Some people offer Witr (Prayer with an odd number of unit) and shaf` (two units of Prayer, particularly before the final unit of the odd-number prayer) together, i.e. three consecutive Rak`ahs like Maghrib Prayer.
They argue that the Messenger (peace be upon him) did this, is this true?
It has been confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to offer Witr in the form of one Rak`ah with Taslim as has been recorded in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) from the Hadith of
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her),
Ibn `Abbas, and others. The Prophet might have offered Witr by performing five Rak`ahs and did not sit except in the last one as mentioned in the Two Sahih (authentic) Books of Hadith from the Hadith of
`Aishah. He might have also offered Witr by performing three Rak`ah and did not sit except in the last one as recorded by
Al-Hakim, from the Hadith of
`Aishah. As for offering Witr prayer like Maghrib, this is a baseless act. It has been reported that the Prophet forbade offering Witr like Maghrib as recorded by
Al-Daraqutny who said, 'All this Hadith's narrators are trustworthy.' (Part No. 7; Page No. 176) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.