I do pray Salat Qiyaam Al-layl at mosque for eight Raka'h plus 3 Raka'h of Salat Al-Witr every night. Now I want also to pray Salat al-Tahajjud at mid night because of the last 10 days of Ramadan so can you tell me how many Raka'h can I pray for these two times?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad , sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
The number of night prayers is unlimited, so a person can pray whatever Allah enables him to pray. The Prophet , sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "The night prayer is in twos, and if anyone of you fears the break of dawn, he has to pray one Raka'h as Witr to end his night prayer." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Nonetheless, if a person prays only 11 Raka's or 13 Raka's, then some scholars stated that this is better as the Prophet , sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, prayed both ways. These are the legislated forms of night prayer and we have clarified what is best. So if you pray one way or another and wanted to do that at the beginning of the night and at the last part of it, then you have to divide the number of Raka'h between these two times. It is, however, desirable to pray Witr at the last part of it as the Prophet , sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Your last prayer of the night should be Witr." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Allah Knows best.
Fatwa answered by:The Fatwa Center at Islamweb
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