Is Tarawih Mandatory on Men and Women?

Question and Answer Details

Name of Questioner

Hiba   - Alaska


Is Tarawih Mandatory on Women?


Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. Is Tarawih mandatory on women? Is it a confirmed Sunnah? Can you please shed some light on this issue for women who canít go to the mosque for some reasons? Must they perform Tarawih as compulsory prayer, or is it nafl (supererogatory)? Jazakum Allah khayran.



Name of Counsellor

Muhammad Muhammad Abu Laylah, Ahmad Kutty


Supererogatory Prayers


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

Ramadan is the month of the Qur'an, fasting, and qiayam (staying in late night vigilance praying). Ramadan comes to Muslims with mercy, release from sins, patience, and spiritual nourishment and hygiene. Fasting in Ramadan is not a punishment but a way to perfect our behavior, to sharpen our sense of responsibility, and to be more united.

In his response to the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

According to the consensus of Muslim scholars, Tarawih is not considered mandatory on either men or women. Rather, it is only considered a recommended act. There is no evidence in the sources to make it obligatory. As far as I know, no jurist or imam has expressed such an opinion.

Tarawih can be performed individually at home or at the mosque. If for some reason you cannot go to the mosque, you can pray Tarawih at home.

We know from the traditions that the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and other companions often used to pray Tarawih at home. Some of them even opened the Qur'an and read from it while performing Tarawih.

Based on the above, if you are not able to go to the mosque, you would not be deprived of the reward or blessings if you were to perform it at home.

Moreover, the prominent Muslim scholar Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah, professor of the Islamic Studies & Comparative Religions at Al-Azhar Univ., adds:

Tarawih prayer is a Sunnah and to do it in a Mosque is also a Sunnah.

Women and even children should attend it at the Mosque because it displays the unity among Muslims and cements their relationships.

Remember that we should honor the month of Ramadan to the utmost of our ability because in this month the Qur'an which is our light, guide, and legal and spiritual force was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).


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