Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Saheeh al-Jami ‘as-Saghir Hadith No. 151

By almaas Aug 13, 2023

اجعلوا آخر صلاتكم بالليل وترا
(صحيح) … [ق د] عن ابن عمر. صحيح أبي داود 1292, الإرواء 422: حم, ابن نصر: أبو عوانة, هق)

 It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

” Make witr your last prayer at night .” 

This hadith was narrated by Ahmad (2/20, 102, 143), al-Bukhari (998), Muslim (751), Abu Dawud (1438) from the words of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them.

The hadith is authentic. See Sahih al-Jami ‘as-saghir (151), Sahih Abi Dawud (1292), Irwa-ul-galil (422).
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“Witr” is an additional prayer, which consists of an odd number of rak’ats. The time for its performance begins after the evening prayer / ‘Isha’ / and continues until dawn.

There is disagreement among scholars regarding the obligation to perform the Witr prayer. Among those who considered it obligatory was Imam Abu Hanifa. But Imam Ibn al-Munzir said: “I do not know anyone who supported Abu Hanifa in this opinion.” See Sahih fiqhu-s-Sunnah (1/382).

This is not entirely true, for Imam Ibn Abi Shayba (3/297) and others mentioned that Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib, Abu ‘Ubaydah, ad-Dahhak and Mujahid also spoke about the obligatory prayer of the Witr. However, Hafiz Ibn Hajar said that the message from Mujahid was weak.

Arguments of the party considering Witr prayer obligatory

  1. It is reported that Buraydah said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:“ The performance of the Witr is obligatory, and the one who does not perform this prayer has nothing to do with us! ”, – repeating these words three times”. This hadith was narrated by Ahmad (5/357), Abu Dawood (1419).
    However, scholars who do not consider the prayer of the Witr obligatory said that this hadith is weak. Citing this hadith, Imam al-Hakim said that he was reliable and called the transmitter of Abul Munib ‘Ubaydullah ibn’ Abdullah reliable. However, Imam al-Zahabi, who clarified the authenticity of the hadiths in al-Hakim’s book al-Mustadrak, objected to these words and said: “Imam al-Bukhari said that this transmitter had inappropriate messages.”
  2.  Imam al-Bukhari said this in his book at-Tarikh (1245). And Hafiz al-Munziri reported that this transmitter was also called weak by Imam al-Nasai and others. Also Hafiz Ibn Hajar in Fathul-Bari said that there is a weakness in this transmitter.
  3. This hadith is also transmitted from Abu Hurayrah, but through another isnad, which is quoted by Imam Ahmad (2/443). However, the Hanafi Hafiz az-Zaila’i said regarding this hadith: “The Isnad of this hadith is interrupted. Imam Ahmad said: “The transmitter of Mu’awiya ibn Qurr did not hear (hadith) the words of Abu Huraira and did not hear anything from him.” And the transmitter of Khalil ibn Murr was called weak by Yahya ibn Ma’in, al-Nasai and al-Bukhari. ” See Nasbu – r – raya (2/113).
    For this reason, Hafiz Ibn Hajar and Sheikh al-Albani called this hadith weak. See “ad-Diraya” (113), “Irwa-ul-galil” (417).
  4. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The witr is a duty for every Muslim so if anyone wishes to observe it with five rak’ahs, he may do so; if anyone wishes to observe it with three, he may do so, and if anyone wishes to observe it with one, he may do so.” Abu Dawood (1422), al-Nasai (8/238). Imam Ibn Hibban, Imam al-Nawawi, Hafiz Ibn Hajar, Sheikh Al-Albani and Sheikh Muqbil confirmed the authenticity of the hadith. See al-Majmoo (4/17), al-Khulyasa (1/548), Bulug al-maram (107), Sahih Abi Daud (1422), Tahrij mishkatul-masabih (1221).
  5. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Indeed, Allah has added a prayer for you, and this is a witr. So do it between evening and morning prayers! ” Ahmad (6/7), at-Tirmizi (452), at-Tabarani (1/100).
    However, scholars who do not consider the prayer of the Witr obligatory said that these hadiths are also weak. For example, Imam at-Tirmidhi considered this hadith to be weak, and Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi considered all these hadiths to be weak and said: “There is no reliable hadith regarding this chapter (about the obligatory prayer of witr)!” See ” Aridatul-ahwazi ‘(2/234).
    But Sheikh al-Albani, by virtue of supporting evidence, considered the second and third hadiths to be reliable, but at the same time did not incline to the obligatory prayer of the Vitr. He said: “Outwardly, the meaning of this hadith indicates that the prayer of the Vitr is obligatory, and this was the opinion of the Hanafis, unlike most scholars. And if it were not for the unequivocal reliable arguments that there are only five obligatory prayers during the day and night, then the opinion of the Hanafis would be true. For this reason, it is necessary to understand the decree in these hadiths as desirable and not obligatory. ” See “al-Silsilah as-sahiha” (1/222).
    And the words “Allah added a prayer for you” does not indicate that Allah added a prayer to the number of five obligatory ones, but it may mean that Allah has legalized the performance of one more voluntary prayer. And the clear reason for this is the following hadith: “Indeed, Allah has added prayer to your prayers, and it is better for you than possessing red camels! And these are two rak’ats before the morning prayer ”. This hadith was narrated by al-Bayhaqi (2/469). Hafiz Ibn ‘Abdul-Hadi called the isnad of the hadith authentic.
    The meaning of this hadith is similar to the hadith about Witr, but does it follow from this that two rak’ats before the morning prayer are obligatory ?! Even those who were inclined to believe that Witr is a must did not think so. Otherwise, it turns out that the obligatory prayers during the day and night are not five, but seven, which is impossible, since Allah Almighty during the night ascension of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), making it the responsibility of the Muslim community to perform prayers, reduced the total the number of obligatory prayers from fifty to five, which is reported in many reliable hadiths.
  6. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say: “Perform Witr before dawn!” This hadith was narrated by Muslim (754).
  7. ‘Aisha said that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed the night prayer and reached the vitr, he told her: “Get up and perform the Witr, o’ Aisha!” Muslim (512).
    Supporters of the opinion that the prayer of witr is obligatory, said that these hadiths contain a command to perform the prayer of witr, and any command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) indicates that it is obligatory.
  8. However, scholars who considered vitr desirable, said that in these hadiths the indication of the prayer of the vitr at the time set for it, and moreover, the command in these hadiths is desirable, and not obligatory. See Tukhfatul-ahwazi (2/537).
  9. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May the one who overslept or forgot to perform the Vitr, perform it when he wakes up or remembers.” at-Tirmidhi (465), Ibn Madjah (1188). The authenticity of the hadith was confirmed by Hafiz al-‘Iraqi, Sheikh al-Mubarakfuri and Sheikh al-Albani.
    Scholars who adhere to this opinion said that in this hadith an indication that witr is required, otherwise the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not have ordered that this prayer be reimbursed to someone who overslept or forgot to perform it.
    But scholars who did not consider this prayer obligatory, said that this command also bears a desirable character, and not obligatory, since other hadiths also contain a command to compensate for the same two rak’ats of the Sunnah before the obligatory morning prayer. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May the one who did not perform two rak’ahs of the morning Sunnah, do them when the sun has already risen!” at-Tirmidhi (343), Ibn Khuzaimah (1117), Ibn Hibban (613). The hadith is authentic. See al-Silsilah al-sahiha (2361).
    Imam Ibn Qudama, referring to the arguments of those scholars who considered the prayer of vitr obligatory, said: “There was disagreement regarding the reliability of the hadiths that they cited as an argument for the obligatory Witr, but at the same time their meaning was in asserting the desirability of this prayer.” See al-Mughni (1/826).

Evidence from those who consider Witr prayer a solid Sunnah

Most scholars, both predecessors and followers, as well as many supporters of the Abu Hanifa madhhab, considered the performance of the Witr prayer highly desirable, but not mandatory. And Imam al-Khattabi said: “The scholars were unanimous that the Witr prayer is not obligatory, with the exception of what Hasan ibn Ziyad conveyed from Abu Hanifa, that he called this prayer obligatory. But the supporters of his madhhab do not say so, and even if it is reliable from Abu Hanifa, the unanimous opinion (ijma ‘) on this issue has outstripped his statement. ” See Ma’alimu-s-Sunan (1/286).
Their reasons are as follows:

1. Talha ibn ‘Ubaydullah said that to the question of a person: “What has Allah charged me as a duty from prayer?” – the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied: “Five prayers during the day and night.” He asked, “Am I obligated to do more than this?” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) replied: “No, unless you yourself want to do it.” This hadith was narrated by al-Bukhari (46) and Muslim (11).

2. Ibn ‘Abbas said that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sent Mu’az to Yemen, among other instructions, he told him: “And notify them that Allah has charged them with the obligation to do five prayers throughout the day and night. ” al-Bukhari (1/352) and Muslim (1/34).
Imam al-Shawkani said: “This is the best argument that Witr is not obligatory, since Mu’az was sent to Yemen shortly before the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).” See Neylul Outar (3/13).

3. Al-Muhaddaji said that when one man asked Abu Muhammad about the prayer of the Witr, he said: “Witr is wajib, just like the obligatory prayers.” When these words were conveyed to ‘Ubad ibn al-Samit, he said: “Abu Muhammad lied, for I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:“ Allah Almighty has charged five prayers. And the one who thoroughly bathed and prayed at the time set for prayers, made full-fledged bows and prostrations, observed humility in prayers, he has a promise from Allah that He will forgive him. And the one who does not do this does not have a promise from Allah, and if Allah wishes, He will forgive him, and if he wishes, he will punish him! ”Ahmad (2/234), Ibn Majah (1/499). The veracity of the hadith was confirmed by the Hafiz Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr, the Qaads of Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi,
Hafiz Ibn ‘Abdul-Barr said: “In this hadith, there is evidence that there are only five prayers, and no more.” See at-Tamhid (23/289).

4. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said: “Verily, Witr is not an obligatory prayer, like the five obligatory prayers. However, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed witr. ” at-Tirmidhi (1/282) and Ibn Majah (1/370). The authenticity of the hadith was confirmed by Imam Abu ‘Isa at-Tirmidhi and Sheikh al-Albani.
These reports from the Companions indicate that they did not consider the Witr prayer obligatory, although there was disagreement among them about this. Abu Muhammad, who said that witr is wajib is Mas’ud ibn Aus al-Ansari, about whom it was even said that he was a participant in the battle of Badr. Also, the opinion that the Witr prayer is mandatory is transmitted from Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. Ibn Abi Sheiba (6930).
As for the words of ‘Ubada: “Abu Muhammad lied!”, We are talking about the fact that he was mistaken.
And the opinion of ‘Ubada is stronger than Abu Muhammad, since Abu Muhammad did not bring an argument to his words, and’ Ubada quoted the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that there are five obligatory prayers!

5. Ibn ‘Umar said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed the Witr prayer while sitting on his camel.” al-Bukhari (999).

He also said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) performed Witr while sitting on a riding animal, no matter which direction it went, and he did not perform obligatory prayers on the mounted animal!” Muslim (700).

Imam Abul-‘Abbas al-Qurtubi said: “This hadith is an argument against those who consider Witr obligatory. Scientists are unanimous, as reported by Qada ‘Iyad, that obligatory prayer is not performed on horseback, except for the reason, such as fear or illness. ” See al-Mufhim (2/342).

Hafiz Ibn Rajab said: “This is the argument that has been made that Witr is not obligatory and that it refers to voluntary prayers. After all, if Witr were obligatory, like five-fold prayers, then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would not have performed it astride an animal, having the opportunity to perform it while standing ”. See Fathul Bari (9/182).
Sheikh al-Mubarakfuri said: “Know that most scholars have cited this hadith from Ibn ‘Umar as an argument that the prayer of the Witr is not obligatory. And this is a clear reason for this, since obligatory prayer is not performed on horseback. ” See Tukhfatul-ahwazi (2/538).

Conclusion
On the basis of all that has been said, it becomes clear that the arguments of the majority of scholars who consider performing the Witr prayer desirable, but not obligatory, are stronger, and the reliability of the hadiths on which they relied are beyond doubt.

However, upon learning that Witr is not wajib, Muslims should not stop doing it. It was about what is the position of this prayer in the Sharia, in order to know what place it occupies in Islam, and to know whether a sin has been committed for not performing this worship and whether it is necessary to bring repentance for this.

In addition, we can cite some statements of the imams who considered the performance of the prayer of the Witr not obligatory, but, nevertheless, strictly urged to perform this prayer:

Imam ash-Shafi’i said regarding the prayers of Witr and ad-dukh: “I do not approve of the abandonment of these prayers for a Muslim, even if I do not oblige them to be performed. But the one who abandoned the performance of all voluntary prayers is worse than the one who left one of them. ” See al-Umm (1/260).

Imam Ahmad said: “The one who deliberately abandoned the performance of the Witr prayer is a bad person, and one should not accept testimony from him.” See al-Mughni (1/827).

Sheikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “Prayer of Witr is better than all voluntary prayers performed in the daytime.” See Majmu’ul-Fataawa (23/88).

By almaas

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