Witr After Tarawih In Ramadan: When Did This Begin?

Answered by Shaykh Ilyas Patel

thank you very much for rply of my question id 13027. i think my question was not clear. i want to explain it in detail so that you may rply accordingly.

salat -ul- witar i mean three rakats which we are offering now after issa prayer. these 3 rakats were actually offering after tehjjud in the time of prophet (saw) and four righteous companions. even trawhee prayer begins to start offering with jamat during the time of khalifa hajrat umer (R). I have been told that the witar salat begins to offer in congration durng second century in the month of ramjan. until that it was part of tehjjud.

now i want to know with authentic proof the followings:

1) fron when the witar salat become part of issa prayer instead of tehjjud part.

2) from when the witar salat is offering in congration after trawhee prayer during ramajan.

i hope i explain my questions properly.

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the name of Allah Most Compassionate Merciful

I hope you are fine and in the best of health and iman.

A.1

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) performed the witr prayer with the Tahajjud prayer as mentioned in many ahadith. However, for the general Muslims he recommended to perform them between Isha and Fajr prayer.

It has been reported by Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to perform eleven rak’ats in the night and perform the witr. When he completed them he used to lay on his right until the mu’azzin called out the adhan, then he used to perform two short rak’ahs.

It has been reported by Urwa that Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) informed him that the Prophet (Allah be pleased with her) used to perform thirteen rak’ats with the two rak’ats of Fajr.

Mawlana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani (Allah sanctify his soul) writes in the commentary of Muslim on the ahadith of witr as follows:

‘The Prophet’s (Allah bless him and give him peace) usual habit was to begin the night prayer performing two rak’ats (which acted as an introduction to the Tahajjud prayers). Thereafter, he used to perform eight long rak’ats, which were his actual number of rak’ats that he performed, then he did the witr prayer and two nafl sitting down, which followed the witr prayer. Then as Fajr dawned, he used to perform two sunnahs. This is how some companions understand seventeen rak’ats. When some companions tried to explain his performance of his total prayer, they said, ‘he performed seventeen’ and at times some explained them excluding the sunnah of Fajr, as they are not part of the night prayers, so they explained them as, ‘he performed fifteen rak’ats.’ Some companions in explaining, excluded the two initial rak’ats during the night and the two nafl prayers too, so they said, ‘he performed thirteen’. Some excluded the night prayers, nafl prayers and the two sunnah of Fajr too, and said ‘he performed eleven rak’ats.’ When the Prophet’s blessed body had put weight on during his later life, he performed six rak’ats with three witr prayer, so some companions narrated them as, ‘he performed nine rak’ats’ and lat in his life he performed only four rak’ats with three witr, so some narrated them as, ‘he performed seven rak’ats.’

This is the application of the all the narrations which are to do with the performance of the Prophet’s witr prayer

(Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, Fath al-Mulhim V.5 page 4-5)

The time of Witr prayer is from Isha to Fajr as mentioned in many ahadith:

It has been reported by Kharija ibn Huzafa al-Adawi, he said, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) came out and said, ‘Surely Allah has assisted you with a prayer which is better that red camels, and it is the witr prayer. He has placed it between the Isha prayer till the Fajr prayer.’

It has been reported by Abu Tamim al-Jayshani that Amr ibn al-Aas gave a sermon on a Friday and said, Abu Basra has narrated to me that the Prophet( Allah bless him and give him peace) said, Surely Allah has added a prayer for you and it is witr, so perform it between the Isha prayer until the Fajr prayer. Abu Tamim said, Abu Dhar took me hold of my hand and took me to the masjid to Abu Basra, and said to him, ‘have you heard it form the messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) what Amr said.’ Abu Basra said, ‘I have heard it from the messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).’

A.2

It has been a scholarly consensus since the time of the companions that the witr prayer was performed after the Tarawih prayer, though it was performed at times with Tahajjud prayer too during the time of the Prophet. The scholar companions would not do something, which the Prophet would not have done. They had some saying or action of the Prophet, which made them agree that the witr prayer should be performed after the Tarawih prayer. This has been supported by a marfu hadith of Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) which Hafiz Ibn Hajar has mentioned in ‘al-Matalib al-Aaliya’ with reference from Musannaf ibn abi Shayba and Musnad ibn Humaid that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to perform twenty rak’ats and witr in Ramadhan. This hadith, though is weak, but it is supported by consensus and has strength in it.

(Mufti Taqi Usmani, Dars Tirmidhi Vol. 3 page 659)

And Allah alone knows best