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Taraweeh for ‘extra credit’

18 Apr 2021 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

For the uninitiated, there are special prayers besides the obligatory five offered everyday by Muslims. Called Taraweeh, these prayers are only performed during Ramadan.

I consider them ‘extra credit’ and I actually like offering these prayers. In the pre-COVID-19 era, we went to mosques to perform Taraweeh. These last from an hour to longer. During Taraweeh, the imam – or the person leading the prayer – recites several verses of the Q’uran which the congregation reflects on. 

Owing to the current night movement ban, we are required to stay indoors after 9pm. But this has not deterred many of us from performing Taraweeh prayers. We still do so not in mosques but at home with our families.

I wasn’t really that into Taraweeh as I grew up since I was in a boarding school. And because of this, I do not want my children to miss these prayers due to the situation we are living in. So we have Taraweeh prayers at home. 

Why I feel Taraweeh is important? 

Let me explain a bit with my limited knowledge. These prayers are not only the source of rewards from Allah Almighty but also have many spiritual and physical benefits.

While taking us closer to Allah Almighty, these prayers provide an opportunity to do some physical activity, especially now that we are under a night lockdown. The gentle up and down movements performed while praying improves physical and emotional health as well as enhances the endurance of the person praying.

For me and a few people I spoke with, Taraweeh restores muscle strength. These prayers also bring about unity by helping us feel as one. Last night, my 13-year-old son was the imam. He had the perfect combination of a great voice, impeccable pronunciation and pacing. At some parts, I was carried away as the words of his recitation filled my heart and mind. It was an emotional moment. 

Unlike Oman, Taraweeh prayers are not banned in some other countries this Ramadan. But I have a strong belief that COVID-19 will pass and we will be able to offer Taraweeh in mosques soon. 

Every Muslim should try offering Taraweeh regularly, not occasionally during Ramadan. May Allah Almighty give us the strength to offer this special prayer in this holy month of Ramadan regularly! Ameen!

 

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