What are the exact number of Sunnah and fard rakat for each salat
  • Question:
    Please tell me the exact number of Sunnah and fard rakat for each salat. I am also confused regarding whether or not to say salaam (Assalamu alaykum warahmatullah) when performing 4 Sunnah of zuhr prayers and others. I have asked many friends also and some of them says we have to continue 4 sunnahs without a salam in between while others say that salam in between 4 sunnahs are required. Kindly guide me in this regard.


    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    There are 12 rakaʿāt you should perform throughout the day in addition to your farḍ prayers. These prayers have been classified as Sunnat al-Muʾakkadah:

    • Two rakaʿāt before the farḍ ṣalāh of Fajr.
    • Four rakaʿāt before the farḍ ṣalāh of Ẓuhr and Jumuʿah.
    • Two rakaʿāt after the farḍ ṣalāh of Ẓuhr and Jumuʿah.
    • Two rakaʿāt after the farḍ ṣalāh of Maghrib.
    • Two rakaʿāt after the farḍ ṣalāh of ʿIshāʾ.

    Beyond these prayers there are four rakaʿāt you should perform which have been classified as Sunnat Ghayr al-Mu‘akkadah:

    • Four rakaʿāt before the farḍ ṣalāh of ʿAṣr.

    ʿĀʾishah (RA) reported, “Allāh’s Messenger (PBUH) would pray 13 rakaʿāt during the night. After that, he would pray two short rakaʿāt when he heard the call to Ṣalāt al-Fajr.” (Bukhārī )

    ʿAbdullāh ibn al-Sāʾib (RA) reported, “Allāh’s Messenger (PBUH) would perform four rakaʿāt after the sun had moved [from its zenith] before performing Ẓuhr. He explained, ‘This is an hour when the doors of the sky are opened. I would like a good deed of mine to ascend through them.’” (Tirmidhī)

    Ibn ʿumar (RA) reported, “I performed two rakaʿāt with the Prophet (PBUH) before Ẓuhr and two rakaʿāt after Ẓuhr.” (Tirmidhī)

    Ibn ʿUmar (RA) reported, “I performed two rakaʿāt with the Prophet (PBUH) after Maghrib at his house.” (Tirmidhī)

    ʿAbdullāh ibn Shaqīq (RA) reported, “I asked ʿĀʾishah (RA) about the [voluntary (nafl)] prayer of Allāh’s Messenger (PBUH), so she explained, ‘He used to perform two rakaʿāt before Ẓuhr and two rakaʿāt after it, two rakaʿāt after Maghrib, two rakaʿāt after ʿIshāʾ, and two rakaʿāt before Fajr.’” (Tirmidhī)

    Ibn ʿUmar (RA) reported, “The Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘May Allāh have mercy on the person who performs four [rakaʿāt] before ʿAsr.’” (Tirmidhī)


    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute
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