Here’s a little confession: I wish I did more voluntary prayers throughout the year. It took me some time to really prioritize the five daily ones and I’m so glad I’ve finally managed to build my life around them Alhamdulillah, but I know I could be doing even more… In Ramadan (inshallah) I will be able to pray voluntary prayer (Taraweeh) and I would love to share few thoughts on it with you!
What is Taraweeh?
Taraweeh prayer is a voluntary (Sunnah) prayer performed after Isha (so right before Ash Shaf’ and Al Witr) during the month of Ramadan, either at home or at the mosque. Tarawih has two units (rak’ats) and traditionally is prayed 4 to 10 times (in total 8 or 20 rak’ats), during which Imam (Prayer Leader) is reciting the Quran in order to complete whole Quran by the end of Ramadan.
This is actually one of the things that make Taraweeh so special: reciting and hearing the Quran in group, during this special time of the year where Sheytan is chained, is such a powerful way to connect with Allah, to commemorate the traditions of our beloved Prophet (saws) and to deeply feel the spirit of Ramadan.
Taraweeh isn’t easy, especially if you’ve spent the whole day working hard while fasting, but it is incredibly beneficial and definitely worth the effort, not only for the spiritual fulfillment it gives you, but also for the reward that comes with it.
The benefits of Taraweeh
So many of us aren’t aware of the value of praying together, often because Salah is usually a personal moment you share with the One who matters the most. But isn't it so beautiful to see brothers and sisters from all walks of life and backgrounds standing side by side in prayer?
Subhan’Allah this sense of community and unity is a wonderful representation of what our Ummah should be (something we can also experience when performing Umrah or Hajj) and is even more important during Ramadan. Indeed, Prophet Muhammad (saws) said, “Whoever prays the evening prayer in congregation is as if he has stood for prayer half of the night. Whoever prays the dawn prayer in congregation is as if he has stood for prayer the entire night.” (Muslim)
However, despite its spiritual and communal significance, it doesn’t mean you can’t make Taraweeh a time for personal reflection and introspection. You can still take this moment to reflect upon your actions and behavior and to seek forgiveness for any mistakes you might have made. It is yet another chance to renew your commitment to Allah and to strive for ihsan (excellence) in all aspects of life! Besides, praying all together is something you do for yourself. Prophet Muhammad (saws) said regarding taraweeh: "Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Al Bukhari)
Ultimately, taraweeh is simply another reminder of the main goal of Ramadan: seeking tawba (repentance) and attaining taqwa (Consciousness of God). Believing in Allah's mercy and being aware of His presence will lead us to the sincere intention of always pleasing Him.
I hope this inspires you to pray taraweeh this year. In the meantime, may Allah bless us all during this blessed month of Ramadan and may He accept our prayers and good deeds!
May your heart always be rahat.