Du’a e Qunoot

(a) Why is du’a of qunoot prayed during the ‘Isha’ Prayers (specially in the Witr)? There must be a reason behind it.
(b) Since du’a qunoot is a du’a, can we use it in other prayers i.e. after finishing Fajr prayer?

A. The forms of worship are prescribed by Allah Almighty and have been conveyed to us through the Holy Prophet, sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. No doubt, every form or method of worship so prescribed has some wisdom behind it, but that wisdom has not been expressly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah in every case. We can attribute certain reasons for certain acts, but it will be a hypothetical exercise which may or may not be correct, because the real wisdom is best known to Allah alone. The number of Rak’ats in the Fajr prayer is two while it is four in Zuhr, Asr and ‘Isha’ and three in Maghrib.
The reason for these different numbers different prayers is never mentioned in the Holy Sources of Islamic teachings. The recitals of prayer also very from act to act. We are directed to recite the Qur’anic verses while standing in the prayer, but we have been forbidden from doing so in the states of ruku’ and sajdah, likewise, Tashahhud has been prescribed in the qa’dah (state of sitting) and not in the ruku’ or sajdah. the exact reasons for these directions are not expressly mentioned in the Qur’an or in the Sunnah, because the essence of worship is nothing but to obey the divine commands and to follow the prophetic practices even if their reasons are unknown.
Similar is the case of the du’a of qunoot. It has been prescribed in the last Rak’at of witr without giving any reason. Therefore, we must follow it even though its exact reason is not known to us.
One can say that since the prayer of witr, is the last prayer performed by a Muslim at night, a comprehensive du’a has been prescribed in its last rak’at so that one’s daily activities may end with this prayer which ecompasses all his needs, both in this world and in the Hereafter.
But, as mentioned earlier, this is only a possible reason. Some other person may adduce another reason, the real wisdom being known to Allah alone.
(b) Yes, there is no harm against reciting this du’a after prayers also. But it should not be recited during the Salah except in the Witr Prayer.

Fatawa by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.