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Sunnah 49: Pray the Witr prayer

June 7, 2010

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah is Witr and loves what is Witr. So perform Witr prayer O followers of Qur’an.” [Tirmidhi]

The witr prayer is considered a sunnah mu’akkada (a confirmed sunnah), which means the Prophet (pbuh) never left it. “Witr” literally means one or odd number. “Allah is Witr” means He is One in Attributes and Actions and has no equal. Abu Huraira (ra) was advised to observe the witr prayer and never leave it [Bukhari and Muslim].

Ali (ra) said that the Prophet (pbuh) never left it no matter the situation. It was reported that the Prophet (pbuh) would wake up Aisha (ra) to pray the witr [Muslim].

As for when the witr prayer is to be prayed, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “He who apprehends that he may not get up in the later part of the night, should observe the Witr prayer in the first part of it; and he who is certain to get up in the last part of it, he should observe Witr at the end of the night, because prayer at the end of the night is attended (by the angels), and that is better.” [Muslim] It is reported that Abu Bakr (ra) would pray in the beginning of the night for fear of not waking up, while Umar (ra) would pray at the end of the night.

These are two ways in which to perform witr depending on which opinion you follow:

1- Three rak`ahs exactly as we perform the Maghrib Prayer (Hanafi School)

2- One sole rak’a of witr, which is usually preceded by two rak`ahs (called al-shaf’), unless one is praying in the last part of the night and has no time for the 2 rak’as shaf’. (Maliki school and others)

[Excerpted from tarbiyaonline]

In the last rak’a (whether one is praying three in one go or 2 followed by one), after one rises from rukoo’ and praises Allah, He makes du’a. This is called “qunoot”. Click here to read the du’as that are read during the qunoot of the witr prayer.

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