By Ismath Khatoon
Ramadan is right ahead; very soon we will be fasting, praying and hoping for our sins to be forgiven, trying to increase good deeds, and come closer to Allah. As stated in many ahadeeth, the best way to come closer to Allah is through supererogatory (optional) deeds after the obligatory deeds. One of such deeds is taraweeh prayers during Ramadan. Taraweeh is a stressed act of sunnah that a muslim should not leave. When performed with sincerity, faith and expectation of reward, it erases past sins.
Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “He who observes optional prayer (Taraweeh prayers) throughout Ramadan, out of sincerity of Faith and in the hope of earning reward will have his past sins pardoned.”
(Al- Bukhari and Muslim)
If one performs the taraweeh with the imam until he finishes praying, then the reward of praying all the night is recorded. Even more so, when performed with tranquility, reflection and by turning one’s heart to Allah, the act of ibadah weighs heavier on the scale of good deeds. Thus, our main focus during taraweeh should be attaining khushu and getting closer to Allah.
Abu Dharr (رضي الله عنه)narrated: “We fasted with the Prophet (ﷺ),… We said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Wouldn’t you lead us in prayer for the remainder of the night?’ He said: ‘Indeed, whoever stands (praying) with the Imam until he finished, then it is recorded for him that he prayed the whole night…”
khushu literally means fearing, obeying, being modest and submissiveness. Many of us pray Taraweeh in congregation at the mosque to attain this peace and an iman boost. Listening to the recitation from imam helps focus on meanings and build deep connection with the words of Allah.
According to the opinion of Shaikh Bin Baaz:
If a woman feels demotivated and fears that she will be lazy to perform taraweeh at home, then it is mustahab for her to offer it with the congregation, otherwise, her house is better.
Likewise, sisters with young children also turn up to mosque to pray in congregation. Children play games with music on electronic gadgets, shout, run through the rows while sisters try to focus on prayers and get Khushu. Where it is understood that the nature of child is such and that they cannot be expected to sit quietly in one place, the fact cannot be ignored that the basic essence of prayer, which is attention and feeling tranquil, is lost for many. Sisters trying to focus in prayers are sometimes not able to listen to the recitation due to the noise. It also becomes difficult to do sujood in some cases when a child comes in front or sits in front of someone praying. Sometimes the imam needs to make announcement requesting sisters to keep children silent. In such a scenario, the question arises; are we attaining the required khushu while praying at mosque OR is our prayer filled more with Khushu when we pray at home? If we are keen on pleasing Allah, then there are many things that we can consider to bring Khushua in ours as well as other’s Prayers while praying with children at mosque.
Some of the ways that can be considered to avoid such a situation are:
- If our children are above 4 years of age we can train them to listen to the imam and imitate prayer actions with us.
- We can let our children play during the day and try to keep them from sleeping, so that they can sleep in the mosque while we pray taraweeh.
- We can make arrangement so that we leave our children with a sister and pay her for taking care of them while we pray at mosque.
- Sisters having young children can together share this responsibility. Each day one of them can take turn to stay at home and take care of children while the others pray at mosque.
- If infants cry during prayers we can make slight movements such as stroking them gently and trying to calm them down instead of leaving them to cry . If the child doesn’t stop crying then it is permissible to stop praying in order to quieten them for fear that the prayers of others may be disturbed.
- We can discuss with sisters experienced in this matter and get some advice that can be implemented.
- If we choose to pray at home while taking care of our children, but miss the lengthy recitation at mosque, then it is permissible to recite from a mus’haf (Qurán) and lengthen the prayer.
May Allah make this Ramadan a means to attain forgiveness, reap abundant rewards, attain and maintain khushu in salah, and raise our ranks in Jannah. Ameen.