Fatwa: # 38548
Category: Prayer (Salaat)
Country: United States
Date: 13th April 2020


Questions regarding Taraweeh, Tahajjud and Qiyamul layl


Assalamualaikum. My question is regarding taraweeh. is taraweeh the same as qiam ul layl? I heard that taraweeh is nowhere mentioned in the quran or sahih hadiths. So why do muslims call it taraweeh? so, is it taraweeh, tahajjud or qiam ul layl? what is the difference between taraweeh, tahajjud and qiam ul layl or are all the same? and is it better to pray taraweeh in congregation or alone? I heard our prophet used to pray 11 rakats at home? and what should be the intention when we stand for taraweeh? Please clarify.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Your questions are related to taraweeh, qiyamul layl and tahajuud. Hereunder is a summary of your questions.

(1)  Is taraweeh the same as qiyamul layl?

(2) What is the difference between taraweeh, qiyamul layl and tahajjud?

(3) The term taraweeh is not mentioned in the Quraan or Ahadeeth.

(4) Is it better to perform taraweeh alone or in a congregation?

(5) Did Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam perform 11 rakaats at home?

(6) What intention to make when one stands for Traweeh Salah?

Hereunder are the answers in sequence:

(1)  Taraweeh is not the same as qiyamul-Lail. Qiyamul-Lail refers to the tahajjud salaah.

The word tahajjud refers to waking up from sleep. The preferable time of performing tahajud is in the latter portion of the night after waking up from one’s sleep.

The word taraweeh is the plural of the word tarweeha which literally means ‘to rest’.  In the context of salatut -taraweeh, it means to rest between every four raka’at. [1]

(2) Below are some of the differences between taraweeh salaah and qiyamul layl (tahajjud);





Specific to the month of Ramadhan

Sunnah throughout the year.


The preferable time is in the beginning portion of the night.

The preferable time is in the later portion of the night.


Congregational Salaah.

Not performed in congregation.


Established from the Ahaadeeth.

Established from the Quraan.


The ruling was revealed in Madinnah.

The ruling was revealed in Makkah.

It is important to note that there are two different sunnah acts in the taraweeh Salaah. One is to perform twenty rakaats of taraweeh and the other sunnah is to complete the entire Quraan in the taraweeh Salaah.[2]

If one is a haafidh, it is advisable for him to perform taraweeh separately and complete his Quraan in taraweeh. If one is not a haafidh, then it is advisable for him to perform the taraweeh with congregation in the masjid.

Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam did perform eleven rakaats at home. Eight rakaats were tahajud salaah and three was witr salaah. This was the general practice of Rasullullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam throughout the year.

سنن النسائي (3/ 237)

عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يُصَلِّي مِنَ اللَّيْلِ ثَمَانَ رَكَعَاتٍ، وَيُوتِرُ بِثَلَاثٍ، وَيُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ قَبْلَ صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ 

"The Messenger of Allah () used to pray eight rak'ahs at night and pray witr with three, and pray two rak'ahs before Fajr."


(Sunan-Nasai, Vol 3, Pg 237)

One should make intention of performing twenty rakaats sunnat-e- maakkadah taraweeh salah or qiyamul layl behind the Imam.[3]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Muhammad S.I.V Patel

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] البناية شرح الهداية (2/ 550)  

 الترويحات جمع ترويحة وكذلك التراويح وهي في الأصل اسم للجلسة، وسميت بالتراويح لاستراحة الناس بعد أربع ركعات بالجلسة، ثم سميت كل أربع ركعات ترويحة مجازا لما في آخرها من الترويحة، ويقال الترويحة اسم لكل أربع ركعات فإنها في الأصل إيصال الراحة وهي الجلسة، ثم سميت الأربع ركعات التي في آخرها الترويحة كما أطلق اسم الركوع على الوظيفة التي تقرأ في القيام لأنه متصل بالركوع


[2] الاختيار لتعليل المختار (1/ 69)  

(وَالسُنَّةُ خَتْمُ الْقُرْآنِ فِي التَّرَاوِيحِ مَرَّةً وَاحِدَةً)


المبسوط للسرخسي (2/ 145)

أَنَّ التَّرَاوِيحَ سُنَّةٌ لَا يَجُوزُ تَرْكُهَا


بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (1/ 288)

الْقِيَامُ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ سُنَّةٌ لَا يَنْبَغِي تَرْكُهَا


بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (1/ 288)

وَأَمَّا سُنَنُهَا فَمِنْهَا الْجَمَاعَةُ وَالْمَسْجِدُ؛ لِأَنَّ النَّبِيَّ -صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ -قَدْرَ مَا صَلَّى مِنْ التَّرَاوِيحِ صَلَّى بِجَمَاعَةٍ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ، فَكَذَا الصَّحَابَةُ -رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ -صَلَّوْهَا بِجَمَاعَةٍ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ فَكَانَ أَدَاؤُهَا بِالْجَمَاعَةِ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ سُنَّةً


بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (1/ 288)

 وَمَنْ صَلَّاهَا فِي بَيْتِهِ وَحْدَهُ، أَوْ بِجَمَاعَةٍ لَا يَكُونُ لَهُ ثَوَابُ سُنَّةِ التَّرَاوِيحِ لِتَرْكِهِ ثَوَابَ سُنَّةِ الْجَمَاعَةِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ.


البناية شرح الهداية (2/ 550)  

«كان رسول الله - صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ - يرغب الناس في قيام رمضان من غير أن يأمر فيه بعزيمة، فيقول: " من قام رمضان إيمانا واحتسابا غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه



المبسوط للسرخسي (2/ 145)

 وَالصَّحِيحُ أَنْ يَنْوِيَ التَّرَاوِيحَ أَوْ السُّنَّةَ أَوْ قِيَامَ اللَّيْلِ وَلَوْ نَوَى مُطْلَقَ الصَّلَاةِ لَا تَجُوزُ عَنْ التَّرَاوِيحِ


بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (1/ 288)

وَمِنْهَا نِيَّةُ التَّرَاوِيحِ أَوْ نِيَّةُ قِيَامِ رَمَضَانَ، أَوْ نِيَّةُ سُنَّةِ الْوَقْتِ.


فتاؤي   دارالعلؤم زكريا ج  2   ص  542

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