A Question of the Witr Prayer

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by


salaam,  I would firstly like to say that may Allah bless you all, as you are doing a very good job. My question is regarding the witr salah after isha. I understand one can pray 3, 5 or even one rakah, but I would like to ask how it is prayed as i am new to the school and have no one to turn to unfortunately in my area. So how would i pray a 3 rakah witr salah for example. jazak’allah for all you time.

Country: United Kingdom


Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

The time of the witr prayer is after isha and before fajr.

The minimal number of rak’ahs for witr is one and the maximum number is eleven. The minimal number for witr’s optimal performance is three, and then the other odd numbers until its maximum.

One making witr in three should perform two rak’ahs and intend them to be the prayers preceding witr. One should separate them from the witr by taslim. Then, one should stand, intending to perform a single rak’ah of witr, and perform the additional rak’ah. It is sunnah that one recite from the Quran Surah al-Ala in the first rak’ah, Surah al-Kafirun in the second, and the last three surahs of the Quran in the third.

Giving a fasl [making taslim in-between] is established by way of the evidence, which is why the Shafiyyah say it is optimal to do so.

(See: Tuhfat al-Muhtaj v. 2, p. 225-226)

Allah knows best. Fatwa Dept.

This answer was collected from which was a repository of Islamic answers as per the Shafi’i madhhab. The website no longer functions. At its peak, many ‘ulama were involved with the site including Shaykh Mawlana Taha Karaan, Shaykh Abdul-Fattah ibn Abdullah, and Shaykh AbdurRagman Khan.

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