Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Assalam aleykum
I have missed a lot of prayers in the past, and i am slowly making them up. I have read that the opinion of Imam Muhammad and Abu Yusuf is that the witr prayer is not wajib. Can I take this opinion and not make them up?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
The position of Abu Yusuf and Muhammad is that witr is a sunna and not wajib. Despite this, the position famously narrated from them is that one has to make-up the witr prayer if it is missed.
The reason for this is the prophetic statement, “Whoever misses witr due to sleep or forgetfulness should perform it when he recalls it.” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud] Therefore, although the basis was that witr as a sunna did not have to be made up when missed, both Abu Yusuf and Muhammad left this line of reasoning due to the prophetic tradition.
As such, you should try your best to make-up the witr prayers that you missed.
[al-Muhit al-Burhani (2:267); Tuhfa al-Muluk (90); Durr al-Mukhtar (90)]
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.