Assalamualaikum ustaz. Due to my work, I’m forced to work until very late at night. Is it permissible for me to qadha’ my tarawih prayers?
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.
Sunnah tarawih prayer is a special worship in Ramadhan granted by Allah SWT. This is what is meant in a hadith of the Prophet PBUH:
مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ
“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) and Sahih Muslim (759)
Imam al-Nawawi said قَامَ رَمَضَانَ stated in the hadith means standing in prayer or performing the tarawih prayer. See al-Minhaj fi Syarh Sahih Muslim (7/378).
Tarawih prayer is sunnah as stated in the above hadith. It is sunnah for there is a qarinah (indication) which indicates that its ruling is sunnah and not wajib. This is explained in a hadith narrated by ‘Urwah RA, where Aisyah R.Anha informed him:
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم خَرَجَ لَيْلَةً مِنْ جَوْفِ اللَّيْلِ، فَصَلَّى فِي الْمَسْجِدِ، وَصَلَّى رِجَالٌ بِصَلاَتِهِ، فَأَصْبَحَ النَّاسُ فَتَحَدَّثُوا، فَاجْتَمَعَ أَكْثَرُ مِنْهُمْ، فَصَلَّوْا مَعَهُ، فَأَصْبَحَ النَّاسُ فَتَحَدَّثُوا، فَكَثُرَ أَهْلُ الْمَسْجِدِ مِنَ اللَّيْلَةِ الثَّالِثَةِ، فَخَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَصَلَّى، فَصَلَّوْا بِصَلاَتِهِ، فَلَمَّا كَانَتِ اللَّيْلَةُ الرَّابِعَةُ عَجَزَ الْمَسْجِدُ عَنْ أَهْلِهِ، حَتَّى خَرَجَ لِصَلاَةِ الصُّبْحِ، فَلَمَّا قَضَى الْفَجْرَ أَقْبَلَ عَلَى النَّاسِ، فَتَشَهَّدَ ثُمَّ قَالَ " أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَخْفَ عَلَىَّ مَكَانُكُمْ، وَلَكِنِّي خَشِيتُ أَنْ تُفْتَرَضَ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَعْجِزُوا عَنْهَا
"Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) went out in the middle of the night and prayed in the mosque and some men prayed behind him. In the morning, the people spoke about it and then a large number of them gathered and prayed behind him (on the second night). In the next morning the people again talked about it and on the third night the mosque was full with a large number of people. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) came out and the people prayed behind him. On the fourth night the Mosque was overwhelmed with people and could not accommodate them, but the Prophet (ﷺ) came out (only) for the morning prayer. When the morning prayer was finished he recited Tashah-hud and (addressing the people) said, "Amma ba'du, your presence was not hidden from me but I was afraid lest the night prayer (Qiyam) should be enjoined on you and you might not be able to carry it on."
Sahih al-Bukhari (2012)
The above hadith clearly shows that sunnah tarawih prayer is not wajib and remains as a sunnah that is sanctioned. Thus, according to this incident, scholars have differing opinions as to whether it is permissible or not to qadha’ sunnah tarawih prayer of which is just a sunnah.
- The most sahih opinion according to madhhab Imam Abu Hanifah and madhhab Imam Ahmad who stated that sunnah tarawih prayer is not replaced when the time for it ends which is when the time of Subh prayer begins. See Rad al-Mukhtar(1/473) and Kasyf al-Qina’(1/426).
- According to madhhab Imam al-Syafie, there is a general ruling for anyone who missed any sunnah prayer, it is permissible for him to qadha’ it. This is cited from the opinion of Imam al-Nawawi:
لَوْ فَاتَ النَّفَل الْمُؤَقَّتُ نُدِبَ قَضَاؤُهُ فِي الأْظْهَرِ
“If a sunnah worship is missed, it is sunnah to qadha’ it according to the most manifest opinion.” See Mughni al-Muhtaj (1/224).
According to the above discussion, we would like to state that it is permissible to qadha’ sunnah tarawih prayer if a person missed it before its time ends. The reason is the rewards for those who perform it are immense and it is a special worship in Ramadhan which is the month of worship. It is such a waste to miss any worship and just let it be.
May Allah SWT grant us the strength to enliven Ramadhan with worship to Allah SWT. Amin.