What do the scholars of the Din and muftis of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: when praying at home, can Tarawih prayer be prayed in sets of four rak’ats (units) instead of two? Is it permissible to read all 20 rak’ats together or is this disliked? If one reads in sets of four and does not recite Durood Ibrahim and dua after sitting in the second rak’at nor do they recite thanaa (subhanak Allah) in the third rakaat, is the Tarawih prayer accepted?


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

It is preferred to pray the Tarawih prayer in sets of two rak’at with a total of ten salaams.  However, offering the Tarawih prayer in sets of four is also permissible, without any dislike, on the condition; that after every two rak’ats, one is to sit in the position of qada, as mentioned in مجمع الانهر :

فَلَوْ صَلَّى أَرْبَعًا بِتَسْلِيمَةٍ وَلَمْ يَقْعُدْ فِي وَسَطِ كُلِّ أَرْبَعٍ لَا يَجُوزُ إلَّا عَنْ تَسْلِيمَةٍ وَهُوَ الصَّحِيحُ وَعَلَيْهِ الْفَتْوَى وَلَوْ قَعَدَ عَلَى رَأْسِ الرَّكْعَتَيْنِ الصَّحِيحُ أَنَّهُ يَجُوزُ عَنْ تَسْلِيمَتَيْنِ وَفِي الْمُحِيطِ لَوْ صَلَّى كُلَّهَا بِتَسْلِيمَةٍ وَقَدْ قَعَدَ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ فَالْأَصَحُّ أَنَّهُ يَجُوزُ عَنْ الْكُلِّ لِأَنَّهُ أَكْمَلَ الصَّلَاةَ وَلَمْ يُخَلِّ شَيْئًا مِنْ الْأَرْكَانِ

If one reads in a set of four comprising of one salaam only, and does not sit in the position of qada throughout, this will be considered as one (equal to two rak’ats) if a person offers four rak’ats but after every two he sits in qada this will be considered as two (equal to four rak’ats).

It is stated in Moheet; if the entire Tarawih is read with only one salaam but after every two rak’ats the qada position is maintained the Tarawih prayer will be established as one has not made any errors concerning the pillars of the Salah.

[Majma ul Anhor, chapter based on Tarawih v1 p136]

It is also stated in Bahare Shari’at that, one should offer twenty rak’at of Tarawih prayer with the salaam being offered after every two rak’ats however if one reads twenty rak’ats with only one salaam offered at the end; but does so in such a manner that after every two rak’ats he sits in the position of qada, this will suffice, but such method is disliked and not preferred. If qada (the sitting) is not established after every two rak’ats this will result in being equal to one (two rak’at).

[Bahare Shariat V1 P689]

There are some Ulama who do not deem the concept of joining twenty rak’ats of Tarawih as being disliked however according to the correct opinion reading twenty rak’ats at once is disliked as reading more than eight rak’ats of nawafil with one salaam at night is generally disliked as stated in Bahr.

وَفِي الْمُحِيطِ لَوْ صَلَّى التَّرَاوِيحَ كُلَّهَا بِتَسْلِيمَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَقَدْ قَعَدَ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ رَكْعَتَيْنِ فَالْأَصَحُّ أَنَّهُ يَجُوزُ عَنْ الْكُلِّ لِأَنَّهُ قَدْ أَكْمَلَ الصَّلَاةَ وَلَمْ يُخِلَّ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ الْأَرْكَانِ إلَّا أَنَّهُ جَمَعَ الْمُتَفَرِّقَ وَاسْتَدَامَ التَّحْرِيمَةَ فَكَانَ أَوْلَى بِالْجَوَازِ لِأَنَّهُ أَشَقُّ وَأَتْعَبُ لِلْبَدَنِ انْتَهَى وَظَاهِرُهُ أَنَّهُ لَا يَكْرَهُ وَقَدْ صَرَّحَ بِعَدَمِ الْكَرَاهَةِ فِي مُنْيَةِ الْمُصَلِّيوَلَا يَخْفَى مَا فِيهِ لِمُخَالَفَتِهِ الْمُتَوَارَثَ مَعَ تَصْرِيحِهِمْ بِكَرَاهَةِ الزِّيَادَةِ عَلَى ثَمَانٍ فِي مُطْلَقِ التَّطَوُّعِ لَيْلًا فَلَأَنْ يَكْرَهَ هُنَا أَوْلَى

[Bahr Ur Raaiq chapter of Tarawih volume 2 p73]

Reading in sets of four is not disliked, as no text that I have come across has suggested this. If one was to read in a set of four and after two rak’ats is to sit in the position of qada without reading the Durood or Dua, this will not invalidate the remaining Salah. The same applies to that person who stands in the third rak’at without reading thanaa.

Allah knows best

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haroon Raza

Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0483] Can we pray Tarawih prayer in rak’ats of 4 instead of 2?

Also see:

[Q-ID0691] Does not praying the Tarawih prayer make you sinful?

[Q-ID0501] Does the non-Fasting person have to pray the Tarawih prayer?

[Q-ID0476] What are the proofs for 20 rakaat Tarawih prayer?

[Q-ID0345] My local Imam recites too fast & makes mistakes, can I read shorter Tarawih elsewhere?

[Q-ID0343] Can I pray the Tarawih prayer at home instead of the Masjid?

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