Is it permissible to offer two Rak`ahs (unit of Prayer) after Witr (Prayer with an odd number of units)?
It is in accordance with the Sunnah to make Witr prayer the last prayer offered at night, for the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:
Make Witr (odd prayer) your last prayer at night.
However, it is permissible to offer two Rak`ahs after Witr, for what is related by Imam
Ahmad in his Musnad on the authority of
Abu Umamah that he said:
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to observe the Witr with nine Rak`ahs. However, when he became old, he observed it with seven Rak`ahs and offered two Rak`ahs while sitting in which he read Surah Al-Zalzalah and Surah Al-Kafirun.
It is also reported on the authority of
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that she said: (Part No. 6; Page No. 58)
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to observe the Witr with nine Rak`ahs and two Rak`ahs offered while sitting. When he became weak, he observed it with seven Rak`ahs and offered two Rak`ahs while sitting.
It is also narrated by
Ahmad on the authority of
Um Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her)
that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to offer two Rak`ahs after praying the Witr while he was sitting.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did that to show the permissibility of offering Salah after performing Witr Prayer, and that such Salah does not come in contradiction with the Hadiths related to Witr Prayer, and that offering it does not forbid offering supererogatory prayers at a later time at night.
Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah be merciful to him) said that the soundest view is that these two Rak`ahs come under the ruling of Sunnah (supererogatory) Salah and to complete the defects that may happen when offering Witr Prayer, which is considered an independent Nafilah (supererogatory act of worship), especially if it takes the ruling of obligation. Accordingly, these two Rak`ahs after Witr Prayer have the same ruling as that of the two supererogatory Rak`ahs offered after Maghrib Prayer, as they are regarded to be the Witr Prayer after the obligatory prayers offered by day. Likewise, these two Rak`ahs are the Witr prayer after the obligatory prayers offered by night. Allah knows best!May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.