Women’s Taraweeh at home or Masjid?


{jb_quote}It is preferrable and closer to Sunnah for women to pray Taraweeh Salah at home.{/jb_quote}

Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA)

Q.) Is it permissible for three sisters who have completed their hifz of Qur'an to have taraweeh in their house with their mother? The Imam will be one of the sisters and will stand in the saff (row) with the rest of the followers. The sole purpose will be to improve the memorization of the Qur'an.

There is a hadith in Ela'us Sunan of Maulana Zafar Thanavi, Rahmatu-Allah alayhi, regarding the non permissibility of Jamaat of women. Is that only for the fard prayer? Or does it also include nafl/tarweeh prayers? What will be the answer of the precedence in which Sayyidah Aishah, Radi-Allahu-anha, made Imamat of women?

A.) It is normally not advisable, rather it is Makruh to hold a congregational prayer for women; the Holy Prophet has directed them to perfrom their prayers alone in their houses. But if women make a congregational prayer in order to improve the memorization of Qur'an as is in your case, it may be permitted with the following conditions:

  1. It is not regarded as a better way of prayer for women.
  2. No other woman is invited to join the congregation
  3. The Imam should stand in the center of the row and not in the front of the followers

Q) Can women pray taraweeh at home on their own even if they are not a hafizah? If yes how do they pray? i.e. what surah's should be read and how many rakat?

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

For a woman, praying in the depths of her house has more reward than praying in the mosque. Some scholars mention that women attain the same reward praying at home as men get for praying in congregation. So yes definitely one can pray tarawih at home even when one is not a hafizah.

According to the majority of the fuqaha, tarawih prayer is a confirmed sunna with 20 rakahs. These acts of worship are just the means for us to draw closer to Allah Most High. The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, Anyone who stands in prayers during its nights with purity of belief and expectation of a reward, will have his previous sins forgiven." Also as other hadiths tells us, the rewards for good deeds and acts of worship are multiplied manifold during Ramadan.

Tarawih is prayed in sets of 2 rakahs. Any Quranic recitation one knows by heart or usually recites in obligatory and other supererogatory prayers can be recited in tarawih prayers as well though keeping a sequence in recitation is recommended.

The word Tarawih means the act of taking rest. After every 4 rakahs, it is recommended (mustahhab) to rest and do dhikr. Some scholars mention the duration of the rest to the extent of praying 4 rakahs while others say it can be shortened.

The time for Tarawih is from after isha prayer to just around suhur time.

- Umm Kaleem.

Q) I have a question regarding the taraweeh prayers of women. I understand that there is a hadith which says that it is better for women to pay at home. But why did the women at the time of the prophet (saw) perform all their prayers at the mosque? Also, going to the mosque to do taraweeh prayers means that I get to listen to the recitation of the holy Qur'an. I don't know many surahs myself which I can recite in my prayer. Another thing is that in the mosque, I spend 2 hours in worship whereas at home I spend less than an hour. In light of the above, would it be better for me to pray at home or at the mosque?

Wa Alaykum Assalam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

From a previous question answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani:

At the same time, if there is a reason to go to the mosque, such as learning, meeting with other Muslim women, or if one is out of the house for a need and the time for prayer is in, then there is nothing disliked about praying in the mosque whatsoever.

Rather, top traditional scholars say that women in situations (such as those prevalent in the West) where they are not in regular company of committed Muslim women should try to actively go to the mosque or Islamic center in order to sustain their faith and religious commitment through its essential factors: beneficial knowledge, worship, good company, and the remembrance of Allah in all its forms.

It is in this context, given the times, that we should keep in mind the words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), 'Do not prevent women from attending the mosque, even though their houses are better for them.' [Abu Dawud]

Be avid for that which benefits you.


SunniPath Fiqh Team

Q) Concerning the answers to whether women should attend the masjid for congregational prayers or not: If the female is not married, then is it alright for her to attend the congregational prayers such as Jumu'ah, tarawee, or the daily prayers. Also, even if the female is married, if attending the masjid to pray the congregational prayers does not interrupt her moral responsibilities in the house, then is it permitted to attend the prayers in the masjid?

Walaikum assalam,

The ruling is that it is disliked for women, whether married or single, to go to the mosque to pray, as the Lawgiver has explained that their 'optimal' prayer is at home. However, if they go for another acceptable reason, in a manner that does not lead to the non-fulfillment of other duties or in an inappropriate way, this would be permitted, or in some cases even rewarded.

Actions are by intentions, when the means taken are sound.

Walaikum assalam,