By Haroon Ishola Balogun
The Holy month of Ramadan brings with it immense opportunities to amend our relationship with Allah (SWT) and re-establish broken bonds. This blessed month is all about ibadah with bountiful rewards like we never had in other months. Yes, in other months, we fast, give alms, recite Qur’an as well as night prayers or Qiyamu-lail, but one of the ibadah that is exclusive to Ramadan is Taraweeh.
It is a 10 Rakah superrogatory prayers performed after Ishai. They are not just to be rushed over, take your time to prayer behind imam in the Masjid and if you must pray at home, ensure that you do your Taraweeh with khushu just like you do in every other obligatory prayers. Taraweeh may be longer depending on the recitation of the imam. It
provides us more time to be closer to Allah and listen to and ponder on Quran. By standing focused in a state of Khushu or piety for that long can be challenging, but longer prayers also provide the opportunity to correct and calibrate those Khushu levels every time our minds lose focus.
Taraweeh prayers are not about merely to stand behind the Imam while he finishes the Quran in melodious recitations. Rather, you must follow the imam in his recitation so that you understand what is being recited and to become closer to Allah.
To achieve this, you need Khushu, total submission and humility.
By perfecting khushu levels during Taraweeh prayers, we can extend this benefit to other prayers as well. After all, the reward for each prayer is proportional to the quality of our prayers.
According to Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) “The basic meaning of khushoo’ is softness of heart, tranquility, submission and humility. If the heart is properly focused in this manner, then the rest of the body will follow it in focus, because they follow it as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In the body there is a piece of flesh which, if it is sound, the entire body will be sound, but if it is corrupt, the entire body will be corrupt. Verily it is the heart.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (25) and Muslim (1599).” Jaami’ al-‘Uloom al-Hukam (1/35).
By praying Taraweeh you gain the reward of standing the whole night in prayer. The Prophet (s.a w) is reported to have said “Whoever stands praying with the Imam until he is finished, it is recorded for him that he prayed the whole night.” (Tirmidhi Sahih)
He also informed us of the virtues of standing in prayer, particularly in this month, be it Taraweeh or Tahajud, when he said “Whosoever stands in the nights of Ramadan, with faith and in hope of receiving Allah’s reward, his past sins will be forgiven” (Bukhari).
Taraweeh is one of the many blessings that Ramadan brings. It has great benefits and virtues. Offering this prayer for entire month of Ramadan provides spiritual development as well as medical benefits. Taraweeh prayer not only purifies our soul but also keeps us healthy and fit. Although offering this prayer is not compulsory but the virtues and benefit it holds leave no reason for skipping it.