Our beloved prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) once said:

صَلُّوا كَمَا رَأَيْتُمُونِي أُصَلِّي

“Pray as you have seen me praying.” (Bukhari, 631)

Sunnah prayers have many benefits to us, it brings us closer to Allah, it shields us from doing wrong, it brings us many rewards and it’s a way of remembering Allah. 

Allah said in surah Ali ‘Imran: “Say, ˹O Prophet, ˺ “If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

“قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ ٱللَّهَ فَٱتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ ٣١”

Allah instructed us to follow the prophet, and praying sunnah prayers is an opportunity to do so. But how many sunnah prayers are there and how can we pray them? Let’s find out. 

How many sunnah prayers are there in a day?

Before we start talking about how many sunnah prayers are in a day let’s first understand the difference between the various types of prayers.

In Islam, there are four main types of prayers, and they are known as Fard (obligatory), Wajib, Sunnah, And Nafl.

1- Fard prayers: Fard payers are the prayers that are obligatory for every Muslim, and they are five prayers every day, which are, Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha

2- Wajib prayers: Wajib payers are also obligatory prayers but they are not prayed daily, like Eid prayers.

3- Sunnah Prayers: the sunnah are the prayers that our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) used to offer in addition to Fard prayers, it’s not obligatory prayers and there’s no sin in missing or not praying them. They include: Two rakahs before Salat al-Fajr, Four rakahs before Salat al-Zuhr and two rakahs after Salat al-Zuhr, Two rakahs after Salat al-Maghrib, Two rakahs after Salat al-Isha, and Tarawih.

4- Nafl prayers: they are voluntary prayers that a person performs for extra virtue, like Tahajjud and Duha prayers.

When to pray sunnah prayers?

The sunnah prayers are prayed before or after Fard prayers and they include, Two rakahs before Salat al-Fajr, Four rakahs before Salat al-Zuhr, and two rakahs after Salat al-Zuhr, Two rakahs after Salat al-Maghrib, and Two rakahs after Salat al-Isha.

How to pray sunnah prayers?

Sunnah prayers is our way to come closer to Allah and please him. Abu Huraira narrated that the prophet of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) said that Allah said:

مَا تَقَرَّبَ إِلَىَّ عَبْدِي بِشَىْءٍ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَمَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إِلَىَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطُشُ بِهَا وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَإِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنِ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ

“My slave does not come near to me with anything more beloved to me than what I have enjoined upon him, And My slave continues to draw near to me with nawafil (supererogatory) deeds until I love him. Then when I love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks; Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.” (Bukhari, 6502)

Now let’s find out how to pray sunnah prayers:

First, you should know that sunnah prayers are divided into two rakats, meaning, the four Rakat before the Duhr prayer is prayed two Rakat then two Rakats.

1- Face the Qibla, which means to stand facing the Holy Ka’bah, but if you can’t find out the direction of the Kaaba for any reason and you are about to miss the prayer then without facing the Kaaba.

2- Make your intention, before you start praying it is important to make your intention. You don’t have to make the intention out loud it comes from the heart, and you could say: “I intend to perform two rakats sunnah al-Fajr prayer”

3- Raise your hands and say Allahu Akbar (الله أَكْبَر), in English “Allah is the greatest.”.

4- put your right hand over your left hand on your chest.

5- Recite Surah Al-Fatiha followed by any other Surah you know by heart.

6- Say “Allahu Akbar” and bend down (ruku), put your hands on your knees, and say “Subhaana Rabiyal Adheem” three times.

7- Stand up again and put your hands beside you and say “Samiallah Huliman Hamidah”, in English it means “Allah hears those who praise Him”. Then put your hands on your chest again, your right hand above your left hand, and say “Rabana Walakal Hamd” meaning “Our Lord, all praise is for you”.

8- Say Allahu Akbar and perform Sujood. When performing sujood, put your knees, and hands on the ground, and your nose, and forehead should be touching the ground. Say “Subhanna Rabbiyal A’laa” (Glorious is my Lord, the most High) three times, then sit and say “Allaahumma-ghfir lee warhamnee wajburnee, warfa’nee, wa ‘aafinee war’zuqnee” (O Allah, forgive me, have mercy on me, strengthen me, raise me in status, pardon me and grant me provision), and do a second sujood and say “Subhanna Rabbiyal A’laa” three times.

9- Say Allahu akbar and stand up. Repeat the process again, recite surah al Fatiha, followed by another surah.

Say “Allahu Akbar” and bend down (ruku), put your hands on your knees, and say “Subhaana Rabiyal Adheem” three times.

10- Stand up again and put your hands beside you and say “Samiallah Huliman Hamidah”, in English it means “Allah hears those who praise Him”. Then put your hands on your chest again, your right hand above your left hand, and say “Rabana Walakal Hamd” meaning “Our Lord, all praise is for you”.

11- Say Allahu Akbar and perform Sujood. When performing sujood, put your knees, and hands on the ground, and your nose, and forehead should be touching the ground. Say “Subhanna Rabbiyal A’laa” (Glorious is my Lord, the most High) three times, then set and say “Allaahumma-ghfir lee warhamnee wajburnee, warfa’nee, wa ‘aafinee war’zuqnee” (O Allah, forgive me, have mercy on me, strengthen me, raise me in status, pardon me and grant me provision), and do a second sujood and say “Subhanna Rabbiyal A’laa” three times.

12- Sit on your knee again and recite Tashahhud:

التَّحِيَّاتُ لِلَّهِ وَالصَّلَوَاتُ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ السَّلَامُ عَلَى النَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ السَّلَامُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى عِبَادِ اللَّهِ الصَّالِحِين. أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ. اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيد

Attahiyyaatu lillaahi wassalawaatu wattayyibatu. Assalaamu ‘alayka ayyuhan-Nabiyyi warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh. Assalaamu ‘alyna wa ‘ala ‘ibaadillaahis saaliheen. Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illallaah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluh.

Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama sallaita ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem innaka Hameedun Majeed, wabaarik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhamaad kama baarakta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem innaka Hameedun Majeed.

Meaning: “All the compliments are for Allah and all the prayers and all the good things (are for Allah). Peace be on you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings (are on you). And peace be on us and on the good (pious) worshipers of Allah. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Apostle.

O, Allah! Praise Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as You Praised Ibraaheem and the family of Ibraaheem; you are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. And send blessings on Muhammad, and on the family of Muhammad, as you sent blessings on Ibraaheem, and the family of Ibraaheem; you are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory.”

13- When you finish the Tashahhud turn your face to the right and say “Assalamu alaikum Wa Rahmatullah.” Then turn your face to the left and say “Assalamu alaikum Wa Rahmatullah.”

How many sunnah prayers for Dhuhr?

The sunnah prayers for Dhuhr consists of 6 rakat, four rakah before Salat al-Zuhr and two rakahs after Salat al-Zuhr.

How many sunnah prayers for Isha?

The sunnah prayers for Isha consist of two Rakaht and they are prayed after praying Salat al-Isha.

How many sunnah prayers for Asr?

There are no Sunnah prayers for Asr prayer. 

Can you miss Sunnah prayers?

Sunnah prayers are optional, you are not obligated to pray them and there is no sin in missing them, but it is better to bray them though as it is said that Sunnah prayers will make up for any Fard prayer you missed in your life on the day of judgement.

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