Question: Our Prophet performed 8 or 12 rak’ats of tarawih. What is the basis of 20 rak’ats?
Our Prophet performed it as 8 or 12 or 20 rak’ats. Hadrat Ibn Abbas states that the Messenger of Allah, after performing 20 rak’ats of namaz following the night namaz but before the witr, declared, “Whoever performs 20 rak’ats of tarawih namaz in Ramadan will have his 20 000 sins forgiven” (Ibn Abi Shayba).
That the tarawih consists of 20 rak’ats and is performed in congregation (jama’at) is reported by hadith-i sharifs. That it is sunnat is established by consensus. (Commentary on Maraqi al-falah)
Question: Why did our Prophet not always perform the tarawih as 20 rak’ats?
Our master the Prophet led the tarawih namaz for three or four days, but later he did not go out of his home. When the reason for it was asked to him, he replied, “I did not go out of my home for fear that the tarawih namaz might be made fard upon you” (Bukhari).
Question: Does a person who does not believe the fact that the tarawih consists of 20 rak’ats become a disbeliever?
No, such a person does not become a disbeliever. However, it is written in the commentary on Nur-ul-izah as well that a person who does not believe the fact that the tarawih consists of 20 rak’ats becomes one of ahl al-bid’ah (people of innovation).
Question: Our Prophet performed 8 rak’ats of tarawih. Hadrat ‘Umar himself increased it to 20. Is anything rendered sunnat by his word?
Hadrat Imam-i A’zam states, “The tarawih namaz is sunnat-i muakkada. Hadrat ‘Umar did not introduce on his own that it had to be performed as 20 rak’ats in congregation. He commanded it by relying upon the sound basis in his hand, that is, the sunnat of the Messenger of Allah” (Al-Ihtiyar).
Even if our master the Prophet had never performed the tarawih, the fact that the Rightly Guided Caliphs performed it would have sufficed for it to become a sunnat. A hadith-i sharif says, “Cling firmly to my sunnat and the sunnat of the Rightly Guided Caliphs” (Bukhari).
Question: Is it obligatory to perform the tarawih in a mosque? Are we not allowed to perform it at home?
It is sunnat-i kifaya to perform it in congregation. That is, if it is performed in congregation in a quarter, when others perform it in their homes, the sunnat is considered to have been fulfilled. (Ni’mat-i Islam)
Hadith-i sharifs state that men’s performing namaz in congregation in a mosque is 27 times more rewarding than their performing it in their homes. Again hadith-i sharifs state that women’s performing namaz in their homes is more rewarding than their performing it in a mosque.
Question: Is there a religious obstacle to women’s participating in the tarawih?
Women are not allowed to go to the mosque without an extreme necessity because it is written in Radd-ul-mukhtar:
“It is not permissible for young and old women to go to a mosque for the five daily prayers, for prayers of Friday and Eid, or to listen to sermons. Of old, only old women were allowed to go to mosques for evening and night prayers, but now it is not permissible for them, either.” [The chapter of being an imam] [This ruling exists in the 420th page of the second volume of the Turkish translation of the mentioned book.]
Question: Is it permissible to perform the tarawih by saying salam at the end of every ten rak’ats?
The tarawih namaz is performed by making salam at the end of every two or four rak’ats, but it is better to make salam at the end of every two rak’ats. It is also permissible to complete the tarawih with two salams by making salam at the end of every ten rak’ats, but it is makruh. According to the Shafi’i Madhhab, it is never permissible.
Question: When is the tarawih namaz performed?
It is performed before the witr prayer, but it is also permissible to perform it after the witr.
Question: If we miss the tarawih, do we have to make up for it later?
It is not necessary to make up for the tarawih if it is missed.
Performing the tarawih individually
Question: If a person has performed the night namaz in congregation, can he perform the tarawih individually and then the witr in congregation?
He can perform so. In fact, even if he does not perform the tarawih, he can perform the witr by following the imam with whom he performed the fard of the night namaz. If the fard of the night namaz is performed with an imam and the imam leaves later and someone from the congregation acts as an imam and conducts the tarawih and the witr, it will be valid. If a few people enter the mosque and see that the fard of the night namaz was performed and one of them acts as an imam and conducts the fard of the night namaz and then they follow the other imam who is conducting the tarawih and they perform the witr with this imam, it will be valid.
A person who cannot go to the mosque can perform the tarawih individually at home. He can form a congregation with his wife, mother, and daughter and perform it. However, if the creedal state of an imam is correct and he conducts the namaz in accordance with the sunnat, men should go to the mosque.
Question: If a person cannot go to the mosque because of a valid excuse, can he perform the tarawih by forming a congregation with his wife, mother, and daughter?
Yes, he can.
Question: Some imams conduct the tarawih fast by not observing the ta’dil-i arkan. Are namazes they conduct in this manner valid?
In the Hanafi Madhhab, ta’dil-i arkan is wajib. It is wajib to re-perform a namaz that has been performed by omitting purposely one of the wajib acts of namaz. If one of the wajibs is omitted forgetfully, sajda al-sahw (prostration of forgetfulness) becomes necessary. Ta’dil-i arkan is fard in the Shafi’i Madhhab. A namaz is never valid when one of its fard acts is omitted. It is not permissible to perform a namaz, be it the tarawih, so fast as to make it invalid.
Question: After offering the night namaz and the witr, is it permissible for us to offer the tarawih when we get up for pre-dawn meal (sahur) at night? That is, is there a religious obstacle to performing the witr before the tarawih for any reason whatsoever?
The tarawih is offered before the witr. It is also permissible to offer it after the witr.
Question: What should be recited in the tarawih after the performance of every four rak’ats?
It is sunnat to sit for a period equaling the time it takes to perform four rak’ats and to recite the salawat or tasbih or the Qur’an al-karim. One should not sit after every two rak’ats. In some places it is said, “Sallû ‘alâ Muhammad,” which means “Recite salawat upon Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam.” One should not say so, but say, “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad.” Surely, it is better to recite longer ones.
Question: Is salawat recited in chorus during the tarawih permissible?
Question: I follow the Shafi’i Madhhab. According to our madhhab, it is haram for a person with missed namazes to perform sunnat namazes, such as the sunnats offered before or after obligatory namazes, the tarawih, and the witr. When Hanafis are performing the tarawih, can we follow the imam and offer our missed namazes?
In the Shafi’i Madhhab, it is allowed to offer a missed namaz by following a person who is offering a sunnat namaz. If the imam is making salam at the end of every four rak’ats, it is possible to perform a missed namaz by intending to perform the earliest missed early afternoon or late afternoon or night namaz. If the imam is making salam at the end of every two rak’ats, it is easier to always perform missed morning namazes. In the Hanafi Madhhab, one who is performing a missed namaz cannot follow an imam who is conducting the tarawih.
Question: Is it valid for a female to lead other women in the tarawih?
A woman’s leading other women in namaz is makruh tahrimi. The term makruh tahrimi refers to something that is close to haram. Though a namaz that has been rendered makruh tahrimi is valid, it is not accepted; that is, one cannot earn reward in return for it. (Radd-ul-mukhtar)
A woman’s leading other women in namaz is permissible in the Shafi’i Madhhab, but it is not valid in the Maliki Madhhab. (Tanwir, Mizan)
Question: Does a person become a masbuq (one who does not catch up with the imam in the first rak’at; latecomer) during the performance of the tarawih? How should a person complete the namaz when he catches the fourth rak’at of the second set of four rak’ats if salam is said after every four rak’ats?
The rule about a masbuq is applicable when a person is performing the tarawih as well. If he catches the fourth rak’at, he should not start the namaz immediately, but wait for the imam to finish it. He should start the new set. When he catches the fourth rak’at, he must perform three more rak’ats. Then he will not catch the second set of four rak’ats. It will always go on like this. That is, he will always be a masbuq until the tarawih is completed. But if he does not follow the imam in the first set of four rak’ats, he does not become a masbuq. He performs these four rak’ats after performing the witr.
Question: While we are performing the tarawih in sets of four rak’ats and keeping a sequence in recitation, are we allowed to recite Fil Sura and Quraysh Sura after the Falaq Sura and Nas Sura?
You must not recite that way.
Question: Is it permissible for a person performing the tarawih congregationally in Ramadan to intend for his missed namazes?
It is not permissible.
Question: Can a Shafi’i imam lead Hanafis in the tarawih and witr in Ramadan?
Yes, he can. In the Shafi’i Madhhab, the tarawih is performed in sets of two rak’ats. In the Hanafi Madhhab, it is more meritorious to perform it in sets of two rak’ats. Therefore, there is no religious obstacle at all to following a Shafi’i imam during the performance of the tarawih.
Question: When we are performing the witr, is it permissible to follow a Shafi’i imam who makes salam at the end of every two rak’ats?
It is also permissible for Shafi’is to perform three rak’ats and to make the salam at the end of the third rak’at. Hanafis cannot follow the Shafi’i imam if he makes the salam at the end of the second rak’at. But if he performs three rak’ats exactly as the Hanafis do, Hanafis are allowed to follow him. (T. Qulub, Radd-ul-mukhtar)
Question: If several people perform the fard of the night namaz in congregation, is it permissible for them to go to another mosque and follow the imam who is conducting the tarawih?
Yes, it is.
Question: Do we have to perform the tarawih in sets of certain rak’ats? For example, can we offer it sometimes in sets of four and sometimes in sets of two until we complete 20 rak’ats?
Yes, it is permissible to perform it sometimes in sets of four and sometimes in sets of two.
Question: When a person with missed namazes offers the tarawih in congregation, does he have to intend to offer the tarawih namaz or his missed namazes?
When the tarawih namaz is performed in congregation, one cannot intend to offer one’s missed namazes. Only the same missed namaz can be offered in congregation. Everybody has different missed namazes.
Question: If the tarawih namaz is being performed when a person enters the mosque, should he join the congregation for the tarawih after performing the initial sunnat and the fard of the night namaz individually? Or should he join the congregation immediately? When he joins the congregation, how should he complete the rak’ats he missed?
He should perform the fard of the night namaz in a recess and then join the congregation. He should perform the rak’ats he missed after the witr individually.
Question: Since we owe namazes from previous years, are we counted as having offered the tarawih if we offer missed namazes instead of the tarawih?
If you offer a day’s missed namazes at night, you will be counted as having offered the tarawih as well, but if you also intend for the tarawih while you are offering missed namazes, you will also attain reward for your intention.
Question: Is it permissible for a few people to form a congregation at home and to offer the tarawih by intending also for missed namazes?
Missed namazes cannot be performed congregationally because they are not the same namazes. But if all people in the congregation perform the same missed namaz, then it will be valid.
Question: A person who participates in a congregational tarawih namaz but who intends for missed namazes cannot find time to recite iqamah between the intervals of the tarawih. Is it valid to perform them without reciting iqamah?
One cannot intend for one’s missed namazes while offering the tarawih (in congregation). One should offer missed namazes at home. One can intend for the tarawih while offering one’s missed namazes.
Question: When we begin offering the tarawih, we do not know whether the imam will conduct it in twos or fours. Should we intend to offer it in twos or fours?
You should intend only for the tarawih. It does not matter in sets of how many rak’ats the imam will conduct it.
Question: While we are performing our missed namazes instead of the tarawih at home, can we recite duas (supplications) of tarawih at intervals?
Yes, it will be good.
Question: While offering the tarawih, will it be valid if we intend for it at the beginning and do not intend for the following rak’ats?
It will be valid.
Question: Should a person who is unable to fast offer the tarawih?
Yes, he or she should.
Question: When we are performing the tarawih namaz with the intention of making up for our missed namazes, do we have to perform 20 rak’ats in total? That is, can we not perform, let us say, two days’ missed namazes? What intention should we make in order to attain the reward of the tarawih namaz?
If you also intend for the tarawih namaz when you are performing a day’s missed namazes, you are considered to have performed both your missed namazes and the tarawih namaz. If you perform two days’ missed namazes, it is better. The more missed namazes you perform, the more reward you will attain.
Question: Can an imam and a congregation perform tarawih at home with the intention of performing missed namazes?
They can perform so if all of them missed the same namazes, but it is no easy task to perform the same namazes that all of them missed. Therefore, they must perform them individually.
Question: In the Shafi’i Madhhab, in sets of how many rak’ats is the tarawih offered?
It is offered in sets of two rak’ats.
Question: While one who does not owe namazes from previous years is performing the tarawih individually at home, should one intend to perform the tarawih or missed namazes?
It is good to intend to perform both.
Question: Can a person who owes namazes from previous years perform the tarawih? Is it the same in the Shafi’i Madhhab as well?
If one owes namazes from previous years, one cannot perform the tarawih. Yes, it is the same in the Shafi’i Madhhab.
Question: I missed namazes for ten years. Can I perform the tarawih namaz?
One with missed namazes cannot offer voluntary or sunnat namazes. The tarawih namaz, too, is sunnat. One should make up for missed namazes instead of it. It is allowed to intend for the tarawih as well while one is making up for missed namazes.
Question: Though the tarawih namaz consists of 20 rak’ats, some people say that it can be offered less than it or none at all. Is it true?
Performing it as 20 rak’ats is sunnat. If one performs it less than this, one will earn less thawab. If one performs it as 20 rak’ats, one will earn more thawab. If one does not perform it at all, one will miss out on great thawab because it was stated in a hadith-i sharif:
(Whoever offers the tarawih namaz in Ramadan with faith and with the hope of earning rewards will have his sins forgiven.) [Nasai]
Question: Can a person who does not offer the tarawih offer the witr with the imam with whom he offered the night namaz?
Yes, he can. If the imam does not offer the tarawih either, he can lead a congregation in the night namaz and the witr.
Question: When we perform the witr in Ramadan, should we recite the prayers called Qunut loudly?
These prayers are always recited silently.
Question: What duas (supplications) are recited when one stands up to perform the tarawih and when one finishes it?
The supplication to be recited when one stands up to perform the tarawih is as follows:
Subhâna dhil mulki wal malakût. Subhâna dhil ‘izzati wal ‘azamati wal jalâli wal jamâli wal jabarût. Subhânal malikil mawjûd. Subhânal malikil ma’bûd. Subhânal malikil hayyilladhi lâ yanâmu wa la yamût. Subbûhun quddûsun Rabbunâ wa Rabbul malâikati wa-r-rûh. Marhaban, marhaban, marhaba yâ shahra Ramadan. Marhaban, marhaban, marhaba yâ shahral barakati wal ghufrân. Marhaban, marhaban, marhaba yâ shahrat-tasbîhi wat-tahlîli wadh-dhikri wa tilâwat-il Qur’ân. Awwaluhû, âkhirihû, zâhiruhû, batinuhû yâ man lâ ilâha illâ hû.
Note: After the 15th of Ramadan, the phrase alwada, alwada … is substituted for marhaban, marhaban… .
The supplication to be recited when one finishes the tarawih is as follows:
Allahumma salli ‘alâ sayyyidinâ Muhammadin wa ‘alâ âli sayyidinâ Muhammad. Bi’adadi kulli dâin wa dawâin wa bârik wa sallim ‘alaihi wa ‘alaihim kathîrâ (this prayer is recited three times and the expression “wa salli wa sallim wa bârik ‘alaihi wa ‘alaihim kathîran kathîrâ” is added at the third time). Yâ Hannân, yâ Mannân, yâ Dayyân, yâ Burhân. Yâ Dhal-fadli wal-ihsân narjul-afwa wal ghufrân. Wac’alnâ min ‘utaqâi shahri Ramadan bi hurmat-il Qur’ân.
Question: What are the meanings of the supplications that are recited during the tarawih?
Subhâna dhil-mulki wal-malakût.
He [our Rabb], the Owner of all creatures, visible or invisible, known or unknown, is free from all kinds of imperfection.
Subhâna dhil ‘izzati wal ‘azamati wal jamâli wal jalâli wal jabarût.
He [our Rabb], the Possessor of the attributes of honor, magnificence, kindness, glory, and omnipotence, is free from all kinds of imperfection.
Subhân-al malik-il mawjûd. Subhân-al malik-il ma’bûd.
The Indispensable Being [our Rabb], the Owner of everything, is free from all kinds of imperfection. I believe that He, the Omnipotent God, is free from all kinds of defects.
Subhân-al malikil hayy-illadhî lâ yanâmu wa lâ yamût.
I believe that He [our Rabb], who is Almighty, who neither sleeps nor dies, who is the Ever-Living, is free from all defects.
Subbûhun, quddûsun, Rabbunâ wa Rabb-ul malâikati wa-r-rûh.
He, who is the Rabb of us and angels and Jabrail, is free from defective attributes and possesses perfect attributes.
Marhaba, marhaba, marhaba, yâ shahra Ramadan.
Welcome O the month of Ramadan! We are very happy about your coming.
Marhaba, marhaba, marhaba yâ shahr-al barakati wal-ghufrân.
Welcome O the month of blessings, abundance, and forgiveness!
Marhaba, marhaba, marhaba yâ shahr-at tasbîhi wat-tahlîli wadh-dhikri wa tilâwat-il Qur’ân.
Welcome, welcome, welcome O the month of tasbih, tahlil, dhikr, and recitation of the Qur’an.
Awwaluhû, âkhiruhû, zâhiruhû, bâtinuhû yâ man lâ ilâha illâ hû.
Our Rabb, besides whom there is no god worthy of worship, is Awwal (the First), Âkhir (the Last), Bâtin (the Hidden), and Zâhir (the Manifest).
Allahumma salli ‘alâ Muhammad.
O my Allah, salat and salam be on Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam.
The salawat to be recited at intervals of the tarawih, after every four rak’ats:
Allahumma salli ‘alâ sayyidinâ Muhammadin wa ‘alâ âli sayyidinâ Muhammadin bi’adadi kulli dâin wa dawâin wa bârik wa sallim ‘alaihi wa ‘alaihim kathîrâ.
O my Allah, bestow salat, salam, and barakah upon our master Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam and his kin as many as the number of afflictions and remedies.
The supplication to be recited following the completion of the tarawih:
Yâ Hannân, yâ Mannân, yâ Dayyân, yâ Burhân,
O the Merciful, O the Ample-Giving, O the One who calls people to account and who rewards them for their faith and deeds, O the One who creates signs that testify to His existence and oneness.
Yâ dhal-fadli wal-ihsân, narj-ul afwa wal-ghufrân,
O our Rabb, the Ample-Giving, the Bounteous, we ask for Your forgiveness; we beg Your pardon.
Waj’al-nâ min ‘utaqâi shahr-i Ramadan bi-hurmat-il Qur’ân.
For the sake of the Qur’an al-karim, make us one of those who are freed from the Fire [Hell] in Ramadan.
Missed namazes and the tarawih
Question: Though we do not have make-ups, we intend also to make up for missed namazes when we perform sunnat namazes, just in case we may have namazes from previous years to make up. Otherwise, when we perform a namaz besides a fard namaz, we are, in fact, considered to have carried out the sunnat. Since we also intend to perform the sunnat namaz, we earn the reward of sunnat additionally. While one with no missed namazes is making up for evening and witr namazes at home, is it allowed for one to intend also for the tarawih, just as it is the case with current sunnat namazes? Does one have to recite additional suras in the third and fourth rak’ats of four-rak’at fard namazes?
One with no missed namazes can intend also for the tarawih, as is the case with current sunnats, while making up for evening and witr namazes. One does not have to recite additional suras in the third and fourth rak’ats of four-rak’at fard namazes. If one recites, there is no harm. People who do not have make-up namazes must perform the tarawih congregationally without fail, even if they may be two people. One who cannot go to the mosque for any reason whatsoever and who cannot find a congregation can intend for the tarawih while offering make-up namazes.
Shafi’is’ omitting the tarawih
Question: The Shafi’is in a congregation do not perform the tarawih, saying, “We owe namazes from previous years. A person with missed namazes cannot perform the tarawih, which is sunnat.” They leave immediately after performing the fard of the night namaz. Playing cards in the coffee house, they cause dissension. Are Shafi’is with missed namazes not allowed to offer the tarawih?
Shafi’is who owe namazes from previous years cannot offer sunnat or voluntary namazes, but it is fard upon them to make up for these namazes. They cannot spend time in coffee houses. In the Shafi’i Madhhab, a person who is performing a fard namaz can follow another person who is performing a sunnat namaz. That is, they can perform make-up namazes by following an imam who is conducting the tarawih. Thus, they will also have offered the tarawih. In the Hanafi Madhhab, it is not permissible to perform so.