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al kafi 1706


Assalamualaikum ustaz. Since we will be celebrating the arrival of the month of Ramadhan during the Movement Control Order, I ask for an explanation from you regarding the ruling of performing the tarawih prayer at home. Thank you.



Waalaikumussalam wrt, wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

The tarawih prayer is a greatly encouraged worship for every Muslim during the month of Ramadhan. A person is greatly rewarded for it and this is stated in a narration by Abu Hurairah RA, where he said the Prophet PBUH said:

‎مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

"And whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Ramadhan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven."

Sahih al-Bukhari (37)

The above hadith clearly shows that the act of qiyam in Ramadhan which includes tarawih prayer, recitation of the Quran, dhikr, supplication and others which are a form of worship performed on the night of Ramadhan, if it is performed with sincere faith of its sanctioning and hope to be rewarded by Allah SWT, surely all of the doer’s previous minor sins will be forgiven.

Imam al-Nawawi in his book Syarah Al-Nawawi ‘Ala Muslim (6/377) said: “Qiyam in Ramadhan is performing tarawih prayer.”

The sanctioning of tarawih prayer is stated in a narration from Umm al-Mu’minin A’isyah R.Anha, where she said:

 ‎أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَلَّى ذَاتَ لَيْلَةٍ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ فَصَلَّى بِصَلاَتِهِ نَاسٌ، ثُمَّ صَلَّى مِنَ الْقَابِلَةِ فَكَثُرَ النَّاسُ، ثُمَّ اجْتَمَعُوا مِنَ اللَّيْلَةِ الثَّالِثَةِ أَوِ الرَّابِعَةِ، فَلَمْ يَخْرُجْ إِلَيْهِمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَلَمَّا أَصْبَحَ قَالَ ‏‏ قَدْ رَأَيْتُ الَّذِي صَنَعْتُمْ وَلَمْ يَمْنَعْنِي مِنَ الْخُرُوجِ إِلَيْكُمْ إِلاَّ أَنِّي خَشِيتُ أَنْ تُفْرَضَ عَلَيْكُمْ ‏ وَذَلِكَ فِي رَمَضَانَ

“One night, Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) offered the prayer in the Mosque and the people followed him. The next night he also offered the prayer and too many people gathered. On the third and the fourth nights more people gathered, but Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) did not come out to them. In the morning he said, "I saw what you were doing and nothing but the fear that it (i.e. the prayer) might be enjoined on you, stopped me from coming to you." And that happened in the month of Ramadan.”

Sahih al-Bukhari (1129)

According to the above hadith, the Messenger PBUH went to the mosque on the first night of Ramadhan and perform the prayer. Then, people started following the Prophet PBUH performing his night prayers. The same happened on the second night, but the number of people following the Prophet PBUH increases. The following night showed a greater number of people following the Prophet PBUH filling the mosque. Thus, on the next night, the Prophet PBUH did not go to the mosque whilst people were waiting for him. As soon as it was time for Subuh, the Prophet PBUH came and performed the Subuh prayer, then gave his statement as stated in the above hadith.

Syeikh Syams al-Haq al-‘Azhim Abadi when commenting on this hadith said: “The Prophet PBUH was worried that the tarawih prayer will be made as an obligation for them. The reason is it will lead for it to be an obligation if the action of congregational qiyam Ramadhan is performed continuously.” See ‘Aun Al-Ma’bud Syarah Sunan Abi Daud (4/180).

Coming back to the above-presented question, we would like to state that from the apparent meaning of the hadith from A’isyah R.Anha, it is permissible to perform the tarawih prayer at home. Thus, it is not an issue for a person to perform the tarawih prayer in a congregation at home with his family members. Moreover, performing the tarawih prayer in congregation is prioritized compared with performing it alone.

Imam al-Nawawi said:

وَتَجُوزُ مُنْفَرِدًا وَجَمَاعَةً وَأَيُّهُمَا أَفْضَلُ فِيهِ وَجْهَانِ مَشْهُورَانِ كَمَا ذَكَرَ الْمُصَنِّفُ وَحَكَاهُمَا جَمَاعَةٌ قَوْلَيْنِ (الصَّحِيحُ) بِاتِّفَاقِ الْأَصْحَابِ أَنَّ الْجَمَاعَةَ أَفْضَلُ

“And it is permissible (for the tarawih prayer to be performed) alone or in a congregation. Regarding which one is prioritized between the two, there are two famous opinions as stated by musannif and narrated by majority of scholars (al-Syafi’iyyah), for it to be performed in congregation is the sahih and agreed opinion among the ashab.”

Refer Al-Majmu’ Syarh Al-Muhazzab, Al-Nawawi (4/31)


To conclude, we end our statement with the following points:

  • It is permissible for a person to perform the sunnah tarawih prayer in congregation with his family members. This is prioritized considering we are currently under the Movement Control Order.
  • Regarding the guideline as to how to perform the tarawih prayer at home, we state as the following:
  • The time for the tarawih prayer is right after the completion of the Isya’ prayer and it can be performed until the sun rises.
  • It is led by an adult male, whether it is the father or son in the family. The recitation for the surah in the prayer is any easy and memorized surah. Although, if the imam wishes to read the Quran by placing the mushaf in front of him, in our opinion it is permissible and we have discussed this issue in our previous article Irsyad al-Fatwa Series 303: The Ruling of Looking at the Mushaf of al-Quran Whilst Praying.
  • It is permissible to choose whether to perform the tarawih prayer for 8 or 20 rakaat by separating the prayers into two rakaat and one salam. At the same time, one should consider the situation and capability of one’s family members.
  • After completing the tarawih prayer, it is also encouraged to perform the witir prayer in congregation. For details on how to perform the witir prayer, please refer to the article al-Kafi #1393: The Prioritized Methodology of Witir Prayer.

Lastly, we pray to Allah SWT to be given the correct understanding in religion. Amin.