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Witr prayer
Official nameصلاة الوتر
Also calledImparity prayer
Observed byMuslims
SignificanceAn Islamic prayer offered to God after Isha prayer.
ObservancesSunnah prayers, Salah times
BeginsChafa'a prayer
EndsFajr nafl prayer
Related toSalah, Nafl prayer, Five Pillars of Islam, Islamic prayers

Witr (Arabic: وتر) is an Islamic prayer (salat) that is performed at night after Isha (night-time prayer) or before fajr (dawn prayer). Witr has an odd number of raka'at prayed in pairs, with the final raka'ah prayed separately.[citation needed] Therefore, as little as one raka'ah can be prayed, and eleven at most. Most Hanafis pray 3 raka'ah with dua qunoot in the third raka'ah.

According to Abdullah ibn Umar, Muhammad said, "The night prayer is offered as two raka'at followed by two raka'at and so on and if anyone is afraid of the approaching dawn (fajr prayer), he should pray one raka'ah and this will be a witr for all the raka'at which he has prayed before."[1]

In a hadith transmitted by Abu Darda, he states that Muhammad enjoined to him three things: to fast three days every month, to offer the witr salat before sleep, and to offer two raka'at sunnah for fajr.[2]

But there are many aḥādīth that show the best time for the witr salat to be at night. If someone fears that he would not be able to awake, or may die in their sleep, then the prayer should be performed before sleeping.[3]

Therefore, he or she who performs tahajjud (night prayer) regularly should perform witr after tahajjud.

It is recorded that Ali bin Abu Talib said, "The witr prayer is not required like your obligatory prayers but the Prophet would perform the witr prayer and say, 'O you people of the Quran, perform the witr prayer, for Allah is One and He loves the witr.'"[4]

The literal meaning of witr is "chord of a circle". Considering the whole day as a circle along which all the prayers are located, the maghrib salat is offered at the sunset (beginning of the night). It has an un-paired (odd) number of raka'at. By offering the odd raka'at of witr as the last prayer of the night, a chord is created by pairing these two un-paired raka'ats of each of the maghrib's and witr's.

Du'ā' Salātu 'l-Witr[edit]

Narrated by Al-Hasan ibn Ali (who is the grandson of Muhammad) he said he was taught by Muhammad to say the qunūt du‘ā’ in Arabic as follows:

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَّالَيْتَ وَلاَ يَعِزُّ مَنْ عَادَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ

Allahumma ’hdi-niy fiyman hadayt, wa-‘āfi-niy fiyman ‘āfayt, wa-tawalla-niy fiyman tawallayt, wa-bārik liy fiy-mā ’a‘ṭayt, wa-qiniy sharra mā qadhayt, inna-ka taqdiy wa-lā yuqdhā ‘alayk, wa-inna-hu lā yaḏillu maw wālayt, wa-lā ya‘izzu man ‘ādayt, tabārakta Rabba-nā wa-ta‘ālayt.

“O Allah guide me among those You have guided, pardon me among those You have pardoned, befriend me among those You have befriended, bless me in what You have granted, and save me from the evil that You decreed. Indeed You decree, and none can pass decree, and none can pass decree upon You, indeed he is not humiliated whom You have befriended, blessed are You our Lord and Exalted.”

Hanafi commonly recite second version of supplication of Witr prayer (Arabic:دعاء صلاة الوتر du‘ā’ ṣalātu ’l-Witr) as follows, which is said in the last raka‘at of witr (since one raka'at follows the Sunnah, in this case performing in odd numbers - 3, 5, 7, 9 or 11 raka'ats), first by saying takbir with hands up, then saying the following verses before ruku‘:

اَللَّهُمَّ إنا نَسْتَعِينُكَ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَنُؤْمِنُ بِكَ ,وَنَتَوَكَّلُ عَلَيْكَ, وَنُثْنِئْ عَلَيْكَ الخَيْرَ. وَنَشْكُرُكَ وَلَا نَكْفُرُكَ وَنَخْلَعُ وَنَتْرُكُ مَنْ يَّفْجُرُكَ. اَللَّهُمَّ إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ, وَلَكَ نُصَلِّئ وَنَسْجُدُ, وَإِلَيْكَ نَسْعأئ وَنَحْفِدُ, وَنَرْجُو رَحْمَتَكَ وَنَخْشآئ عَذَابَكَ, إِنَّ عَذَابَكَ بِالكُفَّارِ مُلْحَقٌ

Allahumma in-nā nasta‘iynu-ka wa-nastaghfiru-ka wa-nu’minu bi-ka, wa-natawaku ‘alay-ka, wa-nuth-nī ‘alay-ka ’l-khayr(a). Wa-nashkuru-ka wa-lā nakfuru-ka wa-nakhla‘u wa-natru-ku may yafjuru-k(a). Allahumma iyya-ka na‘abudu, wa-laka nuṣallī wa-nasjudu, wa-ilay-ka nas‘ā wa-naḥfidu, wa-narjū raḥmataka wa nakhshā ‘azaba-k(a), in-nā ‘azaba-ka bi’l-kuffāri mulhiq.

"O Allah! We invoke you for help, and beg for forgiveness, and we believe in you and have trust in you and we praise you, in the best way we can; and we thank you and we are not ungrateful to you, and we forsake and turn away from the one who disobeys you. O Allah! We worship you and prostrate ourselves before you, and we hasten towards you and serve you, and we hope to receive your mercy and we dread your torment. Surely, the disbelievers shall incur your torment."

Ibn ‘Uqayl al-Hanbali narrated that duas narrated from Muhammad should be what is recited as regular word, and anything added to it is by way of a concession. He said: What is mustahabb in our view is that which was narrated by al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali from the Prophet (SWS): “Allahumma ihdini…” – the well-known hadīth.

He said: "If one adds to that the words narrated from ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), “Allahumma in-nā nasta‘iynu-ka… (O Allah, we seek Your help)…”, there is nothing wrong with that. End quote."

This was quoted by Ibn Muflih in his comment on al-Muharrar, 1/89

In some cases, the one who prays can perform the du‘ā’ ṣalātu ’l-Witr, it is permissible to make the qunūt before going into ruku‘ (bowing), or it may be recited when one stands up straight after the ruku‘.

"Humaid says: "I asked Anas: 'Is the qunut before or after the ruku?' he said: 'We would do it before or after."

This hadith was related by Ibn Majah and Muhammad ibn Nasr. In Fath al-Bari, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani comments that its chain is faultless.

Name variations[edit]

Region/country Language Main
Arab World Arabic صلاة الوتر (Ṣalāh al-Witr)
Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan Persian نماز وتر (Namaz e veter)
Pakistan, India Urdu, Hindi وتر, वित्र (Vitr, vitar)
Turkey Turkish Vitir namazı
Azerbaijan Azerbaijani Vitr namazı
Uzbekistan Uzbek Vitr namozi
Albania, Kosovo Albanian Namazi i vitri, vitrit
Balkans Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian Vitr-namaz
Bangladesh, India Bengali বিতির (Bitir), বিতর (Bitor)
Somalia, Somaliland Somali Salaada witr
Southeast Asia Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Basa Jawa Salat witir, solat witir


  1. ^ The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih al-Bukhari (Muhammad Muhsin Khan's translation of Sahih al-Bukhari): Hadith 539, pg. 282
  2. ^ The hadith about this: "Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle offered Witr prayer at different nights at various hours extending (from the 'Isha' prayer) up to the last hour of the night." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 16, Number 110).
  3. ^ The hadith about this: "Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar: The Prophet (Sallah Allah Alahoui wa salam) said, "Make witr as your last prayer at night." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2 Book 16 112). Also: "Narrated 'Aisha(radia'Allah wa anha): The Prophet used to offer his night prayer while I was sleeping across in his bed. Whenever he intended to offer the Witr prayer, he used to wake me up and I would offer the Witr prayer too." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 16, Number 111).
  4. ^ "Sunan at-Tirmidhi (Jami-al-Tirmidhi) | Chapter: 3 | Witr (Witr Prayer)". ahadith.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-22. "The witr is not fard like your prescribed prayers. But, it is the sunnah of Allah's Messenger (Sallah Allah alhoui wa salam) who said: Surely Allah is witr (one). He loves witr, so offer the witr, "O people of the Quran!." [Ahmed 652, Abu Dawud 1416, Muslim 1674, Ibn e Majah 1169]