Can one join the taraaweeh congregation with the intention of performing Esha prayer?
One would not be permitted to join the tarawih with the intention of the Esha prayer. This is simply because a person who intends to read a Farz prayer cannot follow a person who intends to read a nafl prayer.
Therefore ones prayer/ salah will not be done.
(Raddul Muhtar p 324 V.2)
Furthermore the Holy Prophet (saw) has said;
‘The Imam is made so that he can be followed.’ (Bukhari vp.150 v.1)
Hence, if the Imam and the follower’s intentions are different, then the follower cannot follow the Imam.
Regarding your question, whether tahajjud salah can be performed with jammat in the last 10 days of Ramadhan or not.
Some Hanafi scholars like Hazrat Hussain Ahmed Madani (ra) would hold tahajjud salah with jamaat in the month of Ramadhan. Other Hanafi Jurists disagree and remain firm on the original view of the Hanafi school of thought that nafl prayer held with jammat is makruh.
According to the Hanafi Madhhab, it is disliked (makruh) to offer Tahajjud and other Nafl prayers in congregation (jama’ah), except for the Tarawih prayer (in Ramadhan), eclipse prayer (kusuf) and drought prayer (istisqa).
Allama Ibn Abidin (ra) has said:
“If a habit is made of offering Nafl prayers in congregation, then it will be regarded as an innovation (bid’a), hence Makruh.” (Radd al-Muhtar p.500 v.2)
The reason for it being disliked is that the Holy Prophet (saw) encouraged us to read nafl prayers at home.
Zaid ibn Thabit (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “O people! Offer your prayers at home, as the most virtuous prayer for an individual is that which is offered at home,
except for the obligatory (fard) prayers.” (Nasaai)
This is also, more or less the ruling in the Maliki Madhhab, i.e. it is disliked to offer nafl prayers in congregation.
According to the Shafee mazhab it is sunnah that Nafl prayers are not offered in congregation. However, if one did offer them in congregation, it will be permissible without it being Makruh.” (Mugni p.333 v.1)
According to the Hanbali Madhhab, it is totally permissible to offer nafl prayer in congregation.
(Al-Mawsuul-Fiqhiyah& Mugni p.333 v.1)
However, the practices of my noble and respected teachers was that in the month of Ramadhan if a few brothers or the mutakefeen’s gather in the mosque and read their tahajjud salah with Jammat then there will be nothing wrong with it.
After all it is the month of Ramadhan and one should strive to do as much good deeds as possible.
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta, Birmingham.