After offering `Isha'' (Night)

Q: 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?

A: 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 Ahmad, Al-Nasa'y, Al-Bayhaqy 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.