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Tarawih or night prayers during Ramadan

by | Sep 4, 2010

In Ramadan, Muslims hasten to perform good and charitable deeds; they practice fasting, giving out donations, reciting Quran, increasing family connections, showing benevolence to parents and praying to Tarawih prayer or Qiyam (night-prayers).

Tarawih is an Arabic word that means night prayers in the month of Ramadan. Taraweeh  Prayer is not compulsory, but there is an excellent reward for those praying Tarawih during Ramadan. The Prophet (PBUH) used to encourage night prayers during Ramadan. One can pray Tarawih in the congregation, or they may be performed at home, but it is better to pray with the Imam.

Night prayers during Ramadan are called Tarawih because the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and their successors used to stand long in the prayers. They would take a rest after offering every four Rakah. This is how they were named Tarawih (Rest Prayer)

Importance of Tarawih

1. Tarawih or night prayers are the best after the obligatory prayers. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“The best prayer after the obligatory is the night prayer.” [Muslim]

2. The Prophet (PBUH) explained the virtues of praying Taraweeh in this Hadith. Also, this Hadith explains that can pray Tarawih in the congregation. Abu Dharr (RA) said:

“We fasted Ramadan with the Prophet (PBUH). He did not lead us in Qiyaam until there were only seven days left when he led us in prayer until a third of the night had passed. When there were six days left, he did not lead us to Qiyaam. There were five days left; he led us in prayer until half the night had passed. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I wish you had continued until the night’s end.’

He said, ‘If a man prays with the Imaam until he finishes, it will be counted as if he prayed the whole night.’ When four nights left, he did not lead us to Qiyaam. When there were three nights left, he brought together his family, his wives and the people. He led us in Qiyaam until we were afraid that we would miss al-falaah. I asked, ‘What is al-falaah?’ he said, ‘Suhoor. Then he did not lead us in Qiyaam for the rest of the month.” [al Bukhari]

The Prophet (PBUH) did not lead the people in Qiyam for the rest of the month because of the fear that Taraweeh would become obligatory.

3. From the above Hadith, it is proven that it’s permissible for the women to pray Tarawih in the congregation.

4. The number of Rakah of Tarawih is eight, along with 3 Rakaah of Witr as reported in this Hadith of Aisha (RA):

“The Prophet (PBUH) never prayed more than eleven Rakah’s (of Qiyaam), whether during Ramadan or any other time. He would pray four and don’t ask me how beautiful or long they were. Then he would pray four and don’t ask me how beautiful or long they were. Then he would pray three.” [Muslim]

Ibn Abbas (R.A) said: 

“The night Prayer of the prophet used to be of thirteen Rakat”. which included the Witr and two Rakat Sunnah of the Fajr prayer [Bukhari]

5. As Allah has made five prayers a day obligatory for every Muslim, a person will be held accountable for prayers on the day of resurrection, so the Prophet (PBUH) advised us to pray more Nawafil is Taraweeh Prayer.

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“The first of his actions for which a person will be held accountable on The Day of Judgment will be his prayers. If they are in order, he will become successful, and if they are less, he will have failed and lost. Suppose there is something defective in his obligatory prayers. In that case, Allah will say: See if this person has any voluntary prayers that may complete that which was defective in his obligatory prayers. Then the rest of his religious duties will be judged in likewise manner” [Abu-Dawud]

6. If a person prays Tarawih in the Masjid with the Imam and finishes it until the Imam has finished it, he will gain the reward of praying the whole night.

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“If a man prays with the Imam until he finishes, it will be counted as if he prayed the whole night” [Bukhari]

So we should pray Tarawih in congregation during Ramadan to gain reward from Allah. Women should also pray it in Masjid.

Benefits and virtues of Tarawih Prayers

Ramadan should be a turning moment for every Muslim, a new beginning to our lives by maintaining our relationship with Allah. Before you enter upon fasting, try to continue your intention by supplicating to Allah, asking forgiveness and repentance for all sins, then ask Allah to sustain you and give you the strength to fast.

The tarawih prayers have countless spiritually, physically and emotionally benefits, including,

  • Will be rewarded for an entire night of prayer.
  • All your sins will be forgiven.
  • Helping to memorize the Quran. 
  • It Will improve physical and mental health. 
  • Restores Muscle Strength in Elderly 
  • It makes Skeletal muscles healthier. 
  • It improves Mental health. 

Rewards of the Tarawih Prayer

Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) initially and briefly prayed the Tarawih in gathering during Ramadan, but discontinued this practice because it would be made obligatory, yet he never forbade it. It was reinstated during Umar (r.a) as the caliph.

The rewards of the Tarawih Prayer and every good deed in the month of Ramadan will be rewarded many times more than actual. 

The Prophet said:

“Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) 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.”

Ramadan is the blessed month full of mercy, blessings and repentance. Tarawih prayers will help you remove the sins.

The Prophet said:

“Whoever stands for prayer (the night prayer) during Ramadan with iman (faith), hoping for rewards, then all their previous sins will be forgiven.”



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