“Personally, I am ambiguous about this entire mindset. While I can see it spurring the Muslim community to self-reform and to greater spirituality, that spirituality simply vanishes after Eid. The celebratory mood of Eid quickly erodes the mentality of self-discipline fostered during Ramadan. The holy month gives way to long ‘holey’ months where there are big gaping holes in our self-discipline and conduct. Perhaps the rationale of the thousand month benefit isn’t so helpful during the other eleven months apart from Ramadan itself.
It is the same problematic mindset with the tarweeh prayers. While I appreciate the concept of performing supererogatory acts for added benefits which after all, comes from the sincere desire to please God, the purpose of the tarweeh itself is not being met due to this ‘finish at any cost’ mentality. The tarweeh is traditionally used to rehearse the Qur’an in full. It is the tool Muslims use to orally verify the Qur’an every year apart from reading it in their daily salah prayers. From here alone, we can see what the problem is with many tarweeh sessions in the mosques. Because of our zeal to finish the reading in thirty days, the imam (prayer leader) attempts to finish one juz or part a day (the Qur’an has thirty parts). This task is simply impossible if one wants to actually make out the words during the readings in the tarweeh. I find these ‘bullet train readings’ not only unhelpful but also less than respectful to the Qur’an and to God. It is better for us to read at a moderate pace and not complete the entire thirty parts than to speed through the thirty parts and not get a thing.”