Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Salaah - Taraweeh Prayer

From : (

‘Taraweeh prayers are daily night prayers observed after Isha prayer in Ramadan and can be carried out in congregation or individually. Although not compulsory but widely practiced, Taraweeh prayers are recognized as a special part of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims.

The reason why Muslims prayer the Taraweeh prayer can be best explained in the following hadith.

The Messenger of Allah, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam, said: "Whoever observes night prayer in Ramadan as an expression of his faith and to seek reward from Allah, his previous sins will be blotted out." (Muslim)

The practice of performing Taraweeh prayers in the mosque was established by our beloved Prophet Mohammed, sala Allahu alahi wa sallam. However, he did not continually observe the Taraweeh prayers in the mosque for fear that it would be made compulsory on all Muslims to do so throughout the Holy month of Ramadan.

Taraweeh prayers consist of various numbers of raka'ats, generally ranging from 8 to 20 (not including the witr prayer). Muslims are encouraged to perform the Taraweeh prayers in Ramadan to increase their level of spirituality amongst many other benefits.

Taraweeh is an opportunity to acquire the pleasure of Allah swt. Depending on a Muslims physical strength, time constraints and willingness, Taraweeh prayer can be varied in units and extended for greater rewards in the manner of more rakaa’s prayed or longer surat being read. In fact it is sunnah to complete reading the entire Quran in Taraweh prayer in Ramadan.

"The Messenger of Allah, (sala Allahu alahi wa sallam), observed Taraweeh prayer in the mosque one night and people prayed with him. He repeated so the following night and the number of participants grew. The companions congregated the third and fourth night, but the Messenger did not show up.

In the morning he told them, "I saw what you did last night, but nothing prevented me from joining you except my fear that it might be made mandatory on you in Ramadan."

It was only Omar bin kutab (r.a), that had made the companions join together and pray Taraweeh in congregation.

Apart from the obvious benefits as mentioned in the hadith above, Taraweeh prayer other positives include building a sense of community by bringing together Muslims during Ramadan every evening, physical benefits through mediation and movement of the body, and building and strengthening a spiritually conducive environment for Muslims.

It is in fact quite common that the leader of the congregation, the Imam, recites the entire Qur'an throughout the month. This gives the listeners a chance to hear the Holy Qur'an in its entirety and gives them a chance to reflect over its meanings. It is common to see grown men cry and shed tears as they reflect on the words of their creator, and they reflect on their lives.

Praying Taraweeh, with sincerity and correctly not only wipes away previous sins and increases the level of closeness to Allah swt, building greater conviction, and certainty, which strengthens a Muslim in their speech and actions in and outside of Ramadan.

For most Muslims as they approach the end of the month of Ramadan, the aura in the air at Taraweeh prayers is one of sadness and sorrow that this special prayer is gone for another year.

The Muslim who has the capacity, but fails to grasp the opportunity of performing the Taraweeh prayers with sincerity and correctly, knowing well the benefits of it, truly suffers from a poverty of incorrect priorities.

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