The Arabic word tarweehah (of which Taraaweeh is the plural form) means “a pause for rest.” At the conclusion of each four rakahs, the worshippers sit and pause for a rest for a little while Salaat-ut-Taraaweeh (the Taraaweeh prayers) is a special form of prayer performed at night in the month of Ramadan, in sets of two rak’ahs each, after the Ishaa prayer and before the witr prayer.
Salaat-ut-Taraaweeh is a Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) both for men and women. Allah’s Messenger offered this prayer in the mosque during one night of Ramadan and some people joined him. The next day he did the same and more people prayed behind him. The same thing happened during the third night. The believers expected the Prophet to lead them in this prayer again on the fourth night, but he did not show up until Fajr prayer. To explain why he did so, he told them later “I was afraid it would have become obligatory on you, and you may not be able to carry on with it.” (Al-Bukhaaree)
Salaat-ut-Taraaweeh was eventually established as a regular congregational practice throughout the month of Ramadan during the Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab. In fact, Umar was the first to gather people behind one imam to perform this prayer.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Whoever stands in prayer during the nights of Ramadan with a firm belief and haoping for reward [from Allah], all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim)
It is considered preferable to perform the Taraaweeh prayers in congregation (jamaa’ah). The Quran should be recited in a clearly audible voice in this prayer. This is how Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) performed this prayer during these nights in the month of Ramadan.
The recitation of the complete text of the Quran in Taraaweeh is recommended in the course of the month of Ramadan. This will enable people to listen to the whole of the Quran and become aware of all of the commandments, prohibitions, teachings and warnings contained in it.
It is considered appropriate to postpone the night prayer called witr until after the Taraaweeh has been completed. The witr prayer is performed in congregation after the Taraaweeh.