Salat-al-Witr

Witr is performed after the salah of isha’a (dusk). Some Muslims consider witr wajib while others consider it optional. It may contain any odd number of raka’ah from one to eleven according to the different¬†schools of jurisprudence. However, Witr is most commonly offered with three raka’ah.

To end prayers for the night after isha’a, the odd numbered raka’ah must have the¬†niyyah of “wajib-ul-Lail”, which is mandatory to “close” one’s salat for that day.

Shi’ahs offer this as a one raka’ah salah at the end of salatul layl (the night prayer), which is an optional prayer according to some shi’ah scholars, and a wajib (obligatory) prayer according to others. This is to be prayed any time after Isha, up until fajr. The best time to pray it is the last third of the night (the night being divided into three, between maghrib and fajr of that night. It is considered highly meritorious by all shi’ah Muslims, and is said to bring numerous benefits to the believer, mainly gaining proximity to Allah. There are various methods of salatul-layl’s performance, including shorter and longer versions, in the longer version the believer must perform 8 nawafil salat, in sets of 2 raka’ah each, then they must pray a 2 raka’ah salah called ‘salatul shafa’ah’ this is to include surah nas after surah fatihah in the first raka’ah and surah falaq after surah fatihah in the secound raka’ah, and unusually no qunut (a du’ah recited before going into ruku’ of the secound raka’ah of most prayers performed by shi’ahs) It is after this that the believer performs salatul witr, it’s long method being – Starting with takbiratul ehram, then surah fatihah, then surah ikhlas, then surah falaq, then surah nas, then the hands are raised to recite qunut, upon which the believer can recite any du’a, however there are many recommended du’as for this purpose. Within qunut, the believer must pray for the forgiveness of 40 believers, then further prayers are read where the believer asks for forgiveness for himself a certain number of times using specified phrases and amounts of times to repeat those phrases. The believer then completes the salah in the usual way, by completing his qunut, reciting takbir whilst rasing his hands, going into ruku’ and reciting the usual phrase for that, then returning up right and reciting takbir whilst doing so and upon being upright recites ‘sami allahu liman hamida’ (verily Allah has heard the one who has praised him) thereupon the believer recites takbir whilst raising his hands and goes into sajda. He recites the proscribed phrase in sajda rises, recites takbir whilst rising and then again whilst returnin to sajdah, then rises with takbir again and recites tashahud and salam, thus ending this prayer. It is then optional to recite certain other du’as and dhikr (remembrance of Allah through certain phrases and some of his names being repeated) It is then recommended to perform and sajdah ash-shukr (prostration of thanks) and to then recite ayatul kursi (verse of the throne) and then perform another sajdah ash-shukr.

 

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