Don’t leave your WitrPosted: May 10, 2012
Salaat Al-Witr is a confirmed Sunnah of the Prophet, salah allahu ‘alayhi wa salam. He performed this prayer during stay and travel, and he never abandoned it. This reflects the importance of the act.
The Prophet, salah allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, said, ‘O People of the Quran, perform Witr, for Allah is Witr and He loves Witr’ [Sahih by Al-Albani]
When can it be performed?
Witr is to be prayed after Ish’aa and extends until Fajer prayer.
On the account of Abi Basrah, The Prophet, salah allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, said, “Allah has prescribed for you an extra prayer, so pray it between Ishaa’ and Fajer” [Ahmad]
Is there a preferable time?
The last third of the night is more preferable since the prayer is witnessed by the Angels. However, those who fear they won’t wake up before Fajer to pray it, can pray it after right after Ishaa, or before they go to bed.
“Whoever fears that he will not get up at the end of the night, let him pray Witr at the beginning of the night, but whoever thinks that he will be able to get up at the end of the night, let him pray Witr at the end of the night, for prayer at the end of the night is witnessed (by the angels) and that is better.” [Narrated by Muslim, 755]
How many rak’aas do I pray?
Witr is to be prayed in 1, 3, 5, 7,9, 11, etc. amount of rak’aah (in odd numbers). The least is one rak’aah and it is considered Witr. So, if you want to pray just one rak’aah or 3 at the beginning or end of the night, then that’s fine. The Prophet, salah allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, said, ‘Witr is a rak’aah at the end of the night’ [Muslim]
Yet, the preferred or best amount is 11 because this is what the Prophet, salah allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, prayed. You would pray 10 (in 2′s) and then end it with 1 rak’aah. Aisha narrates that the Prophet used to pray 11 rak’aah as night, and he would make witr with one rak’aah at the end. He would also conclude after every two rak’aah with salam.
What do I recite?
From the hadith of Aisha, which was reported in Al-Tirmidhi, the Prophet, salah allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, used to recite in the first rak’aah, ’Sabih Isma rabika Al-’Alaa’, the second, ‘Qul ya ayuha al-kafiroon’, and the third, ‘Qul huwa Allahu Ahad’.
Is there a specif Du’aa (supplication) to recite?
Yes, it is recommened to make du’aa Al-Qunoot but it is not obligatory. The du’aa is recited in your last rak’aah (the last singular one) and it is said right after your rukoo’ and before your prostration. You would then recite this du’aa:
“Allaahumma ihdini feeman hadayta wa ‘aafini feeman ‘aafayta wa tawallani feeman tawallayta wa baarik li feema a’tayta, wa qini sharra ma qadayta , fa innaka taqdi wa la yuqda ‘alayk, wa innahu laa yadhillu man waalayta wa laa ya’izzu man ‘aadayta, tabaarakta Rabbana wa ta’aalayta la manja minka illa ilayk”
How important is it?
The night prayers (qiyaamul layl) are the best prayers after the obligatory ones, and it includes witr. Hence, we should be more than keen to grasp this vast opportunity of reward, especially nowadays that we are healthy and able. If you feel tired, pray just 1 or 3. If you feel strong then pray more. The best would be to stick to a number and keep adding until it becomes a habit. Don’t overburden yourself right from the start. Begin with 1 rak’aah for a month or two, then increase to 3 for another several months, and so on..
The point is to utilize this time we have on earth to put forth the most effort to gain reward, and please Allah Ta’ala. Remember, this deen is about consistency, so put a goal for yourself. If you feel that its difficult to pray at night and fulfill witr…then your iman needs a booster. Strive to make du’aa, recite the daily remembrance, fast, and perform the voluntary prayers, and learn more. Remember, all this begins with sincerity, so let’s do it purely for Allah’s sake. By the will of Allah, you’ll find your iman will soon increase and you’ll be able to perform the night prayers like the Prophet, salah allahu ‘alayhi wa salam, did - bi ithnillah.