The Prescribed Prayer: Chapter Two (cont.)

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Salaatut Taraaweeh is a Sunnah prayer offered after 'Ishaa prayer, in Ramadan, the month of fasting. This Sunnah prayer is also known as Qiyaamun Ramadaan. The time of this prayer extends from after the time of 'Ishaa until dawn. According to Abu Hurairah, the Prophet (s.'a.s.) said:

"Whoever observes prayer at night during Ramadaan, because of faith and seeking his reward from Allah, his previous sins would be forgiven." (Muslim)

Imaam Muslim related that the Prophet's wife, 'Aaishah (r.a.), has been reported as saying, the Prophet (s.a.s.) observed prayer in the masjid and some of the people prayed along with him, he then prayed the following night and there were many people. Then on the third night people gathered but he (the Prophet) did not come out to them (to lead them in prayer). In the morning he said: "I saw what you were doing, but nothing prevented me from coming to you except the fear that this prayer might become obligatory for you, (that is in Ramadaan).


According to Hadeeth narrated by 'Aaishah (r.a.), the Prophet (s.a.s.) never prayed more than eleven raka'aats during Ramadaan or otherwise.

However, twenty Raka'aats of Taraaweeh, and three Raka'aats of Witr have been 'reported from 'Umar, Uthmaan, 'Ali and many others. A possible explanation for the discrepancy among the reports could be that eleven raka'aats are Sunnah and the rest is Mustahab, desired.

Qiyaamu Ramadaan may be offered in Jamaa'ah, congregation or infiraad, individually. The Jamaa'ah is always better. The only reason why the Prophet did not continue to offer in Jamaa'ah was his fear that it might be made obligatory and hence a prerequisite for fasting.


Like any Sunnah prayer, there is no Iqaamah for Taraaweeh prayer. It is offered immediately after 'Ishaa prayer and before Witr.

The Taraaweeh prayer is offered in two sets of Raka'aats after which one says Tasleem. If one intends to offer eight raka'aats of Taraaweeh, one offers the first two sets, plus two sets, plus two sets, plus two sets, making the total of eight raka'aats. Then one says two sets for Shaf'u and one Raka'ah for Witr for the total of eleven Raka'aats. If one intends to do twenty raka'aats, offer them in sets of two until the total count is twenty.

The procedures of these sets is similar to that of Salaatus Subh, morning prayer.

QIRAA 'AH IN TARAAWEEH (Recitation in Taraweeh)

Although there is no recorded Sunnah for how long one should recite Al-Quran after Al-Faatihah, it has been reported from the Salaf, the worthy ancestors and those after them, that they used to recite the whole Suurah Baqarah in eight Raka'aats.

However, if one is unable to recite that much, one may recite according to one's convenience, as long as one desires, from anywhere in Al-Quran.

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