Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: I wanted to know how can one make up their missed witr prayers. I didn’t start praying until I was a little older and now I am making up my missed prayers but I wanted to know how I can make up my witr prayers. Is it okay to pray 1 rakat with the dua qunoot or do I have to pray the 3 rakats? When is the best time to make up these prayers?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
The Witr prayer has to be made up because it is necessary (wajib) to perform. It should be made up with other prayers.
The witr prayer is only 3 rakats in the Hanafi school (and not less), with a dua for qunut being necessary (wajib), though there is no specific dua that is necessary. (Rather, the specific Prophetic dua is a sunna.). Make up missed witr prayers at a manageable pace, but in a sound and proper manner.
The way to get one’s make up prayers done is to have a reasonable, sustainable amount of makeups that one performs every single day, without fail. If one has a lot of makeups, it is like running a marathon. This is more important than any supererogatory worship. It is a debt you owe Allah that is long overdue.