If a person has prayed his Taraweeh and then leads others as an Imam in Tarawih, is there anything wrong with this, since he has already prayed it?
According to the Hanafi School, Tarawih prayer is a specific type of prayer performed in the month of Ramadhan that is individually Sunna for both men and women. It is different from the normal voluntary (nafl) Prayer. (Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 1/116)
As such, it is not correct to offer this prayer twice with the intention of Tarawih on both occasions, just as it is not permitted to offer an obligatory (fard) prayer twice with the same intention. However, it is permitted to offer this prayer twice with different intentions, i.e. with the intention of Tarawih on the first occasion and Nafl on the second occasion, just as it is permitted to join in a congregation of Fard with the intention of Nafl after having performed one’s own Fard prayer.
Due to this, the Hanafi jurists (fuqaha) assert that it is not permitted for the one who has already offered his Tarawih prayer (as an Imam or a follower) to lead others in Tarawih, given that, being an Imam, he will be required to make an intention of Sunna. However, he is allowed to follow another Imam with the intention of Nafl.
It is stated in Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:
“It is not permitted for one to lead Tarawih prayers in two separate Mosques, in a complete manner [i.e. leading the full twenty Rak’ats in each Mosque. However, if one was to lead some Rak’ats in one Mosque and the remainder in another Mosque, then this is permitted].” (Al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 1/116)
It is stated in Hashiya al-Tahtawi ala Maraqi al-Falah:
“It is [prohibitively] disliked (makruh) for one to lead the Tarawih prayer twice in one night, and the Fatwa is on this position. This is because a Sunna is not to be repeated in one time, hence the second prayer would be considered Nafl [and a person offering Nafl prayers can not lead those who are offering Sunna prayers]…” (Maraqi al-Falah with the Hashiya of Tahtawi, P: 412)
In conclusion, if a person has already performed his Tarawih prayer, then he is not allowed to lead others in Tarawih on the same night. However, it is permitted for him to follow another Imam in Tarawih, since his intention now will be that of Nafl prayers.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK