Am I Allowed To Pray the Sunna Or Fard Behind the Tarawih Prayer?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Am I allowed to pray the sunna or fard prayer behind the Tarawih prayer?

If I a person were to come late to the masjid and the isha prayer has been prayed, can he join the tarawih prayer with the intention of fard, and could a person pray the two raka’s sunna of isha with the tarawih prayer?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The Obligatory Prayer

It is invalid to perform an obligatory (or necessary) prayer behind an Imam who is performing a Sunna prayer (such as Tarawih).

It is a condition of validity that the follower is praying the same exact obligatory or necessary prayer as the Imam. Otherwise, the prayer would only count as a voluntary prayer (with the exception of maghrib since there is no 3-unit voluntary prayer).

It will not count as an obligatory or necessary prayer.

The Sunna Prayer

It is permissible, however, for one to pray a Sunna or voluntary (Nafl) prayer behind an Imam who is praying 2 or 4 units of obligatory, necessary, sunna, or nafl prayer.

For example:

It is not permissible to pray ‘Isha behind an Imam praying Tarawih. It is permissible to pray the post-Isha prayer behind the Imam praying Tarawih.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.