Q. Is the taraweeh prayer a fardh or sunnah? Can a person miss it?

A. (#DrZakirNaik):   As I discussed earlier as it is mentioned in the hadith that how Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed taraweeh and people joined him, the next day the news spread and when he came the next day the full mosque was filled, the third day it was overflowing and the 4th day purposely even though the mosque was overflowing the prophet did not come out for qiyam-ul-layl (taraweeh) and when he came for the fajar salaah he said, “it’s not that i didn’t know that people were waiting for me, the reason I didn’t come because I didn’t want offering the qiyam-ul-layl in Ramadan to be Fardh.” So from this hadith we come to know that it is not a fardh. But the other hadith of sahih bukhari in which our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “whoever offers the night prayer in Ramadan with the belief and seeking Allah’s reward all his past sins will be forgiven.” So from this we come to know that though it is not a fardh it is a very important sunnah. It is ‘sunnatil mokidah’, that means a very highly recommended sunnah of the Prophet. No Muslim should miss it unless he has a valid reason. He should try his best to offer it and seek Allah’s reward so that all his sins will be forgiven.

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