Title of the study: The Narrations About the Qunoot Supplication Made in the Witr Prayer, From a Hadeeth Perspective, and From a Fiqh Perspective
Name of the author: Muhammad ibn ‘Umar ibn Saalim Baazmool
The study consists of two main parts:
Part One: The Narrations Along With a Discussion of Their Authenticity
Part Two: The Issues Related to the Qunoot Supplication Made in the Witr Prayer
The author gathered all of the authentic narrations from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) and the statements of his companions related to the qunoot of witr prayer. He then classified them into categories of authenticity, so as to distinguish between the acceptable and unacceptable ones, which allowed the founding principles of the study to be based solely on the issues related to the qunoot of witr prayer. He gathered what has been mentioned about the subject in the well-known schools of fiqh, along with the Thaahiriyyah School. The author then went back and researched the issues one by one, according to the authentic narrations, using the methodology of the people of knowledge and their way of research, argumentation, and deduction.
Some of the conclusions reached in the study are as follows:
The qunoot of witr may be performed all year round.
The way of the Prophet (sallallaaghu ‘alayhe wa sallam) was to perform it sometimes and leave it sometimes.
Continuation with it every night is confirmed for the nights of the last half of Ramadhaan, beginning with the sixteenth night.
The qunoot is to be left off in the first half of Ramadhaan if the prayer is made in congregation with the people. This is indeed an abandoned Sunnah, and unknown to many.
It is permissible to make the qunoot in the first and second half of Ramadhaan.
The qunoot of witr may be made before or after the rukoo’, while it is best done before it.
From the abandoned Sunnahs is to pronouce takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”) before and after the qunoot when making the qunoot before the rukoo’.
From the Sunnah is that the imaam of the prayer raises his voice with the supplications of qunoot, and the followers say “aameen.”
According to the Sunnah, the qunoot supplication is not to be long, and restricting one’s self to what has been reported on the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) is best, as it would also be permissible to prolong it with other established phrases.
There is nothing obliging the people to make the qunoot a certain way, rather any way is permissible, and the best way is that which has been reported.
It is from the sunnah for the imaam of the people to not make qunoot in the first half of Ramadhaan, to make it in the last half, and to supplicate against the disbelievers in the qunoot.
It is permissible to raise the hands with the qunoot supplication, to leave them down at the sides, or to raise them for the first part and leave them down for the last part. All of this is permissible.
It is not permissible to wipe the face with the hands after the qunoot.
It is permissible to send prayers on the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) in the qunoot supplication.
‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood and Ubayy ibn Ka’b (may Allaah be pleased with them both) conveyed the most narrations about the qunoot supplication in the witr prayer.
The prayer that resembles the witr prayer most is Maghrib, as Maghrib prayer is the witr of the daytime.
Whatever is established for the naazilah qunoot (performed in the obligatory prayers) is also acceptable for the qunoot of witr prayer. This is supported by the principle that whatever is allowed in an obligatory act is also allowed in an optional act, unless there exists specific evidence to prohibit it.
The author hopes that he has done justice to the subject, and that he has helped to revive the methodology of the people of the knowledge in research, gathering the evidences, accepting and rejecting them due to their authenticity, and then making conclusions based on them.
May Allaah grant the author success, guidance, and firmness.
[from the abstract of a study submitted to Umm al-Quraa University by Shaykh Muhammad Baazmool]
Are the hands to be raised for the qunoot supplication?
The following is legislated for the qunoot supplication:
1) To raise one’s hands;
2) To leave them down at one’s sides;
3) To raise them for the first part of the qunoot and leave them down at one’s sides for the latter part.
Evidence (corresponding to the numbers above):
1) The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) used to raise his hands in his qunoot an-naazilah, supplicating against people. [Saheeh: Ahmad 3/137, al-Mu’jam as-Sagheer, and al-Bayhaqee in Dalaa’il an-Nubuwwah and as-Sunan al-Kubraa. See also: Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel (2/181)].
And ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood used to raise his hands with the qunoot.
2) az-Zuhree narrates, referring to the actions of the Companions: “They did not used to raise their hands in Witr in Ramadhaan.”
3) az-Zuhree narrates that Ibn Mas’ood used to raise his hands in Witr, and the afterwards leave them at his sides.
[Moosaa: The action of Ibn Mas’ood is relevant here since he was a Companion and this issue is tawqeefee, restricted to evidence, so he would not have done things in the salaah from his own opinion, rather he learned it from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam). And Allaah knows best.]
Is the qunoot and the saying of “Aameen” by the followers to be done aloud?
Since there are no reports mentioning that they used to say “Aameen” behind their imaam during the qunoot of witr, then it can be established by way of their action in the qunoot an-naazilah (supplication against people in the obligatory prayers), since their saying “Aameen” behind the imaam in that prayer (*) is something done in an obligatory prayer, and it is established that it was done in Maghrib, which is the obligatory witr, thus it would be permissible to do it in a non-obligatory prayer, based on the principle mentioned in the abstract:
…Whatever is established for the naazilah qunoot (performed in the obligatory prayers) is also acceptable for the qunoot of witr prayer. This is supported by the principle that whatever is allowed in an obligatory act is also allowed in an optional act, unless there exists specific evidence to prohibit it…
(*) As established in a hasan hadeeth collected by Ahmad (2746), Aboo Daawood (1443), Ibn Khuzaymah (618), al-Haakim (1/225), and al-Buyhaqee in as-Sunan al-Kubraa (2/200). It was authenticated by al-Haakim, Ibn Khuzaymah, and al-Albaanee (Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel:2/163).
And Allaah knows best.
Written by Moosaa ibn John Richardson