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Imperativeness of Taraweeh in Ramadan

[ June 24, 2016 ]

Taraweeh was one of the deeds Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to practice in the holy month of Ramadan. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as per different hadiths used to offer 20 rakats of Taraweeh during the month of Ramadan. The lines below narrate the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in this regard. Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA) is quoted as saying “The Prophet (SAW) would pray 20 Rakats and then Witr in the month of Ramadan.” (baihaqi).

The imperativeness of Taraweeh and its being one of the recommended deeds in Ramadan is evident from the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and its

From this narration of Hazrat Ibn Abbas (RA), it is clear that offering twenty Rakats of Taraweeh after Isha prayer is a Sunnah of Prophet (PBUH) and the Witr of the Isha prayer were offered after the Taraweeh by him. Hazrat Abu Dhar Ghifari (RA) is quoted as saying “We (the Companions) observed the fasts of Ramadan with the Prophet (PBUH). In the whole month the Prophet (PBUH) did not lead us in prayer, until there were 7 days left in the month. The Prophet (PBUH) then led us in prayer on the 23rd, 25th and 27th night.” (Abu Dawood). This narration shows that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) led the congregation of the Taraweeh prayer during these three nights of Ramadan. Pertaining to the same nights of Ramadan, Hazrat Aisha (RA) is quoted as saying “After these nights (23,25 & 27th) the congregation grew to a very large number on the 29th night. The Masjid of the Prophet (PBUH) had become filled to capacity. On this night, the Prophet (PBUH) only came out to lead the people for the Fajr prayer. After the Fajr prayer, the Prophet (PBUH) stated: ‘I knew that you had gathered for the night prayer (Taraweeh) but I feared that this prayer would become compulsory (Fard) upon you and you would find it difficult to fulfill.” (Bukhari) .This hadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) shows the grandeur of the status of Taraweeh. Although the majority of Muslims follow the 20 Rakats in Taraweeh tradition, however, none of the schools of thoughts contradict on the importance and imperativeness of Taraweeh in the month of Ramadan. Hazrat Abu Rahman bin Abdul Qari (RA) narrates “I left one night in Ramadan with Hazrat Umar bin Khattab (RA) and we headed towards the Masjid e Nabwi. In the Masjid we saw various groups of people praying alone or behind an Imam and they were scattered over the Masjid. Umar bin Khattab (RA) made a decision to congregate all the people behind Hazrat Ubay ibn Ka’ab (RA).” (Bukhari). The reason why Hazrat Umar (RA) asked people to offer Taraweeh in one congregation is the fact that as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was not alive at that time and the deen was complete, therefore, there was no chance of it becoming a Fard. Hence, if muslims performed it with congregation it would bring them the same reward without making the Taraweeh a Fard.
Since the time of Hazrat Umar (RA) the offering of Taraweeh in congregation has become a part of the daily Ramadan prayers for all the Muslims. In the reign of Hazrat Usman (RA) the same tradition of offering Taraweeh in congregation continued and Muslims continued on offering Taraweeh prayer in congregation. Pertaining to the offering of Taraweeh in the reign of Hazrat Ali (RA), Hazrat Abi Abdur Rahman Salmi (RA) narrates: “In the nights of Ramadan, Hazrat Ali (RA) called upon the recitors of the Quran and ordered one amongst them to lead the people in twenty Rakats of Taraweeh. Hazrat Ali (RA) would lead the people himself in the Witr Salah.” (Sunan Kabeer Baihaqi). In a nutshell, the imperativeness of Taraweeh and its being one of the recommended deeds in Ramadan is evident from the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and its observance in the reigns of different Caliph. Therefore, every Muslim must try offering Taraweeh regularly and not take it casually during Ramadan.