The shafa prayers before witr.
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:
after isha i say my 8 taraweeh in mosque, i get up at 2 in the morning for 8 rakahs tahajud plus 1 witr, i would like to know do i have to read 2 saff in mosque? can i do my saff 2 rakah in mosque as well as at home? i know witr is the last prayer of the night i am confused about 2 saff.
can i say 2 saff after taraweeh and 2 again during qayamul lail?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
The shafa prayers before witr
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 none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Respected Sister in Islam, before we address your specific questions, we would like to clarify the literal meaning of the terms Shaff and Witr. Shaff literally and merely means an even number (2, 4, 6, etc.) and witr means an odd number (1, 3, 5, etc.).
Almost all the prayers in Islam are offered in shaff or in an even number of rakahs; and just as one is guided to complete the prayers of the day by offering the three-rakah obligatory magrib prayer, the Messenger of Allah (saws) guided the believers to complete their night prayers with a witr or odd number of rakahs.
It is reported that 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.'"
Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 2.112 Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar
The Prophet (saws) said, "Make Witr as your last prayer at night."
The Prophet (saws) said: 'The night prayer is sets of two rak'at. If one fears the coming of the dawn, he should perform one rak'ah, thereby making all of them odd [witr].'
Your Question: after isha i say my 8 taraweeh in mosque, i get up at 2 in the morning for 8 rakahs tahajud plus 1 witr,
All the prayers of the night one offers after the obligatory isha prayers are voluntary (nafl) and there is absolutely no limit in Shariah for the number of rakahs one is permitted to offer in their voluntary or nafl prayers.
If Allah has blessed one to offer their isha prayers in the mosque, and they choose to offer 8-rakahs of tarawih prayers of Ramadan in the mosque.and they are blessed to further choose to get up in the latter part of the night and offer their voluntary tahajjud prayers.they should have ideally offered all their prayers in sets of even number rakahs, preferably in sets of two-rakah combinations.
When one wishes to complete all their night voluntary prayers, be they tarawih or tahajjud.they should offer a one-rakah witr prayerthus making the total count of the rakahs of their night prayers as witr or odd.
Your Question: can i do my saff 2 rakah in mosque as well as at home?
If the congregation at the masjid where you offer your tarawih prayer offers 8-rakah prayer (tarawih) + 2-rakah (shaff) + 1-rakah (witr).you are at absolute liberty to offer the eight or ten rakahs in the masjid in congregation as you wish or is convenient for you; but you should ideally offer the 1-rakh witr prayers after your tahajjud prayers, thus making them the last prayer of the night.
Both the tarawih and the tahajjud prayers are prayed in sets of two-rakah combinations, thus they are all shaff or an even number of rakahs.
Your Question: can i say 2 saff after taraweeh and 2 again during qayamul lail?
Lets assume that you have a habit of offering three sets of two-rakah combinations, or a total of six rakahs in your tahajjud prayer + a further two-rakah for shaff + 1-rakah of witrthus making a total of nine rakahs.
If you chose to offer eight-rakahs of tarawih in the mosque, then a further nine-rakahs at home for tahajjudyour total qiyaam-ul-layl or voluntary night prayers would total 17-rakahs; and if you chose to offer ten-rakahs in the masjid and a further nine-rakahs in the house, then your total would be nineteen! As long as you strive to offer the odd or witr rakah as the last prayer of the night, you would have practiced in accordance with the Sunnah regardless of the number of rakahs you offered as the qiyaam ul-layl.
In other words, one is at absolute liberty to offer the two-rakah shaff prayers with their tarawih congregation if one wishes to do so; offer it with ones tahajjud if one wishes to do so; or abstain from either or both if one wishes to do so.
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,