In the realm of Islamic supplications, Dua Witr holds a special place, resonating with its association with the Witr salah. This powerful prayer, also known as dua-e-qunoot, is deeply rooted in the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), with its significance extending beyond a specific prayer time.
Dua Qunoot in Witr Salah
Dua Qunoot is widely recognized for its connection with the Witr salah, a distinctive prayer offered after the Isha prayer. This tradition is prevalent among various Islamic schools of thought, but the Shafi’i school, in particular, emphasizes the regular recitation of qunoot dua during Salatul Fajr prayer. The diversity in practices across schools raises the question: which view holds the correct position?
The Prophet’s Guidance: Dua Witr Anytime, Anywhere
Authentic hadith narrations provide clarity on the flexibility of reciting Dua Qunoot. The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is recorded to have recited the Qunoot in various prayers, including Fajr, Maghrib, and Isha.
Evidences in the Hadith
Qunoot in Fajr
Narrated Muhammad bin Seereen: Anas was asked, “Did the Prophet (ﷺ) recite Qunut in the Fajr prayer?” Anas replied in the affirmative. He was further asked, “Did he recite Qunut before bowing?” Anas replied, “He recited Qunut after bowing for some time (for one month).” Sahih al-Bukhari 1001
Qunoot in Subh Prayer and Maghrib
Al-Bara bin Azib narrated: “The Prophet (S) would perform the Qunut in the Subh and Maghrib prayers.” Jami At-Tirmidhi 401
Qunoot in Witr during third rakat
It was narrated from Ubayy bin Ka’b that: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to pray witr with three rak’ahs. In the first he would recite: “Glorify the Name of Your Lord, the Most High” in the second: “Say: O you disbelievers!”, and in the third: “Say: He is Allah, (the) One”. And he would say the Qunut before bowing, and when he finished he would say: Subhanal-Malikil-Quddus (Glory be to the Sovereign, the Most Holy) three times, elongating the words the last time. – Sunan an-Nasa’i 1699
This highlights that Qunoot is not confined to a specific prayer time but can be invoked at any moment, emphasizing its universal applicability.
Dispelling Misconceptions: Qunoot in Witr Salah
Contrary to common belief, the recitation of Qunoot in the Witr Salah is not mandatory. While it is a common practice in many mosques, the diversity in supplications offered by Imams during this prayer is evident. These heartfelt duas, drawn from various hadith and Quranic verses, contribute to the rich tapestry of spiritual expressions during Witr Salah.
Embracing the Sunnah: Qunoot in Witr Salah
While not obligatory, the recitation of Qunoot during Witr Salah is considered Sunnah or mustahabb (recommended) based on authentic hadith. Embracing this tradition enhances the spiritual experience of the prayer, aligning with the practices of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and fostering a deeper connection with Allah.
Abu Dawud said: This version of tradition is not well know. There is doubt that Hafs might have narrated this tradition from some other narrator than Mis’ar. Abu Dawud said: It is reported that Ubayy (b. Ka’b) used to recited the supplication (in the witr) in the second half of Ramadan. Sahih (Al-Albani) Sunan Abi Dawud 1427
Dua/Supplications of Witr
|اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ وَلاَ يَعِزُّ مَنْ عَادَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
| “O Allah guide me among those You have guided, pardon me among those You have pardoned, befriend me among those You have befriended, bless me in what You have granted, and save me from the evil that You decreed. Indeed You decree, and none can pass decree, and none can pass decree upon You, indeed he is not humiliated whom You have befriended, blessed are You our Lord and Exalted.”
|Allahumma ihdini feeman hadayt, wa a’fini fiman afait, wa tawallani fiman tawallait, wa barik Li fima atait, wa qini sharra ma qadait, fa Innaka taqdi wa la yuqda Alaik, wa innahu la yadhillu man walait, tabarakta Rabbana wa ta’alait.
|Sunan Abi Dawud 1425
|اَللَّهُمَّ إنا نَسْتَعِينُكَ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَنُؤْمِنُ بِكَ وَنَتَوَكَّلُ عَلَيْكَ وَنُثْنِئْ عَلَيْكَ الخَيْرَ وَنَشْكُرُكَ وَلَا نَكْفُرُكَ وَنَخْلَعُ وَنَتْرُكُ مَنْ ئَّفْجُرُكَ اَللَّهُمَّ إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَلَكَ نُصَلِّئ وَنَسْجُدُ وَإِلَيْكَ نَسْعأئ وَنَحْفِدُ وَنَرْجُو رَحْمَتَكَ وَنَخْشآئ عَذَابَكَ إِنَّ عَذَابَكَ بِالكُفَّارِ مُلْحَقٌ
|O Allah! We invoke you for help, and beg for forgiveness, and we believe in you and have trust in you and we praise you, in the best way we can; and we thank you and we are not ungrateful to you, and we forsake and turn away from the one who disobeys you. O Allah! We worship you and prostrate ourselves before you, and we hasten towards you and serve you, and we hope to receive your mercy and we dread your torment. Surely, the disbelievers shall incur your torment.
|Allahumma inna nasta-eenoka wa nastaghfiruka wa nu’minu bika wa natawakkalu alaika wa nusni alaikal khair, wa nashkuruka wala nakfuruka wa nakhla-oo wa natruku mai yafjuruka, Allah humma iyyaka na’budu wa laka nusalli wa nasjud wa ilaika nas aaa wa nahfizu wa narju rahma taka wa nakhshaa azaabaka inna azaabaka bil kuffari mulhik
Which of the two versions should we choose to recite?
Ibn ‘Uqayl al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) narrated that dua’s narrated from the Prophet (ﷺ) should be what is recited as regular word, and anything added to it is by way of a concession. He said: What is mustahabb in our view is that which was narrated by al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “Allahumma ihdini…” – the well-known hadeeth.
He said: If one adds to that the words narrated from ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), “Allahumma inna nasta‘eenuka… (O Allah, we seek Your help)…”, there is nothing wrong with that. End quote.
This was quoted by Ibn Muflih in his comment on al-Muharrar, 1/89
Dua Qunoot in Hadith
Narrated Al-Hasan ibn Ali: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) taught me some words that I say during the witr. (The version of Ibn Jawwas has: I say them in the supplication of the witr.)
They were: “O Allah, guide me among those Thou hast guided, grant me security among those Thou hast granted security, take me into Thy charge among those Thou hast taken into Thy charge, bless me in what Thou hast given, guard me from the evil of what Thou hast decreed, for Thou dost decree, and nothing is decreed for Thee. He whom Thou befriendest is not humbled. Blessed and Exalted art Thou, our Lord.” Sahih (Al-Albani) Sunan Abi Dawud 1425
Should Dua Qunoot be recited before or after Ruku (bowing) in the prayer?
According to most scholars, the recommended position for reciting Dua Qunoot is after the Ruku (bowing) in the prayer. This occurs after saying “sami allahu liman hamidah rabbana lakal hamd.” In this sequence, you would raise your hands for supplication and recite the Qunoot. Following this, the imam would say takbeer, “allahu akbar,” and proceed into sujud. However, it is also deemed acceptable for the Qunoot dua to be performed before entering the Ruku.
It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: He was asked about Qunut in the Subh prayer, and he said: “We used to recite Qunut before Ruku’ and afterwards.”
Source: Hasan (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah 1183
It’s important to note that the Qunoot dua is not found in the Quran; instead, it is a practice established in the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ). The supplication holds significance in Islamic traditions as a means of seeking guidance, mercy, and forgiveness from Allah during the prayer.