How to pray Witr

Witr (وتر) is a Sunnah Nafl Ṣalāh prayed only in odd numbers that was regularly observed & encouraged by our Prophet ﷺ. We’ll be taking a look into some of the narrations regarding it, how to offer this prayer, & the time it should be established.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “O people of The Qurʾān, pray Witr, for Allāh, the Mighty and Sublime, is Witr (One) and loves al-Witr (the odd numbered).” — Sunan Abū Dāwūd #1416, Ṣaḥīḥ according to Shaykh al-Albānī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Do not pray Witr prayer with three rakaʿāt like Maghrib.” — al-Mustadrak ʿala aṣ-Ṣaḥīḥayn, Sunan al-Bayhaqī, & Sunan ad-Dāraquṭnī, ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ said it’s Isnād fulfils the conditions of the two A’Immah; Imām al-Bukhārī & Imām Muslim رحمهم الله.

Abū Hurayrah رضي الله عنه narrated: “Allāh’s Messenger ordered me to perform al-Witr before sleeping.” — Jāmiʿ at-Tirmidhī #457, asan according to Shaykh Zubayr ʿAlī Zay رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-‘Uthaymīn رَحِمَهُ ٱللَّٰهُ (d. 1421 AH/2001 CE) explains: “It is permissible to pray Witr with three rakaʿāt, or with five, or with seven, or with nine. If a person prays Witr with three, it may be done in one of two ways, both of which are prescribed in the Sharīʿah:

  1. Praying the three rakaʿāt continually with one tashahhud.
  2. Saying sālam after two rakaʿāt, then praying one rakah on its own.

Both of these are narrated in the Sunnah, so if a person does it one way sometimes and the other way sometimes, that is good.

It is permissible to say it with one sālam, but it should be with only one tashahhud and not two, because if he does it with two tashahhuds, it will be like Maghrib prayer, and The Prophet forbade making it like Maghrib prayer.

May Allāh have abundant mercy upon Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-‘Uthaymīn & reward him for his great contributions to the religion of Islām.

All praise is due to Allāh, may His peace & blessings be upon our final Prophet Muḥammad, his family, his companions, & all those who follow him in guidance.

ash-Sharḥ al-Mumti’ ‘ala Zād al-Mustaqni’ (الشرح الممتع على زاد المستقنع) by Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-‘Uthaymīn | Volume 4, Pages 14-16

Ṣafīullāh Labīb ibn Salīm ʿAbd al-Malik
13th of Dhū al-Hijjah 1443


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