What is Taraweeh Prayer?
The Taraweeh Prayer is an emphasised Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him ) during the month of Ramadan.Both al-Bukhaari 112 ) and Muslim 761) narrated from ‘Aisha may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed one night in the mosque, and the people followed him in prayer. Then he prayed the next night, and many people came. Then they gathered on the third or fourth night, and the Messenger of Allah peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not come out to them. The next morning he said: “I saw what you did, and nothing kept me from coming out to you except the fact that I feared that it would be made obligatory for you.” And that was in Ramadan These hadith show that praying Taraweeh in congregation is prescribed in the Sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him). Umar during his .hilafah restablished this Sunnah of prayer in congregation. 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). Al-Bukhaari 2010) narrated that ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Abd al-Qaari said: I went out with ‘Umar ibn al-.hattaab may Allah be pleased with him) to the mosque one night in Ramadan, 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 .a’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 Allah 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.
THE VIRTUES OF THE TARAWEEH PRAYER
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 . The scholars say in order for major sins to be forgiven a person is required to make sincere toba sincere repentance) 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 .huzaymah 3 337), Ibn Hibbaan 3 340) and al-Albaani in Irwa’al-Ghaleel, 447.