The Fuqahā (jurists) are unanimous on the ruling of tarāwīḥ in the month of Ramadhan as ‘sunnah’. The Ḥanafī’s, Ḥanbalī’s and some Malikī’s have ruled it as sunnah mua’kaddah (emphasised).
Tarāwīḥ is sunnah for men and women alike, and is from among the salient features of Islam.
The Shafīʿīs opine that tarāwīḥ is sunnah but lower in status to those sunnah mua’kaddah (emphasised) ṣalāh which are performed in congregation and those performed alongside the fard (obligagtory) ṣalāh.
The Malikī’s consider tarāwīḥ to hold more significance to nafl (optional) salat.
According to the Shafīʿīs, those sunnah ṣalāh which are performed in congregation are superior to those nafl (optional) ṣalāh which are not prayed in congregation.
They hold that from amongst those sunnah salat which are performed with congregation, the Eid ṣalāh is the most superior, followed by the ṣalāh for a solar eclipse, then lunar eclipse, then the ṣalāh for rain and lastly tarāwīḥ.
Similarly, according to the Shafīʿīs, those sunnah ṣalāh which are subordinate to fard (obligatory) ṣalāh (such as fajr, zuhr, maghrib and ishā) are superior to tarāwīḥ, even though performing tarāwīḥ with congregation is sunnah.
According to the Ḥanbalī’s, from among the nafl (optional) , those which are performed with congregation are more virtuous, followed by sunnah mua’kaddah (emphasised) ṣalāh. And from the among those performed in congregation, the eclipse ṣalāh is superior, followed by the ṣalāh for rain, and then tarāwīḥ
(Adapted from Tarāwīḥ ke Aham Masā’il by Muftī Muhammad Riḍwan. Published by Kutub Khāna Idāra Gufrān, Rawalpindi.)
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