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Everything You Need to Know About Witr: What Is the Dua to Read in Witr? Is Witr Wajib or Sunnah?

by in Ramadan on 21st March, 2024

Allah encourages routine and consistent habits – from the obligatory five daily prayers to recommended Sunnah acts that build strength, character and discipline. One such habit is Witr salah, a prayer that is not from the five obligatory but one that the Prophet (ﷺ) recommended highly.

Abu Hurairah (ra) said: My friend [the Prophet (ﷺ)] advised me to observe three things: to fast three days a month, to pray two rak’ah of Duha prayer (forenoon prayer) and to pray Witr before sleeping. [Sahih Bukhari]

How important is Witr salah? 

According to Imam Abu Hanifa, Witr is Wajib or compulsory and it would be a sin to leave a Wajib act. This is based on the hadith where the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Witr is a duty for every Muslim.” [Abu Dawood]

According to the other three imams however, Witr is Sunnah Muakkadah or confirmed sunnah based on the saying of Ali (ra):

“The Witr prayer is not required like your prescribed prayers, but it is the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).” [Tirmidhi

What is Witr and how do we pray Witr? 

Witr literally translates to “odd-numbered” and is also one of Allah’s 99 names. 

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Allah is single (witr) and loves what is single, so observe the witr, you who follow the Qur’an.” [Abu Dawood]

The timing: Witr can be prayed anytime between Isha and Fajr 

The rak’ah: Witr is prayed in odd numbered rak’at of 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and so on. Witr is most commonly prayed in 3 rak’at. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“The witr is a duty for every Muslim so if anyone wishes to observe it with five rak’ahs, he may do so; if anyone wishes to observe it with three, he may do so, and if anyone wishes to observe it with one, he may do so.” [Abu Dawood]

The method: 

There are a few different ways to pray Witr: 

  • One of these is to pray 3 ra’kat without sitting for tashahud in the second rak’ah. 
  • Another way is to pray two rak’ah with tashahud and tasleem and then follow it with a single rak’ah. This is based on the hadith of The Prophet (ﷺ) where he said: “The Witr prayer is offered in units of 2 raka’at. If you fear that dawn is near, conclude with a single rak’ah so the night prayer will be of an odd number.” [Bukhari]

Which surahs to read in Witr and what to read after Witr: 

It is narrated in Sunan Nasa’i by Ubayy bin K’ab (ra): “The Prophet (ﷺ) used to pray witr with three rak’ahs. In the first he would recite: “Glorify the Name of Your Lord, the Most High” [Surah Al-A’la (chapter 87)] in the second: “Say: O you disbelievers!” [Surah Al Kafirun (chapter 109)] and in the third: “Say: He is Allah, (the) One” [Surah Ikhlas (chapter 112)] And he would say the Qunut before bowing, and when he finished he would say: Subhanal-Malikil-Quddus (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy) three times, elongating the words the last time.”

What dua do we read in 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 وَلاَ يَعِزُّ مَنْ عَادَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ

Allahumma ihdini feeman hadayt, wa a’fini fiman a’fait, wa tawallani fiman tawallait, wa barik Li fima a’tait, wa qini sharra ma qadait, Innaka taqdi wa la yuqda Alaik, wa innahu la yadhillu man walait, Wa lā ya’izzu man ‘a’dait, tabarakta Rabbana wa ta’a’lait.

“O Allah guide me among those You have guided, pardon me among those You have pardoned, befriend me among those You have befriended, bless me in what You have granted, and save me from the evil that You decreed. Indeed You decree, and none can pass decree, and none can pass decree upon You, indeed he is not humiliated whom You have befriended, blessed are You our Lord and Exalted.” (Abu Dawud)

اَللَّهُمَّ إنا نَسْتَعِينُكَ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَنُؤْمِنُ بِكَ وَنَتَوَكَّلُ عَلَيْكَ وَنُثْنِئْ عَلَيْكَ الخَيْرَ وَنَشْكُرُكَ وَلَا نَكْفُرُكَ وَنَخْلَعُ وَنَتْرُكُ مَنْ ئَّفْجُرُكَ اَللَّهُمَّ إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَلَكَ نُصَلِّئ وَنَسْجُدُ وَإِلَيْكَ نَسْعأئ وَنَحْفِدُ وَنَرْجُو رَحْمَتَكَ وَنَخْشآئ عَذَابَكَ إِنَّ عَذَابَكَ بِالكُفَّارِ مُلْحَقٌ

Allahumma inna nasta-eenoka wa nastaghfiruka wa nu’minu bika wa natawakkalu alaika wa nusni alaikal khair, wa nashkuruka wala nakfuruka wa nakhla-oo wa natruku mai yafjuruka, Allah humma iyyaka na’budu wa laka nusalli wa nasjud wa ilaika nas aaa wa nahfizu wa narju rahma taka wa nakhshaa azaabaka inna azaabaka bil kuffari mulhiq

“O Allah! We invoke you for help, and beg for forgiveness, and we believe in you and have trust in you and we praise you, in the best way we can; and we thank you and we are not ungrateful to you, and we forsake and turn away from the one who disobeys you. O Allah! We worship you and prostrate ourselves before you, and we hasten towards you and serve you, and we hope to receive your mercy and we dread your torment. Surely, the disbelievers shall incur your torment.” (Abu Dawud: 1425)

Amaliah Team

Amaliah Team

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