Taraweeh is one of the highly recommended prayers of Muslims. During the month of Ramadan, The believers of Islam pray Taraweeh Salah. This prayer is Sunnah Mustahabbah. The evidence of Taraweeh namaz is found in Quran and Sunnah direct & indirect respectively. According to different Muslim scholar, this salah comes under the qiyaam al-layl (qiyaam-ul-layl) which refers to night prayers.
The Word Taraweeh ( تراويح ) comes from an Arabic word. The root word of Tarabih (Taraweeh) is rauh or raha. In the Arabic language, Rauh or Raha means taking rest. It is called Taraweeh namaz (Salah) because during these prayers the Muslims take rest between four Raka’at of Salah.
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Another school of Islamic historians elaborates on the meaning of Taraweeh. They say that Qiyaam-al-Layl min Ramzan means the standing of the night in Ramzan. During the month of Ramzan, while praying Taraweeh namaz it takes long times. After a certain period of time, people take rest during Taraweeh namaz.
From the both ends, Taraweeh refers to the praying for Allah at night during the month of Ramadan. This is the literal meaning of Taraweeh Namaz.
According to the Taraweeh Hadith in Bukhari (37) and Muslim (759), Prophet (SAW) said that those who pray night prayers during the month of Ramadan with faith and hope to get the reward, Allah will forgive the sins of All previous deed.
According to the Tirmidhi Hadith (806) which is described by the Abu Dharr, Prophet (Peace be upon him ) said that those who have done the Qiyaam Ramadan behind the Imam(Religious Leader) until the qiyaam ends, Allah(SWT) takes it as whole night prayers.
حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي مَالِكٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، رضى الله عنها زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَلَّى وَذَلِكَ فِي رَمَضَانَ
The above Hadith is narrated by Aisha about Taraweeh in Al-Bukhari refers that, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to pray at night during the month of Ramadan.
History of Taraweeh
Taraweeh namaz is one of the most special prayers during the month of Ramadan. There are some arguments about the Taraweeh Salah. For that purpose, I have mentioned the history of Taraweeh Salah according to the various references. The following questions arose from different people.
- Taraweeh 8/20 Raka’at?
- Taraweeh prayer is sunnah or nafl?
I am here going to discuss the details of each of the questions.
During the time of Ramadan Rasullah (SAW) performed Taraweeh namaz two or three times in congregation in his lifetime. The Hadith from Bukhari provides evidence of this.
During the period of Abu Bakar (PBUH), Taraweeh Namaz was performed individually or in the small congregation.
Hazrat Umar (PUBH) changed the system; he made the combination of all small congregations and made it larger. From that time, this practice continued to perform Taraweeh Salah in Congregation.
The Sahaba (PUBH) supported this. After that Hadrat Ali (PUBH) and other Sahaba (PUBH) also followed this practice.
If we follow the hadith of Rasulullah (SAW), Prophet(SAW) said that,
I advise you fear Allah, to listen and to obey (your leaders) even though your leader be an Abyssinian slave because those of you who live after me shall see great disputes. It is, therefore, compulsory for you to adhere to my practices and to the practice of the righteous and rightly-guided successors (Khulafaa Raashideen). Hold fast to these practices and bite on them with your molars.
Now, most of the countries all over the world practice the ways of Hadrat Umar (PUBH).
Taraweeh 8 or 20
According to the above discussion, it is clear that 20 Raka’at Taraweeh namaz has been continued from the initial time of the prophet. There are no arguments about it. This argument is started by the Nasir Uddin al-Albani who said against this. Allah Knows the best. We all acknowledge that Allah(SWT) protects Islam & Muslims.
Taraweeh Prayer is Sunnah or Nafl
Taraweeh prayer is Sunnah Muakadah salah. Like other sunnah salah, it has a definite number of Raka’at, Ruku. On the other hand, Nafl Salat does not have a definite number of Raka’at. Prophet(PUBH), as well as Sahaba (PUBH), perform a definite number of Raka’at during Taraweeh prayers.
Is Taraweeh compulsory?
According to the above discussion, Taraweeh is not compulsory because it is not Fard Rather it is Sunnah. But Muslims should not neglect this. Rasulallah (SAW) encourages us to perform the Sunnah. During the month of Ramadan, Muslim Ummah does the special prayers. If anyone doesn’t execute the Taraweeh without any excuse, it will not be a sin.
Taraweeh Prayer Method
As we perform Taraweeh namaz after a long break, it is quite possible to forget the rules of Taraweeh prayers. That’s why I have discussed how to pray Taraweeh namaz step by step. May Almighty bless us to perform Taraweeh.
How to pray Taraweeh Namaz step by step
I have described before that, Taraweeh Namaz is 20 Raka’ats. It is performed in 10 sets. Each of the sets contains 2 raka’at Namaz.
Step-1: The very first question before performing Taraweeh prayers is to know “what time is Taraweeh prayer?”. Taraweeh Salah is performed after the Fardh & Sunnah of Isha Salah and before the salah of Witr. So, After performing Fard and Sunnah of Isha Prayer, One must stand to perform the Taraweeh.
Step-2: Make Taraweeh Niyah. Execute the remaining task of Salah (Like Fajr)
Step 3: Follow the Imam (If you perform it in congregation) Or perform like other 2 raka’at Fardh Salah
Step-4: After Four Raka’at, Recite the Taraweeh Dua
May Allah (SWT) bless us to perform Taraweeh Namaz. Ameen
The quran does not mention it , the prophet did not do it , Ahlul Bayt did not do it. Ali tried to get rid of it , but people refused. If it is sunnah it is not the sunnah of prophet. but of Umar!