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Please advise me on the method of performing Nafl/Sunnah and Witr Prayers.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Salaam.

Can you please advise me on the method of performing Nafl/Sunnah and Witr Prayers.

From my understanding, there are no differences, except I have to recite a Sura in all rakats of a nafl/sunnah rather then just the first 2 rakats in a farz.

I have been advised I need to recite specific verses in Witr prayers and would appreciate your help in providing me with an english transcript.

Thanking you in advance.

 

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Answer:

 

Sunnah and nafl prayers

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Before we address your specific questions, please allow us to clarify the difference between Fard, Sunnah and Nafl prayers.

 

Fard prayers: These are the five obligatory prayers at their appointed times of the day. If one prays them, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one does not pray them, there will be a severe accounting and punishment.

 

Nafl prayers: These are the voluntary or extra prayers. If one prays them, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one does not pray them, there is no sin.

 

Sunnah prayers: These are the Nafl or voluntary prayers which were prayed by the Messenger of Allah (saws), and thus they become his (saws) Sunnah for us. If one prays them, he will earn a huge reward from Allah Subhanah; and if one does not pray them, there is no sin. The most that can be said of one who does not pray the Sunnah prayers is that he lost a great opportunity to earn huge rewards from Allah Subhanah.

 

Your Question: Can you please advise me on the method of performing Nafl/Sunnah and Witr Prayers.

Ref: Sunnah and Nafl prayers.

Although it is permissible for one to offer their nafl prayers in a combination of more than two-rakahs, the Messenger of Allah (saws) himself, more often than not, offered all his extra or voluntary nafl prayers in a two-rakah combination.

 

Ref: Witr Prayers


It is reported that Hadrat Ali (r.a.) said: "The witr prayer is not required like your obligatory prayers, but the Prophet (saws) would perform the witr prayer and say: 'O you people [followers] of the Qur'an, perform the witr prayer, for Allah is One and He loves the witr.'"

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.112 Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar

The Prophet (saws) said, "Make Witr as your last prayer at night."

 

Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.13

It is permissible to perform the witr prayers by praying two rak'at combinations[and concluding each of them with a tashahud and the tasleems] and then praying one rak'ah with a tashahud and taslim. Likewise, it is allowed to pray all the rak'at with two tashahuds and one taslim. One may pray an even number of rak'ats, one after another, without making any tashahud, save in the one before the last rak'ah in which case one makes the tashahud and then stands to perform the last rak'ah wherein one will make another tashahud and end the prayer with the taslim. One may also make only one tashahud and the taslim, in the last rak'ah of witr. All of that is permissible and can be traced to the Prophet (saws).

Al-Bukhari and Muslim quote 'Aishah saying that the Prophet (saws) would perform thirteen rak'at during the night and would make the witr prayer, and he would not 'sit' except in the last rak'ah of them. In another hadith, 'Aishah reports that the Prophet (saws) would perform nine rak'at during the night and that he would not sit during them until the eighth rak'ah in which he would make remembrance of Allah, praising Him, and would make supplication. Then, he would stand without making the taslim and pray the ninth rak'ah, after which he would sit, make the tashahud and make the taslim in such a manner that we could hear him.

 

The Prophet (saws) said: 'The night prayer is sets of two rak'at. If one fears the coming of the dawn, he should perform one rak'ah, thereby making all of them odd [witr].'

 

Since the number of rakahs of the voluntary night prayers are not specified, one may pray as many rakahs as is easy for them, either in a two rakah combination with a tashahud and tasleem for each, or all of them together with only a tashahud at the end of the prayer with no tasleem; then end these voluntary night prayers with one rakah of witr with a tashahud and tasleems thus making all of them witr or an odd number. The Messenger of Allah (saws) prayed the night voluntary prayers in both ways, thus if one follows any one of the ways they would be in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).

 

Your Question: From my understanding, there are no differences, except I have to recite a Sura in all rakats of a nafl/sunnah rather then just the first 2 rakats in a farz.

Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 1.723 Narrated by Ubada bin As Samit

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid."

 

To recite the Surah Al-Fatihah in every rakah of every prayer is an absolutely obligatory condition of prayer. If one does not recite the Surah Fatihah in any rakah, that prayer would be invalid and one would have to repeat that prayer again.

 

It is the preferred Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) to recite a few verses of the Quran after the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah in every rakah of his nafl prayers, and the first two rakahs of his fard or obligatory prayers; but the recitation of a few verses of the Quran after the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah is not a compulsory or obligatory condition of prayer. If one, for any reason, forgets to recite other verses of the Glorious Quran after the recitation of the Surah Al-Fatihah, his prayer will still be regarded as valid in the Sight of Shariah and of Allah Subhanah.

 

Your Question: I have been advised I need to recite specific verses in Witr prayers and would appreciate your help in providing me with an english transcript.

Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.15

Topic: Recitation in the witr prayer

It is permissible to recite after al-Fatihah any Surah which one wishes to recite. Hadrat Ali ibn Abi Taalib (r.a.) said: "There is not a part of the Qur'an that is obsolete, so make the witr prayer of whatever you wish from it." However, it is preferred, after the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, to recite the 87th Surah Al-Ala in the first of the three rakahs, Surah 109 Al-Kaaferoon in the second, and the 112th Surah Al-Ikhlaas, 113th Surah Al-Falaq, and the 114th Surah An-Naas in the last rakah of witr prayers.

 

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 1418 Narrated by Ubayy ibn Ka'b

The Messenger of Allah (saws) used to observe witr by (reciting) Surah 87 Al-Ala in the first, Surah 109 Al-Kaaferoon in the second, and the 112th Surah Al-Ikhlaas in the last.

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 1419 Narrated by Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin

AbdulAziz ibn Jurayj said: I asked Aisha, O mother of the believers: With which (Surah) the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to observe witr? She said: (after the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah in each rakah), the Messenger of Allah (saws) would recite Surah 87 Al-Ala in the first, Surah 109 Al-Kaaferoon in the second, and the 112th Surah Al-Ikhlaas, 113th Surah Al-Falaq, and the 114th Surah An-Naas in the last.

 

The practice of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was that just before the one-rakah of witr prayer, he (saws) would offer a two-rakah prayer of shafa prayers. In the first rakah of the shafa prayers, he (saws) would, after the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, recite the 87th Surah Al-Ala, and the 109th Surah Al-Kaaferoon in the second rakah. Then in the final one-rakah of witr prayer, the Messenger of Allah (saws) would, after the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah, either recite only the 112th Surah Al-Ikhlaas, or at times would recite the last three Surahs of the Quran one after another (112th Al-Ikhlaas, 113th Al-Falaq and the 114th An-Naas).

 

But because the recitation of some verses of the Quran after the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah are not an obligatory condition of prayer, the absolute majority of the scholars and jurists in Islam are of the opinion that although it is best to follow the example of the Messenger of Allah (saws), if for any reason, one wishes to recites verses or Surahs other then the ones listed above, there is absolutely no harm.

 

It is considered a mustahab or preferred Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) to recite the qunoot supplications in ones witr prayers throughout the year.

 

Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.15a

Topic: Al-Qunut in the Witr

It is part of Sunnah to supplicate with qunut in the witr prayer during the entire year. Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah record that al-Hassan ibn Ali (r.a.) said: "The Messenger of Allah taught me the [following] words to say in (qunut in) the witr prayer: 'O Allah, guide me among those whom You have guided. Grant me safety among those whom You have granted safety. Take me into Your charge among those whom You have taken into Your charge. Bless me in what You have given me. Protect me from the evil that You have Decreed, for You Decree and nothing is decreed for You. And there is no humiliation for whom You take as a ward. Blessed and Exalted are You, our Lord. ' "

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan


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