Faith

An important ritual during Ramzan

A ritual that expects every Muslim follower to complete the recitation of the entire Quran in a month

Young N. Naved Ali of Muradabad in Uttar Pradesh, recites the Holy Quran by heart at the Mashaiq Masjid in Jagir Ammapalayam in Salem city for a couple of hours in the evenings during Ramzan.

Syed Fayaz Basha, the regular Imam of Mashaiq Masjid, goes through the holy Quran carefully as Naved Ali recites its versus, and offer corrections wherever needed. When the fine-tuning is complete, Naved Ali leads the congregation gathered for ‘Taraweeh’ special prayers offered in the late evening hours in the mosques during the month-long fasting period.

A product of Madrasa-e-Jamiya Nayeemiya, Muradabad, ‘Hafiz’ (one who has memorised the entire Quran) Naved Ali, is a regular at the Mashaiq Masjid during the month of Ramzan for the past few years.

Rest and relax

It is the ‘Hafiz’ and ‘Qari,’ one who has mastered the art of recitation in a semi-musical style, who leads the Taraweeh prayers in the mosques. The word ‘Taraweeh’ is an Arabic word meaning to rest and relax. Prophet himself has led his followers in the late evening prayers. Since then, this prayer has become a tradition that takes place in the evenings during the Ramzan month.

For the Muslims, ‘Taraweeh’ amplifies the sense of individual spirituality and unity. However, this prayer is not regarded mandatory and according to ‘Hadith’ (traditions/sayings of Prophet) Prophet discontinued this prayer because he specifically did not want it to become compulsory. The uniqueness of this prayer is the recitation of the entire holy Quran, divided into 30 equal parts called ‘Juz’ and containing 6,666 verses in one month. Thus, participating in the night prayers, every Muslim completes the recitation of the whole Quran at least once every year.

As ‘Taraweeh’ prayers comprise 20 rakkats (cycle of prayer), the Imams make it a point to recite the verses of Quran faster without compromising on the melody or accuracy. This is acceptable taking into consideration the amount of work and other constraints such as the tiredness due to the day-long fasting by the worshippers. In South India, mosque managements invite qualified ‘Hafizs’ and ‘Qaris’ from North India, which accounted for a large number of madrasas and produce Aalims (scholars) every year, for leading the ‘Taraweeh’ prayers.

“Many ‘Hafizs’ and ‘Qaris’ from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh have been regular to the mosques in Tamil Nadu to lead ‘Taraweeh’ prayers,” says Qari Abrar Ahmad Qasimi of Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, a product of Deoband Madrasa, and at present the Muhtamim (Principal) of the Markazul Uloom Al-Islamiya Arabic College in Salem city.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:10:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/prayers-with-a-touch-of-music/article24162433.ece

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