Witr Prayer, its Time, duaa and Ruling

 
1132. `Ali (bin Abu Talib) (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Witr prayer is not obligatory as the prescribed Salat (prayers), but the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) observed it as his regular practice (Sunnah). He (PBUH) said, "Allah is Witr (single, odd) and loves what is Witr. So perform Witr prayer. O followers of Qur'an, observe Witr (prayer).''
[At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].
Commentary: "Witr'' literally means odd number. "Allah is Witr'' means He is One in Attributes and Actions and has no equal. Witr prayer is also called Witr for the reason that it is performed in one, three, five and seven Rak`ah. It is not permissible to perform it in an even number, like two, four, six, eight etc. Thus, we learn from this Hadith that Witr is not Fard and Wajib but Sunnah Mu'akkadah (compulsory). But it would not be correct to show any slackness in performing them to this reason because every Muslim should do his level best to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH).
1133. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) observed Witr prayer in every part of night at the beginning, middle and at the last part. He (PBUH), however, would finish his Witr prayer before dawn.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: This Hadith tells us the timing of Witr prayer. Its earliest time is soon after `Isha' prayer and its time is just before dawn.
1134. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Make Witr prayer the last of your Salat at night.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: Some `Ulama' are of the opinion that after performing the Witr prayer, it is not permissible to perform any other Nawafil prayers because the Prophet (PBUH) ordered to make it the last Salat. But Imam An-Nawawi and some other scholars have interpreted it as "desirable'' rather than an order, because we do find instances in which the Prophet (PBUH) performed two Rak`ah Nafl prayer in the sitting position after Witr prayer. It is, therefore, better to go by this Hadith. But if someone wants to perform two Rak`ah Nafl prayer after Witr, prayer it is permissible.
1135. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Perform Witr prayer before dawn.''
[Muslim].
 
Summary
Witr prayer (salat al-witr), is a sunnah prayer to be performed at night as a last prayer, witr means odd number ,(1,3,5,7,9,……..) , according to authentic hadeeth, Prophet Muhammad (saw) said :"make the last prayer you do at night is witr prayer" agreed upon
 
it is normal prayer as of the description , you may pray two rakah and make tasleem and the third one is separately , or you may pray three rakah together without middle tashahud, similar to magrib prayer but without sitting down for middle tashuhud, the duaa you may need to make, it is to be said after the last rakah when you say sami-aa Allahu liman hamidah, rabana walaka alhamd, you may say the duaa mentioned below :
 
DUAA OF QUNOOT FOR SALAT AL-WITR
 
دُعاءُ قُنُوتِ الوِتْرِ
”اللّهُمَّ اهْدِني فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ، وَعافِني فيمَنْ عافَيْتَ، وَتَوَلَّني فيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ، وَبارِكْ لي فيما أَعْطَيْتَ، وَقِني شَرَّ ما قَضَيْتَ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلا يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ، إِنَّهُ لا يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ، [وَلا يَعِزُّ مَن عادَيْتَ]، تَبارَكْتَ رَبَّنا وَتَعالَيْتَ“([1]).
'O Allah, guide me along with those whom You have guided, pardon me along with those whom You have pardoned, be an ally to me along with those whom You are an ally to and bless for me that which You have bestowed. Protect me from the evil You have decreed for verily You decree and none can decree over You. For surety, he whom you show allegiance to is never abased and he whom You take as an enemy is never honoured and mighty. O our Lord, Blessed and Exalted are You.'
Evil you have decreed: Allah does not create pure evil which does not have any good or contain any benefit, wisdom or mercy at all, nor does He punish anyone without having committed a sin. Something can be good in terms of its creation when viewed in another way. Allah created the devil and by him, He tests His servants, so there are those who hate the devil, fight him and his way and they stand enmity towards him and his followers and there are others who are at allegiance with the devil and follow his steps. So evil exists in His creatures by His will and wisdom, not in His actions or act of creating.
 
117- ”اللّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعوذُ بِرِضاكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ، وَبِمُعافاتِكَ مِنْ عُقوبَتِكَ، وَأَعوذُ بِكَ مِنْك، لا أُحْصي ثَناءً عَلَيْكَ، أَنْتَ كَما أَثْنَيْتَ عَلى نَفْسِكَ“([2]).
117. 'O Allah, I take refuge within Your pleasure from Your displeasure and within Your pardon from Your punishment, and I take refuge in You from You. I cannot enumerate Your praise. You are as You have praised Yourself.'
 
118- ”اللّهُمَّ إِيّاكَ نعْبُدُ، وَلَكَ نُصَلِّي وَنَسْجُدُ، وَإِلَيْكَ نَسْعَى وَنَحْفِدُ، نَرْجو رَحْمَتَكَ، وَنَخْشَى عَذابَكَ، إِنَّ عَذابَكَ بالكافرين مُلْحَقٌ. اللّهُمَّ إِنّا نَسْتَعينُكَ، وَنَسْتَغْفِرُكَ، وَنُثْني عَلَيْك الخَيْرَ، وَلا نَكْفُرُكَ، وَنُؤْمِنُ بِكَ، وَنَخْضَعُ لَكَ، وَنَخْلَعُ مَنْ يَكْفرُكَ“([3]).
118. 'O Allah, it is You we worship, and unto You we pray and prostrate, and towards You we hasten and You we serve. We hope for Your mercy and fear Your punishment, verily Your punishment will fall upon the disbelievers. O Allah, we seek Your aid and ask Your pardon, we praise You with all good and do not disbelieve in You. We believe in You and submit unto You, and we disown and reject those who disbelieve in You.'

 

([1])  أخرجه أصحاب السنن الأربعة وأحمد والدارمي والحاكم والبيهقي وما بين المعكوفين للبيهقي وانظر صحيح الترمذي 1/144 وصحيح ابن ماجه 1/194 وإرواء الغليل للألباني 2/172 .
([2])  أخرجه أصحاب السنن الأربعة وأحمد. انظر صحيح الترمذي 3/180 وصحيح ابن ماجه 1/194 والإرواء 2/175 .
([3])  أخرجه البيهقي في السنن الكبرى وصحح إسناده 2/211 وقال الشيخ الألباني في إرواء الغليل وهذا إسناد صحيح 2/170. وهو موقوف على عمر.