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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Importance of Taraweeh Prayers

Muslims should attend Tarweeh prayers nights. Even though, it is not obligatory for a Muslim to pray Tarweeh, without a valid excuse, he will be questioned in the Day of Judgement why he did not pratice a strong Sunnah of the Prophet (sws) during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Prophet stated," 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)

However, the Propher did not practice Taraweeh daily in the nights of Ramadan in the masjid because he feared that it would become mandatory (fardh) on his Ummah."The Messenger of Allah (saas) observed Taraweeh prayer in the Masjid one night and people prayed with him. He repeated 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."

Number of Raka'ats in Taraweeh

As for the number of raka'ats in Taraweeh and Witr, the worthy ancestor, Salaf as-Saalih disagreed on the amount of Raka'ats. These numbers are mentioned for raka'ats: 39, 29, 23, 19, 13, and 11 raka'ats. Of all the numbers mentioned, none is sounder than 11 raka'ats. 'Aishah (raa) was asked how was the prayer of the Prophet (saas)? She replied: "He did not pray in Ramadan or some other times more than eleven raka'ats." (Muslim/Bukhari)

However, there is nothing wrong with praying more than 11 raka'ats. Perhaps that is why different numbers are observed. The Prophet himself was asked about night prayer and he said: "It may be done in two raka'ats, and if anyone fears the appearance of morning, he should pray one rak'ah as a Witr for what he has already prayed." (Bukhari/Muslim)

As this hadith indicates, if a person is to pray individually at night, by daybreak he would have prayed one hundred and one raka'ats, or more.

In their desire to pray more raka'ats, some people make Taraweeh in extreme speed. That is wrong, especially when the speed leads to a breach of certain rules of prayer. In that case, the prayer will not be valid. Similarly, it is undesirable for an Imam to pray with such speed whereby the followers will have difficulty observing the necessary deeds in Salaat.

Everybody should attend the Masjid prayers, including women, provied they are properly covered. The Messenger of Allah said: "Prevent not the women servants of Allah, from going to the Masjid of Allah." However, when they attend the Masjid they should wear no perfume, nor raise their voices, and or show their beauty. Allah (SWT) states: "...they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof..." (Al-Qur'an, 24:31)

What ordinarily appears, refers to the outer garments, for when the Messenger (saas) commanded women to attend Eid prayer, Umm 'Atiyah (raa) said: "O Messenger of Allah, some of us do not have the outer garment (jilbab). The Messenger of Allah told her to let a sister (who has more than one) give her one to wear." (Agreed upon)

It is Sunnah that they pray behind the men in the rear lines. The Messenger has been reported as saying: "The best lines for men are the front lines and the worst lines for men are the rear lines. The best lines for women is the rear and the worst lines of women are the front line. (Muslim)

The women should leave the Masjid as soon as the Imam says: As-Salaamu 'Alaikum. They should not delay without a valid reason. In a hadith by Umm Salmah, she said: "When the Messenger of Allah (saas) saluted to end prayer, the women would stand up to leave and the Messenger would remain in his place for a while." Umm Salmah (raa) said: Allah is the best knower, but perhaps the Messenger did that so women would leave before men could overtake them". (Bukhari)

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zahara said...

Masha Allah. May Allah reward you abundantly.

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