night, but I only feared that the night prayer (Qiyam) would become an obligation for you, which you would be incapable of fulfilling. So commit only to the deed you would be capable of performing, because Allah does not tire (from yours deeds) until you tire.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawud, an-Nisa'i, Musnad Ahmad and others]

It was narrated in al-Saheehayn from ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would forgo doing something that he liked to do lest the people do it and it become obligatory upon them. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1060; Muslim, Salaat al-Musaafireen, 1174).

 

Praying Taraweeh in the mosque in congregation is better than praying at home

Praying in congregation in the mosque is better than praying at home. This is indicated by the Sunnah and the actions of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them). 

The above hadeeth of Aisha about the prophet leading the Taraweeh prayer indicates that praying Taraweeh in congregation is prescribed according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but he refrained from doing it because he feared that it would be made obligatory for the ummah. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, this reservation was no longer required, because the sharee’ah was established. 

Al-Tirmidhi (806) narrated that Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam – i.e., Taraweeh – with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded as if he spent the whole night in prayer.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi. 

Al-Bukhaari (2010) narrated that ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Abd al-Qaari said: I went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) to the mosque one night in Ramadaan, and the people were scattered, each man praying by himself. Some men would pray and have groups of people behind them following them. ‘Umar said: “I think that if I unite all these people with one reader, it will be better. Then he resolved to gather them behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b. 

 

Al-Haafiz said: Ibn al-Teen and others said that ‘Umar based this decision on the Prophet’s approval of those who prayed with him on those nights. Although he disliked that for them, that was based on the fear that it might be made obligatory for them. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, there was no longer any fear of that happening, and ‘Umar thought, because of the potential division that might arise from people praying separately, and because uniting them behind one reader is more motivating for many people. The majority agreed with ‘Umar’s decision. End quote from Fath al-Baari. 

 

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’, 3/526: Praying Taraweeh is Sunnah according to scholarly consensus… It is permissible to offer this prayer alone or in congregation, but which is better? There are two well-known opinions on this matter. The correct view according to the consensus of our companions is that praying it in congregation is better. The second view is that it is better to pray it individually. 

Ibn al-Mubaarak, Ahmad and Ishaaq favoured praying with the imam during the month of Ramadaan. 

Al-Albaani said in Qiyaam Ramadaan: Rather it (praying Taraweeh in congregation) is better than praying it alone, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did it himself and explained its virtue.  

Rather he did not lead them in praying it in congregation for the rest of the month because he feared that praying at night during Ramadaan might be made obligatory for them, and they would be unable to do that, as it says in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah which is narrated in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere. This concern no longer applied after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died and Allaah had completed Islam. Hence the reason for not praying in congregation when offering night prayers in Ramadaan was no longer present, and the previous ruling remained in effect, which is that it is prescribed to offer this prayer in congregation. Hence ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) revived it, as it says in Saheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere. End quote. 

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (27/138): 

From the time of ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and the Muslims regularly offered Taraweeh prayer in congregation. ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) is the one who united the people in offering the prayer behind a single imam. 


 

 

References used:

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How to pray the Taraweeh prayer?

Time for Taraweeh prayer

The time for praying qiyaam (Taraweeh) is from after ‘Isha until Fajr, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah has added one more prayer for you, which is witr, so pray it between Salaat al-‘Isha’ and Salaat al-Fajr."

Praying at the end of the night is better, for those who can manage it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever is afraid that he will not get up at the end of the night, let him pray witr at the beginning of the night, but whoever feels that he will be able to get up at the end of the night, let him pray witr at the end of the night, for prayer at the end of the night is witnessed [by the angels], and that is better."

 

How is the Taraweeh prayer performed?

How many rak'aat?
There are two opinions as to how many rak'aat should be prayed. One opinion says that it should be 8 rak'aat followed by three rak'aat of witr

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray eleven rak’ahs at night, and say the tasleem after each two rak’ahs, and he would pray Witr with one rak’ah. Saheeh, (agreed upon)

Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan, asked ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), “How did the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) pray during Ramadan?” She said: “He did not pray more than eleven rak’ahs in Ramadan or at other times. He would pray four, and do not ask how beautiful and long they were, then he would pray four, and do not ask how beautiful and long they were, then he would pray three. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, will you sleep before you pray Witr?’ He said, ‘O ‘Aa’ishah, my eyes sleep but my heart does not.’ (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1909; Muslim, 738 )

How exactly it's performed?

Scholars say that it should be 2 by 2 following the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar when a man asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about prayer at night. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Prayers at night are to be offered two by two (two rakahs at a time). If any of you fears that the time of dawn is approaching then let him pray one rak’ah as Witr.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 846; Muslim, 749)
 

 

 

References:

 

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Women's Attendance At Taraaweeh Prayers On Mosques 

Taraaweeh prayer is not obligatory for women, and it is still better for them to perform the Night Prayer at home, because the Prophet SAWS (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said:
"Do not prevent your women from going to the mosque, even though their houses are better for them." (Reported by Abu Dawud in al-Sunan, Baab maa jaa'a fee khurooj al-nisaa' ilaa'l-masjid: Baab al-tashdeed fee dhaalik. See also Saheeh al-Jaami', no. 7458) .

Whenever a woman prays in a place that is more private and more hidden, that is better for her, as the Prophet SAWS (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said: "A woman's prayer in her house is better than her prayer in her courtyard, and her prayer in her bedroom is better than her prayer in her house." (Reported by Abu Dawud in al-Sunan, Baab maa jaa'a fee khurooj al-nisaa' ilaa'l-masjid. See also Saheeh al-Jaami', no. 3833).

Umm Humayd, the wife of Abu Humayd al-Saa'idi reported that she came to the Prophet SAWS (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him) and said: "O Messenger of Allaah, I love to pray with you." He said: "I know that you love to pray with me, but praying in your house is better for you than praying in your courtyard, and praying in your courtyard is better for you than praying in the mosque of your people, and praying in the mosque of your people is better for you than praying in my mosque." So she ordered that a prayer-place be built for her in the furthest and darkest part of her house, and she always prayed there until she met Allaah (i.e., until she died). (Reported by Imaam Ahmad; the men of its isnaad are thiqaat (trustworthy) ).

But the fact that praying at home is preferable does not mean that that women are not permitted to go to the mosque, as is clear from the following hadeeth:
From 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, who said: "I heard the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him) say: 'Do not prevent your women from going to the mosque if they ask your permission.'" Bilaal ibn 'Abdullah said, "By Allaah, we will prevent them." (Ibn 'Umar) turned to him and told him off in an unprecedented fashion, saying: "I tell you what the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (Peace & Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said, and you say 'By Allaah, we will prevent them'!!" (reported by Muslim, 667).

But there are conditions attached to the permission for women to go to the mosque, as follows:

(1) She should wear complete hijaab.
(2) She should not go out wearing perfume.
(3) She should have the permission of her husband.

Her going out should not involve any other kind of prohibited acts, such as being alone in a car with a non-mahram driver. If a woman does something wrong like that, her husband or guardian has the right to stop her; in fact it is his duty to do so.

I asked our shaykh, Shaykh 'Abd al-'Azeez, about Taraaweeh prayer in particular, and whether it is better for a woman to perform this prayer in the mosque. He replied in the negative and said that the ahaadeeth that state that it is preferable for a woman to pray in her house apply to all prayers, and this includes Taraaweeh as well as others

 

 Source

 

Witr Prayer

Time For Witr Prayer

The time for praying qiyaam (witr) is from after ‘Isha until Fajr, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Allaah has added one more prayer for you, which is witr, so pray it between Salaat al-‘Isha’ and Salaat al-Fajr."

Praying at the end of the night is better, for those who can manage it, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Whoever is afraid that he will not get up at the end of the night, let him pray witr at the beginning of the night, but whoever feels that he will be able to get up at the end of the night, let him pray witr at the end of the night, for prayer at the end of the night is witnessed [by the angels], and that is better."

 

Witr is part of the night prayer, and it is Sunnah and it is the end of the night prayer, one rak’ah with which one concludes the night prayers at the end of the night, or in the middle of the night, or at the beginning of the night after ‘Isha’ prayer. You pray whatever you can, then you conclude it with one rak’ah. [Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 11/309]

 

Recitation during Three Rak'ah of Witr

It is Sunnah to recite Sabbih ismi Rabbika al-‘A’laa (Surah Al-A'laa) in the first rakah, Qul Yaa ayyuha’l-Kaafiroon (Surah Al-Kaferoon) in the second rakah, and Qul Huwa Allaahu ahad (Surah Al-Ikhlas) in the third rak’ah. Sometimes Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbi’l-Falaq and Qul a’oodhu bi Rabbi’l-Naas may be added as well.

It was reported in a saheeh report that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) once recited one hundred aayaat of Soorat al-Nisa’ in one rakah of witr

 

Duaa Al-Qunoot

A person may also humble himself before Allah by reciting the du’aa’ which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught to his grandson al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), which is:

“Allaahumma’hdinee fiman hadayta wa ‘aafinee fiman ‘aafayta wa tawallanee fiman tawallayta wa baarik lee fimaa a’tayta wa qinee sharra maa qadayt, fa innaka taqdee wa laa yuqdaa ‘alayk. Wa innahu laa yadhillu man waalayta wa laa ya’izzu man ‘aadayt. Tabaarakta Rabbanaa wa ta’aalayt. Laa majaa minka illa ilayk

(O Allaah, guide me along with those whom You have guided, pardon me along with those whom You have pardoned, be an ally to me along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless for me that which You have bestowed. Protect me from the evil You have decreed for verily You decree and none can decree over You. For surety, he whom You show allegiance to is never abased and he whom You take an enemy is never honored and mighty. O our Lord, Blessed and Exalted are You. There is no refuge from You except with You).”

Sometimes one may send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there is nothing wrong with adding other du’aa’s that are known from the Sunnah.

There is nothing wrong with reciting Qunoot after rukoo’, or with adding curses against the kuffaar, sending blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) or praying for the Muslims in the second half of Ramadan, because it is proven that the imaam used to do this at the time of ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). At the end of the hadeeth of ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Ubayd al-Qaari mentioned above, it says: “… They used to curse the kuffaar in the middle, saying,

‘Allaahumma qaatil al-kafarata alladheena yasuddoona ‘an sabeelik wa yukadhdhiboona rusulak wa laa yu’minoona bi wa’dik. Wa khaalif bayna kalimatihim wa alqi fi quloobihim al-ru’b wa alqi ‘alayhim rijzaka wa ‘adhaabak ilaah al-haqq

(O Allaah, destroy the kuffaar who are trying to prevent people from following Your path, who deny Your Messengers and who do not believe in Your promise (the Day of Judgement). Make them disunited, fill their hearts with terror and send Your wrath and punishment against them, O God of Truth).” Then he would send blessings on the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and pray for good for the Muslims as much as he could, and seek forgiveness for the believers.


After he had finished cursing the kuffaar, sending blessings on the Prophet, seeking forgiveness for the believing men and women and asking for his own needs, he would say:

“Allaahumma iyyaaka na’bud wa laka nusalli wa najud, wa ilayka nas’aa wa nahfud, wa narju rahmataka rabbanaa wa nakhaafu ‘adhaabak al-jadd. Inna ‘adhaabaka liman ‘aadayta mulhaq

(O Allah, You do we worship, to You do we pray and prostrate, for Your sake we strive and toil. We place our hope in Your Mercy, O our Lord, and we fear Your mighty punishment, for Your punishment will certainly overtake the one whom You have taken as an enemy.”
Then he would say “Allah hu akbar” and go down in sujood.

 

What should be said at the end of witr

  • It is Sunnah to say at the end of witr (before or after the salaam):


“Allaahumma innee a’oodhu bi ridaaka min sakhatika wa bi mu’aafaatika min ‘aqoobatika, wa a’oodhu bika minka. La uhsee thanaa’an ‘alayka, anta kamaa athnayta ‘ala nafsik

(O Allah, I seek refuge in Your good pleasure from Your wrath, and in Your protection from Your punishment. I seek refuge with You from You. I cannot praise You enough, and You are as You have praised Yourself.”


  • When he gave salaam at the end of witr, he said:

“Subhaan il-Malik il-Quddoos, subhaan il-Malik il-Quddoos, subhaan il-Malik il-Quddoos (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy), elongating the syllables, and raising his voice the third time
.

 

Two rak’ahs after witr

 A person may pray two rakahs after witr if he wishes, because it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did this. Indeed, he said, “This travelling is exhausting and difficult, so after any one of you prays witr, let him pray two rakahs. If he wakes up, this is fine, otherwise these two rakahs will be counted for him.
 

It is Sunnah to recite Idha zulzilat al-ard and Qul yaa ayyuha’l-kaafiroon in these two rak’ahs.

 

References:

  • "Qiyaam Ramadaan" by al-Albaani
  • "The Night Prayer during Ramadan" - by Shiekh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
  • Witr prayer