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How to Pray Three Rak’aat Maghrib and Witr

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza


Assalamualaikum. Could you please inform me how to pray 3 rakat fardh of maghrib and 3 rakat of witr?

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Following is the method for a three rakat prayer:

1- The one praying begins by raising their hands to the earlobes (shoulders for women) and pronouncing the takbeer اللهُ أَكبَر.

2- Place right hand over left hand below the navel (on the chest for women).

3- Read Shubhanaka dua to its end, followed by the ta’awwudh أَعُوذُ باللهِ and then the basmallah بِسمِ اللهِ inaudibly.

4- Read Surah al-Fatihah and a Surah or three ayaat from any Surah.

5- Say Allahu Akbar and go down for ruku, and read Subhana rabbiyal azeem سُبحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْعَظِيم three times.

6- Rise from ruku while saying sami’allahu liman hamidah سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَهُ. Then read rabbana lakal hamd رَبَّنا لَكَ الْحَمد.

7- Stand upright and say Allahu Akbar, then go into sajdah.

8- Say subhana rabbiyal a’laa سُبحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعلَى three times. A woman will make her torso touch her thighs in sajdah.

9- Sit up saying Allahu Akbar

10- Make sajdah again.

One full rakah is complete.

11- Stand up for the second rakah saying Allahu Akbar.

12- Read basmalah, Surah al-Fatihah and a Surah.

13- Perform ruku and sajdah as described.

14- Sit up after saying Allahu Akbar.

15- Read the tashahhud التَّحِياتُ للهِ.

16- Get up for the third rakah saying Allahu Akbar.

17- In the third and fourth rakah only Surah al Fatihah is read, and no other Surah follows. Therefore, for maghrib, Surah al-Fatihah only will be read for the third rakah, followed by ruku and sajdah.

18- Thereafter tashahhud is read followed by salawaat on the Prophet (pbuh) أَللهمَ صَلَّ عَلَى مُحَمَّد.

19- Dua can follow and should be read from the Quran or Hadith.

20- Read salam facing the right followed by the left – Assalamu Alaykum wa rahmatullah.[1]

The difference in the witr prayer:

For the witr prayer, the third rakah will be slightly different from other prayers.

The third rakah is to be prayed with Surah al-Fatihah followed by a Surah.

Then say the Takbir and say Allahu akbar and raise hands to ears.

Thereafter the Qunut dua is read Allahumma inna nasta’eenuka.

Say takbeer and perform ruku and sajdah, tashahhud and salam like in any other prayer.[2]

Only Allah knows best

Written by Aalimah Nasima Umm Hamza

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

[1] Al Hidayah, Description of the Prayer, Imran Nyazee version, Pages 139-165

[2] Al-Hidayah, Witr Prayer, page 197-19

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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