Tarâweeh in Haste

Fast Taraweeh

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

I don't think I would be exaggerating if I were to claim that the mindset of tarâweeḥ salâh having to be performed at exceptional speeds is deeply engrained in a large part of the Muslim Ummah, particularly in those communities where Arabic is not spoken or understood.

What is the purpose of tarâweeḥ salâh anyway? Is it simply a burden that has to be gotten rid of as quickly as it was laid on one's shoulders? There are people who travel miles to go to a Masjid infamous for its speedy tarâweeḥ only to get home later than someone who was to attend his local Masjid. What does this prove other than the lack of desire to stand in front of Allâh Ta'âlâ or inattentiveness towards, and lack of interest in, the Qur-ân?

What happened to the Qur-ânic injuctions of tarteel (recitation with tajweed) and tadabbur (contemplation)? Isn't the latter the very spirit of tarâweeḥ and the means by which we can truly benefit from the Qur-ân? This expectation (that the tarâweeḥ salâh should be performed hastily) really needs correcting. Those who lead as well as many Imâms, because of the accepted norm, are forced to submit to the whims of the advocates of speedy tarâweeḥ. Two obvious solutions are for the 'ulamâ/Imâms to:

  • educate the masses until they realise that without tarteel the tarâweeḥ salâh is in actual fact nâqis (imperfect/lacking); and
  • adhere to the rules of tajweed (a no-brainer!), including waqf (how and where to stop), and recite with tadabbur.

Putting all our passions and affiliations aside, which is truly worse: 8 raka-ât (units of prayer) of tarâweeḥ salâh recited with tajweed and contemplation or 20 raka-ât of tarâweeḥ salâh with no regard for the former? Considerable time is spent combatting the 8-raka-ât issue (and no doubt it needs addressing), but shouldn't some effort at least be exerted in correcting the 20-raka-ât-fast-speed-no-tajweed issue?

This issue also becomes glaringly apparent in places where the full Qur-ân is recited within 10 nights (usually in tahajjud (late-night) prayer). Think normal tarâweeḥ salâh recited elsewhere and triple (or at least double) that speed. The end result is a recitation which only the reciter can comprehend. It would be far better and definitely more rewarding to recite only a small portion of the Qur-ân but slowly and melodiously.

The sad fact is that many such reciters are fully versed in the art of tajweed; it is the pressure from the masses that drives them beyond the pale. People are willing to listen to long speeches delivered after the tarâweeḥ salâh but not to sacrifice the few minutes extra it would take if the Imâm were to recite at an appropriate speed! Those who advocate this injustice to the Qur-ân (i.e. promote and participate in congregations known to have this speed issue) are just as guilty as those who inflict it upon others (by reciting in an incorrect manner):

ولا تعاونوا على ٱلإثم وٱلعدوان


Until and unless we do not appreciate the importance of tajweed and the purpose of tarâweeḥ salâh, we will struggle to accept the need for a rethink on this issue.

والله المستعان

[1] Qur-ân 5:2 - "... And do not cooperate in sin and aggression"


Add new comment

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.