By Ishola Balogun
As-salam Alaikum waramotullai, wabarakatuh! These days, the lines of Tarawih prayers in Mosques are fast waning, unlike the first day when freshers took over the mosques for Tarawih. Could it be that they feel that Tarawih is not important after few days of Ramadan?
Every activity in the month of Ramadan should be geared towards seeking the blessings of Allah. Succinctly put, the Tarawih is considered part of Ramadan. In the early days of Islam in Mecca, the companions of the Prophet and his successors used to make prolonged Rak’ah during Ramadan.
As long as they would take a rest after offering every four Rak’ah, the Rak’ah were usually done with the recitation of long chapters of the holy Qur’an. This is how it came to be named Tarawih, which means ‘Rest prayer.’ Again, the point of rest was also called Tarweehah.
Like in all other supererogatory prayers, Tarawih is meant to make up for our less-perfect obligatory prayers in the month of Ramadan. Scholars say the essence is to make every part of our prayers become perfect, just like we were taught how to fast without blemish. Our prayers are so important that it shall be our first account to be rendered before Allah.
In an authentic Hadith reported by Imam At-Tirmizhi, Abu-Dawud, An-Nisai and others, the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said: “The first of his actions for which a servant of Allah will be held accountable on the day of resurrection will be his prayers.
“If they are in order, then he will have prospered and succeeded; and if they are wanting, then he would have failed. So, if supererogatory prayers make up for whatever defects there are in obligatory prayers, then it must not be missed.”
Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Whoever offers optional prayers like Tarawih prayers throughout the nights of Ramadan, believing in Allah and seeking His rewards, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
Tarawih can be performed individually at home or at the mosque. If for any reason you cannot go to the mosque, you can observe it at home.
At this point, we should endeavour to observe Tarawih in the mosque behind Imam in congregation. All Ibadah in the month of Ramadan are huge in their rewards and great before Allah. Tarawih is one of them. Ramadan Kareem.