The Virtue of praying the Night Vigil prayers in Ramadan
What is the virtue of praying the Night Vigil prayers in Ramadan?
Recommendation of voluntary night prayers in Ramadan
The prophet [pbuh] recommended performing voluntary night prayers in Ramadan and made it desirable. Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the prophet [pbuh] said: "He who spends the night in prayer, as a sign of his faith and in expectation of its reward, will have his previous sins forgiven" [Bukhari and Muslim].
The meaning of the prophet's words "spend the night in prayer [during Ramadan] as a sign of one's faith" is to believe in the reward Allah promises the fasting person and "in expectation of its reward" is to anticipate the reward from Allah and store it with none other than Allah by performing good deeds.
Voluntary night prayers in Ramadan are realized in Taraweeh prayers which are not prayed at any other time.
Number of rak'aas [cycles of prayer]
There are numerous authentic reports that the prophet [pbuh] prayed 8, 10, and 12 rak'a voluntary night prayers in Ramadan depending on his circumstances. It can be said that the least number of rak'as are 8 and the maximum is indefinite. There is a scholarly consensus among the four schools of jurisprudence that voluntary night prayers in Ramadan are 20 rak'as.
Recitations during prayers
It is recommended to complete the Qur`an during Taraweeh Prayers; each part is to be completed each night. The imam is required not to prolong prayers due to the words of the prophet: "Whosoever leads the people in prayer should not prolong them" [Bukhari and Muslim]. This does not mean that one should rush prayers as some imams do to the extent that congregants are unable to complete their bowing and prostrations and repose in between—both of which are integral to prayers and without which they are invalid. Rather, it means not prolonging prayers and at the same time observing the rules of recitation and completing the integrals of prayers. Reposing in between is one of these integrals.
Where Taraweeh should be prayed
It is better to pray Taraweeh in the mosque. Some scholars maintain that it is better to pray Taraweeh at home except under the following circumstances:
- One fears that he will neglect it if he prays at home.
- If praying in the mosque will help to establish this rite, such as an imam, someone with a pleasant voice during recitation or someone whom others look up to.
Allah Almighty knows best.