Two Raka'ahs Nafl After Witr
  • Question:

    I have seen people performing two raka'ahs nafl after salaatul witr. I always thought witr should be the last prayer. Is there any evidence for this practice. Should witr be the last prayer of the night?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your concern to be on the right path.

    Performing two raka'ahs nafl after witr is acceptable and evidence for this practise is found in the noble sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

    For the person who is unsure of waking up for 'tahajjud' (nightly vigil prayer), it is recommended for them to perform these two nafl raka'ahs after witr prayers. As for the person who is sure of waking up for 'tahajjud' prayers, they should perform any number of nafl prayers as desired after Esha prayers while leaving the witr prayer for 'tahajjud' time. In this case the witr should be the last prayer.

    Please refer to the narrations below:

    Thawbaan (ra) narrates from the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) who stated, "Staying awake in the night (for prayers) can be a struggle and difficult, hence when any of you perfor the witr prayer, they should also perform two raka'ahs. If one is able to stand in nightly prayer (tahajjud) that is fine, otherwise, these two raka'ahs will suffice (as tahajjud) for him" (Darami, Tahaawi, Daru Qutnee; the chain of this narration is 'hasan')

    Abu Omamah (ra) narrates that the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) would offer two raka'ahs after witr in a sitting position, he would recite "idhaa dhul zilat" (chapter 99 of the Holy Quran) and "qul yaa ayyuhal kaafiroon" (Chapter 109 of the Holy Quran). (Musnad Ahmad, Tahaawi, narration is 'hasan')

    Abdullah ibn Umar (ra) narrates from the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) who said, "Make your last prayer of the night, the prayer of witr" (Bukhari & Muslim)

    Jaabir (ra) stated that the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said, "The one who fears not able to stand in prayer during the last portion of the night (before early dawn), should perform the witr prayer at its beginning (first part of the night after Esha), and the one who is certain of standing in prayer in its last portion (of the night - before dawn) should perform the witr at the end of the night". (Muslim)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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