The Rakahs For The Prayers

Compiled: Abu Hibbaan & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

Umm Habeebah (RadhiAllaahu Anha) narrates I heard the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) say, “whoever prays 12 rakahs in the day and night then for him will be a palace in paradise.” (Saheeh Muslim no.728)

 

The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) also said “whoever prayed 12 rakahs in the day and night a house will be made for him paradise. 4 rakahs before Dhuhr and 2 after, 2 rakahs after maghrib, 2 rakahs after Ishaa and 2 rakahs after the Fajr prayer.” (Sunan Tirmidhee no.415)

 

FAJR

4 rakahs = 2 optional and 2 obligatory

 

OPTIONAL RAKAHS

Hafsah (RadhiAllaahu Anha) narrates, “When the Mu’addhin finished saying the Adhaan for the morning prayer and sunrise had started the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would pray 2 light rakahs before the standing of the congregation for the obligatory prayer.” (Saheeh Muslim no.723)

 

OBLIGATORY RAKAHS

Abu Barzah as-Salami (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) narrates, “When the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would pray the morning prayer he would recite in both rakahs or in one 60-100 verses.” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.771)

 

NOTE

The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) never missed the morning optional prayers and always prayed them. Aishah (RadhiAllaahu Anha) narrates, “The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would not be firm upon anything except the 2 rakahs of the morning optional prayer before the sunrise.” (Saheeh Muslim no.724).

 

Hence these rakahs are Mu’akkadah ie never missed and always prayed

 

The late Indian Hadeeth Master, Allaamah Shams ul-Haqq A’dheemaabadee authored a magnanimous work on the 2 rakahs before the obligatory prayers of Fajr titled ‘A’laam Ahlil Asar Bi-Ahkaam Rakatil-Fajr’ 300+ pages       

 

DHUHR

Maximum 12 rakahs = 2 or 4 optional rakahs + 4 obligatory prayers + 2 or 4 optional prayers.

 

OPTIONAL RAKAHS

Aishah (RadhiAllaahu Anha) said, “The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would pray 4 rakahs before the Dhuhr prayer in my house and after leading the people in the prayer (ie The Fardh of Dhuhr) and returning he would pray 2 rakahs.” (Saheeh Muslim no.730)

 

Ibn Umar (RadhiAllaahu Anhuma) narrates, “I prayed with the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) and we prayed 2 rakahs before the Dhuhr prayer and 2 rakahs after.” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.1172)

 

Umm Habeebah (RadhiAllaahu Anha) narrates that the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) said, “Whoever establishes the 4 rakahs before the Dhuhr prayer and 4 rakahs after then the fire will be unlawful upon him.”(Sunan Abee Dawood no.1269)

 

NOTE

The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would never miss the 4 rakahs before Dhuhr. Aishah (RadhiAllaahu Anha) narrates, “The Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would never miss the 4 rakahs before Dhuhr and the 2 rakahs before Fajr.” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.1182)

 

Hence these 4 rakahs are also Sunnah Mu’akkadah

 

OBLIGATORY RAKAHS

Abu Qataadah narrates, “Verily the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would recite the Faatihah and a Soorah in the first 2 rakahs and then just the faatihah in the last 2 rakahs.” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.776)

 

ASR

10 rakahs = 4 optional rakahs + 4 obligatory rakahs +2 optional rakahs

 

OPTIONAL RAKAHS

Alee (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) narrates, “Verily the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would pray 4 rakahs before Asr.” (Sunan Tirmidhee no.429)

 

Abdullaah ibn Umar (RadhiAllaahu Anhuna) narrates that the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) said, “May Allaah have mercy on the one who prays 4 rakahs before Asr.” (Sunan Abu Dawood no.1271, Sunan Tirmidhee no.430)

 

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) narrates, “We would try to guess/estimate the standing of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) in Dhuhr and Asr, We would guess the length of the standing of the first 2 rakahs of Asr in that they would be equal to the length of the last 2 rakahs of Dhuhr and the last 2 rakahs (ie of Asr) would be half in length compared to the first 2 rakahs.” (Saheeh Muslim no.452)

 

Aishah (RadhiAllaahu Anha) narrates, “When the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) was with me he never missed the 2 rakahs after Asr.” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.591)

 

Alee (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) narrates, “The Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) prayed 4 rakahs before Dhuhr and 2 rakahs after and 4 rakahs before the Asr prayer and he said the salutation after every 2 rakahs.” (Sunan Tirmidhee no.598)

 

Hence it is Sunnah Mu’akkadah to pray these rakahs in 2’s

 

OBLIGATORY RAKAHS

4 Rakahs for the obligatory prayer.

 

MAGHRIB

5 rakahs = 3 Obligatory rakahs + 2 optional rakahs

 

OBLIGATORY RAKAHS

Abdullaah ibn Umar (RadhiAllaahu Anhuma) narrates, “The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) combined the maghrib and eshaa prayer (due to travelling) and prayed them at once. He prayed 3 rakahs for maghrib and 2 rakahs for Easha with one Iqaamah.” (Saheeh Muslim no.1288)

 

OPTIONAL RAKAHS

Aishah (RadhiAllaahu Anha) narrates, “He (the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam)) would lead the people in the maghrib prayer then he would come into my apartment and pray 2 rakahs.” (Saheeh Muslim no.730)

 

NOTE

There are also 2 optional rakahs established from the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) before maghrib. Abdullaah Muzanee (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) narrates, “Verily the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would pray 2 rakahs before maghrib.” (Ibn Hibbaan no.1586, Qiyaam al-Layl pg.64 of Marwazee)

 

Abdullaah Muzanee (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) said the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) said, “Pray before the maghrib prayer and he said this 3 times and then he said whoever wishes to do so just incase the people do not consider it to Sunnah (mu’akkadah).” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.1183)

 

Our Shaikh, the Imaam and Allaamah Badee ud deen Shaah Raashidee as-Sindhee authored a separate book on this subject alone titled, “Tuhfatul Maghrib.”

 

EESHA

At the very least 7 = 4 obligatory rakahs + 2 Optional rakahs + 1 witr

 

OBLIGATORY RAKAHS

Umar (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) asked Sa’ad (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) about the complaint of the people of Koofah that you do not lead the people in the prayer properly. So Sa’ad (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) replied, “Not at all I swear by Allaah I lead them in prayer like the prayer of the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) and I do not make a mistake in it. When I lead them in the Eesha prayer I elongate the first 2 rakahs and I shorten the last 2 rakahs.” Umar (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) replied, “Abu Ishaaq this is what I thought.” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.755)

 

OPTIONAL RAKAHS

We find evidence for 2 or 4 rakahs after the obligatory rakahs

 

Abdullaah ibn Umar (RadhiAllaahu Anhuma) said, “I prayed with the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) … and he prayed 2 rakahs after Eesha.” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.1172)

 

Ibn Abbaas (RadhiAllaahu Anhuma) said, “I spend a night in my aunty Maimoonahs (RadhiAllaahu Anha) house. The Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) led the Eesha prayer and then came home and prayed 4 rakahs and then went to sleep.” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.697)

 

The Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) said, “There is a prayer between every 2 adhaans (ie the Adhaan and Iqaamah), there is a prayer between every 2 adhaans and the third time he said whoever wishes to do.” (Saheeh Bukhaari no.627)

 

There is also evidence from the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) of praying 2 rakahs after the witr, Umm Salamah (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) narrates, “Verily the Prophet prayed 2 rakahs after the witr.” (Sunan Tirmidhee no.471)

 

WITR

There is evidence from the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) statement and actions that Witr can be one rakah, 3, 5, 7, or 9.

 

Ayoob Ansaari (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) narrates the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) said, “Witr is a haqq upon every muslim, so whoever wishes to pray 5 witr he may do so, whoever wishes to pray 3 he may do so and whoever wishes to pray 1 then he may do so.” (Sunan Abee Dawood no.1422)

 

Umm Salamah (RadhiAllaahu Anhu) said, “The Messenger of Allaah would pray 7 or 5 witr.” (Sunan Ibn Maajah no.1192)

 

Aishah (RadhiAllaahu Anha) narrates, “He would pray 9 rakahs and he would sit in the 8th rakah (for tashahud) and then he would stand up and pray the 9th rakah…” (Saheeh Muslim no.746)

 

JUMU’AH

OPTIONAL RAKAHS

 

2 rakahs before the obligatory prayer as the Messenger of Allaah said, “When one of you comes on the day of Jumu’ah and the Imaam is delivering the sermon then he should offer 2 rakahs.” (Sunan Abee Dawood no.988)

 

The above units are the Tahayyatul Masjid.

 

There is no specific number or limit of the number of rakahs before the jumu’ah prayer. So whoever has the capability should read as much as he is able to do so. The evidence for this is the hadeeth, “Whoever bathes and then comes to Jumu’ah then let him pray as much as he is able to do so.” (Saheeh Muslim no.857)

 

6 rakahs maximum are established from the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam)

 

It is transmitted by Ibn Umar (RadhiAllaahu Anhuma) that when he was in Makkah he would pray 2 rakahs after jumu’ah and then he would offer 4 rakahs. When he would be in Madeenah after praying the jumu’ah he would go home and pray 2 rakahs and he would not pray anything in the masjid. When he was asked he said, “This is what the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) would do.” (Sunan Abee Dawood no.1130)

 

The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wasallam) said, “Whenever one of you prays jumua’h then let him pray 4 rakahs after it.” (Saheeh Muslim no.881). Suhail said under this hadeeth, “If someone is in a rush let him pray 2 rakahs in the masjid and 2 rakahs at home”

 

Abdullaah ibn Umar (RadhiAllaahu Anhuma) narrates, “Without doubt the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wassalm) would pray 2 rakahs in his house after the jumu’ah prayer.” (Sunan Nasaa’ee no.1429)

 

This presents with the following options

 6 rakahs to be offered in the masjid

4 rakahs to be offered in the masjid

2 rakahs to be offered in the masjid and 2 rakahs at home

2 rakahs in the house and nothing to be prayed in the masjid.

 

OBLIGATORY RAKAHS

There are 2 rakahs for jumu’ah. The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Wassalm) said, “Whoever catches a rakah of the jumua’h then let him pray another rakah after.” (Sunan Ibn Maajah no.1121)     

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