Correct method of Performing Witr Prayers. Intention made to Allah
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I went through your response on shirk and i would lke to know if making a niyaah in the name of allah for eg:I will perform 2 rakaahs shukran namaz if I pass in my exam etc is also a smaller form of shirk.
Here I have been thought that if a niyaah is made Allah will definitely answer our prayers.Am i right in assuming that, just like our people use holy shrines to get closer to allah,we are also using niyaahs to be better heard by allah.
I would also like to know the following:
Which is the correct method of performing witr prayers(Isha namaaz)
Kindly clarify my doubts
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Is Intention made to Allah a kind of Shirk?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
There is absolutely no harm if one makes an intention and makes an oath with Allah to perform two rakahs of prayer (or any other intention) as gratitude to Allah Subhanah. Performing an act of worship, or a nazar (offering), or offering any good deed to Allahs Blessed name cannot be deemed as shirk; but one fulfills the oath he makes with His Lord, it will be considered an act of virtue and a means of gaining huge reward and ajr from Allah Subhanah. The important thing here is that the act or deed intended should be done exclusively for Allah Subhanah, for indeed all rites or worship are the Exclusive Right of Allah Subhanah Alone.
Allah Subhanah has honored the people who make such oaths for Him and then fulfill them, in His Glorious Quran.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 16 Surah Nahl verse 91: Fulfil the covenant of Allah when ye have entered into it, and break not your oaths after ye have confirmed them; indeed ye have made Allah your surety; for Allah knoweth all that ye do.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 13 Surah Raad verses 20-24:
20 Those who fulfil the Covenant of Allah and fail not in their plighted word;
21 Those who join together those things which Allah hath commanded to be joined hold their Lord in awe and fear the terrible reckoning;
22 Those who patiently persevere seeking of the countenance their Lord; establish regular prayers; spend out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good: for such there is the final attainment of the (Eternal) Home
23 Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there as well as the righteous among their fathers their spouses and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation):
24 "Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home!"
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anaam verses152-153:
152 And come not nigh to the orphan's property except to improve it until he attain the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice; no burden do We place on any soul but that which it can bear; whenever ye speak, speak justly even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfil the Covenant of Allah: thus doth He command you that ye may remember.
153 Verily this is My Way leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His (great) path: thus doth He command you that ye may be righteous.
Some ignorant people make intentions, or take oaths that they will visit so and so shrine, or so and so grave, if the intended good things happens to them! That is indeed manifest shirk because instead of attributing the good to Allah Subhanah Alone and showing their gratitude for the favors done on them by Allah Subhanah, they have intended to show their gratitude to the shrine or grave.and that is clear and manifest shirk!
But if one intends to make an offering to the Merciful Lord Alone as a sign of their gratitude for His favors, there is absolutely no harm. In fact, for the people who fulfill their intentions and oaths that they have made to their Merciful Lord, Allah has promised them a huge reward.
Your Question: Which is the correct method of performing witr prayers(Isha namaaz).
The Messenger of Allah (saws) always prayed the Witr prayers, and exhorted the believers to make the Witr prayer the last prayer of the night. The term used for the Witr prayers by the scholars is wajib, which would mean, highly recommended. The Messenger of Allah (saws) and his companions would never miss this Witr prayer.
Hadrat Ali (r.a.) said: "The witr prayer is not required like your obligatory prayers, but the Prophet (saws) would perform the witr prayer and say: 'O you people [followers] of the Qur'an, perform the witr prayer, for Allah is one and He loves the witr.'" This is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tirmidhi, and Al-Hakim.
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.105 Narrated by Ibn Umar
Once a person asked Allah's Apostle (saws) about the night prayer. Allah's Apostle (saws) replied, "The night prayer is offered as two Rakat, followed by two Rakat, and so on, and if anyone is afraid of the approaching dawn (Fajr prayer) he should pray one Rakah, and this will be a Witr for all the Rakat which he has prayed before."
The Messenger of Allah (saws) used to pray the witr prayers in a number of two rakah formations, and then end the prayer with one or three rakah of witr. At times he (saws) prayed five two rakah formations, and then one rakah of witr; at times he prayed prayed 4 two rakah formations and 3 rakahs of witr with only one tasleem; at times he prayed a five rakah combination together with only one tasleem, etc. But the Messenger of Allah (saws) never prayed one rakah of witr alone after the Isha or night prayer. He always preceded this one rakah with a two or more even rakah formation.
Thus, the correct method of praying the witr prayers (or any other act of worship) is to take the example of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and do the same. After the Isha prayers and before the fajr, one may pray any number of rakahs in an even number formation, and then make the one rakah of witr as his last prayer of the night.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,