Taraweeh is a voluntary prayer that Muslims perform during the month of Ramadan. Some people believe that Taraweeh is a bid'ah, which is an innovation in religion that is not part of it with the intention of worshipping Allah and getting closer to him. However, this belief is not true. The Prophet Muhammad himself initiated the Sunnah of Taraweeh, and the Hadith about it is authentic.
The Prophet led the companions in Taraweeh prayer for three or four nights, and then he stopped. The companions asked him to continue the practice, and he replied that he stopped because he was afraid that Allah would make it obligatory upon the Ummah, which would lead to hardship. The Prophet was so merciful to his Ummah that he did not want to burden them with more obligations.
After the Prophet died, what he had feared did not happen. Nobody can obligate night prayer because the Prophet is no longer alive. That is why, when Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) saw Muslims praying in groups during Ramadan, he ordered Ubay ibn Ka'b to lead them in Taraweeh, and they prayed behind one imam rather than being segregated and spread all over the masjid behind many Imams. When Umar saw this, he approved it and said that this is something that is good.
The term bid'ah has both a linguistic and religious meaning. Linguistically, it means something new. However, religiously, bid'ah is an innovation that goes against the established teachings of Islam. In the case of Taraweeh, the Prophet revived his Sunnah, which is not a bid'ah in the religious sense. Therefore, Taraweeh is not a religious bid'ah and is considered a virtuous practice among Muslims. Furthermore, Taraweeh prayer is an excellent opportunity for Muslims to increase their reward and get closer to Allah during Ramadan. It is a time to reflect on one's relationship with Allah, recite the Quran, and seek forgiveness for one's sins. The Prophet Muhammad used to emphasize the importance of voluntary prayers, saying that they are a means of drawing closer to Allah and earning more reward.
It is also essential to note that the way Taraweeh is performed may vary across different Muslim communities and cultures. Some communities may perform it with eight or twenty units of prayer, while others may perform it with more or fewer units. However, the fundamental principle remains the same, and the intention should always be to please Allah and seek his blessings.
In conclusion, Taraweeh is not a bid'ah in the religious sense, and it is a recommended Sunnah practice established by the Prophet Muhammad himself. It is a time to increase one's devotion to Allah, recite the Quran, and seek forgiveness for one's sins. Muslims should embrace the opportunity to perform Taraweeh and strive to make the most of this blessed month of Ramadan.