5 Islamic articles on: witr

IslamQA: What is the best time to perform witr?

Assalamu alaykum Please how many raka'ats is the Witr prayer and when is it best observed.. is it before going to bed or shortly before dawn? Jazakallahu khayran

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Witr should be performed as the last prayer of the night before dawn. The best time to perform it is related to the best time to perform tahajjud (since witr is the last prayer during tahajjud), and according to the fatwas I’ve read the best time to perform tahajjud is during the last third of the night (night means the time between isha and fajr).

IslamQA: Is witr like maghrib or not?

I have read somewhere that Witr salah has to differ from the Maghrib Salah. So can I pray two rakhat and do Salam and after that do one more separate rakhat.

There are different opinions among the schools on how witr should be done. You can pray it like maghrib, or like maghrib but without sitting in the second rak`a for tashahhud, or you can pray two rak`at, say salam, then pray a single rak`a. 

All of the above are acceptable ways of doing it unless you wish to strictly follow a particular school.


IslamQA: Do you have to pray witr in order to pray tahajjud?

Salaam, do you have to pray witr in order to pray tahajjud? or can we skip it and just wake up for tahajjud

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The witr prayer is meant to be the last prayer of the night before the fajr prayer. You do not have to pray witr in order to pray tahajjud, and ideally witr should be prayed after tahajjud. But it is permissible to pray witr, go to bed, then wake up for tahajjud as mentioned in this previous answer.

IslamQA: How to pray the witr prayer

Salam, could you please explain how witr namaz is prayed and what is meant to be recited in each rakat? Because of my lack of understanding I don't pray it and therefore being sinful.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The witr prayer is not obligatory, so it is not sinful if you do not perform it. It is a voluntary prayer that you can perform as your last prayer of the night. You can perform it exactly the way you perform the evening (maghrib) prayer (3 rakats, you do not have to say or do anything special during it—this is the Hanafi view). For more details and for the views of other schools please see this answer on IslamOnline.net (view as a PDF).

IslamQA: Is it permissible to pray tahajjud after performing witr?

Assalam alaikum, Is there any norm or restrictions in praying tahajjud after you have prayed your Isha and ended with witr prayers. Is tahajjud valid after praying witr. Please clarify. JazakAllah khair

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Witr is supposed to be the last prayer of the night before the dawn (fajr) prayer. But if you perform it then desire to pray more tahajjud afterwards, this is permissible. Archived link to a fatwa stating this view from Egypt’s fatwa authority, which generally represents the views of the scholars of al-Azhar University. The fatwa also says that if you desire to wake up in the night to perform tahajjud but are not sure whether you will be able to wake up or not, you can pray witr before going to bed.