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Salatul Layl

The time for Salatul Layl begins after midnight until the time for Fajr (morning) prayers. The best time for it is as close to the Fajr prayer as possible. When there is not enough time, it is recommended to at least recite the last three raka’ats, or even just the last rak’ah of Salatul Witr.

Salatul Layl consists of a total of 11 raka’ats, divided into the following prayers:
1. Nafilah of Layl: 8 raka’ats (4 x 2 raka’ats)
2. Salât al-Shaf’a: 2 raka’ats
3. Salat al-Witr: 1 raka’at

Method

The foundation of the prayer consists of the 11 raka’ats. In addition, there are a variety of surahs and supplications that have been recommended for recitation during these raka’ats. What follows is the description of one of the ways that has been recommended.

Additional supplications are also included. Please also refer to the section on Salatul Layl in Al-Baqiyat al-Salihat (commonly found on the margins of or as an appendix to Mafatihul Jinan) for other variations.

Nafilah of Layl

The 8 raka’ats of Nafilah are divided into four prayers of two raka’ats each. With the intention of reciting two raka’ats of Salatul layl, recite two raka’ats like the Fajr prayer.

After Sura al-Hamd it is recommended to recite al-Ikhlas (#112) in the first raka’at and Sura al-Kafirun (#109) in the second raka’at. Qunut is recommended in the second raka’at and can simply consist of saying a salawat only or subhanallah three times.

In the other salats of Nafilah of Layl, any small surahs can be recited after Sura al-Hamd. It is also permissible to omit the second surah after Suratul Hamd during these raka’ats.

Sura al-Kafirun (#109)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ لاَ أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ

وَلاَ أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ وَلاَ أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ

وَلاَ أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ

In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful
Say: O unbelievers
I do not serve that which you serve
Nor do you serve Him Whom I serve
Nor am I going to serve that which you serve
Nor are you going to serve Him Whom I serve
You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion.

Salat al-Shaf’a

This is a two rak’aat prayer, and there is no qunoot in it.
1st raka’at: Recite Sura an Nas after al-Hamd.
2nd raka’at: Recite Sura al-Falaq after al-Hamd.

Sura al-Falaq (#113)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ ، مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ ،

وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ ، وَمِن شَرِّ النَّفَّاثَاتِ فِي الْعُقَدِ ، وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ

In the name of Allâh the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Say: I seek refuge with (Allâh) the Lord of the daybreak
From the evil of what He has created;
And from the evil of the dark night as it comes into darkness
And from the evil of those who blow in knots
And from the evil of the envier when he envies.

Sura an-Nas (#114)

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ ، مَلِكِ النَّاسِ ، إِلَهِ النَّاسِ ،

مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ ، الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ ، مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَ النَّاسِ

In the Name of Allâh, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Say: I seek refuge with (Allâh) the Lord of mankind
The King of mankind
The God of mankind
From the evil of the whisperer who withdraws
Who whispers in the hearts of mankind,
From among the jinns and men.

Salatul Witr

This is a one rak’ah prayer. The following surahs are recited after Sura al-Hamd.
Sura al-Ikhlas (#112) 3 times
Sura al-Falaq (#113) 1 time
Sura an-Nas (#114) 1 time

Qunut of Salatul Witr

After completing the Surahs recite Qunut in the following manner. It is highly emphasized to be humble and tearful in Salatul Witr. Raise the left hand for asking forgiveness and use the right for holding a tasbih. Some recommended duas are as follows.

a) Recite the following du’a
(See also the longer version of this du’a: Du’a Qunut for Salatul Layl)

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

لآ اِلَهَ اِلاَّ اللّهُ الْحَلِيْمُ الْكَرِيْمُ

لآ اِلَهَ اِلاَّ اللّهُ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيْمُ

سُبْحَانَ اللّهِ رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ السَّبْعِ

وَ رَبِّ الاَرْضِيْنَ السَّبْعِ

وَ مَا فِيْهِنَّ وَ مَا بَيْنَهُنَّ وَ مَا فَوْقَهُنَّ وَ مَا تَحْتَهُنَّ

رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيْمِ وَ سَلاَمٌ عَلى الْمُرْسَلِيْنَ

وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ

وَ صَلَّى اللّهُ عَلى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ الطَّاهِرِيْنَ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the merciful
There is no god except Allah
the Forbearing, the Generous
There is no god except Allah
the High the Almighty

Glory be to Allah
Lord of the seven heavens
and Lord of the seven earths

and whatever is in them, and between them
and above them and below them,
Lord of the Mighty Throne.
Peace be on the Messengers.
All praise is for Allah Lord of the worlds.
O Allah bless Muhammad and his pure family.

b) Recite 70 times this prayer for forgiveness

اَسْتَغْفِرُ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَ اَتُوْبُ اِلَيْهِ

I seek forgiveness of Allah my Lord and I turn to Him

c) Ask for the forgiveness of forty believers, men and women, who have died or are living, by repeating forty times:

اَللّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِ

O’ Allah, forgive

Fill in the names of believers. Apart from relatives and friends, it is recommended to remember the Ulama (Scholars) who have served and propagated Islam. If it is not possible to name forty believers, name as many as possible and then say:

اَللّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِلْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ وَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ

O Allah forgive all believers, male and female

Then say:

اَسْتَغْفِرُ اللّهَ الَّذِي لاَ اِلَهَ اِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لِجَمِيْعِ ظُلْمِي وَ جُرْمِي وَ اِسْرَافِي عَلى نَفْسِي وَ اَتُوْبُ اِلَيْهِ

I seek forgiveness of Allah, He who there is no god but He, the Ever living, the subsisting, from all my oppressions and my sins and my excesses on my soul, and I turn (repentant) to Him

d) Repeat seven times:

هذَا مَقَامُ الْعَآئِذِ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ

This is the position of one who seeks refuge in You from the fire

e) Say three hundred times: اَلْعَفْوَ
(I ask for Your) pardon

Then say:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَ ارْحَمْنِي وَ تُبْ عَلَيَّ

اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيْمُ

My Lord, forgive me and have mercy on me, and turn to me Surely You are the Oft-returning, the Merciful

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