It’s equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.

Whoever stands with the imam until he has completed Solah al-Tarawih; it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.

One of the imams stated that it is essential to complete Tarawih prayer with the imam and not to leave halfway through, because what you have done with him, whether it is a two raka’ahs or four, will not count for you. Is this correct?

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;

All the praise and thanks is due to Allah, Subhanahu wata`ala. Peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

It is undoubtedly incorrect for the imam to hold the view that it is essential to complete solat al-Taraweeh with the imam and not to leave halfway through because what you have done with him will not be counted. Such an action is not permissible for anyone to attribute to something that is not part of it. Allah has forbidden us to speak of Him without knowledge, as He says:

“Say (O Muhammad): (But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al Fawahish (great evil sins and every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allaah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge”

[Al-A’raf 7:33]

But it is whoever stands with the imam until he has completed Solah al-Tarawih; it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.

The hadith was narrated that Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Whoever stands with the imam until he finishes, it is equivalent to spending the whole night in prayer.”

[Narrated by al-Tirmidzi, 806; Abu Dawud, 1375; al-Nasa’ie, 1605; Ibn Majah, 1327; Classified as sahih by al-Tirmidzi, Ibn Khuzaymah (3/337), Ibn Hibban (3/340) and al-Albani in Irwa’ al-Ghalil, 447]

This reward (the reward of spending the whole night in prayer) is not attained by anyone except the one who stands with the imam for the whole prayer, until he completes it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said.

As for the one who prays as much as he can and then leaves before the imam has completed his prayer, only what he has prayed will be recorded for him, but it will not be recorded as if he spent the entire night in prayer.

Allah says:

“So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it”

[Al-Zalzalah, 99:7-8]

And Allah knows best.

[Excerpted from Islam QA (65501)]

About Md Radzi Ahmad
A retired Malaysian civil servant. Served the Malaysian government for thirty-one years. Posted to London, Rangoon, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bangkok. Born in Kampong Hutan Kandeh, Alor Star, Kedah. Educated at Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Star and University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Currently resides in Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan,Malaysia.Blessed with three children, a son, two daughters, daughter in law and two grandaughters.

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