As you are aware the month of Ramazan is near, during which after Tarawih, the three rak’at of Witr Salah in Masjidun-noor based on the first opinion of Imam Shafi’i RA is prayed with two salaams, and as the Hanafi’s Witr Salah must be performed with only one Salaam, and performing it with two salaams invalidate their Witr, for this reason most of the Hanafi Moqtadis leave the Masjid and pray their Witr alone or behind another Imam. Also when you perform Witr in one salaam, can we recite qunooth during second half of Ramdhan?

This process has been going on for many years and although both practices accordingly have their own validity, it would be great if all Musallees of Masjidin-noor whether Shafi’i or Hanafi, could perform the Witr in the same masjid behind the same Imam in a larger congregation.

Therefore we Hanafi Moqtadees of your respected Masjid would like to request the honorable management of Masjidin-noor that if the three Rak’at Witr could be performed according to the second opinion of Imam Shafi’i RA, which is exactly as Hanafi opinion, then we all, Shafi’is or Hanafis will be able to perform the Witr Salah behind the same Imam in a larger congregation without leaving the Masjid.

 

We hope that you consider our humble request.

Jazakallah

All praise is due to Allah. Salat and Salam be upon the Final Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam), his relatives and the Sahaba.

Witr prayer is a very important Sunnah prayer. Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) has urged the Sahaba to pray Witr prayer in many Ahadhith. This can be prayed in maximum 11 Raka'ats and minimum 1 Raka'at. However, the minimum complete number is 3 Raka'ats.

Different Narrations have mentioned different ways in which the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) performed Witr prayer. Based on that, Religious Scholars have arrived at the following three methods:

  1. Praying the first 2 Raka'ats together and the last 1 separately. This is the best method according to the view of many Scholars, including Imam Shafie.
  2. Praying 3 Raka'ats together and reciting 'Thashahhud' (Aththahiyyat) only in the last Raka'at and completing with Salam.
  3. Like in Maghrib Salah, praying 3 Raka'ats together and reciting 'Thashahhud' (Aththahiyyat) in the second and third Raka'ats, and finally giving Salam.

With some evidences, Hanafi Scholars say it is obligatory to pray according to the third method; but Scholars of the Shafie Mathhab say it is Makrooh (not preferable) to pray in this method, as the Prophet (Sallalla hu alaihi wasallam) has said not to pray Witr like Maghrib prayer.

It has been mentioned in your query that the followers of Hanafi Mathhab, after Taraweeh prayer, seperate themselves from the congregation for Witr prayer.  This could be avoided, if the Imam (in spite of being a follower of the Shafie Mathhab) conducts Witr prayer according to the third method mentioned above. (Although it is not the preferred method, it is permissible within the Shafie Mathhab). In this manner, the followers of the Hanafi Mathhab will not have to leave the congregation, and will be able to pray behind the same Imam. Hence, the unity and harmony amongst the Muslims of London can be maintained.

Please note as usual it is Sunnah to recite Qunooth in the last Raka'at of Witr during second half of Ramadhan.  

Allah knows the best.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmathullahi wabarakatuh.