QUNOOT in Witr Prayer – Obligatory or Sunnah??

Witr is one prayer where there are numerous opinions available in all madhabs. Be it the matters concerning the number of rakaats, or tashahhud, or Du’aa’ al-Qunoot. Imam of our local Masjid in Sharjah has shown flexibility in his prayer which was the way of the companions of our Prophet PBUH. Sometimes he prays 2 + 1 and sometimes all 3 without tashahhud in between. Last Tuesday, Imam while leading us in prayer of witr, prayed it 2 + 1 but he didn’t  do Du’aa’ al-Qunoot in the 3rd rakaat after rukoo, which made me look for opinion of some leading scholars concerning Qunoot in the Witr prayer, and i found the following rulings / opinions in this matter.

1. Sheikh Naasir-ud-Deen Albaani

In his book, THE PROPHET’S PRAYER‘, Sheikh writes,

“He (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to perform qunoot in the (odd) rak’ah of the Witr prayer” sometimes, and “he would perform it before rukoo’.”

In his foot note, sheikh clarifies, “We have said, “… sometimes” because the Companions who narrated the Witr prayer did not mention the qunoot in it, whereas had the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wa sallam) done so always, they would have all mentioned it. However, Ubayy ibn Ka`b alone narrated the qunoot in Witr, so this shows that he used to do it sometimes. Hence, this is evidence that qunoot in Witr is not obligatory (waajib), and this is the opinion of the majority of scholars. For this reason, the researching Hanafi scholar, Ibn al-Humaam, recognised in Fath al-Qadeer (1/306,359,360) that the view of it being obligatory is feeble and not substantiated by evidence. This shows his fairness and lack of party-spirit, for this view which he has supported is contrary to his madhhab !”

2. Sheikh Sayyid Sabiq

In the book , FIQH US-SUNNAH’, authored by Sheikh Sayyid Sabiq, Sheikh writes,

“Ash-Shafi and others are of the opinion that the qunut in the witr prayer should be made during the latter half of the month of Ramadan. This is based on what Abu Dawud records that, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab convoked the people in prayer, under the leadership of Ubayy ibn Kab, and they prayed together for twenty nights, and did not make the qunut except the latter half of the month of Ramadan. It is moreover related that Muhammed ibn Nasr asked Said ibn Jubair about the qunut in the witr prayer. Said answered: “Umar sent an army that suffered serious setback, which caused Umar to be alarmed, so, when it was the latter half of Ramadan, he made the qunut to supplicate for them.

3. Sheikh Abd al-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz

On the website, islamqa.com‘, following is quoted from Sheikh Ibn Baaz’s ‘Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, 2/1062,  

“There is nothing wrong with that. The du’aa’ of Qunoot is Sunnah and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to recite Qunoot. He taught Qunoot and the words of Qunoot in Witr to al-Hasan, so it is Sunnah. If you recite it every night, there is nothing wrong with that, and if you omit it on some occasions so that the people will know that it is not obligatory, there is nothing wrong with that either. If the imam omits Qunoot on some occasions so that the people will know that is not obligatory, there is nothing wrong with that. When the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) taught al-Hasan Qunoot, he did not tell him to omit it on some days. This indicates that if he does it persistently, there is nothing wrong with that. ” 

(http://islamqa.com/en/ref/128688/qunoot)

4. Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid

Following Fatwas have been published on his website,  islamqa.com addressing this issue,

  • Fatwa no 9061 (http://islamqa.com/en/ref/9061/qunoot), With regard to what the brother says about Qunoot being obligatory, this is not correct, because Qunoot is Sunnah. Based on this, if a worshipper omits Qunoot, his prayer is still valid.
  • Fatwa no. 14093 (http://islamqa.com/en/ref/14093/qunoot), “It is better not to recite qunoot in witr all the time, rather it should be done sometimes, because there is no evidence that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did it all the time.

HENCE IT IS PROVEN FROM RULINGS / FATWAS OF VARIOUS SCHOLARS THAT RECITING QUNOOT IN WITR IS NOT OBLIGATORY BUT SUNNAH, AND OMITTING IT IN WITR DOES NOT INVALIDATE THE WITR PRAYER.
ALLAH KNOWS THE BEST.
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2 thoughts on “QUNOOT in Witr Prayer – Obligatory or Sunnah??

  1. Pingback: HOW TO PRAY WITR? « MOHAMMED IRFAN

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