Performing tarāwīḥ in congregation is substantiated and sunnah according to the majority of fuqahā (jurists).
However, according to the Ḥanafī’s, performing tarāwīḥ in congregation is sunnah ala-l kifāyah (communal sunnah). Therefore, if all the people of a community omit congregating, they will all be blameworthy.
On the other hand, if the entire community does not forego the congregation; however, a few individuals perform at home without congregation, they will not be sinful, but nevertheless be deprived of the reward of congregation. Nonetheless, if they perform in congregation at home, they will attain the reward of congregation but not the reward of the masjid. If one was not able to come to the masjid due to a valid reason, it is hoped that such a person will not be deprived of the reward of the masjid.
According to the Mālikī’s, if a large number of people perform tarāwīḥ in the masjid and the masājid are thereby not neglected, it is mustaḥabb (recommended) for the remaining people to perform at home, on the condition they perform it with enthusiasm and do not forego it.
According to the more authoritative opinion of the Shafīʿīs, it is sunnah to perform tarāwīḥ in congregation.
The Hanbalī’s opine that performing tarāwīḥ in congregation is more virtuous than performing alone.
Furthermore, the virtue of congregation can be attained by even two people, even if the second is a child or woman.
The above is proof that tarāwīḥ can be performed at home; in congregation or alone (if there is a need).
(Adapted from Tarāwīḥ ke Aham Masā’il by Muftī Muhammad Riḍwan. Published by Kutub Khāna Idāra Gufrān, Rawalpindi.)
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