Fatwa: # 19797
Category: Daily
Country: Mauritius
Date: 29th February 2012


How many Rakaats and Salaam are in Witr Salaat?


1) Are the following Ahādith concerning numbers of Rakāt in Witr considered as Sahih and confirms that one Rakat Witr is valid?  

“The prayer of the night is sets of two Rakat. If one fears the coming of the dawn, he should perform one Rakat, thereby making all of them odd (Witr)".  

"Witr is only one Rakat at the last part of the night". 

"Witr prayer is one's due, so whoever likes to perform five Rakats of Witr he may perform them, whoever wants to perform three Rakats of Witr he may perform that, and whoever wants to perform one Rakat of Witr he may do so. And whoever faces hardship to perform it, he may perform it only by making gestures”  

2) How many Salām are there in Witr at the end of the prayer? Is it one or two or both are acceptable? Please support with Sahih Hadith.




In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh. 

The general public do not have the academic qualifications in understanding Ahādith and reconciling between the different Ahādith. It is thus best for them to rely on the rulings of their Imām and practice upon them. This is called Taqlīd.

The Imāms of fiqh, Imām Abu Hanifah, Imām Shāfī, Imām Malik and Imām Ahmed (may Allah’s mercy be upon them) were oceans of knowledge in Qurān and Hādith. Each one had applied their principles in declaring the correct ruling of Sharīah from the Qurān and Hādith. 

Our responsibility is to adopt one particular Imām and follow all his rulings with full confidence in his knowledge.

However, there are differences of opinion in the number of Rakāts and the procedure of Witr Salāh. 

According to the Hanafi School of thought Witr is performed with three Rakāts and one Salām.[1]

According to the Shāfī School of thought there are many ways of performing Witr.[2] 

If you follow Imām Abu Hanifah then you should perform Witr according to his Mazhab (School of thought) and if you follow Imām Shāfī then you should perform Witr according to his Mazhab. 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Zaid M Shelia,
Student Darul Iftaa

Chicago, Illinois (USA)


Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[1]   والوتر ثلاث ركعاتٍ لا يفصل بينهما بسلامٍ.. اللباب في شرح الكتاب 2/162 دار البشائر الاسلامية

الوتر واجب وهو ثلاث ركعات بتسليمه.. مراقي الفلاح1/139 المكتبة العصرية

[2]  والوتر ثلاث ركعات عندنا. وقال الشافعي إن شاء أوتر بركعة أو ثلاث أو خمس أو سبع أو إحدى عشرة.. المحيط البرهاني 2/265 المجلس العلمى

مطلب الْوتر... قَالَ الشَّافِعِي يُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ وَيسلم ثمَّ يُصَلِّي رَكْعَة وَيسلم

وَعند الْفُقَهَاء وابي عبد الله يُوتر بِتَسْلِيمَة كوتر النَّهَار وَهِي بالمغرب لَان رَسُول الله صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم نهى عَن البتراء ولان رَكْعَة أَو رَكْعَة وَنصفا لَا يكون صَلَاة.. النتف في الفتاوى 68 دار الكتب العلمية

قال أصحابنا: الوتر ثلاث ركعات بتسليمة واحدة في الأوقات كلها، وقال الشافعي هو بالخيار إن شاء أوتر بركعة أو ثلاث أو خمس أو سبع أو تسع أو أحد عشر في الأوقات كلها.. بدائع الصنائع1/271 دار الكتب العلمية


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