Question 7 : Assalamualaikum Shaikh.
I am wondering which one takes precedence? 1) Going to the mosque to pray Isha, taraweeh, and witr in congregation or 2) if wife is unable to go to mosque due to certain circumstances like (kids sleeping time, etc), pray all these prayers in congregation with family at home. Also please take into consideration that unlike Australia, countries that have long days like US, Canada, Europe, where Isha is at >10pm and teraweeh at the mosque ends at >12am, bearing in mind that most brothers work the next day at 8am.
Jazakumullahu khayran wa barakallahu feekum.
Answer : Walaikumussalam Brother,
I can imagine how hard that can be ending Taraweeh at 12am or after with work the next morning at 8am – may Allah bless your time with best of deeds, ameen.
What takes more precedence – Isha at Masjid with Taraweeh or at home with family? Both are very important. Isha at Masjid is no doubt has precedence over doing it at home if circumstances permit doing at Masjid. And still creating a pious atmosphere at home in the manner you described is very important too especially where piety is not as easy to find around.
Praying Fard prayer in Masjid is a very highly important and emphasized Sunnah according to vast majority of scholars; and moreover a compulsory duty if live close enough to Masjid according to the other non-majority opinion of scholars.
If we consider Isha in Masjid to be highly recommended Sunnah close to wajib but not wajib, then I myself in such a situation would try that on weekends (Fri and Sat evenings) I can pray Isha at Masjid and take my family with kids too. This may disrupt their sleep routine but the atmosphere of Jama’ah in Masjid in Ramadan is so important in some countries, that it outweighs a little disruption in kids’ sleep for the special occasion of Ramadan on weekends. Moreover this can have the kids realise from young age that our lives revolve around the obedience of Allah and not the other way around – a very important Tarbiyah point. This slight sleep disruption will be 8 days in the year (ie 4 weekends in Ramadan) and no more. The benefit of their experiencing the Ramadan atmosphere, to me, outweighs a small disruption in sleep etc for the weekends in Ramadan.
But as for the weekdays, two good options come to my mind. One is if you alone went to the Masjid and prayed Isha and returned home and prayed short but sweet Taraweeh with family before sleeping early. A second option if first is not possible if Masjid is too far is to just pray Isha and Taraweeh with family at home from Sundays to Thursdays. This can be also a great atmosphere for Tarbiyah though only second/inferior to that of Masjid in Jama’ah.
Of course, in any of the above alternatives, we can also try sleeping after work and before Maghrib and Isha to help for work the next day.
To sum up, I would try Ramadan weekends at Masjid for the whole family for its special atmosphere and other benefits while Taraweeh at home on weekdays given in Masjid it ends past midnight with work at 8am the next day. Reasonable bearable disruption to routine for the specialness of Ramadan maybe a big Tarbiyah for children whereas the opposite can do much harm.
Ps: In Melbourne during Ramadan in Summer it’s not too different though the Masaajid pray shorter ie one hour Taraweeh usually.