If you do not know what Taraweeh is, the technical definition is that Taraweeh is a post-Isha salat only performed during Ramadan, and is believed to be Sunnah al-Mu’akkadah meaning that these optional prayers were performed by the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) regularly. (Taraweeh is exclusively performed in Ramadan.)
Now that is the technical definition, but Taraweeh is so much more than just its technical definition.
What Taraweeh includes is the joining of Muslims across the community to worship together by hearing the recitation of the Quran in salat. As stated above, Taraweeh only happens during Ramadan, which makes it all the more special.
When fasting, suhoor takes the place of breakfast, and iftar takes the place of dinner. That makes Taraweeh a dessert – and not just any dessert, but the most decadent dessert that could be consumed.
And yes normally, decadence and gorging is greatly discouraged in Islam; Taraweeh is one of the few exceptions to this. Yes Taraweeh is decadent but there is no need for guilt. I’m going to enjoy it! Every night a chapter of the Quran is completed, thus every night I have the opportunity to enjoy a different kind of dessert. Day one was New York cheesecake, day two was chocolate pie (and it’s all zero calories!), and every day since has been a different decadence. Yes when praying Taraweeh salat, we can call it a night after 8 rakahs and go home, but I don’t have to stop there – I’m going to gorge the salat available! I’m going to stay for the entire 20, stay for witr, wish for more and make my way to the masjid the next day to gorge and enjoy myself again!
I don’t know if I have communicated exactly why I love attending Taraweeh, I wonder if that is even 100% possible. I just love everything – the unity, the effort and commitment, the recitation of the Quran, it’s all beautiful to me. When I pray Taraweeh at my local masjid, I truly feel as if I am a part of the Ummah.
As I stated before, I’m kind of a Taraweeh nut.
Let’s remember that Taraweeh is a choice, and then realize how amazing that makes the turnout every night. This means that all the people performing Taraweeh salat in all the masjids and at home are choosing to do; they are choosing to take advantage of all the opportunities in the month of Ramadan as possible.
The 30 Days of Ramadan series is written by Sobia Siddiqui, CAIR-TX Communications Intern. Enjoy more of her writing on her personal blog, Religion in the Melting Pot.