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Can We Pray Tarawih at Home?

29 April, 2020
Q I am so sad and anxious about how Ramadan turned out this year. I have always prayed both Taraweeh and Tahajjud at the masjid as well as performed Itikaf. I understand it's Allah's will but I am still battling depressive thoughts coming to terms with it. Please help.

Answer

Short Answer:

  • Tarawih is NOT obligatory in Jama’at (congregation). The Prophet didn’t come out the third night to pray with his companions on the basis it would not become obligatory.
  • If we cannot pray as a group in the Mosque let us strive to improve our worship as a family. Surely, He requires us to perfect our prayers, our worship. It is a great opportunity for every member of the family to come close to Allah, through prayer, reading the Qur’an and dua’s.
  • You say you are battling depressive thoughts, I wonder why they are depressive? If Allah wants something different, shouldn’t we respond? Now, we are forced to worship individually. We should be positive and respond accordingly. Here is a chance for us to improve.

………….

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Thank you, brother, for your question, 

Thoughts on Ramadan 2020

I am sure many Muslims will have similar thoughts. However, as you say, ‘it is the will of Allah’ which means, it is up to us to do our best.

This is a chance for each one of us to strive to perfect (as far as we can) our fasting and our worship in general, that is with Ihsan.

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Ihsan can be defined as spiritual perfection in worship. Ramadan is likely to be an individual or family time, where distractions will be at a minimum. This will allow more concentrated effort on the part of each one of us.

Can We Pray Tarawih,Tahajjud, and Perform Itikaf at Home?

Tarawih is NOT obligatory in Jama’at (congregation). The Prophet didn’t come out the third night to pray with his companions on the basis it would not become obligatory.

Some Mosques are setting up online teaching sessions/lectures. 

Editor’s Note:

You can pray Tarawih at home as well as Tahajjud and learn to enjoy it as well. It is all about changing your mindset to accept Allah’s will.

Itikaaf can also be performed at home this year due to the COVID-19 lockdown of mosques.

Lead your family in Tarawih and/or Tahajjud for endless spiritual blessings. It is a great opportunity for the family to bond together and connect with the Quran.

Test or Punishment?

We need to appreciate; perhaps, the coronavirus is either a test or a punishment. Then to understand and remember that our rizq, our death – where, when, and how – were all written in the Book of Deeds, prior to our ruh (spirit) being blown into the fetus 120 days after conception.

The coronavirus will not change that. Our lifespan has already been determined. So, should we be worried about the virus or should we be worried about our relationship with Allah? I would suggest it should be our relationship with Allah.

If we cannot pray as a group in the Mosque let us strive to improve our worship as a family. Surely, He requires us to perfect our prayers, our worship. It is a great opportunity for every member of the family to come close to Allah, through prayer, reading the Quran and duaas.

But it doesn’t stop there. By being at home, parents’ responsibilities to their children become more apparent. For example, how are our children’s relationships with Allah? Can we help them to improve? Can we help them increase their knowledge and practice of their religion?

Do We Need To Change?

Allah tells us in the Quran:

“But they plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners” [Quran 8:30]

We have seen how our daily lives have been changed – dramatically and drastically. How businesses and production have been shut down etc. Things we could never have imagined.

We should be looking to see what Allah wants from each one of us. We should understand what is really important. 

Should We Be Depressed?

You say you are battling depressive thoughts, I wonder why they are depressive? If Allah wants something different, shouldn’t we respond? Now, we are forced to worship individually. We should be positive and respond accordingly. Here is a chance for us to improve. What does the Qur’an tell us?

“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” [Quran 13:28]

And again,

“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient” [Quran 2:153]

Here, we are being reminded dhikr (remembrance of Allah) is the best solution and the best form of dhikr is to read the Quran. But we also remember Allah in prayer, as the ayah (verse) above reminds us to steadfastly persevere and to pray.

Forbearance and fortitude together with prayer – Allah talks to us through the Quran and we talk to Allah in prayer. We can do both in abundance in our own homes and without interruptions under the present circumstances. What a beautiful opportunity Allah has provided for us. Are we prepared to make the most of it or will we do nothing?

“With/After hardship Comes Ease”

The Quran tells us:

“O Prophet), Did We not lay open your breast

and relieve you of the burden

that had well-nigh broken your back

And did We not exalt your fame

Indeed there is ease with hardship.

Indeed there is ease with hardship

So, whenever you are free strive in devotion,

and turn to your Lord with longing.” [Quran 94:1-7]

Hard for some and Easier for Others

So, if we remember Allah, we trust Him for the situation to ease and for the situation to improve. But also, as we are seeing today, the changes which are taking place are hard for some and easier for others.

For example, Muslims wash their hands five times a day at least. Muslim men and women avoid shaking hands. Some Muslim women already wear a face veil.

These are some examples of hardship with ease. It may be hard for some e.g. punishment; but for others it is a test. There is another passage in the Quran which states 

“Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted – let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease” [Quran 65:7].

Summary

‘After hardship, ease’ is a promise from Allah, and Allah’s promises are true. Have no doubt. It may be a punishment for some but for others it is a test.

If it’s a test we should respond accordingly by turning to Allah, and doing as much as we can for Allah. We should strive for spiritual perfection in all our worship.

May Allah help us to improve our practice of Islam, individually, collectively in our family, in our communities and with the whole Muslim Ummah. And may we benefit humanity in general, ourselves and our Ummah, Ameen. 

“Allah is sufficient for us and He is an excellent trustee” (Quran 3:173)

“I entrust my affairs unto Allah. Truly, Allah is aware of His servants” (Quran 40:44)

These last two quotations give our response to such situations and should give us comfort to face whatever befalls us. May we be successful here and in the Hereafter, Ameen.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

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About Daud Matthews
Daud Matthews was born in 1938, he embraced Islam in 1970, and got married in Pakistan in 1973. Matthews studied physics and subsequently achieved Chartered Engineer, Fellow of both the British Computer Society and the Institute of Management.He was working initially in physics research labs, he then moved to computer management in 1971. He lived and worked in Saudi Arabia from 1974 to 1997 first with the University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran,and then with King Saud University in Riyadh. He's been involved in da'wah since 1986.