What is the ruling of the Shaf` prayer (2-rakats prayed before witr)?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

What is the ruling of the Shaf` prayer (2-rakats prayed before witr)?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate. May His blessings and peace be on His Beloved Prophet, the best of creation, and his family, companions, and followers

Witr prayer is a sunna. Its optimal number of rakats is eleven. Minimally, it is one rakat. The optimum minimal is three rakats. All of these rakats are called ‘witr,’ after the name of the prayer. The final rakat is also called ‘witr’, because it is an odd number [f: which is the linguistic meaning of witr].

The rakats prayed before it are called shaf` [even], because they are an even number. Thus, it is established that Shaf` prayer is a sunna, and it is a part of the Witr prayer.

– Amjad Rasheed.

(Translated by Faraz Rabbani)

السؤال : ما حكم صلاة الشفاعة ( ركعتان قبل الوتر ) ؟ الجواب : صلاة الوتر سنةٌ ، والأكمل في عددها أحد عشر ركعة ، وأقلها ركعة ، وأقل الكمال ثلاث ركعات . فكل هذه الركعات تسمى وتراً باسم الصلاة ، والركعة الأخير منها تسمى وتراً أيضاً لأنها عدد مفرد ، وما قبلها سواء ركعتان أو أربع وهكذا تسمى شفعاً لأنها عددٌ زوجي . فعلم أن صلاة الشفع سنة وهي من جملة صلاة الوتر .

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