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A prayer that offers great rewards

Syed Muthahar Saqaf
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Muslims consider Taraweeh, a special namaz offered during the night hours on all thethirty days of fasting, a blessing

Muslims offering prayers during the holy month of Ramzan in Bangalore —File photo
Muslims offering prayers during the holy month of Ramzan in Bangalore —File photo

‘Taraweeh’, a special namaz offered during the night hours on all the thirty days of fasting, is yet another highlight of the holy month of Ramzan. The uniqueness of this prayer is that the recitation of the whole Quran is completed during this month through this namaz.

Muslims consider taraweeh prayers as a blessing. Taraweeh consists of 20 rakats and it commences on the first night of Ramzan. The holy Quran is divided into thirty equal parts named ‘juz’ and they are recited during the taraweeh prayers. Thus, by participating in the night prayers, every Muslim completes the recitation of the whole Quran one time every year.

Islamic scholars recommend that Muslims attend the taraweeh prayers in the mosques after the regular night ‘isha’ prayer, to pray in congregation, as per the practice of ‘sahabas’, companions of Prophet Muhammad.

The taraweeh prayer is voluntary, but is strongly recommended and widely practised. No one should neglect taraweeh without a good reason, for it is part of physical and spiritual training and its observation soon after ‘iftar’ (breaking the fast) insures timely and proper digestion of food. Besides, there are spiritual rewards awaiting the observers of this prayer.

The Prophet led the prayers and prayed 20 rakats on two consecutive nights with a congregation during this month. But he did not appear for prayers on the third night. On the next morning, the Prophet told his companions “it occurred to me that this prayer could become compulsory (farz) upon Muslims if I had continued it and you will not be able to bear it.”

During the period of the first four caliphs — Hazrat Abubakar Siddiq (RA), Hazrat Umar-e-Farook (RA), Hazrat Usman-e-Ghani (RA), and Hazrat Ali (RA) — Muslims offered taraweeh meticulously in small congregations or individually.

Syed Muthahar Saqaf