Prayer

Where Can I Find the Hadith with the Du’a for Witr?

Question: Where can I find the hadith that mentions the dua recited in witr [qunut] ‘Allahumma inna nastainuka …’?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

This dua is authentic from Sayyidna Umar and others of the Prophetic Companions. It is found in the Musannaf of Abd al-Razzaq, the Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba and the Tahdhib al-athar of Imam al-Tabari.

Four Schools and the Salaf

As a general tack, we have to realize that just as the Four Schools are based on Qur’an and Sunnah, they are also based on the precedent of the Prophetic Companions and the Early Muslims [al salaf al salih]. This means that to find the proofs for the schools, it is sometimes more useful to look into books that cite the legal verdicts and religious practice of the Prophetic Companions and the Early Muslims than to go looking in books like the Six Books that generally only mention Prophetic hadiths.

Some good sources that mention hadiths alongside the practice of the Prophetic Companions and the Early Muslims are the Muwatta of Imam Malik, Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq, and Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba (one of the most important teachers of Bukhari), and Marifat al-Sunan wa al-Athar by Bayhaqi. For the Hanafi school, these sources are useful, but one might want to start looking in Kitab al-Athar of Imam Muhammad and al-Nukat al-Tarifa of Shaykh Zahid al-Kawthari.

To get a good idea of which madhhabs tend to draw from which of the Companions and the Early Muslims, see Kitab al-Ilal by Ali al-Madini (another of the most important teachers of Bukhari).

Source of the hadith

This dua is not based on a hadith, rather it is based on the practice of many of the Prophetic Companions and those after them. The dua is narrated from Sayyidna, Umar, Ali, Abdullah ibn Masud, Ubayy ibn Kab among others (Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba; and Tahdhib al-athar, Tabari).

As for it being specifically for witr, Abd al-Razzaq and Ibn Abi Shayba narrate it  from Ibrahim al-Nakhai, and Abd al-Razzaq also narrates it from Hasan al-Basri (Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba).

Conclusion

The dua recited in witr [qunut] ‘Allahumma inna nastainuka …’ is authentic from Sayyidna Umar and others of the Prophetic Companions. It is found in well-known and authentic works of hadith books.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

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