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Witr Prayer Behind An Imām Who Seperates the Three Raka’āt


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Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt



Being a follower of the Qur’ān & Sunnah according to the Ḥanafī methodology, I perform the witr prayer in three raka’āts, two sittings, with the concluding salāms at the end of the three raka’āts. I am planning ‘Umrah in Ramadān and was wondering if my witr prayer would be valid behind an imām who performs the witr prayer in such a way where there are two sets of salāms in the three raka’āts, one set after the second raka’āh, and the other at the end of the third raka’āh. Would I have to repeat the witr prayer for it to be valid?



Jazāk Allāh for contacting the Mathābah for your query. Mā-sha Allāh, on your upcoming Umrah trip, during the blessed month of Ramadan.


In response to your concern, kindly note that the differences of opinion amongst the reliable jurists, are not that of truth and falsehood. Rather they are simply differences of preference and correctness; hence it would be permissible to follow an Imām (in ṣalāh) who differs in the furū’āt (minor matters of dīn). One can perform the prayer in the same manner as how such an imām would be leading the prayer. There would be no need to repeat the witr prayer or perform separately, as I personally have seen some people do.


The great Ḥanafī jurist and commentator of the Glorious Qur’ān, Imām Abū Bakr Al Jassās Al Rāzī has permitted a Ḥanafī to follow a Shāfi’īe Imām, who performs the witr prayer with faṣl (separation in the three raka’āts). (See Nawāzil Fiqhiyyah Mu’āṣirah)


Imām Ibn Al Humām states, “The Ḥanafī following behind one who conducts salāms at the conclusion of two raka’āts in witr, is permissible; he is also permitted to perform with him the remainder (one raka’āh). This is because the imām (leading), according to his fiqh, has not exited the ṣalāh by the salām”. (Fatḥ Al Qadīr, Al Baḥr Al Rāiq)


The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) stated, “The imām (who leads the prayer) is responsible” (Sunan Al Kubrā)


And Allāh Knows Best


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