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Tarawih prayer at Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia.
Tarawih prayer at Taipei Grand Mosque, Taiwan.

Tarawih (Arabic: تراويح‎) refers to extra prayers performed by Sunni Muslims at night in the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Name variations[edit]

Region/country Language Main
Arab World Arabic صلاة التراويح (Ṣalāh al-Tarāwīḥ)
Iran Persian نماز تراويح
North India, East India, Pakistan Urdu نماز تراويح (Taravi/Tarabeeh namaaz, tarave namaaz)
Turkey Turkish Terâvih namazı
Azerbaijan Azeri Təravih namazı
Albania, Kosovo Albanian Namazi i teravive
Balkans Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian Teravih-namaz, Teravija
Bangladesh, West Bengal, North-east India Bengali তারাবীহ (Tarabeeh), তেরাবী নামাজ (Terabi Namaz)
Somalia, Somaliland Somali Salaada Taraawiixda
Southeast Asia Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Basa Jawa Salat tarawih, Solat tarawih
West Java, Banten Basa Sunda Tarawéh
Aceh Basa Aceh Seumayang Teurawèh
Uzbekistan Uzbek Tarovih namozi


Tarawih prayers are prayed in pairs of two and can be prayed in at least 08/12/20 raka‘āt according to the Hanafi and Shafi'i schools of Sunni Islam. A break is taken after every 4(2+2) raka‘āt, this prayer is performed only during Ramadan of the Islamic calendar after salat of Isha the last Tarawih prayers is only on Second to last day of Ramadan . Muslims believe it is customary to attempt a khatm "complete recitation" of the Quran as one of the religious observances of Ramadan by reciting at least one juz' per night in tarawih. Tarawih prayers are considered optional, not obligatory.

Sunni views[edit]

In all the Sunni hadith scriptures, the prayer Tarawih has been mentioned as Qiyamul Layl min Ramadan (Standing of night in Ramadan) and Qiyam-ar-Ramadan (Standing of Ramadan), some Sunni Muslims regard the Tarawih prayers as Sunnat Mu'akkadah; however it was not performed by Muhammad so that view is not valid.[further explanation needed][citation needed] Other Sunni Muslims believe tarawih is an optional prayer that may be performed at home. According to this tradition, Muhammad initially and briefly prayed the tarawih in congregation during Ramadan, but rejected this practice, as evidenced in Ahadith,[1] during the time when Umar was the caliph, he reinstated the praying of Tarawih in congregation.[2]

Shia views[edit]

The Shia view differs among the three main schools of thought, Ismaili, Twelvers and Zaydis. Alevi Muslims in Turkey, Twelvers and Ismailies have no Tarawih prayer and see it as bid‘ah (بدعة) introduced after the death of Muhammad.[3]

Instead, Twelvers believe in the Tahajjud prayer or Salatul Layl (night prayer) which Muhammad recommended, it is recommended throughout the year, especially during nights of Ramadan.[4]

Narrated Abu Salama bin `Abdur Rahman: that he asked `Aisha "How was the prayer of Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) in Ramadan?" She replied, "He did not pray more than eleven rak`at in Ramadan or in any other month. He used to pray four rak`at ---- let alone their beauty and length----and then he would pray four ----let alone their beauty and length ---- and then he would pray three rak`at (witr)." She added, "I asked, 'O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Do you sleep before praying the witr?' He replied, 'O `Aisha! My eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep." Vol. 3, Book 32, Hadith 230.[5]

Salat al-Layl or Tahajjud prayer is made up of eleven rak’ats.

  • The first eight rak’ats are prayed as normal in pairs of two rak’ats each with the niyyah of Nawafilat al-Layl (the prayer of the night).
  • The next two rak’ats are prayed with the niyyah of Salat al-Shaf’a (the prayer of forgiveness).
  • The remaining rak’at is prayed with the niyyah of Salat al-Witr.

In the last rak’at, Qunut is recited before or after ruku' and the Salat is completed as usual with Tashahhud and Salaam.

Shia Ismaili Muslims believe Tahajjud prayer or Bayt al-Khayal prayer is recommended throughout the year particularly on Friday (Jumma) or Chand Rat (First night of every Islamic month).


  1. ^ "The Book of Prayer - Travellers". Book 4, Hadith 1663. Sahih Muslim. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Praying at Night in Ramadaan (Taraweeh)". Book 32, Hadith 227. Sahih Bukhari. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Praying at Night in Ramadaan (Taraweeh)". Book 31, Hadith 3. Sahih al-Bukhari. Retrieved September 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Imam Ali Foundation - Ramadhan Moon Crescent 1436". Archived from the original on June 17, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Praying at Night in Ramadaan (Taraweeh)". Book 31, Hadith 6. Sahih al-Bukhari. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 


External links[edit]