taught by Sh Omar Suleiman on ILMFLIX


It has a very lofty status in our deen. Prophet said “Allah has added one more prayer for you, witr, so pray it between Isha and Fajr.” Majority of the scholars say it’s sunnah muakkadah. Abi Hanifah says it’s wajib. Sufyan Thawri : consensus that if person consistently neglects it, he’s sinful. In hadith literature, sometimes salawaat called different names, sometimes maghrib called Isha and Isha is called the second Isha. Isha called salat atama (prayer of dark). Fajr called many different names, dhuha different names. People think they’re a bunch of different prayers but they’re all the same prayers. Sometimes witr in hadith literature, refers to entire night of qiyam. Ibn Qayyim – any prayer that ends with odd number is called witr. If person prays 11 rakaat, the would call it 11 rakaat of witr

Authentic hadith in Tirmidhi : Umm Salamah said that Prophet saw did witr with 13 rakaat, and when he (saw) got older and weaker, he did witr with 7.This narration was talking about his entire night of qiyam but it became odd by the Prophet saw adding that single rakaat at end.

Abu Ayyub narrated that the Prophet saw said, “Witr is a haqq, right of Allah upon you, so whoever wants to pray witr with 7 rakaat let him do so and whoever wants to do with 5 let him do so and whoever wants to pray it with 3 then let him do so, and whoever wants to pray it with 1 then let him do so.”

Sometimes people abandon witr because they don’t want to do the dua and qunut, but the Prophet saw didn’t always do qunut. Sometimes he’d pray 1 rakaat and go to sleep. Just make it a habit.

Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet saw said, “You should perform salat layl even if it’s 1 rakaat.”

Witr is a form of qiyamulayl. Aisha said that Prophet saw prayed witr at various hours of the night from the beginning to the last hours of the night. Towards end of his life, he settled on last part of night.

Jabir narrated that the Prophet saw said, “Whoever fears he will not wake up at night, let him pray before he sleeps, whoever hopes he will wake up, let him pray at the end of night because the recitation at the end of the night, that is the witnessed recitation of the angels {better time to recite and pray witr}

So the Prophet saw generally encouraged delaying witr if one is to wake up at night for qiyamulayl. Abu Qatadah narrated that Prophet saw was sitting with Abu Bakr and Umar and asked them each, “When do you pray witr? Abu Bakr said, “I pray it early on in the night” and Umar said, “I pray it at end of night.” So Prophet saw said to Abu Bakr “he took the safe way, “and he pointed to Umar and said, “This one took the path that requires great determination and strength.” Prophet saw didn’t condemn either actions but praised it.

Prophet saw generally commanded sahabah to pray before they sleep. Abu Hurayrah was told by Prophet saw, “Don’t ever sleep without praying witr.” Prophet saw also said, “There are no 2 witrs in 1 night.” If you prayed witr before you slept and then you wake up for qiyam, you can’t redo witr and you can pray qiyam afterwards. This is an established sunnah of the Prophet saw. If you miss witr, and you wake up and the fajr azhan has started…then what?

Ibn Abbas once, in middle of masjid, prayed sunnah of Fajr and remade his witr (1 rakaat) and people came to him and said what are you doing? There is nothing between the sunnah and Fajr! He said, “I missed my witr last night and the Prophet saw taught us that if we miss it at night, we pray it when we wake up.”

Sunan to say in witr

Prophet saw used to recite Surah al A3la in first rakaat and al kafirun in 2nd rakaat and al ikhlas in 3rd.In some narrations, Prophet saw added muawidhatyn in the 3rd rakaat.

Prophet saw used to do things out of ordinary to show permissibility. He (saw) recited 100 ayat of surah An Nisaa in 1 rakaat witr, to show that you’re not bound by the above surah. Let’s say you’re memorizing and you want to recite in witr, you can.

Dua of qunoot

In narration of Abdurrahman ibn Ubayd : After the set dua of qunoot, he’d (saw) make dua against enemies of Islam and for well-being of Muslims. Prophet saw made different dua in qunoot and extended it. Then he’d say allahu akbar and go into sujud.. You can do qunoot before or after ruku. Both established by Prophet saw.

At end of his witr, Prophet saw would say before or after salam,

الّلَهُمَّ إنِّي اعُوذُ بِرِضَاكَ مِن سَخَتِك وَبِمُعَافَاتِكَ مِن عُقُوبَتِك وَاعُوذُبِكَ مِنكَ لاَ احصِي ثَنَاءََا عَلَيكَ انتَ كَمَا اثنَيتَ عَلى نَفسِكَ

allahumma inni a2oozhu biridhaaka min sakhatik wa bi mu3afaatika min 3uqoobatik wa a3uuzhubika mink laa uhsi thanaa an alayka anta kama athnayta ala nafsik [Oh Allah indeed I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your wrath and Your protection from Your punishment, I seek refuge in You from You. I cannot praise You enough and You are as You have praised Yourself]

then he’d say subhanal malikil quddoos,

سُبحَانَ المَلِكِ القُدُّوس

3 times, extending each each time, especially on 3rd one.

رَبِّ المَلاَئِكَة وَ الرُّوح

Rabbil malaaikati waruuh. That was how the Prophet saw ended his witr.

This is my notes from the ILF class Stranger In the Night, taught by Sh. Omar Suleiman. I thought I’d share my notes this way (piece meal)  on top of uploading them as 1 big file. It will also motivate me to actually finish cleaning it up in sha Allah! May it be of benefit. Ameen.


2 thoughts on “Witr

  1. so that means the maximum for witr is 13 and the minimum is 1?
    As per the conditions, we can choose any?
    Any particular recommendations of witr rakaahs?

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