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Is Witr Prayer Compulsory? Read This!

Hi all readers! Are you looking for an explanation about "is Witr prayer compulsory?"? If your answer is “Yes”, congratulations! Now you are reading the right article. Why? Because that is what I will explain in this article. As Muslims, we must understand that. That's why I wrote this article. So, you should read it to the end!

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Specifically, there are three important things about "is Witr prayer compulsory?" which I will explain in this article. The three important things I mean are as follows:

Hadith About Witr Prayer

The first important thing about "is Witr prayer compulsory?" what I will explain now is hadith about Witr prayer. I want you to understand that first before you read more explanations in this article so that you have basic knowledge about Witr prayer.

There are many hadiths about Witr prayer. Of course, I will not explain all of that in this article. I will now explain two general hadiths about the Witr prayer.

The two hadiths about Witr prayer that I mean are as follows:

عَنْ خَارِجَةَ بْنِ حُذَافَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : إِنَّ الله أمَدَّكُمْ بِصَلاَةٍ هِيَ خَيرٌ لَكُمْ مِنْ حُمْرِ النَّعَمِ، قُلْنَا : وَمَا هِيَ يَا رَسُولَ الله؟ قالَ : الوِتْرُ مَا بَيْنَ صَلاَةِ العِشَاءِ إِلى طُلُوعِ الفَجْرِ

From Kharijah bin Hudzafah radliyallahu anhu, he said, "The Messenger of Allah (Prophet Muhammad) sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, "Verily Allah has advised you to pray that is better for you than the most valuable treasure." We said, "What is that, O Messenger of Allah?". He said, "The Witr performed between the Isha prayers until dawn."

عَنْ ابْنِ عُمَرٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ ؛ إِذَا طَلَعَ الْفَجْرُ فَقَدْ ذَهَبَ وَقْتُ كُلِّ صَلَاةِ اللَّيْلِ وَالْوِتْرِ ، فَأَوْتِرُوْا قَبْلَ طُلُوْعِ الْفَجْرِ . رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ

From Ibn Umar radliyallahu anhumaa, from the Prophet (Muhammad) sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, he said, "If dawn has arisen, then really the time for evening prayer and Witr prayer is gone. Pray Witr before dawn appears!" The hadith is narrated by at-Tirmidhi.

All readers! If we understand the two hadiths about Witr prayer above, we can conclude several things as follows:

  1. Witr prayer is more important than the most luxurious wealth (first hadith).
  2. The time for the Witr prayer is after the Isha prayer until before the second dawn (dawn shadiq) rises.

That is an important explanation of the hadith about Witr prayer. As Muslims, we must understand that.

Is Witr Prayer Compulsory?

The second important thing about "is Witr prayer compulsory?" what I'm going to explain now is a specific answer. I want you to understand that because that is the main topic of this article. So, you should read the explanation below very well.

Specifically, if we read some Islamic legal literature on Witr prayer, we will find an explanation that Witr prayer is not compulsory. Witr prayer is not in the list of compulsory prayers for Muslims.

We can find this explanation in the two hadiths below:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ زَوْجِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَتْ كَانَ أَوَّلَ مَا افْتُرِضَ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الصَّلَاةُ رَكْعَتَانِ رَكْعَتَانِ إِلَّا الْمَغْرِبَ فَإِنَّهَا كَانَتْ ثَلَاثًا ثُمَّ أَتَمَّ اللَّهُ الظُّهْرَ وَالْعَصْرَ وَالْعِشَاءَ الْآخِرَةَ أَرْبَعًا فِي الْحَضَرِ وَأَقَرَّ الصَّلَاةَ عَلَى فَرْضِهَا الْأَوَّلِ فِي السَّفَرِ

From Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, she said: Among that which was obligated on Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam was Salat which was two Rakats two Rakats except for Maghrib which was three, and then Allah made Zuhr Asr and Isha four while one is not Traveling, and made it the same as it was obligated the first time while Traveling (meaning Two Rakats).

عَنْ قَيْسِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو قَالَ رَأَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ رَجُلًا يُصَلِّي بَعْدَ صَلَاةِ الصُّبْحِ رَكْعَتَيْنِ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ صَلَاةُ الصُّبْحِ رَكْعَتَانِ فَقَالَ الرَّجُلُ إِنِّي لَمْ أَكُنْ صَلَّيْتُ الرَّكْعَتَيْنِ اللَّتَيْنِ قَبْلَهُمَا فَصَلَّيْتُهُمَا الْآنَ فَسَكَتَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

From Qays ibn Amr, he said, "The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam saw a person praying after the congregational prayer at dawn was over. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said: There are two rakats of the dawn prayer (i.e. the prescribed rakats). The man replied: I did not pray the two rakats before the dawn prayer. Hence, I offered them now. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam kept silent.

The two hadiths above explain the types of compulsory prayers for Muslims (Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha). Witr prayer is not one of them.

In addition to the two hadiths above, we can also find an explanation that the Witr prayer is a recommendation for Muslims or the sunnah prayer in the following hadiths:

عَنْ جَابِرٍ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : مَنْ خَافَ أَنْ لَا يَقُومَ مِنْ آخِرِ اللَّيْلِ فَلْيُوتِرْ أَوَّلَهُ وَمَنْ طَمِعَ أَنْ يَقُومَ آخِرَهُ فَلْيُوتِرْ آخِرَ اللَّيْلِ فَإِنَّ صَلَاةَ آخِرِ اللَّيْلِ مَشْهُودَةٌ وَذَلِكَ أَفْضَلُ

From Jabir, he said, "The Messenger of Allah (Prophet Muhammad) sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, "Whoever is afraid of not being able to wake up at the end of the night, let him pray the Witr prayer at the beginning of the night. And whoever hopes to wake up at the end of the night, let him perform the Witr prayer at the end of the night, because the prayer at the end of the night is witnessed (by the angels) and that is more important.”

اِجْعَلُوْا آخِرَ صَلاَتِكُم ْباِللّيْلِ وِتْرًا

Make the end of your prayers at night with Witr prayer.

عَنْ أَبِيْ هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ : أَوْصَانِيْ خَلِيْلِيْ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِثَلَاثٍ : صِيَامُ ثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ مِنْ كُلِّ شَهْرٍ ، وَرَكْعَتَيْ الضُّحىَ ، وَأَنْ أُوْتِرَ قَبْلَ أَنْ أَنَامَ

From Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu, he said, "My beloved (Prophet Muhammad) sallallahu alayhi wa sallam has instructed me three things: fasting three days every month, two rakats in Duha prayer, and praying Witr before I go to sleep."

عَنْ عَلِيٍّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ ؛ قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ؛ أَوْتِرُوْا يَا أَهْلَ الْقُرْآنِ فَإِنَّ اللهَ وِتْرٌ يُحِبُّ الْوِتْرَ . رَوَاهُ الْخَمْسَةٌ

From Ali radliyallahu anhu, he said, "Allah's Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "Pray Witr, O Ahul Quran! Indeed, Allah is one and likes the Witr prayer." The hadith is narrated by five people (Ahmad, Abu Daud, at-Tirmidhi, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah).

So, once again, I would like to say that Witr prayer is not an obligation for Muslims. Witr prayer is a recommended prayer or sunnah prayer.

That is an important explanation of "is Witr prayer compulsory?". As Muslims, we must understand that.

Another Reason Why Witr Prayer Is Sunnah

The third important thing about "is Witr prayer compulsory?" what I will explain now is another reason why Witr prayer is sunnah. I want you to understand that because there are reasons other than what I have explained before.

If we read some Islamic literature about why the Witr prayer is not obligatory for Muslims, we will find an explanation that the reason is the rakat in Witr prayer. The point is that the various rakats in Witr are another proof that the Witr prayer is a sunnah, not an obligation for Muslims.

As we already know that we can perform Witr prayer with 1 rakat, 3 rakat, 5 rakat, 7 rakat, 9 rakat, 11 rakat, and so on. It is not like the rakat in Fajr prayer (2 rakat), Zuhr prayer (4 rakat), Asr prayer (4 rakat), Maghrib prayer (3 rakat), and Isha (4 rakat). Rakat in the compulsory prayers has been determined with certainty and cannot be changed.

We can find an explanation that the Witr prayer can be performed with various odd rakats in the hadith below:

عَنْ أَبِيْ أَيُّوْبَ الْأَنْصَارِيِّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ رَسُوْلَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ ؛ الْوِتْرُ حَقٌّ عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ ، مَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يُوْتِرَ بِخَمْسٍ فَلْيَفْعَلْ ، وَمَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يُوْتِرَ بِثَلَاثٍ فَلْيَفْعَلْ ، وَمَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يُوْتِرَ بِوَاحِدَةٍ فَلْيَفْعَلْ . رَوَاهُ الْأَرْبَعَةُ إِلَّا التِّرْمِذِيُّ

From Abu Ayyub al-Ansari radliyallahu anhu, that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, " Witr prayer is the obligation of every Muslim. Whoever likes the five rakats, then he will do it. Whoever likes three rakats, then let him do. Anyone who likes one rakat, then let him do." The hadith is narrated by four people except at-Tirmidhi (Abu Daud, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah).

That is an important explanation of another reason why Witr prayer is sunnah. As Muslims, we must understand that.

All readers! That is a brief explanation of "is Witr prayer compulsory?" and some important things about it. Do you understand? If you want to ask, please ask!

I think that's enough for this article. Hope it is useful. Amen.

See you again in the next article!

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