Is it permissible to perform Taraweeh salaah at home? Also, i wanted to know if you have to read Esha salaah first prior to the Taraweeh prayer?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
To perform salaah in congregation is an act of great virtue and merit. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
“To perform salaah in a congregation is 27 times superior than performing individually.” (Sunan ibn Majah 1/434 Dar al-Ma’rifah)
If it was announced that after the Esha prayer in the masjid, 10,000 dollars are going to be distributed amongst the congregation, every person would rush towards the masjid. To perform one salaah in congregation is far more virtuous and rewarding than receiving a couple of thousand dollars.
Imam Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) states, “Taraweeh is a communal Sunnah, that is, if they are not performed in congregation at all in the Mosque, then the entire community wo0uld be at blame and, with persistence, would be sinful. However, if some members of the community performed them in congregation in the Mosque, and a person in the community performed them in his home, he would have left a more virtuous deed. Even if he performed them in congregation in his home, he would have missed the merit of doing so in the Mosque. (Radd al-Muhtar 2/45 H.M Saeed)
Hence, one should do all he can to acquire the reward. However, if there is a genuine reason to perform Taraweeh prayer at home such as illness, disability or paralysis, then one will be excused from attending the congregation. (Hashiyah at-Tahtaawi p.297)
As for a hafidh of the Quran who wants to lead the Taraweeh prayer to preserve his memorised Quran, it will be permissible for him to perform Taraweeh somewhere else besides a masjid. It is hoped from the mercy of Allah he will reap the reward of performing salaah in the masjid. Taraweeh in the masjid is considered to be a communal sunnah (sunnah alal kifaayah), hence the hafidh will be excused from attending a masjid. Also, from amongst the reasons which make a person excused from attending the congregational prayer is considerable fear of harm upon himself, wealth, dignity or health. The fear of a hafidh in relation to his Quran is substantial. Thus, he will be excused from being present in the masjid congregation. (al-Fiqh al-Islaami wa Adillatuhu 2/159)
As far as your second query, Esha salaah must be performed first. Taraweeh salaah will not be valid if it performed prior to the Esha salaah. The Taraweeh prayer is subordinate to the Esha prayer. (Fatawa al-Mahmudiyyah 7/264 Idaarah Farooqiah) (Radd al-Muhtaar 2/44)
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best