Witr salah according to the four madhab

CategoriesSalaah [704]

Fatwa ID: 01969

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

Witr salah according to the four madhab

Answer:

Bismillah

According to the Hanafi Fiqh, the Witr salah consists of three rakaats with one salaam at the end.  Imam Malik raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him), Imam Shafee raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) and Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) say that the Witr salah is between one and seven rakaats.  Generally, the followers of the respective aforementioned scholars will perform the Witr by reading two rakaats with one salaam and then another rakaat separately with one salaam.  (Dars Tirmizi p.215 v.2)

The view of the Hanafi School of Thought is based on the following evidences:

  1. Saaidah Aaisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) reports that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to perform thee rakaats of Witr and he never used to make salaam except in the last rakaat.   (Mustadrak Hakim p.304 v.1)
  2. Saaiduna Ubayy Ibn Kaab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to recite Surah A’la in the first rakaat, surah Kaafiroon in the second rakaat and surah Ikhlas in the third rakaat and that the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would not make salaam except in the last of those rakaats.   (Sunan Nasaai p.248 v.1)
  3. Thabit Al Bunani raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) says that “Saaiduna Anas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) lead us in the Witr salah, he performed three rakaats and he did not make salam till the last rakaat”.   (Tahawi p.206 v.1)
  4. Saaiduna Umar raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) is reported to have performed three rakaats Witr with one salaam only.   (Mustadrak Hakim p.304 v.1)

Furthermore, the Witr salah is like the three rakaats of Maghrib, therefore the same way one sits for tashuud after two rakaats and stands up for the third, one will do the same for the Witr salah.   (Darul Qutni p.27-p.28 v.2)

The following are evidences, which support the Hanafi view in that the hands will be raised for the Qunuut before ruku.

  1. Ibrahim Nakhai raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) narrates that “Saaiduna Abdullah Ibn Masud raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) used to raise his hands in Witr (for Qunuut) and then drop them afterwards.”   (Mussanaf Abdur Razzaq p.325 v.4)
  2. Asim narrates ‘I asked Saaiduna Anas Ibn Malik raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) about the Qunuut.  Saaiduna Anas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) replied, “Definitely it was (recited)”.  I asked “Before bowing or after it?”  Saaiduna Anas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) replied, “Before bowing…”   (Sahih Bukhari p.136 v.1)

Hafiz Ibn Hajar raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) writes that the common practice of the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was to recite the Qunuut before ruku.  However, on certain occasions such as the befalling of a calamity, the Qunuut He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) would recite it after the ruku.   (Fathul Bari p.29 v.1)

The majority of the Hanafi scholars say that if an Imam is praying three rakaats with two salaams then it is not permissible to pray behind such an Imam for Witr salah. (Fatawa Hindiyyah p.111 v.1)  This is because salah of one rakaat is non-existent in the Hanafi Fiqh.  There is a hadith in which the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) prohibited from Salatul Butairah (one rakaat salah.)   (Nasbur Rayah p.160 v.2)

The conclusion is that if a Hanafi was to follow a Shafi Imam in Witr the salah will be considered invalid. Hence, in such a situation one will have to repeat the Witr salah. (Raddul Muhtar p.444 v.2)

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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