Who Should Lead Tarâweeh?

Mihrâb where the Imâm stands

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله

Continuing on from my previous discussion, I give below my recommendations of the criteria that should be used when selecting who should lead the tarâweeḥ salâh (at least in a Masjid):

  • He should be fully conversant with the obvious tajweed rules, which includes knowing the correct makhârij (places of articulation - where the sounds of the various Arabic letters emanate from)
  • He should be upright in Deen, i.e. adherent of the Sunnah and not openly involved in sins; leading a congregation is no small responsibility
  • He should be sensible and responsible (not just mature physically-speaking); it doesn't quite feel right that someone who parties all year round and is hardly seen in the Masjid is suddenly leading a congregation in tarâweeḥ; quality is of essence and ḥuffâdh (plural of ḥâfidh, one who has memorised the Qur-ân) are not in short supply, alḥamdulillâh
  • He should preferably understand what he is reciting as well as know basic Arabic grammar. Many aspects of the Qur-ân can be understood by most people without having to study the âyât (verses) in depth; examples include historical accounts (e.g. stories of the past prophets), description of the Afterlife, exhortations, admonitions, etc. It is generally observed that those who understand (classical) Arabic tend to enjoy listening to, and respond to, the Qur-ân more than those who don't.
  • A Masjid should not be used as a training platform for young teenagers, especially those who do not recite with tajweed. They should first gain some experience elsewhere as well as fulfil the criteria given above

As Muslims, and followers of the Qur-ân, the least we owe the Qur-ân is that we should care about who recites it and how it is recited during the tarâweeḥ salâh in our Masâjid. Being passive in this regard and accepting the norm - albeit reluctantly - means that frankly we are falling short of fulfilling our responsibility towards the Word of Allâh. The truth of the matter is that this issue will only be resolved if the appetite for the implementation of the guidelines set out above is present on a grand scale.

وبالله التوفيق



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