The Last Odd Rakaah
One of the sunnah solah that Rasulullah never missed, whether when he is at thehome or travelling is the solah of Witr. And if he were to miss it, he would make it up after the solah of Fajr. Such importance were given to Witr that the Hanafi scholars makes it wajib (the Hanafi differentiates between what is Fardh and what is Wajib). But for the rest of the scholars, Witr falls under the category of Sunnah Muakkadah, or highly recommended sunnah. And this is the most important of all sunnah prayers. Yet it may be the easiest.
For us, students of the Quran, it has a more important place in our hearts. For Rasulullah s.a.w. said in a sahih hadith narrated in Musnad Imam Ahmad
أوتِروا يا أَهْلَ القُرآنِ ، أوتِروا فإنَّ اللَّهَ وترٌ يحبُّ الوترَ
“Perform witr o’ People of Quran, perform witr for Allah is Witr and he loves the witr.”
One mark of the People of Quran is that they perform their Witr solah.
What is Witr?
Witr linguistically means odd number. So 1,3,5,7 … you get it. In the hadith above Rasulullah mentions that Allah is Witr because Allah is One and Unique, and He loves odd numbers. We see this represented in the amount of dates that Rasulullah used to consume at one sitting; 3, 5, or 7. The number of times we wash our body parts when we take wudhu’ : 1 or 3. And we also see the odd number in the amount of rakaat we pray in our fardh salah daily — 17.
When it comes to the sunnah solah, Rasulullah said that they are prayed in 2 rakaat. Except for Witr. Witr is done in odd numbers.
How to do Witr?
Witr is the last solah that you do before you go to sleep. It can be performed anytime after Isha’ solat and before the time for Fajr. You can either do it right after Isha’ solah, or after the sunnah solah after Isha’ or just right before you hop onto bed. You can also delay it until after you do your tahajjud solah, if you are confident that you are going to wake up before Fajr.
The minimum rakaat for witr is 1. The longest is 11. The optimum is 3. You’ll perform 2 rakaat at a time, and the last one shall be a one solitary rakaah.
So there you go. That’s how you do your Witr. As students of the Quran, we should not want to miss this. Remember, one of the mark of the People of Quran is that they perform their Witr solah. And it one rakaah extra will not take even 2 minutes of your life. But the reward is immense.
May Allah make us from the People of Quran.