Q. After the fard of Esha, I made an intention to perform 3 rakaats witr salaah. In the second rakaat, I realised that I should have made intetion for 2 rakaats sunnat muakkida salaah. I changed my intention for 2 rakaats sunnat salaah and completed the salaah. Is my 2 rakaats sunnat salaah valid ? Can you change your intention whilst performing salaah?
A. The intention of Salaah cannot be made or changed after the commencement of Salaah as the intention of Salaah must be determined before the commencement of Salaah.
Accordingly, if you made the intention of and commenced a Witr Salaah but you concluded it as a two Rakaats Salaah after changing the intention of Salaah during Salaah, your Salaah will be invalid.
However, if you made the intention of a two Rakaats Salaah, but you uttered the intention of a Witr Salaah by mistake before commencing Salaah, then the intention you made in your heart i.e. the two Rakaats Sunnah Salaah will be taken into consideration which will not render your Salaah invalid. (Raddul Muhtaar: 1/417)
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa