Should she pray Taraaweeh or respond to her husband’s requests?
It is permissible for a Muslim to pray Taraaweeh all together or to break it up. If someone wants to pray it at the beginning of the night or in the middle or at the end, without doing anything else in between, he can do that and there is nothing wrong with that. If someone wants to pray part of it at the beginning of the night and delay the rest until the end of the night, there is nothing wrong with that either.
Based on this, it is permissible for a woman to pray Taraaweeh then to take a break between each two rak’ahs to attend to the needs of her husband or children, and that does not affect her prayer; indeed she will be rewarded both for her prayer and for serving her husband and looking after the house.
The husband’s rights also come before Taraaweeh prayer, because his rights over his wife are obligatory whereas Taraaweeh is Sunnah, and what is obligatory takes precedence over what is Sunnah.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade women to observe naafil (supererogatory) fasts without their husbands’ permission.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a woman to fast when her husband is present without his permission, or to allow anyone into his house except those for whom he gives permission, and whatever she spends of his money without being told to, half of the reward for that will go to him.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4899; Muslim, 1026.
The reason why this is forbidden is that if she fasts and neglects her husband’s right to intimacy because she is observing a naafil fast, it is not permissible to do something that is naafil and neglect something that is obligatory.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said:
This hadeeth indicates that the husband’s right is more binding on the woman than her observing a voluntary action, because his right is obligatory, and fulfilling an obligatory duty takes precedence over observing a voluntary action.
Fath al-Baari, 9/296
So the wife has to combine the two actions without either going to extremes or neglecting her duties.
And the husband should not keep distracting his wife busy with insignificant matters that she could delay; he should help her to pray qiyaam, make du’aa’ and read Qur’aan. That will be good for him, for her and for their family.
And Allaah knows best.
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