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Al-Wutayra Prayer

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Mustahabb Worships
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Al-Wutayra prayer, salāt al-wutayra (Arabic: صَلاةُ الوُتَيْرَة) or nāfilat al-ʿishāʾ (Arabic: نافلة العشاء) is a mustahab prayer consisting of two rak'as performed while seated after al-'Isha' prayer. According to majority of faqihs, the prayer is offered while seated, however some said that offering it like other prayer in standing position is more meritorious. In religious texts, salat al-wutayra is regarded as a substitute for salat al-Watr in Night prayer, so if someone could not offer salat al-watr, he will receive its reward by performing salat al-wutayra.

Meaning

Lexically "wutayra" means "a small Watr." Watr is that last Rak'a of Nafilat al-Layl. In a Hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), al-wutayra prayer is counted as the other Rak'a of salat al-Watr in Nafilat al-Layl; thus, if one passes away after salat al-wutayra, he will be given the reward of salat al-Watr. The Imam (a) adds that the Prophet (s) did not perform this salat, as he knew through the revelation whether he would pass away that night or not; he advised others to perform it, though.

How to Perform

Al-Wutayra prayer is a Mustahab prayer consisting of two Rak'as performed while seated after salat al-'Isha'. It is better to recite 100 verses from the Qur'an after sura al-Hamd in this prayer and it is Mustahab to recite sura al-Waqi'a in one Rak'a and sura al-Tawhid in the other—instead of 100 verses. In another hadith, Imam al-Baqir said: "whoever recites sura al-Mulk at night has exceeded and done well [in recitation] and is not among the heedless. I recite that in the salat after salat al-'Isha', while I am seated."

Sitting or Standing

In Wasa'il al-shi'a, al-Shaykh Hurr al-'Amili says performing al-Wutayra prayer while standing is better than performing it while sitting; he also dedicates a chapter to superiority of performing it while standing and that al-Wutayra prayer is accepted from travelers. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, however believes that travelers should not perform this salat. Imam al-Sadiq (a) said, "my father offered this salat while seated and I perform these two Rak'as while standing." After narrating this hadith, al-Majlisi explains that probably because Imam al-Baqir (a) was heavy and standing was difficult for him, he performed this salat in sitting position.

Moreover, al-Sharif al-Murtada asserts that one is free to sit cross-legged or to kneel for saying the prayer.

Supplication after al-Wutayra Prayer

After explaining salat al-wutayra and describing how it is performed, al-Shaykh al-Tusi has narrated a fairly long supplication, which is Mustahab to be recited after salat al-wutayra.

Merits

Isma'il b. 'Abd al-Khaliq has narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that Imam al-Baqir (a) always performed two Rak'as while seated after salat al-'Isha' and recited 100 verses [from the Qur'an] in them, and he would say, "who performs these two Rak'as and recite 100 verses in them will not be among the heedless."

Al-Wutayra prayer is regarded as a substitute for salat al-Watar in Nafilat al-Layl, so if someone could not offer al-Watr prayer, due to sleeping or death, he will receive the reward of salat al-Watr by performing al-wutayra prayer.

Time

The time of performing al-wutayra prayer starts after performing salat al-'Isha' and end at Shar'i midnight; however it is said performing it immediately after salat al-'Isha' is better.

References