عن عبد الله بن عُمر -رضي الله عنهما- قال: «سأل رجل النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- وهو على المِنْبَرِ: ما تَرَى في صلاة الليل؟ قال: مَثْنَى مَثْنَى، فإذا خَشِيَ أحدُكم الصبحَ صلَّى واحدة فأَوْتَرَت له ما صلَّى، وأنه كان يقول: اجعلوا آخِرَ صلاتِكم باللَّيل وِتْراً».
[صحيح.] - [متفق عليه.]
المزيــد ...

‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: While the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) was on the pulpit, a man asked him: "How should the night prayer be performed?" He replied: '"n twos, and if any of you fear (the approach of) dawn, then let him pray one (unit of prayer); that will make what he prayed an odd number." He also used to say: "Make your last prayer at night an odd number."

Explanation

While the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) was on the pulpit delivering a sermon, a man asked him about the number of Rak‘ahs of the night prayer and how it should be performed. Out of his keenness to benefit the people and spread knowledge among them, he replied while he was in that very place, saying that the night prayer is to be performed in twos, i.e. one makes Taslīm after every two Rak‘ahs. If one fears the approach of dawn, he should pray one Rak‘ah, making what he prayed before it during the night an odd number. Then, the Prophet (may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him) commanded us to conclude the night prayer with the Witr as a hint from him that the fortunate one concludes his life with monotheism. There are other wordings regarding the manner of the night prayer and the Witr.

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