The Virtue of praying the Night Vig...

Egypt's Dar Al-Iftaa

The Virtue of praying the Night Vigil prayers in Ramadan

Question

We have reviewed inquiry no. 2462 for the year 2005, which includes the following:

What is the virtue of praying the Night Vigil prayers in Ramadan?

 

Answer

The recommendation of observing the voluntary night prayers in Ramadan

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended performing voluntary night prayers in Ramadan. Abu Huraira (may God be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) 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 God promises the fasting person, and "in expectation of its reward" is to anticipate the reward from God and seek it with none other than Him, by performing good deeds.

Taraweeh

Voluntary night prayers in Ramadan are achieved in the Taraweeh prayers, which are not prayed at any other time.

Number of Raka'at (cycles of prayer)

There are numerous authentic reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) 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 raka'at.

Recitations during prayers

It is recommended to complete the Quran during Taraweeh prayers; each part (Juz`) is to be completed each night. The imam is required not to prolong prayers due to the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), "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 the resting positions in between—which are integral to prayers and without which they are invalid. Rather, it means not prolonging prayers, while observing the rules of recitation and completing the integrals of prayers. The resting positions1 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 one will neglect it if one prays at home.
- If praying in the mosque will help to establish and encourage this practice in the community; such as an imam, someone with a pleasant voice during recitation, or someone whom others look up to.

God Almighty knows best.

Footnotes

1) Such as the standing position after bowing (Ruku'), and the sitting position between the two prostrations (Sajda).

 

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