WITR & DUHA PRAYERS
VIRTUES REWARDS RULINGS
Witr prayer is one of the greatest acts of worship that draw one closer to Allaah. The Prophet never neglected it, he ﷺ even prayed Witr when travelling.
‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
“O people of the Qur’aan, pray Witr, for Allaah is One and loves that which is odd-numbered.”
(Abu Dawood; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).
Some of the scholars – the Hanafis – even thought that it is one of the obligatory prayers, but the view of the majority is that it is one of the Sunnah mu’akkadah which the Muslim should observe regularly and not neglect.
Imam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Whoever neglects Witr is a bad man whose testimony should not be accepted”.
It’s the same as Qiyaam ul Layl discussed in the previous class. It starts when a person has prayed ‘Isha’, even if it is joined to Maghrib at the time of Maghrib, and lasts until dawn begins, because the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Allaah has prescribed for you a prayer (by which He may increase your reward), which is Witr; Allaah has enjoined it for you during the time between ‘Isha’ prayer until dawn begins.”
(al-Tirmidhi; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).
Is it better to offer this prayer with Isha prayer or delay it?
The Sunnah indicates that if a person thinks he will be able to get up at the end of the night, it is better to delay it, because prayer at the end of the night is better and is witnessed (by the angels). But whoever fears that he will not get up at the end of the night should pray Witr before he goes to sleep, because of the hadeeth of Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “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.” (Sahih Muslim).
Al-Nawawi said: This is the correct view. Other ahaadeeth which speak of this topic in general terms are to be interpreted in the light of this sound, specific and clear report, such as the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah, “My close friend (the Prophet ﷺ) advised me not to sleep without having prayed Witr.” (Agreed upon). This is to be understood as referring to one who is not sure that he will be able to wake up (to pray Witr at the end of the night). Sharh Muslim, 3/277.
So we can conclude that the best is to Pray at the last part of the night, then it is to offer it before going to sleep and if a person doubts he/she might miss it out of forgetfulness or laziness then he should offer it with right after Isha.
Praying Witr like Maghrib (with raising hands before Qunoot)
It was proven that the Prophet ﷺ prayed Witr in different ways (discussed below). He ﷺ did not pray it like Maghrib, with two tashahhuds and one salaam. Rather he ﷺ forbade doing that, and said: “Do not pray Witr with three rak’ahs like Maghrib.” [al-Haakim, al-Bayhaqi, & al-Daaraqutni); Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in Fath al-Baari: Its isnaad fulfils the conditions of the two Shaykhs (al-Bukhaari and Muslim)].
Raising the hands for Takbeer before reciting Du’aa’ al-Qunoot makes no difference in fact, because there are four places in which the hands should be raised during prayer:
1. When saying Takbeer al-ihraam (takbeer for starting the prayer)
2. When bowing in rukoo’
3. When standing up from rukoo’
4. When standing up after the first tashahhud
THE NUMBER OF RAK’AHS
The minimum number of rak’ahs for Witr is one rak’ah, because the Prophet ﷺ said: “Witr is one rak’ah at the end of the night.” (Sahih Muslim). And he ﷺ said: “The night prayers are two (rak’ahs) by two, but if one of you fears that dawn is about to break, let him pray one rak’ah to make what he has prayed odd-numbered.” (Bukhaari & Muslim). If a person limits himself to praying one rak’ah, then he has performed the Sunnah. But Witr may also be three or five or seven or nine.
If a person prays three rak’ahs of Witr this may be done in two ways, both of which are prescribed in sharee’ah:
In the first rak’ah one should recite Soorat al-A’la 87. In the second one should recite Soorat al-Kaafiroon (109), and in the third Soorat al-Ikhlaas (112).
Narrated that Ubayy ibn Ka’b said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ used to recite in Witr Soorat al-A’la, Soorat al-Kaafiroon and Soorat al-Ikhlaas. (An-Nisai’i; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).
Five or Seven Rakahs
If he prays Witr with five or seven rak’ahs, then they should be continuous, and he should only recite one tashahhud in the last of them and say the tasleem, because of the report narrated by ‘Aa’ishah (R.A.) who said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ used to pray thirteen rak’ahs at night, praying five rak’ahs of Witr, in which he would not sit except in the last rak’ah. (Sahih Muslim).
And it was narrated that Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: The Prophet ﷺ used to pray Witr with five or seven (rak’ahs) and he did not separate between them with any salaam or words. (Ahmad & al-Nasaa’I; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani).
If he prays Witr with nine rak’ahs, then they should be continuous and he should sit to recite the tashahhud in the eighth rak’ah, then stand up and not say the tasleem, then he should recite the tashahhud in the ninth rak’ah and then say the tasleem. It was narrated in Muslim (746) from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet ﷺ used to pray nine rak’ahs in which he did not sit except in the eighth, when he would remember Allaah, praise Him and call upon Him, then he would get up and not say the tasleem, and he would stand up and pray the ninth (rak’ah), then he would sit and remember Allaah and praise Him and call upon Him, then he would say a tasleem that we could hear.
All these ways of offering Witr prayer have been mentioned in the Sunnah, but the best way is not to stick to one particular way; rather one should do it one way one time and another way another time, so that one will have done all the Sunnahs.
Offer Naafil Prayers after Witr
There is nothing wrong with the person who prays Witr in the first part of the night or the middle of the night offering any naafil prayers he wants after Witr, even though it is mustahabb for the last of his prayer at night to be Witr. In this case he should not repeat Witr, rather the Witr that he prayed at the beginning of the night is sufficient.
In a hadeeth narrated by Aisha R.A. narrated in Sahih Muslim, she said, “he would pray two rak’ahs after that (witr), whilst sitting down.” this is part of a lengthy hadeeth, which is to be understood as meaning that the Prophet ﷺ prayed two rak’ahs after Witr to show that it is permissible to pray after Witr, but he did not do it on a regular basis, most of the time he ﷺ would make Witr his last prayer.
As the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
Ways to offer Night Prayers narrated in the Sunnah based on the type of Witr
The below is taken from the works of Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee
Source: Qiyaam Ramadaan (pg. 28-30)
The First Manner: consists of thirteen rak’aat, which is commenced with two short rak’aat. According to the most correct opinion, these are the two rak’aat of Sunnah prayer offered after ‘Ishaa, or they are two specific rak’aat by which one begins the Night Prayer, as has been stated previously. Then one prays two very long rak’aat (after that). Then two more rak’aat are prayed, and then another two rak’aat are prayed. Then two more rak’aat are prayed and another set of two rak’aat are prayed. Then witr is made with one rak’ah.
The Second Manner: consists of thirteen rak’aat. There are eight rak’aat within them, in which one makes tasleem after every two rak’aat. Then witr is made with five rak’aat and one does not sit nor make the tasleem except in the fifth rak’ah.
The Third Manner: consists of eleven rak’aat, in which one makes tasleem after every two rak’aat and then prays witr at the end with one rak’ah.
The Fourth Manner: consists of eleven rak’aat, in which one prays four rak’aat and makes one tasleem after the four. The he prays another four in a similar manner and ends it with three rak’aat (for witr).
Would the Prophet ﷺ remain in the sitting position after every two rak’aat, when praying a unit of four rak’aat or a unit of three rak’aat? We do not find a clear answer for this, but remaining in the sitting position (for tashahhud) while doing a unit of three rak’aat is not legislated (in the Religion)!
The Fifth Manner: consists of eleven rak’aat, in which one prays eight rak’aat and does not sit in any of them except for the eighth rak’ah. While sitting (in the eighth rak’ah), he makes the tashahhud and sends Salaat on the Prophet ﷺ and then stands up again without making the tasleem. Then he makes witr with one rak’ah and when finished, he makes the tasleem. This consists of nine rak’aat. Then he prays two rak’aat after that while in the sitting position.
The Sixth Manner: One prays nine rak’aat, in which he does not sit except after the sixth rak’ah. Then he makes the tashahhud and sends Salaat on the Prophet ﷺ and then stands again without making the tasleem. Then he makes witr with three rak’aat and when finished, he makes the tasleem, etc. (the rest is the same as the previous manner)
These are the manners in which it is reported that the Prophet ﷺ performed the Night Prayer. It is possible to add other types of manners to it, by subtracting what one wishes from each set of rak’aat until he cuts it down to one rak’ah, acting on the previously mentioned hadeeth of Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ: “So whoever wishes, then let him pray witr with five rak’aat, and whoever wishes, then let him pray witr with three rak’aat, and whoever wishes, then let him pray witr with one rak’ah.” (Nisai’i & Ibn Majah, classed as Sahih)
Dua Qunoot in Witr
The du’aa’ of qunoot was narrated by Abu Dawood (1425), al-Tirmidhi (464), and al-Nasaa’i (1746) from al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ taught me some words to say in qunoot al-witr:
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
“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
(O Allaah, guide me among those whom You have guided, pardon me among those whom You have pardoned, turn to me in friendship among those on whom You have turned in friendship, and bless me in what You have bestowed, and save me from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can influence You; and he is not humiliated whom You have befriended, nor is he honoured who is Your enemy. Blessed are You, O Lord, and Exalted. There is no place of safety from You except with You).”
The last phrase – Laa manja minka illa ilayka (There is no place of safety from You except with You) – was narrated by Ibn Mandah in al-Tawheed and classed as hasan by al-Albaani.
The du’aa’ of Qunoot is Sunnah. If you recite it every night, there is nothing wrong with that, and if you omit it on some occasions to show that it is not obligatory, there is nothing wrong with that either. If you miss it then you do not have to perform Sajdah Sahw (prostration of forgetfulness).
Dua after Witr
It is mustahabb to say after the tasleem of Witr to say: SUBHAAN AL MALIK AL-QUDDOOS three times, elongating the vowels the third time, (al-Nasaa’I; classed as hasan by al-Albaani).
Al-Daaraqutni added the word: Rabb al-Malaa’ikah wa’l-Rooh (Lord of the angels and the Spirit), with a saheeh isnaad.
Making up Witr
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a person who sleeps and misses Witr prayer.
He replied: He may pray between dawn and Fajr prayer, as ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar, ‘Aa’ishah and others did. Abu Dawood narrated in his Sunan that Abu Sa’eed said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “Whoever sleeps and misses Witr or forgets it, let him pray it when morning comes or he remembers.” End Quote.
If the person was not able to pray before Fajr then it is prescribed for him to pray what he usually prays during the day, but he should make it even-numbered by adding one rak’ah. If he usually prays three, he should make it four, and if he usually prays five, he should make it six, and so on, saying the tasleem after each two rak’ahs. It is narrated in Saheeh Muslim that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “If the Prophet ﷺ missed witr at night because he was sick or sleeping, he would pray twelve rak’ahs during the day”. Because the Prophet ﷺ usually prayed 11 Rakahs in the night.
SALAT AL DUHA
The Prophet ﷺ said: “In a human (body) there are 360 joints and man must make a charity for each one.” The people said: “Who can do that, O Messenger of Allâh?” He ﷺ responded: “One may cover the mucus that one finds in the mosque or remove something harmful from the road. If one could not do that, he could pray two rak’at of duha and that will be sufficient for him.” (Ahmad & Abu Dawood; classed as Sahih by Albani)
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allâh be pleased with him) said: “My close friend [ the Prophet ﷺ] advised me to do three things which I will never give up until I die: fasting three days each month, praying Duha, and sleeping after praying Witr.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
The time for Duha prayer is from fifteen or twenty minutes after sunrise, until just before the sun passes its zenith, i.e. ten to fifteen minutes before it reaches the zenith, i.e. before the time when it is forbidden to pray begins.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “It is preferable to offer Duha prayer when the sun’s heat has become so intense that even the young of the camels feel it.” (Sahih Muslim)
Number of Rakahs
The minimum number that has been reported in the case of Duha prayer is two rak‘ahs. As narrated in the hadeeths quoted above “…and two rak’ahs offered in the forenoon (Duha) will suffice.” and that of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him).
The Prophet ﷺ prayed Duha with four rak‘ahs, and with more than that, and with eight rak‘ahs, as on the day of the conquest of Makkah.
Muslim (719) narrated that Mu‘aadhah (may Allah have mercy on her) asked ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her): How many (rak’ahs) did the Messenger of Allah ﷺ pray in Duha? She said: Four rak‘ahs, and however many more he wanted.
Muslim (336) narrated that Umm Haani’ (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ got up to do ghusl, and Faatimah screened him. Then he took his garment and wrapped it around himself, then he prayed eight rak’ahs of Duha prayer.
There is no specific maximum number for Duha prayer so long as this prayer is done two rak‘ahs by two. Because ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: four rak‘ahs, “and however many more he wanted” and she did not mention any limit.
Dua after Duha Prayer
Narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allâh be pleased with her), who said: “The Messenger of Allâh ﷺ prayed the Duha prayer, and then said: (the below Dua) until he said it one hundred times”. (Adab Al Mufrad 619, Classed as Sahih)
Allâhummagh-firlee wa tub ‘alai, Innaka Antat-Tawwaabur-Raheem
(O Lord, forgive me and turn to me. You are the Ever-Turning, the Merciful)
Ishraaq (“ishrak”) prayer is Duha (“chast”) prayer offered at the beginning of its time. These are not two different prayers. It is called Ishraaq because it is done immediately after sunrise (shurooq) when the sun has risen to a certain height (15-20mins after sunrise).
Concerning its virtue, the Prophet ﷺ said:
“Whoever prays Fajr in congregation,
then sits remembering Allah until the sun rises,
then prays two rak‘ahs,
will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah, complete, complete, complete.”
[Narrated by at-Tirmidhi (586), from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him)].
There is a difference of scholarly opinion as to the soundness of this hadeeth. It was classed as da‘eef (weak) by some scholars and classed as hasan (good) by others. Among those who classed it as hasan was al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) in Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhi.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about it and said: This hadeeth has isnaads that are fine, thus it is regarded as coming under the heading of hasan because of corroborating evidence. This prayer is mustahabb after the sun has risen and reached the height of a spear, that is approximately fifteen or twenty minutes after the sun rises.
End quote from Fataawa ash-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 25/171
May Allah give us all the Hidayah to uphold these great Sunan & prayers and be consistent in it!