Tarawih (تراويح) is an Arabic Word referring to extra prayers given
by Muslims at night in the Islamic month of Ramadan.
The Muslims believe tarawih is a Sunnah salat and may be performed
at home if one is unable to attend a mosque. According to this tradition,
Muhammad peace be upon him initially prayed the tarawih in congregation during
Ramadan but later discontinued this practice out of fear that Muslims
would start to believe the prayers to be mandatory, rather than
a sunnah. During the time when Umar ibn al-Khattab was the Caliph,
he reinstated the practice when there was no longer any fear of
people taking it as something mandatory.
Tarawih prayers are prayed in pairs of two and can be prayed in
any even amount of rak'ah, although 8 or 20 raka'ahs are what Muslims
usually pray. This prayer is performed only during Ramadan of the
Islamic Calendar after salah of Isha'a. Muslims believe it
is customary to attempt a khatm (complete recitation) of the Qur'an
in Ramadan by reciting about one part(juz) per night in tarawih. If
someone does not know how to read Qur'an or cannot read it very
well, they may recite Surahs that they know.