How to perform the witr prayer

The witr prayer consists of three rak'ahs. It is performed as follows:

First, the intention is uttered and the prayer starts. The first and the second rak'ahs are performed just like the sunnah of the morning prayer. Only at-Tahiyyat is read in the first sitting. Then, it is necessary to stand up for the third rak'ah. In the third rak'ah, after basmala, the chapter of al-Fatiha and an additional chapter or verses from the Quran are read. After that, Allahuakbar is uttered and the hands are raised up to the level of ears. Then, the hands are held on the navel and the supplications of qunut are read. After the supplications of qunut are read, ruku and prostrations are performed. After the prostrations, at-Tahiyyat, salawat and duas are read. Then, salutations are uttered.

* A person who does not know the supplications of qunut can read the following verse: Rabbana atina fi'd-dunya hasanatan wa fi'l-akhirati hasanatan wa qina adhaba'n-nar. (Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and save us from the torment of the fire!) He can also say Allahumma'ghfirli (O my Lord! Forgive me!) three times. It is also permissible to say, "O Lord" three times.   

* The witr prayer is performed in congregation only in Ramadan. The imam reads qira'ah loudly but qunut supplications are read silently. It is makruh to perform the witr prayer in congregation outside Ramadan.    

Qunut Supplications

Allahumma inna nasta'inuka wa nastaghfiruka wa nastahdika wa nu'minu bika wa natubu ilayka wa natawakkalu alayka wa nuthni alayka'l-khayra kullahu nashkuruka wa la nakfuruka wa nakhla'u wa natruku man yafjuruk.

(O my Allah! We pray to You for assistance, for guidance and for forgiveness. O my Allah! We believe in You and we turn to You in repentance and we rely on You in all our deeds and we trust in You. We praise You and say that all kinds of goodness have been bestowed upon us by You. We thank You for the abundant bounties You have granted us and we are not ungrateful to You. We turn away from and leave such people that are ungrateful to You.)

Allahumma iyyaka na'budu wa laka nusalli wa nasjudu wa ilayka nas'a wa nakhfidu narju rahmataka wa nakhsha adhabaka inna adhabaka bilkuffari mulhiq.

(O my Allah! To You alone we pray and to You alone we worship. For You alone we perform ritual prayers and for You alone we make prostrations. To You alone we run. We worship You with love and we hope for Your mercy and we fear Your chastisement, for Your chastisement catches the unbelievers.)

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