Salat of Vitr is Sunnat-i-Muwakkadah. It would be said after Farz salat of Esha upto Fajr at the end of Sunnat and Nafl salats. The salat of Vitr is too virtuous. The Prophet (sm) would not leave it and two rak‘at sunnats of Fajr at home and in his journey.
Vitr means uneven. Which is in fact one rak‘at. Because without adding one rak‘at, no salat of even would be of uneven. Narrated by Abdullah ibnu Umar (R) the Prophet (sm) said, ‘Night nafl salat is in twos (مَثْنَى مَثْنَى) . When one of you fear of the appearance of Fajr, he should say one rak‘at, then it will make uneven all of the previous nafl salats he have said’. In another hadeeth he said,الْوِتْرُ رَكْعَةٌ مِّنْ آخِرِ اللَّيْلِ ‘Vitr is one rak‘at at the end of the night. ‘A-yesha (R) says,وَكَانَ يُوْتِرُ بِوَاحِدَةٍ ‘the Prophet (sm) would make Vitr by one rak‘at’.
Vitr can be said 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 to 13 rak‘ats (وَلاَ بِأَكْثَرَ مِنْ ثَلاَثَ عَشْرَةَ) with night nafl salats and it is permissible either at early, middle or at the end of the night till Fajr. If some one goes to sleep or forgets to say Vitr, then he will say it at his convenient time after wake up from sleep at night or after sun-rise or when he remembers it. Like other Sunnat-Nafl, the due salat of Vitr may be said. In 3 rak‘ats of Vitr it is better to say continually in one salam. In 5 rak‘ats of Vitr, continuous five rak‘ats to be said by one sitting at the last with salam. In 7 or 9 rak‘ats of Vitr, the 1st sitting is to be made in 6th or 8th rak’at. Then will turn in salam after the last sitting in 7th or 9th rak‘at.
Including four great caliphs, most of the Sahabis, Tabe‘iis and Mujtahid Imams were accustomed to one rak‘at of Vitr. So ‘one rak‘at of Vitr is not proper and one rak‘at makes no salat’, ‘Vitr is confined within three rak‘ats’. ‘Vitr salat as like as Maghrib’. ‘Ijma of Ummah is happened on three’ the statements which are in vogue, have no basis in shari‘ah. The Prophet (sm) said, ‘Don’t say Vitr as the salat of Maghrib (by sitting between)’. Ubai ibnu Ka‘b (R) says that ‘the Prophet (sm) used to read in three rak‘ats of Vitr sura A‘la in the 1st, sura Ka-firoon in the 2nd, and sura Ikhlas in the 3rd. There narrates to read sura Falaq & Nass also with it. In this time he would not turn in salam except in the last rak‘at of three (وَلاَ يُسَلِّمُ إِلاَّ فِي آخِرِهِنَّ) .
‘Qunoot’ means humble obedience. It has two kinds: Qunoot-i-Ra-tibah and Qunoot-i-Na-zhilah. The first one is used to say in the last rak‘at of Vitr salat and the second one is used to say in the last rak‘at of Farz salats at the time of any danger or of any praticular important cause. For Qunoot of Vitr there is a definite Doa narrated in the Hadeeth. The Qunoot of Vitr can be said through the year round. But sometimes it is better to leave it. As because Qunoot is not Wajib (compulsory) for the Vitr. Qunoot would be said before or after the ruku, It has been clearly narrated by Abu Huraira (R) that,
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ إِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَّدْعُوَ عَلَى أَحَدٍ أَوْ لِأَحَدٍ قَنَتَ بَعْدَ الرُّكُوْعِ، متفق عليه-
‘When the Prophet (sm) would pray for and against anybody, then he would read Qunoot after ruku. Imam Baihaqi (Rh) says,
رُوَاةُ الْقُنُوتِ بَعْدَ الرُّكُوْعِ أَكْثَرُ وَأَحْفَظُ وَعَلَيْهِ دَرَجَ الْخُلَفَاءُ الرَّاشِدُوْنَ-
‘The narrators of the Qunoot after ruku are larger in number and are comparatively most retentive of memory and the Khulafa-i- Rashideen has practiced on it. It has been proved by the doings of Umar, Abdullah ibnu Mas‘ood, Anas and Abu Huraira (R) reading the Qunoot of Vitr raising two hands along with the chest. Raising two hands as raising in Takbeer-i-Tahreemah just before reading the Qunoot before ruku which is in vogue, has no pure basis in shari‘ah. Imam Ahmad ibnu Hambal (Rh) was asked, whether the Qunoot of Vitr would be after or before ruku and whether it was proper to raise hands at the time of Qunoot or not? He replied that the Qunoot of Vitr would be after the ruku and it was permissible to raise hands at the time of Doa. Abu Yusuf (Rh) says, ‘the Doa of Qunoot in Vitr should be read keeping high the palms skyward along with the chest. This has also been liked by Tahavi and Karkhi. In this time Muqtadis will say ‘Ameen’ ‘Ameen’.
Doa-i-Qunoot (دعاء قنوت الوتر) :
Hasan bin Ali (R) says that, ‘the Prophet (sm) has taught me the following Doa for the Qunoot of Vitr :
اَللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِيْ فِيْمَنْ هَدَيْتَ، وَعَافِنِىْ فِيْمَنْ عَافَيْتَ، وَتَوَلَّنِيْ فِيْمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ، وَبَارِكْ لِيْ فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ، وَقِنِيْ شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ، فَإِنَّكَ تَقْضِىْ وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ، إنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَن وَّالَيْتَ، وَلاَ يَعِزُّ مَنْ عَادَيْتَ، تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ، وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلَى النَّبِىِّ-
Pronunciation: Alla -hummahdinee Feeman Hadayta, wa ‘A-finee Feeman ‘A-faita, wa Tawallanee Feeman Tawallaita, wa Ba-riklee Feema- A‘taita, wa Qinee Sharra ma Qazaita, Fa Innaka Taqzee wala Yuqza ‘Alaika, Innahu La yazillu maon wa-laita, wala Ya‘izzhu man ‘A-adaita, Taba-rakta Rabbana wa Ta‘a-laita, wa Sallall-ahu ‘Alan Nabi.
The Imam in congregational salat may pronounce plural number ‘Na’ (نَا) in the place of singular number ‘Ni’ (نِىْ) .
Translation: Oh Allah! show me the right path, considering me among those, whom you have shown the right path. Pardon me considering me among those, whom you have pardoned. Be my guardian considering me among those, of whom you have become the guardian. Increase in that which you have given me. Save me from the evil effects of that which you have already decided upon. Because you alone give decision and none can give decision against you. Whom you kept friendship, is never be dishonoured. And whom you keep enmity, can never be honoured. Oh our Fosterer! You are full of abundance and you are most high. May Allah shower kindness on His Prophet’.
After the end of Doa-i-Qunoot the musalli is to lay in prostration saying ‘Alla-hu Akbar’. After the Qunoot, two hands should be raised up only. Shaking the face at that time, the hadeeth about it is Za‘eef. After the Vitr, will say thrice loudly ‘Subha-nal Malikil Quddoos’ with long tone at the end. Then if desires one can say two rak‘ats of Nafl (additional) salat shortly in sitting position and may recite sura Zhilzhal in 1st rak‘at and Ka-firoon in the 2nd.
This is to note that the hadeeth of Doa-i-Qunoot starting with اَللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْتَعِيْنُكَ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُكَ Alla-humma Inna Nasta‘eenuka wa Nastaghfiruka’ which is in vogue is ‘Mursal’ i.e. Za‘eef. Moreover it is narrated as qunoot of Na-zhilah and not as qunoot of Ratibah.
So the Doa which is narrated above is the best for the ‘Qunoot’ of Vitr.
Imam Tirmizi says,
لاَ نَعْرِفُ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فِي الْقُنُوْتِ شَيْئًا أَحْسَنَ مِنْ هَذَا-
‘We could not know any better Doa for Qunoot than this from the Prophet (sm).
Qunoot-i-Nazhilah (قنوت النازلة) :
This Doa is specially read in the time of danger such as war, attack of enemy or for somebodys particular welfare etc. seeking help from Allah. In the Fajr salat or in every Farz salat of five times in a day in the last rak‘at after ruku, the Qunoot-i-Nazhilah may be read loudly raising two hands upward in standing position after saying ‘Rabbana lakal Hamd’. No particular Doa has been stated by the Prophet (sm) for it. Considering situation, the Imam will recite the Doa in Arabic and the Muqtadis will say ‘Ameen’ ‘Ameen’. The Prophet (sm) has prayed In different times in different ways against a person or a power even for a month continually. But a particular Doa has been narrated by Umar (R) which was read in Fajr salat and which may be read in five times daily salat against the enemies. Such as,
اَللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْلَنَا وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْمُسْلِمِيْنَ وَالْمُسْلِمَاتِ، وَأَلِّفْ بَيْنَ قُلُوْبِهِمْ وَأَصْلِحْ ذَاتَ بَيْنِهِمْ، وَانْصُرْهُمْ عَلَى عَدُوِّكَ وَعَدُوِّهِمْ، اَللَّهُمَّ الْعَنِ الْكَفَرَةَ الَّذِيْنَ يَصُدُّوْنَ عَنْ سَبِيْلِكَ وَيُكَذِّبُوْنَ رُسُلَكَ وَيُقَاتِلُوْنَ أَوْلِيَاءَكَ، اَللَّهُمَّ خَالِفْ بَيْنَ كَلِمَتِهِمْ وَزَلْزِِلْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ وَأَنْزِلْ بِهِمْ بَأْسَكَ الَّذِيْ لاَ تَرُدُّهُ عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِيْنَ-
Pronunciation: Alla-hummaghfir lana wa lil Mumineena wal Mumina-ti wal Muslimeena wal Muslima-ti, wa Allif Baina quloobihim, wa Aslih Za-ta Bainihim, Wansurhum ‘Ala- ‘Aduwika wa ‘Aduwihim. Alla-hummal‘anil Kafaratallazeena Yasuddoona ‘un Sabeelika, wa Yukazziboona Rusulaka, wa Yuqa-tiloona Aulia-’aka. Alla-humma Kha-lif Baina Kalimatihim wa zhalzhil Aqda-mahum, wa Anzhil bihim Ba’sakallazi la Tarudduhu ‘Anil Qawmil Mujrimeen.
Meaning: Oh Allah! You pardon us and all the Mumins and Muslims male and female. You create love in their hearts and settle the disputes among them. You help them against the enemies of you and of them. Oh Allah! You pour your curse upon the kafirs; who close your way, disbelieve your Messengers and fight against your friends. Oh Allah! You create breaking among their parties and dislodge their footings and come down your retaliation on them, which you would not take back from vicious community.
Thereafter, it is stated as Inna Nast‘eenuka... with Bismillah... firstly, and Inna Na‘baduka... with Bismillah... secondly. From that Qunoot-i-Nazhilah, only the middle portion that is Inna Nasta‘eenuka... has been taken for Qunoot-i-Vitr which is in vogue, is a thorough mistake. Albani says, ‘this Doa was read as Qunoot-i-Nazhilah by Umar (R) in the Fajr salat. I could not know that he read it in the Qunoot of Vitr.
. Fiqhus Sunnah 1/143; Nasaii H/1676; Mir‘at 4/274; Hujjatulla-hil Ba-lighah 2/17.
. Fiqhus Sunnah 1/144; Saheeh At-Targheeb H/592-93.
. Ibnul Qaiym, Za-dul Ma‘a-d (Beirut : Muassasatur Risalah, 29th edn. 1416/1996) 1/456.
. عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ: أَنَّ رَجُلاً سَأَلَ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ صَلاَةِ اللَّيْلِ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: صَلاَةُ اللَّيْلِ مَثْنَى مَثْنَى، فَإِذَا خَشِيَ أَحَدُكُمُ الصُّبْحَ صَلَّى رَكْعَةً وَاحِدَةً تُوتِرُ لَهُ مَا قَدْ صَلَّى- Bukhari with Fathul Bari H/990, Ch: 14, Vitr; Muttafaq ‘Alaih, Mishkat H/1254, Ch: 4, Salat. Para: 35, Vitr.
. Muslim, Mishkat H/1255.
. Ibnu Majah, Mishkat H/1285.
. Fiqhus Sunnah 1/145; Abu Daud, Nasaii, Ibnu Majah, Mishkat H/1263-65; Muttafaq ‘Alaih, Mishkat H/1261.
. Tirmizi, Abu Daud, Ibnu Majah, Mishkat H/1268,1279; Nayl 3/294, 317-19; Mir‘at 4/279.
. Fiqhus Sunnah 1/148; Naylul Awtar 3/318-19.
. Mir‘at 4/274; Hakem P. 1/304.
. Muttafaq ‘Alaih, Mishkat H/1256; Mir‘at 4/262.
. Muslim, Mishkat H/1257; Baihaqi 3/30; Mir‘at 4/264-65.
. Naylul Awtar 3/296; Mir‘at 4/259.
. Mirqat 3/160-61, 170; Mir‘at, see commentary of H/1262, 1264, 1273. P. 4/260-262, 275.
. Daraqutni H/1634-35, Sanad Saheeh.
. Hakem 1/305; Abu Daud, Daremi, Mishkat H/1269, 1272.
. Nasaii H/1701, Ch: 20, Qiya-mul Layl, Para: 37; Mir‘at 4/260.
. Tirmizi, Abu Daud, Nasaii, Ibnu Majah, Mishkat H/1273.
. Op. cit., Mishkat H/1273; Mir‘at 4/283; Fiqhus Sunnah 1/146.
. Abu Daud, Nasaii, Tirmizi, Mishkat H/1291-92, Para: 36, ‘Qunoot’; Mir‘at 4/308.
. Muttafaq ‘Alaih, Mishkat H/1289; Ibnu Majah H/1183-84, Mishkat H/1294; Mir‘at 4/286-87; Fiqhus Sunnah 1/147; Albani, Qiamu Ramazan P. 23.
. Muttafaq ‘Alaih, Mishkat H/1288.
. Baihaqi 2/208; Tuhfatul Ahwazi (Cairo: 1407/1987), See commentary of H/463, P. 2/566.
. Irwaul Ghaleel H/427; Mir‘at 4/299, Para: 36, ‘Qunoot’.
. Tuhfa 2/566, Masail-i-Imam Ahmad, Mas’ala No. 417-21.
. Mir‘at 4/300.
. Mir‘at 4/307; Sifat P. 159; Abu Daud, Mishkat H/1290.
. Sunanu Arba‘ah, Daremi, Mishkat H/1273, Para: 35, Vitr; Irwa H/429, P. 2/172. This is to note that Albani (Rh) opined as Za‘eef the last portion of Darood of this Qunoot. But he allowed to read it as it is proved by some Sahabis like Ibnu Mas‘ood, Abu Musa, Ibnu Abbas, Bara, Anas and others (Irwa 2/177; Tamamul Minnah P. 246; Fiqhus Sunnah 1/147). Ibnu Abi ‘A-sem and the Author of Mirqat said that in the Qunoot narrated by Ibnu Hibban, there said وَنَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَنَتُوْبُ إِلَيْكَ (Mir‘at 4/285), but it is not proved by present research. So we leave it from the text. After the end of Doa of Qunoot most of the scholars have opined to say any kind of Doa including ‘istighfar’. As the Prophet (sm) used to say different Doas in the Qunoot in different times (Abu Daud, Tirmizi, Mishkat H/1276 from Ali (R); Majmu‘ Fatawa Ibnu Taiymiah 23/110-11; Mir‘at 4/285; Lajnah Daemah, Fatwa No. 18069; Majmu‘ Fatawa Uthaimeen No. 778-79). Besides there is direction in saheeh hadeeth to say Hamd & Darood at the first of every Doa (Ahmad, Abu Daud H/1481; Sifat P. 162). So we can say any Doa including ‘istighfar’ and Darood at the end of Doa-i-Qunoot.
. Ahmad, Irwa H/429; Saheeh Ibnu Hibban H/722; Shaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Ba-z, Majmu‘ Fatawa No. 290, P. 4/295.
. Ahmad, Nasaii H/1074; Albani, Sefatu Sala-tin Nabi, P. 160.
. Fiqhus Sunnah 1/147; Za‘eef Abu Daud H/1485; Baihaqi, Mishkat H/2255, F.N.; Irwaul Ghaleel H/433-34. P. 2/181.
. Nasaii H/1699, Sanad Saheeh.
. Ahmad, Ibnu Majah, Mishkat H/1284, 85, 87; Silsila Saheehah H/1993.
. Maraseel Abu Daud H/89; Baihaqi 2/210; Mirqat 3/173-74; Mir‘at 4/285.
. Irwa 2/172 at the end of H/428.
. Mir‘at H/1281. See commentary, P. 4/285.
. Tuhfatul Ahwazi H/463. See commentary, 2/564; Baihaqi 2/210-11.
. Muttafaq ‘Alaih, Abu Daud, Mishkat H/1288-90; Albani, Sifat P. 159; Fiqhus Sunnah 1/148-49.
. Muslim, Mishkat H/978, Para: 19, Things are not allowed and are allowed in salat; Mir‘at H/985. See commentary, P. 3/342; Sahawkani, Assaiylul Jarrar 1/221.
. Abu Daud, Mishkat H/1290; Mir‘at, 4/307; Sifat, P. 159.
. Muttafaq ‘Alaih, Abu Daud, Nasaii, Mishkat H/1288-91.
. Baihaqi, 2/210-11. Baihaqi said that the Hadeeth is ‘Saheeh Mousool’.
. Baihaqi, 2/211.
. Irwaul Ghaleel H/428, P. 2/172.