Tarawih & Eitikaaf

Q: What is the Taraweeh prayer?


1) A 20 rakah prayer prayed after Esha fardh and before witr.

2) It is Sunnah Mua’kidah for men and women- meaning it is Makruh (Disliked and blameworthy) in the Shariah to leave praying Taraweeh without a reason intermittently and is sinful to leave habitually.

3) Recommended for men to pray in the Masjid with congregation and is Sunnah al- kifaya to do so.

4) It is Sunnah to recite or listen to the whole Quran in Taraweeh…and is very highly rewarded, when else does one have the opportunity to recite or listen to the Quran fully in the state of Namaz.

5) One who has not prayed the Fardh of Isha, cannot join the taraweeh or Witr at the end, until one has prayed the Fardh.

6) One who has prayed the Fardh of Isha alone, can pray the Taraweeh with jamaat but he must pray the Witr alone.

7) There is no qadha for Taraweeh namaz after the time has passed.

8) The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “That the one who observes the Taraweeh prayer with sincerity and devotion, only for the sake of Allah, will have all their sins forgiven by Allah Almighty”.

Q: what is I’tikaf?

A: There are three types of spiritual retreats (I’tikaf) that a person may perform:

1. Necessary– The necessary I’tikaf is an I’tikaf that one vowed to make. (keeping a fast when performing this, is also a condition for this type of I’tikaf).

2. Emphasized sunna: The emphasized sunna I’tikaf is the I’tikaf performed during the last 10 days and nights of Ramadan. It is a communal sunna ( Sunnah Al- Kifayah). If an entire community left the emphasized sunna I’tikaf, then they are sinful. However, if a few people perform the emphasized sunna I’tikaf, then they raise the sin from the community. 

3. Recommended: it is recommended to intend to perform I’tikaf whenever one passes through the mosque during any time of the year in order to receive the reward. (Even if one is just passing through the masjid).

One should strive to perform whatever one can reasonably handle. Scholars say, “If one cannot do something completely, then one shouldn’t leave it completely. “Note: If one intends to perform I’tikaf for less than ten days during the last ten days of Ramadan then he receives the reward of the recommended I’tikaf, but not the full reward of the emphasized Sunna I’tikaf.

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