Friday 4 Rabi‘ al-awwal 1444 - 30 September 2022
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Is praying Taraweeh in congregation at home included in the hadith “If he prays with the imam until he finishes, it will be counted as spending as if he spent the whole night in prayer”?

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Publication : 28-04-2022

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Question

In light of the current circumstances, a man prays in congregation with his family. With regard to Taraweeh prayer, as it says in the hadith: “If he prays with the imam until he finishes, it will be counted as spending as if he spent the whole night in prayer.” I have some questions: 1. Will the one who prays Taraweeh in congregation at home attain the reward mentioned in the hadith, or does that apply only to praying in the mosque? 2. If the answer is yes, they will attain the reward mentioned in the hadith, then if a woman prays Taraweeh with her husband and children, but does not pray Witr with them, because she wants to pray qiyaam at the end of the night, will she be deprived of the reward of spending the night in prayer? 3. If women pray in congregation in the house, will the reward for spending the night in prayer be recorded for them, if they complete the prayer with their (female) imam?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

It is Sunnah to pray qiyaam al-layl (Taraweeh) in Ramadan and at other times, but it is more emphasized in Ramadan.

The best is to pray Taraweeh in congregation, because of the reports narrated by an-Nasa’i (1364), at-Tirmidhi (806), Abu Dawood (1375) and Ibn Maajah (1327) from Abu Dharr, who said: We fasted Ramadan with the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), but the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not lead us in praying qiyaam until seven days of the month were left, then on that night he led us in praying qiyaam until approximately one-third of the night had passed. Then on the night of the twenty-fourth he did not lead us in prayer. Then on the night of the twenty-fifth he led us in praying qiyaam until almost half the night had passed. We said, O Messenger of Allah, would that we had offered naafil prayers throughout the whole night. He said, “Whoever prays with the imam until he finishes, it will be reckoned as equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh an-Nasaa’i.

There is the hope that this reward will be attained by everyone who prays qiyaam in congregation, and stays with the imam until the end, whether it is a man leading his family in prayer, or women coming together and one of them leading them in prayer.

Shaykh ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: We are at night school and cannot pray Taraweeh with the people in the mosque, and we cannot pray at school because of the pressure of study, as we begin class at the time of ‘Isha’ prayer until after twelve midnight. Are we missing out on the reward mentioned in the hadith, “Whoever spends its nights in prayer out of faith and in hope of reward”? Will we attain the same reward if we pray at home after class? Please advise us about this question.

He (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If you pray in congregation after the class finishes, in accordance with what is mentioned in the Sunnah, then I hope that you will have the reward of spending the entire night in prayer, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, there will be recorded for him the reward of spending the night in prayer.”

Moreover, you are busy with your studies, and studying is very important. Seeking Islamic knowledge is better than offering naafil prayers, so you are fine.

I think that when you have finished your class, you should gather behind an imam and pray eleven rak‘ahs, or thirteen rak‘ahs, as mentioned in the Sunnah, and I hope that Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will record for you the reward of spending an entire night in prayer." (Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb  8/2).

Secondly:

The reward mentioned in the hadith may be attained by praying behind the imam from the beginning to the end of his prayer. Hence you should pray Witr with your husband, then if you want to pray at the end of the night, you may do so, but do not repeat Witr.

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (6/91): Praise be to Allah, I regularly pray qiyaam (Taraweeh) with the imam, and I usually pray Witr before going to sleep, even when travelling. I pray all the rak‘ahs with the imam except Witr prayer, which I leave until I pray it before going to sleep. What is the best according to the righteous early generations (as-salaf as-saalih)? Should I complete qiyaam with the imam, even Witr and the du‘aa’ (supplication), or should I pray qiyaam only, then pray Witr before going to sleep? If praying [with the imam] until the du‘aa’ is better, then how should I pray before going to sleep – should I pray an even number or an odd number of rak‘ahs, or is there no prayer after praying Witr with the imam?

Answer: The best is to complete Taraweeh and Witr with the imam, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, there will be recorded for him the reward of spending the night in prayer.”

If you want to offer any more prayers at night after that, then pray however much you wish, but do not repeat Witr. Rather the Witr that you prayed with the imam is sufficient.

And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Bakr Abu Zayd, Saalih al-Fawzaan, ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh, ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdillah ibn Baaz.

End quote.

So if you pray with your husband, you can make Witr even-numbered: when he says the tasleem at the end of Witr, you do not have to say the tasleem with him; rather you can stand up and add a rak‘ah, so that you can pray your Witr at the end of the night.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Some people, when they pray Witr with the imam and he says the tasleem, stand up and do another rak‘ah, so that they can pray Witr at the end of the night. What is the ruling on doing this? Is it regarded as finishing with the imam?

He replied: We do not think there is anything wrong with that. This was stated by the scholars. There is nothing wrong with a person doing that so that his Witr will be at the end of the night, and it will be true that he prayed qiyaam with the imam until he finished, because he prayed with him until the imam finished, and he added one rak‘ah for a legitimate reason, which was so that his Witr would be at the end of the night. So there is nothing wrong with it, and it does not mean that he did not pray with the imam; rather he prayed with the imam until he finished, but he did not finish with him, rather he delayed it a little." (Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz 11/312).

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A