Question: Can we perform our Shaf’ and Witr in Jamaa’ah the way some Companions used to do?
Aboo Naasir: Someone asked, ‘Can we perform our Shaf’ and Witr in Jamaa’ah the way some Companions used to do?’ I don’t know whether the Companions used to perform it in Jamaa’ah. If the person knows he can tell us so that we find out. We wish to see the hadeeth, but there is no evidence that the Companions used to perform their Shaf’ and Witr in Jamaa’ah. Shaf’ and Witr should normally come with the Tahajjud. There is nothing really par-say you can call Shaf’; it is Witr. Witr is Witr. Witr can be three raka’aat; it can be five raka’aat; it can be seven raka’aat; it can be nine raka’aat. Witr is Witr. It is just like what the ‘Ulamaa say (regarding Taraweeh); there is nothing like Taraweeh. You can’t see any (authentic) hadeeth where Taraweeh is mentioned. What you will see is Qiyaamu Layl or Qiyaamu Romodoon. You won’t see Taraweeh. Do you understand? So there is nothing like Shaf’.
But let’s take it that what he means is the odd Solaah we perform in the night. Is there any evidence that the Companions used to perform it (in Jamaa’ah)? I have not seen (any narration regarding it), what I have seen is that the scholars would say individuals performed it. There is no evidence to say the Companions performed it together in the Masjid. And Allaah knows best about that.
[SOURCE: The question and answer session of the tape titled, ‘Understanding the Sunnah’; TIME: 17 minutes 52 seconds to 19 minutes 18 seconds]