What does the Imam say in the Witr du’a

Taraweeh is of the most beautiful experiences in Ramadan, and of the most emotional moments every night is when the imam recites the du’a in the witr prayer.  I’ll never forget that for years my friend would tell me that we HAD to go attend the 27th night at a particular masjid because the imam ‘goes hard’ with his du’a every year.  He told me that the past few years that he went the witr rakah alone lasts almost an entire hour! And so one year we went, taking the journey to Brooklyn, and as the Quran was completed during the taraweeh the people shuffled together one more time to stand up for the witr prayer, my friend looked at me and showed me the time on his watch…it was go time.  The shaykh was a master reciter and for an entire hour he tugged on our heartstrings with his melodious voice beseeching Allah’s forgiveness, begging Him for support, for health, for our families, for our ummah.  We wept and implored along with him, and wept some more, and implored some more! Finally we fell into sujood, at the conclusion of the prayer my friend looks at his watch, sure enough- 55 minutes in that one rakah prayer.

What was amazing was that my friend was not Arabic speaking, but that did not stop him at all from raising his hands to the sky and crying along with the imam passionately invoking Allah to respond to the prayers that he was understanding little of.  Since then it’s been planted in my heart to translate some of the prayers that are commonly used in witr throughout the month of Ramadan.  The prayers are beautiful and melodious, many Imams use supplications that come directly from the Quran and from the sunnah, though most do not restrict their supplications exclusively to what is found in the early traditions since they as well attempt to address the needs of their community.

So here is my initial attempt at a witr du’a that is palatable for the English ear.  Where the supplication is found in the sunnah I have accompanied it with a footnote, otherwise it is of my own concoction or something that I have heard on the tongues of imams that I have not found in the traditions.

اللهمَّ اهدِني فيمَن هدَيتَ ، وعافِني فيمَن عافَيتَ ، وتوَلَّني فيمَن تولَّيتَ ، اللهمَّ قِني شرَّ ما قضَيتَ ، وبارِكْ لي فيما أعطَيتَ ، فإنَّك تَقضي بالحقِّ ولا يُقضى عليكَ ، وإنَّه لا يَذِلُّ مَن والَيتَ ، تَبارَكتَ ربَّنا وتَعالَيتَ

Oh Allah, guide us amongst those you have guided,
And grant us health amongst those You’ve granted health to,
And protect us amongst those You have protected,
And bless us in what has been given to us by You,
And protect us from any evil You’ve decreed,
For You decree in truth, and none can decree over You,
none can disgrace who You support, and none can honor who You oppose,
You are the blessed, and the exalted, [1]

اللَّهمَّ لَكَ الحمدُ أنتَ نورُ السَّمواتِ والأرضِ ومن فيهنَّ ولَكَ الحمدُ أنتَ قيَّامُ السَّمواتِ والأرضِ ومن فيهنَّ ولَكَ الحمدُ أنتَ مالِكُ السَّمواتِ والأرضِ ومن فيهنَّ ولَكَ الحمدُ أنتَ الحقُّ ووعدُكَ حقٌّ وقولُكَ حقٌّ ولقاؤُكَ حقٌّ والجنَّةُحقٌّ والنَّارُ حقٌّ والسَّاعةُ حقٌّ والنَّبيُّونَ حقٌّومحمَّدٌحقٌّ اللَّهمَّ لَكَ أسلمتُ وبِكَ آمنتُ وعليْكَ توَكَّلتُ وإليْكَ أنبتُ وبِكَ خاصمتُ وإليْكَ حاكمتُ فاغفر لي ما قدَّمتُ وما أخَّرتُ وما أسررتُ وما أعلنتُ أنتَ

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Oh Allah, to You belongs all praise,
You are the lord of the heavens and earth and what is between them, so to You is thanks and praise,
You are the light of the heavens and earth, so to You is thanks and praise,
You are the maintainer of the heavens and earth, so to You is thanks and praise,
You are the truth, and Your speech is true, and Your promise is true, and Your meeting is true,
and paradise is true, and the fire is true, and the prophets are true, and Muhammad is true,
Oh Allah, we’ve submitted to You, and believe in You, and depended on You, and repented to You,
and refer back to You, seek judgment from You,  so grant us forgiveness from You, for our past sins and the new, those hidden and evident, from all of them we repent, and from those we’ve forgotten while You knew, [2]

اللَّهُمَّ أسألُكَ الجنَّةَ ، وما قرَّبَ إليها منقولٍأوعمَلٍ . وأعوذُ بِكَ منَالنَّارِ وما قرَّبَ إليها مِنقَولٍأوعملٍ

Oh Allah, we ask You paradise, and what will bring us close to it of actions and speech,
And we seek refuge in You from the fire, and what will bring us close to it of actions and speech,[3]
Oh Allah, You are the most Merciful of those who show Mercy,
The most Merciful of those asked,
And most generous of those who give,
The sustainer of everything,
And You alone Ever live,
You who hears what we do not hear,
You who sees what we do not see,
You who changes the Universe by simply saying “BE”

لاأحصيثناءً عليكَ أنتَ كما أثنيتَ على نفسِكَ

We don’t have the ability to praise You,
You are as you praised yourself,[4]
We thank You for our faith, families, health and wealth,

اللهم أنتَ ربي لا إله إلا أنتَ خلقتنِيوأنا عبدُكَ وأناعلىعهْدك ووعدكَ ما استطعتُ أعوذُ بكَ من شرّ ما صنعتُ وأبُوءُ لكَ بنعمتكَ عليّ وأعترفُ بذنوبِي فاغفرْ لي ذنوبي إنه لا يغفرُ الذنوبَ إلا أنتَ

We declare You to be our Lord,
With no ilahs other than You,
You created us, we are your slaves,
And fulfill our pledge to You,
We seek refuge in You,
From the sins that we commit,
Your blessings cannot be counted,
Your favors we all admit,
We also confess our sins,
And ask for Your forgiveness,
For none forgives sins except for You.[5]

اللَّهمَّ إنَّك عفُوٌّتُحبُّالعفوَ فاعْفُ عنِّي

Oh Allah, You are forgiving, You love to forgive, so forgive me,

Oh Allah, You are forgiving, You love to forgive, so forgive me,

Oh Allah, You are forgiving, You love to forgive, so forgive me, [6]

اللهمَّ ! إني أعوذُ بك من علمٍ لا ينفعُ ، ومن قلبٍلايخشعُ ، ومن نفسٍ لا تَشبعُ ، ومن دعوةٍ لا يُستجابُ لها

We seek refuge in You from a heart that is not humbled, and an eye that does not tear,
knowledge that doesn’t benefit, a prayer not lifted near, [7]

أسألُك بكلِّ اسمٍ هو لك سمَّيْتَ به نفسَك أو أنزلتَه في كتابِك أو علَّمتَه أحدًا من خلقِك أو استأثرتَ به في علمِ الغيبِ عندك أن تجعلَ القرآنَ ربيعَقلبي ونورَ صدري وجلاءَ حزَني وذهابَ همِّي

Oh Allah, make the Quran the spring of our hearts, and the light of our chests,
The remover of our sadness, the repeller of our stress, [8]
Teach us what we don’t know, and remind us what we’ve forgotten,
and grant us the ability to recite, throughout the day and night,
Oh Allah, our hearts are vessels that carry our faith,
May You always have our hearts seeking Your Face,
For every heart attached to something appointed,
and to other than You, will undoubtedly be disappointed,

اللَّهمَّ إنِّي أسألُكَ منَ الخيرِ كلِّهِعاجلِهِ وآجلِهِ ما علمتُ منهُ وما لم أعلمْ وأعوذُ بكَ منَ الشَّرِّ كلِّهِعاجلِهِ وآجلِهِ ما علمتُ منهُ وما لم أعلمْ

Oh Allah we ask you for all good, good now, and good later, and what we know to be good and what we don’t
And we seek refuge from all evil, evil not and evil later, and what we know to be evil and what we don’t [9]
Oh Allah guide for us our youth, bring them to the truth,
Protect them from influences that would cause them to be misled,
Forgive our parents and grandparents and have mercy on our dead,

اللهم إني أعوذُ بك من غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وقَهْرِ الرجالِ

Remove from us the overpowering of men, and the overburdening of debt, [10]
Give us success, remove our stress, marry our bachelors and bachelorettes,
Grant Muslim students the ability to excel,
in deen and dunya, and doubts and desires repel,
Free our prisoners, and bring them back to their families safe and secure,
Heal our sick from all ailments, You alone are the one to cure,
Oh Allah we seek your protection from being tested,
And protection for our family in the land that you made blessed
They are hungry so feed them, naked so clothe them,
Barefoot so carry them, terrified so console them,
Protect them from all directions as people of belief,
Replace them courage for their fear, exhilaration for their grief
Have mercy on their deceased, protect their sons and daughters,
Give them swift victory, and accept their martyrs,
Have mercy on our family in Burma, and remove from them oppression,
remove from them their sadness, and punish those who oppress them,
They have no state to support them, no Ummah behind them,
No land to accept them, no one to carry them,
it is them and You, ya Rabb, You are their only supporter and their only hope,
All avenues are shut for them except your door that doesn’t close,
So be their greatest supporter and greatest ally
Oh Allah you are Al-Lateef, Be gentle with the Ummah of Muhammad,
Have mercy on our family everywhere, Yemen, Somalia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan,
Syria, Kashmir, Libya, and Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Palestine and Sudan…
Protect the ummah from the harms of those who would deceive it,
Put out the flames of fitnah in Egypt, and bring their hearts back to you,

Oh Allah have mercy on our teachers, those who showed us the way to you,
Overlook their faults, and make them and us guided and guiding others,
And have mercy on our friends and brothers, and everyone who requested our prayers,
Forgive all of their sins, and correct all of their affairs,

Oh Allah as You’ve allowed us to experience the month of Ramadan, allow us to be forgiven,
Forgive us, be with us, don’t punish us,
There is nothing that allows us to have the ability to stand before you, with all of our shortcomings and faults, except what you’ve taught us of your forgiveness…
There is nothing that allows our feet to carry us in Your presence, with all of our sins and mistakes, except what you’ve taught us of Your mercy,
If Your mercy is only for the righteous, then who is for the broken weighed down by their sins,
Standing before You seeking forgiveness, repentance, a new journey to begin,
Forgive us and our parents and our children, and all the believing men and women,
Who is the one who asked You and was left wanting,
Who is the one who depended on You, and was not carried,
Who is the one who had hope in you and was disappointed,
Oh Allah, make us of the people of paradise, and protect us from the fire,
We seek refuge in Your Face, from being of the people of the fire,
Protect us, our families and our ummah from all evil,
And heal the hearts of a believing people,

Allahumma Ameen.

= = =

[1] Narrated by Tirmithi, Abu Dawood
[2] Narrated by Bukhari, with variations taken from Muslim and Al-Nisa’i
[3] Narrated by Ibn Maajah, from the hadith of ‘Aisha
[4] Muslim, Tirmithi and others
[5] Narrated by Bukhari, The master prayer of seeking forgiveness, from the hadith of Shadad ibn Aws
[6] Sunan Al-Tirmithi, from the hadith of ‘Aisha
[7] The heart, knowledge and prayer are narrated by Muslim from the hadith of Zayd ibn Arqam, with the addition of the eye related by Ibn Hajar in Fath Al-Bari and authenticated by him.
[8] Narrated by Ibn Hibban, from the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood
[9] Narrated by Ibn Maajah, from the hadith of ‘Aisha
[10] Narrated by Abu Dawood, from the hadith of Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri

14 / View Comments

14 responses to “What does the Imam say in the Witr du’a”

  1. Shobandir says:

    what was the masjid in brooklyn called? i live close by and would love to check it out this ramadan!

  2. Any chance of getting the Arabic text to accompany this? I know the request is usually made the other way but I would really like the Arabic!

  3. Nabila Uddin says:

    May Allah reward you immensely for your efforts! How thoughtful!

  4. Susan says:

    Ma sha Allah. Wonderful.

  5. Manahil says:

    I always love to read and listen what bro. Ammar al shukry has to say. Masha Allah always beautiful and melodious! May Allah swt bless you brother with the best of both worlds.

  6. Hyde says:

    Subanallah! Subanallah! Subanallah!

  7. Shariq says:

    Salaam – it will be very helpful to a large number of non-Arabic speakers if somehow the Arabic text could be added to it. Jazak Allah Khair for compiling this list.

  8. Faraash says:

    So beautiful mashaAllah, barakAllah feek wa jazzakAllah khayr brother Ammar, you are defenitely one of my HUGEST poetic inspirations & heroes!

  9. Yasmin says:

    Beautiful mashaAllah
    Please remember the mothers’ struggle and dedication in raising the next generation of the Ummah.

  10. Miriam B. says:

    Jazakallahu khair.
    Responding to the email about one of my favorite duas:
    Allahumma innee asaluka hubbak, wa hubba man yuhibbuk, wa hubba amalin yuqarribunee ilaa hubbik.

  11. Farhad says:

    Subhanallah!!!! May Allah (SWT) accept you Brother Ammar and may He grant every single dua said in this beautiful video of yours. May Allah grant all of us the blessing of being forgiven in these last days of Ramadhan, Ameen!

  12. Ilyaa says:

    MashaAllah! JazakAllah khair brother! May Allah reward you with goodness in abundance in this life and the Hereafter!

  13. Francine says:

    How very kind and thoughtful for those like myself who understand little but read a lot.
    MashAllah MashAllah MashAllah

  14. sister says:

    May Allah bless you with the best in this world and in the hereafter, ameen! Thank so much for this, it has really helped me a lot when memorising these duas that I’ve been looking for for so long! I just wanted to point out a, probably unconscious, mistake in the first dua where you switched places of اللهمَّ قِني شرَّ ما قضَيتَ ، وبارِكْ لي فيما أعطَيتَ. I just wanted to point it out for those who read the translation and learn from it so they don’t mix up words in sha Allah. Barak Allahu fik.

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