The Qunut in Qiyam al-Layl

Question

Regarding the query about whether one is allowed to perform Qunūt in the last raka’ah of the Qiyām al-Layl program, particularly when one performs Qiyām al-Layl with the intention of witr, please be advised:

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

1. Qunūt is divided into two types: General Qunūt and Qunūt Nāzilah. The general Qunūt is prescribed in the last raka’ah of ṣalāh al-Fajr and in the last odd raka’ah of witr during the second half of Ramadan. On the other hand, Qunūt Nāzilah is prescribed in the last raka’ah of any of the five obligatory prayers when the Muslim Ummah are facing great difficulties.
The General Qunūt
2. The General Qunūt is only prescribed in Fajr and the last odd raka’ah of witr. Reciting the general Qunūt in a supererogatory (nafl) ṣalāh is considered makrūh, and if prolonged, will invalidate the prayer.
3. When performing Qiyām al-Layl without the intention of witr, performing the general Qunūt would be considered makrūh and is not encouraged.
4. However, when performing Qiyām al-Layl with the intention of witr, the following considerations should be taken into account:
4.1. If attendees have already performed 3 raka’āt of witr at their local Masajid before participating in the Qiyām al-Layl program, scholars have differing views on whether they may continue to complete their witr, which is a total of 11 raka’āt. Shams al-Dīn al-Ramlī and his father held that once a person prays the odd raka’ah of witr, they are not permitted to complete the witr of 11 raka’at. On the other hand, Ibn Ḥajar and others held that it is permissible to complete the witr of 11 raka’āt even after praying the odd raka’ah.
4.2. According to those who allow completing the witr of 11 raka’āt after already performing the odd raka’ah, one should not perform Qunūt in the completion of witr since the Qunūt’s place is in the odd raka’ah of witr.
4.3. If attendees have not performed witr at their local Masajid before attending the Qiyām al-Layl program, and if the Qiyām al-Layl program is conducted with the intention of completing the witr of 11 raka’āt, then Qunūt may be performed in the last odd raka’ah of witr.
The Qunūt Nāzilah
5. As mentioned earlier, the Qunūt Nāzilah is prescribed in the last raka’ah of any of the five obligatory prayers.
6. Accordingly, it is not recommended, yet not disliked either (lā yusannu wa lā yukrah), to perform the Qunūt Nāzilah in any supererogatory prayer, including the last odd raka’ah of witr.
7. Nevertheless, if one still chooses to recite the Qunūt Nāzilah in his Qiyām al-Layl, it is advised not to prolong the Qunūt . According to Imam Ramlī and those who follow him, lengthening the Qunūt Nāzilah in a supererogatory prayer will invalidate the ṣalāh, since it is not prescribed.
8. Furthermore, it’s essential to be sincere in the intention behind reciting the Qunūt Nāzilah. For instance, if (a) I consistently fail to recite the Qunūt Nāzilah in all the five obligatory prayers where it is prescribed, and (b) my Qunūt Nāzilah primarily consists of supplications unrelated to the Nāzilah that has befallen the ummah, it calls for reflection on why I am persisting in reciting the Qunūt in the first place.
Conclusion
9. Reciting the general Qunūt in the Qiyām al-Layl program is makrūh, except when one intends to perform witr and has not yet prayed the odd raka’ah of witr.
10. Performing the Qunūt Nāzilah in the Qiyām al-Layl program is not recommended. However, if one decides to recite the Qunūt, it is essential to consider points 7 and 8 mentioned above.
11. The above represents the predominant views in the Shafi’ī school. While we acknowledge that the combination of alternative views could be used to permit the recitation of the Qunūt in Qiyām al-Layl programs, we have opted not to include them in this response due to the absence of a genuine need to do so.

والله تعالى أعلم

And Allah knows best

النصوص المستندة إليها

 

MJC (SA)

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