In the Islamic centre where I pray, they follow the Hanafi madhhab, and they pray witr with three rakahs,
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:
In the Islamic centre where I pray, they follow the Hanafi madhhab, and they pray witr with three rakahs, separated by a tashahhud in the second rakah, after which they do not say salaam, rather they stand up for the third rakah, and after reciting al-Faatihah and another soorah, they say takbeer but they do not bow, rather they recite duaa al-tahajjud silently, then they say takbeer and bow. Is this valid? If not, what should we do?.
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Pray Witr hanafi style
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.
Fiqh-us-Sunnah Fiqh 2.13
It is permissible to perform the witr prayers by praying two rak'at combinations [and concluding each of them with a tashahud and the tasleems] and then praying one rak'ah with a tashahud and taslim. Likewise, it is allowed to pray all the rak'at with two tashahuds and one taslim. One may pray an even number of rak'ats, one after another, without making any tashahud, save in the one before the last rak'ah in which case one makes the tashahud and then stands to perform the last rak'ah wherein one will make another tashahud and end the prayer with the taslim. One may also make only one tashahud and the taslim, in the last rak'ah of witr. All of that is permissible and can be traced to the Prophet (saws).
Al-Bukhari and Muslim quote 'Aishah saying that the Prophet (saws) would perform thirteen rak'at during the night and would make the witr prayer, and he would not 'sit' except in the last rak'ah of them. In another hadith, 'Aishah reports that the Prophet (saws) would perform nine rak'at during the night and that he would not sit during them until the eighth rak'ah in which he would make remembrance of Allah, praising Him, and would make supplication. Then, he would stand without making the taslim and pray the ninth rak'ah, after which he would sit, make the tashahud and make the taslim in such a manner that we could hear him.
The Messenger of Allah (saws) performed the supererogatory tahuajjud and witr prayers in several ways:
- in two rakah combinations, each set concluding with a tashahud and tasleems, and then only one rakah of witr with a tashahud and tasleem.
- or pray two rakahs, then sit and recite the tashahud without tasleem, get up and offer one more rakah, and then the tashahud and tasleems.
- or pray an even number of rakahs one after another without any tashahud except in the one before the last rakah, then stand and perform the last rakah concluding with a tashahud and tasleems.
- or pray an odd number of rakahs one after another without any tashahud, except in the absolutely last rakah.
All of the above forms of offering the supererogatory tahajjud and witr prayers can be traced to the Prophet (saws), and thus regardless of any which one of the ways one performs these prayers, they would be in accordance with the Sunnah or practice of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Your Question: and they pray witr with three rakahs, separated by a tashahhud in the second rakah, after which they do not say salaam, rather they stand up for the third rakah, and after reciting al-Faatihah and another soorah, they say takbeer but they do not bow, rather they recite duaa al-tahajjud silently, then they say takbeer and bow. Is this valid?
The way you have described is indeed one amongst the ways the Messenger of Allah (saws) would offer his night prayers; thus who prays in such a manner will be in accordance with the Sunnah and practice of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,