Q: As Salaamu Alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh Sheikh,
I’ve been noticing this lately at the Masjid (women side). If someone who has not performed Salaat-ul ‘Ishaa yet, arrives late at the mosque and finds that the congregation are performing Salaat-ut Taraaweeh, should she join them with the intention to perform Salaat-ul ‘Ishaa and then after continues with them performing Salaat-ut Taraaweeh or should she perform Salaat-ul ‘Ishaa first on her own and after that join the congregation for the rest of Salaat-ut Taraaweeh? Jazaakum Allahu khair for the answers, Alhamdulillah for the answers Imam, may Allah bless you and your family and reward you abundantly. Amin
A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
Although there has been a view that allows for what you have descried, we are of a different opinion. Here are some facts to better assist you.
The imams niyah for Taraweeh is not the same as the niyah of Isha. Isha is fard, Taraweeh intention is not in the category of Fard. Therefore, the one that joins the imaam with a fard niyah while the imaam has a niyah of that which is viewed as sunnah (in this case the taraweeh imaam) — then due to the mismatch of niyah, such a joining of the imaam would be incorrect.
Worst yet, some modern day imaams do not view taraweeh as even neccassary and thus insist of making the niyah of nafl when performing Taraweeh, thus, performing Isha behind such an imaam would surely invalidate your Isha.
The one that missed the fard should first complete the fard of isha then join the taraweeh prayer. This would be the best thing to do.
As for yourself, do not get into arguments with such people; let them do as they please. If they are people of understanding, you may explain the above.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.