The Witr Prayer
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Can we offer one Rak‘at for Salatu’l-Witr? Are there any special circumstances under which one Rak‘at is allowed?


If we collect all the texts of the Ahādīth which mention Salātu’l-Witr and Salātu’l-Layl, the picture which emerges is the Witr prayer is actually a part of the Tahajjud prayer, which it seems from the Qur’ān was obligatory for the Prophet (sws). He used to pray Tahajjud so that the total number of Rak‘āt would be odd in number. The manner in which he did this was that he would first pray even number of Rak‘āt and then make them odd by praying one more Rak‘at and at times three more Rak‘āt. The additional odd Rak‘at (or Rak‘āt) is called Witr – for the word Witr literally means ‘odd’ in Arabic. Consequently, Witr is not a separate type of prayer as some people think, and there is no such thing as praying one Witr.


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