Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah said:
“All praise is due to Allah Lord of the worlds and may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his Companions altogether. Yes, it is allowed to make supplication after bowing. It is called Qunut even outside of Ramadan. However, is it from the continuous Sunnan which is necessary to preserve always or is it from the temporary Sunan which a person does sometimes in following the Messenger sallahu alayhi wa salam? It is found that he did not make qunut himself sallahu alayhi wa salam in the voluntary witr. Imam Ahmad said: Nothing is authentic from the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam in regards to the qunut of witr. That is, that he made qunut himself. However, there is the well-known Hadith in the Sunan that the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam taught Hassan ibn Ali radiallahu anhu the Qunut of witr:
اللهم اهدني فيمن هديت
O Allah, guide me among those whom You have guided
This is well-known and the Scholars differed in regards to it. Is it legislated to be read always or in Ramadan only or in the last half of Ramadan? What is apparent to me is that it is what has preceded that it is necessary for a person to do it sometimes so to follow two Sunnahs: that of action and speech. Yes”
[Reference removed since it no longer exists]
The Salaf used to prefer that Qunut be made after Half of Ramadan passed.
حدثنا أبو بكر قال حدثنا ابن علية عن أيوب عن نافع عن ابن عمر أنه كان لا يقنت إلا في النصف يعني من رمضان
Ibn Umar radiallahu anhumma did not make qunut except after half of the Ramadan
[Reported by Ibn Abi Shaybah and its chain is Saheeh]
Hafidh Ibn Abdul Barr rahimahullah:
“Qunut in the second half of Ramadan was reported from Ali, Ubay ibn Kab, Ibn Umar, Ibn Sireen, Thawri, Zuhri, Yahya ibn Wathaab. Ibn Mundhir said: Malik, Shafiee, and Ahmad”
What to Read in the Qunut?
The Sunnah is to read the following supplication:
قَالَ الْحَسَنُ عَلَّمَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَلِمَاتٍ أَقُولُهُنَّ فِي الْوَتْرِ فِي الْقُنُوتِ “ اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنِي فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنِي فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
Al-Hasan said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) taught me some words to say in witr in Qunut: O Allah, guide me among those whom You have guided, pardon me among those You have pardoned, turn to me in friendship among those on whom You have turned in friendship, and bless me in what You have bestowed, and save me from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can influence You; and he is not humiliated whom You have befriended. Blessed are You, O Lord, and Exalted.)'”
[Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood no.1425]
The Salaf would also add to the above supplication, cursing the disbelievers
حدثني عن مالك عن داود بن الحصين أنه سمع الأعرج يقول ما أدركت الناس إلا وهم يلعنون الكفرة في رمضان
Dawood ibn al-Hussain said: I heard al-‘Araj said: I did not meet a people except they used to curse the disbelievers in Ramadan
[Reported by Imam Malik in the Muwatta and the chain is Saheeh]
Imam Ibn Abdul Barr rahimahullah said:
“al-‘Araj met a group of the Companions and the senior Tab’ieen and it was the action of the people of Madinah”
Shaikh al-Albani rahimahullah wrote:
“There is no harm to make the qunut after the ruku and to increase upon it by cursing the disbelievers, sending blessings upon the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam, supplicating for the Muslims after the second half of Ramadan as the Imams used to do at the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab radiallah anhu. Abdurahman ibn Abd al-Qaari said as mentioned earlier pg. 26-27: They used to curse the disbelievers after half of Ramadan:
اللهم قاتل الكفرة الذين يصدون عن سبيلك ، ويكذبون رسلك ،
ولا يؤمنون بوعدك ، وخالف بين كلمتهم ، وألق في قلوبهم الرعب ، وألق عليهم رجزك وعذابك ، إله الحق
Oh Allah destroy the disbelievers who prevent from your path, and deny your Messenger, and do not believe in your promise. Oh Allah make them differ in their statement, place in their hearts fear, descend upon them your punishment, Oh lord of truth” Umar radiallahu anhu used to send blessings upon the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam and supplicate for the Muslims then he sought forgiveness for the Believers.
He used to say when he finished cursing the disbelievers and sending blessings on the Prophet and seeking forgiveness for the believers and supplicating for them:
اللهم إياك نعبد ، ولك نصلي ونسجد ، وإليك نسعى ونحفد ، ونرجو رحمتك ربنا ، ونخاف عذابك الجد ، إن عذابك لمن عاديت مُـلْحَقٌ
O Allah, it is You we worship, and unto You we pray and prostrate, and towards You we hasten and You we serve. We hope for Your mercy oh our Lord and fear Your punishment, verily Your punishment will fall upon those are enemies to you
[Qiyaam ar-Ramadan pg. 31-32]
When Should the Witr be Done: Before the Ruku or After?
It can be read before or after the ruku, but what is advised is before. Shaikh Al-Albani rahimahullah wrote:
“After finishing the recitation and before ruku, sometimes he should read the supplication of Qunut which the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam taught his grandson Hassan ibn Ali radiallahu anahu…”
[Qiyaam ar-Ramadan pg. 31]
Questions Regarding Qunut:
Shaikh Abdul Muhsin al-‘Abbad hafidhuhallah was asked:
What is the ruling on continuously making Qunut?
The Sunnah is not to continuously make Qunut. It should be left often sometimes.
[Sharh Tirmidhi no. 69]
If he makes the Qunut before the ruku, should he make takbir and raise his hands like the opening takbir as is done by the Hanafiyyah?
No, there is no takbir. He supplicates without takbir. This is because takbir is for ruku and sujud and changing positions. For every ascending and descending there is takbir. Even sujud at-Tilawah, if it occurs during the prayer, he makes takbir when making sujud and when rising from sujud because it enters into the generality of him sallahu alayhi wa salam making takbir with every ascending and descending. As for if it is outside of prayer, then it is not established to make takbir. There is a Hadith about making sujud in the takbir but I think in its chain is Abdullah al-Umari (and he) is weak (as a narrator) and his hadith are not used for evidence. Ubaidaullah is reliable. Some Scholars said one should make takbir thinking that the narrator in the Hadith was Ubaidullah, the reliable narrator. But in reality it is Abdullah. So, a person does not make takbir when going into sujud or outside of sujud [in the sujud at-Tilawah outside the prayer]”
When the Imam makes witr and praises Allah, the Exalted. Do those praying behind him say: Ameen?
No he does not say Ameen in the mention of praise. He should only say something that extols Allah, the Exalted. He says: Subhnallah and other than that.
Some of the Imams prolong the supplication of qunut a lot. Is it allowed for me to sit if he makes supplication and I am tired of standing?
Answer: If you are tired, sit. If you are not tired, remain with the people.
[Sharh Tirmidhi no. 69]
Question: Is there any harm if a person making supplication makes it with the wording “Oh Allah guide us in the dua of qunut” [i.e. instead of guide me?]
Answer: This is if there is a congregation and he leads a people. He does not say: Oh Allah guide me. As is well known, an Imam does not specificy himself with supplication and the people say Ameen. Rather he makes a comprehensive supplication that includes them. If a person is alone, he says ‘Oh Allah guide me’ as the Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam taught Hassan ibn Ali.”
[Sharh Tirmidhi no. 69]
And Allah Knows Best
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan