Al-Witr Prayer The Arabic word witr means “odd number” and is generally used to refer to salatul-witr, which is the performance of the last voluntary night prayer as one rak’ah. The maximum prayer before it should be ten. The Prophet () said, “The (optional) night prayer should be offered in twos and twos; if you fear that dawn is approaching, then offer one rak’ah to make (the number of rak’ahs) you have offered odd (witr).” (Ai-Bukhaaree) Al-witr prayer is a necessary Sunnah, and a Muslim should not leave it under any circumstances. The time for al-witr extends from the Isha prayer until shortly before the Fajr prayer. It is preferable to perform it in the last part of the night, unless one fears one might wake up late to do it. The Prophet () said, “Whoever among you thinks that he will not be able to wake up in the last part of the night should perform the witr prayer in the first part; and whoever among you thinks that he can wake up in the last part of the night should pray witr in the last part. For, indeed, prayer during the last part of the night is attended by the angels and is more virtuous.” (Muslim and Ahmad) Recitation for Al-Witr For the two rak’ahs that occur before the witr prayer, it is recommended to recite Surat al-A’ala after Surat al-Fatihah in the first one and Surat al-Kaafiroon after Surat al-Fatihah in the second one. In the witr rak’ah, theProphet () frequently recited Surat al-lkhlas after Surat al-Fatihah, and only occasionally recited Surat al-Falaq , and Surat an-Nas along with Surat al-lkhlas. A Muslim, however, should not offer the witr prayer twice in the same night. If someone has performed the witr prayer in the first part of the night, then wakes up and wants to perform any voluntary prayers, he can do so without repeating the witr prayer. The Prophet () said, “There are no two witr prayers in the same night.” (At-urmidhee) Exercises A.Answer these questions. 1.How many raka’hs does the witr prayer has? 2.What surah should be recited in the witr prayer? 3.What are the two surahs that are recommended to be recited after Surat al-Fatihah in the two rak’ahs before the witr prayer? Dhikrullaah (Remembrance of Allah) The Meaning of Dhikrullaah Dhikrullaah (or dhikr, for short) means the remembrance of Allah. It can be done by either the tongue or the heart, but the best form of dhikr is the one that is done by both of them. Almighty Allah commands us to do dhikr: Remember Me and I shall remember you. Be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. (al-Baqarah) When we remember Allah, the Creator and Lord of the worlds, He remembers us in return. Allah said in a hadeeth qudsee: “I am as My servant thinks I am, and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in a gathering, I make mention of him in a gathering better than it …” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) Dhikrullaah is supremely great. Allah’s Messenger () would always remember Allah: before going to bed, upon waking up, before entering the toilet, upon leaving it, upon entering the mosque, upon leaving it, before and after eating and drinking, in the morning and in the evening and at all times. He once said, “The comparison of the one who remembers his Lord and the one who does not remember his Lord is like that of the living and the dead.” (Al-Bukhaaree) Some of the many Benefits of Dhikrullaah 1 . It drives away Satan; 2. It is pleasing to Allah; 3. It removes the worries of the heart and brings happiness and joy to it. 4. It illuminates the face and the heart; 5. It gives life to the heart. In fact, it is to the heart as water is to the fish. Fish cannot survive without water. 6. It nourishes the heart and the soul. If someone is deprived of it, it is as if his body was deprived of food. 7. It erases sins. 8. It delivers one from Allah’s punishment. 9. It is a good way to help the tongue avoid such evil things as backbiting, lies and vain talk. Each specific form of ibaadah or acts of worship – salah, sawm, hajj are all different forms of dhikr. Recitation of the Qur’an Reciting the Qur’an is the best form of dhikr. In fact, the Qur’an is our guide, light and our leader, and so it must be our constant companion. Various Expressions of Daily Dhikr 1 . The Prophet () said, “There are two statements which are light for the tongue, heavy in the scales of deeds and dearer to the Most Merciful: Subhaan-Allaahi wa bihamdihee, subhaan-Allaahil-‘Adheem ; Glory be to Allah, His is the praise; glory be to Allah, the Most Great (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) 2. Abu Musa said, “Allah’s Messenger () said to me, “Shall I not direct you to one of the treasures of Paradise?” I said, “Yes, O Allah’s Messenger.” He said, La hawla wa laa quwwata illaa billaah ;There is neither power nor might except with Allah (Ai-Bukhaaree and Muslim) 3. Abu Hurairah () narrated that Allah’s Messenger () said, “Whoever says, Subhoonolloohi wo bihamdihee (Glory be to Allah, His is the Praise) one hundred times a day will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam Of the Sea.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) 4. Allah’s Messenger () said, “For me to say Subhaanallaahi wal homdulillaahi wa laa ilaaha illallaahu walloahu akbor. ;Glory be to Allah, Praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah and Allah is Most Great is dearer to me than that over which the sun has ever risen” (Muslim) 5. Allah’s Messenger () said, “Whoever says laa ilaaha illallaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa huwwa ‘alaa kulli shai’in qadeer ; There is no god but Allah Alone, He has no partner, His is the dominion and His is the praise, and He is Capable of all things, ten times, will have the same reward as that given for freeing ten slaves; one hundred rewards will be written in his account, one hundred sins will be removed from his account, and this saying will be a shield for him from Satan on that day till night, and nobody will be able to do a better deed except the one who has done more than him.” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) 6. Ali narrated that Allah’s Messenger () told him and to his wife Fatimah ( ), “When you go to bed, say Allaahu Akbar thirty-four times, Al-Hamdu lillaah thirty-three times and Subhaan-Allaah thirty-three times” (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) Exercises A. Answer these questions. 1 . What does dhikrullaah mean? 2. Mention at least four benefits of dhikr. 3. What is the likeness of the person who remembers Allah and the person who does not remember Him? 4. What is the best form of dhikr? B. Activity 1 . Learn the various forms of dhikr from the lesson and practise them in your daily life. 2. Find out what is meant by ‘hadeeth qudsee * 1 2 mentioned in the lesson.