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The Status of Witr Prayer

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt


If I do not pray witr, is my ʿEshā prayer still valid?


In the Name of God, Most Kind, Most Merciful

Thank you/ Jazāk Allāh Khayr for contacting Mathābah with your question.

Witr is an emphasized prayer that is attached with the ʿEshā prayer. Technically, the ʿEshā prayer is valid even though one has left out the witr prayer.

Abū Saʾīd (may God be pleased with him) reports from the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him), “The one who sleeps from [the obligation of] witr or forgets it, must perform it when they wake up or remember it.” – (Ḥākim, Dār Al-Quṭnī)

Mainstream View

Majority jurists, including the Shawāfiʾ, Mālikiyyah and Ḥanābilah are of the view that witr prayer is sunnah muʾakkadah (an emphasized prophetic practice). Therefore, it should only be left out in dire circumstances, and there will be no make up (qaḍā) for it, if not performed.

ʿAlī Ibn Abī Ṭālib (may God be pleased with him ) said, “Witr is not mandatory in the manner farḍ prayer is, rather it is sunnah.” – (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

Ḥanafī Position

Ḥanafī jurists are of the view that witr is wājib (obligatory). If missed, it must be made up.

“Witr is a right [owed to God]. The one who does not offer witr is not among us [muslims].” – (Abū Dāwūd)

And Allāh Knows Best.

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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