Is it wajib to recite any dua in the witr prayer or do we have to recite the dua ‘Allahumma inna nasta’eenuka wa nastagh-firuka…’?
It is wajib to read du’a in the third rak’ah of Witr Salah. However to pray the du’a mentioned in the question is not wajib, but Sunnah. So by not praying the du’a though Salah will be valid, but there will be a reduction in reward as a Sunnah was omitted. One should try and memorise the du’a so that one can attain reward of acting upon the Sunnah.
The great Hanafi Imam, Imam Ahmad Rida Khan (رحمة الله عليه) states:
“To pray the specific du’a (as mentioned in the question) is Sunnah. If one does not know that du’a then one can pray ‘Allāhumma Rabbanā Ātinā Fi al-Dunyā Ĥasanah Wa Fi al-Ākhirati Ĥasanah Wa Qinā ‘AdhābaNār’. If one does not know this either, he can pray, ‘Allāhummaghfirlee’ three times. If one does not know this, then praying ‘Ya Rabb’ three times will fulfil the necessity (Wajib).”
[Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah, vol. 7, p. 485]
It is recommended to read Salat (Durūd) upon the beloved (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم) after the completion of Du’a al-Qunūt.
“To send salutations and blessings is recommended after the Du’a al-Qunūt”
[Bahar-e-Shari’ah with reference to Ghuniyyah and Radd al-Muhtar]
Allah knows best.
Answered by Shaykh Mohamed Husein Qadri