Besides Fard Salah, performing Sunnahs and Nawafil is the beauty of Islam, sign of yearning for worship, recognition of worshippers and a practice of Muslims. But some people after being impressed by innovative and modern-minded Molviyat try to prevent others from Nawafil and Sunnahs especially Taraweeh. Such people are usually unaware of the pleasure of worship, have no yearning for Salah and are deprived of the sweetness of Munajat-e-Ilahi (supplicating in the Merciful court of Allah Almighty). Offering Sunnah, Nafl and Taraweeh has been proved from the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. It cannot be the act of a Muslim to try to prevent people from it by reducing its importance. Objectors ask this question: Why are these unnecessary acts of worship emphasized so much? The simple reply to this is: ‘Why do you try so much to prevent from worship?’
The detailed reply is: Just ponder! Are Nafl Salahs, Sunnahs and Taraweeh all good deeds or مَعَاذَ اللّٰە bad deeds? If they are good and surely they are good, so is it a good act or a bad act to insist on good deeds? Of course, it is a good deed; on the contrary, the one who prevents from it is bad because he is preventing from worshipping Allah Almighty. Such a person does not invite the people to worship who are heedless and do not worship. On the contrary, Satan tempts such a person to try to prevent those who are worshiping. Satan wants him to become his deputy and create evil thoughts in their mind by making them think: Brother, why do you offer so long Taraweeh Salah as it has not been emphasized much?
Read this blessed Hadees in order to know: From what perspective, should a true Muslim see worship especially Taraweeh as before the blessed month of Ramadan the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said to the blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم: O people! A great and blessed month is about to come to you in which one night is better than one thousand months. Allah Almighty has made its Siyam Fard and offering Taraweeh during its nights is Nafl. (Shu’ab-ul-Iman, vol. 3, pp. 305, Hadees 3608)
Just ponder, what was the purpose of this saying? Should we offer Taraweeh or not? Surely, it meant the same ‘offer Taraweeh’. Then it is certain that the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم himself offered Taraweeh as per his saying. It is stated in a blessed Hadees: One night, the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم offered Salah in a Masjid, so people also offered Salah with him, then he صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم offered Salah the next night, more people came, and then people also gathered in the third or fourth night, so the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم did not come out to them. Then in the morning he صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: Undoubtedly, I have seen what you did and I was prevented from coming out to you only by the fear that this Salah might be made Fard for you and it is the event of Ramadan. (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, pp. 384, Hadees 1129)
Despite not coming on the third or fourth night, the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم had the tendency towards Taraweeh with Jama’at, but Taraweeh Salah with Jama’at was not offered lest it should become Fard. After the blessed demise of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم since Sayyiduna ‘Umar Farooq and blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم knew that the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم wished Taraweeh to be offered with Jama’at, Sayyiduna ‘Umar Farooq رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ arranged Taraweeh with Jama’at when his caliphate began though people would always offer Taraweeh even in the caliphate of Sayyiduna Siddeeq-e-Akbar رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ. (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 1, pp. 658, Hadees 2010) All blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم liked it.
Offering Taraweeh has always been a practice of Muslims. Khulafa-e-Rashideen, Tabi’een and Tab’-e-Tabi’een, Aimmah Mujtahideen and Muhaddiseen رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم all offered Taraweeh, or it was the practice of blessed Aimmah that they would instruct their followers to recite the Holy Quran completely in 30 days by offering 20 Rak’aat Taraweeh daily, but some of them would recite the Holy Quran completely daily in 20 Taraweeh.
Remember! Islam has the same approach which the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, Khulafa-e-Rashideen, blessed companions, Aimmah-e-Deen, Aimmah Arba’ah, pious people of the Ummah, Sufiya, Islamic scholars, Islamic jurists and Muhaddiseen had. Now find the answer to this question yourself that the real yearning for Islam, the real picture of Islam and the real interpretation of Islam is what has been mentioned above or the interpretation of the people is correct who say: Ok, show me the word ‘Taraweeh’ in Ahadees. What does the person mean by saying ‘Show me the word ‘Taraweeh’? Is he saying to offer Taraweeh or not? Playing with words he actually provokes others to not offer Taraweeh.
Allah Almighty has great favour upon Muslims. If we see in Masajid, we find even children مَا شَـآءَ اللّٰە offering Taraweeh with great pleasure and delight. On the other hand, women after managing home chores and Sahari and cooking food offer Taraweeh showing their love for Allah Almighty and obeying the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. But regretfully, amongst those who deny Taraweeh some say: It is not a Salah as it is not proved; so some say that it was not a Salah at all; some say: I do not know why Maulvis lay so much emphasis on Nafl acts of worship.
O brother! The entire Ummah has been offering Taraweeh. You tell us whether we should follow the method of blessed companions, Tabi’een, Tab’-e-Tabi’een, Islamic scholars, Muhaddiseen, Mufakkireen, Fuqaha-e-Mujtahideen and Mujaddid-e-Deen or we should follow you who say: ‘Whatever I understand it is right and the religion which the entire Ummah has understood in these 14 hundred years is wrong. Therefore I say that we do not need to offer Taraweeh; we do not need to offer Nafl.’ Is there any Ummati [follower] who dares to reduce the importance of the act which his Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم did and for which his Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰەُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم persuaded?