After offering `Isha' (Night) Prayer, some people offer two supererogatory Rak`ahs, others offer three Rak`ahs and others offer five Rak`ahs.
Which of these practices is the sound act of Sunnah?
After performing `Isha' Prayer, it is an act of Sunnah (recommendable) to offer two supererogatory Rak`ahs which are more preferably performed at home. After that, a Muslim should perform one, three or five Rak`ahs as Witr Salah. However, the most preferable practice is to offer eleven Rak`ahs saying Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer) at the end of each two Rak`ahs ending with a single eleventh Rak`ah as Witr. This may be practiced during the early part of the night, at midnight or during the latter part based on what is easier. However, it is more preferable for it to be during the last portion of the night, if possible, following the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to observe the Witr prayer every night, maybe in the early part of night, at midnight and in the latter part, finishing his Witr at dawn.
Related by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Muslim in his Sahih
reported on the authority of
Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
If anyone is afraid that he may not get up in the latter part of the night, he should observe Witr in the first part of it; and if anyone is eager to get up in the last part of it, he should observe Witr at the end of the night, for Prayer at the end of the night is witnessed (by the angels) and that is preferable.
(Part No. 7; Page No. 175) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.