Must I Make Up Missed Witr Prayers?

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Carr


What is the status of the Witr prayer according to Shafi‘i fiqh, is making it up obligatory, and if so, how do I make it up?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah guide our hearts, tongues, and deeds to that which perpetually pleases Him.

Making Up the Witr Prayer

Witr prayer is a confirmed Sunna (mu’akkada) according to the Shafi‘i School, and therefore, making it up is not compulsory. Imam Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him), states: “If a person misses a time-bound voluntary prayer, it is recommended for him to make it up according to the preponderant view.” [Nawawi, Minhaj]

The Shafi‘i School’s evidence that it is recommended to make it up is the Prophetic narration that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) made up of the two Sunna of Fajr when he overslept for the Fajr prayer until after the sun had risen.

The minimum amount of Witr is one rak‘a (unit of prayer) and the most is eleven raka‘aat.

For more on the status of the Witr in Shafi‘i fiqh see, click here.

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

Shaykh Muhammad Carr
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Muhammad Carr has dedicated his life to studying and transmitting our beautiful deen. His studies have taken him around the globe, where he has benefitted from many luminaries. Under the guidance of his teachers – Shaykh Taha Karan, Shaykh Yaseen Abbas, Shaykh Muadh Ali and many others – Shaykh Muhammad has grown to appreciate the beauty and benefits of diverse scholarship. He completed his memorization of the Qur’an at Dar al-Ulum Zakariyyah in September 1997 and received an Alimiyya Degree in 2006 from DUAI (Darul Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah). He is also affiliated with Masjid Auwal in Bo Kaap, Cape Town (the oldest mosque in South Africa), where he serves as a co-imam, and Dar Al-Safa, where he has taught since 2018. As a teacher, he imparts the wisdom of our heritage and tradition by opening the door for students. As an imam, he has the unique opportunity to serve his community in daily life. 

In addition to his roles as a teacher and imam, Shaykh Muhammad Carr has contributed significantly to the administrative and advisory aspects of Islamic institutions. Since 2023, he has served as the Administrative Director at The Imam Kurani Institute, contributing to the institution’s growth and development. He continues to pursue traditional Islamic Sciences, possessing a keen interest in Islamic Contract Law and Finance. Shaykh Muhammad has been a Shari’ah Board Member for Islamic Asset Management & Insurance Companies since 2001, aligning financial practices with Islamic principles.