The supererogatory prayers according to the Hanafi Mathhab
Fatwa No: 108251

  • Fatwa Date:15-5-2008 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 10, 1429
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Question

ASSALAMUALIKUM WA RAHAMATULLAHHI WA BARAKATHU PLEASE TELL ACCORDING TO IMAM ABU HANIFA HOW MANY RAKATS ARE TO BE PRAYED DURING THE DAY ALL FIVE TIMES.(FARAZ,SUNNAT & NAFIL).JAZAKALLAH

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

 

According to the Hanafi School of jurisprudence, the obligatory prayers are five daily prayers and there is no difference of opinion on this among the Muslim nation, as stated by Al-Kaasaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him from the Hanafi School.

As regards the Sunnah prayers, and the supererogatory prayers [Nawaafil, plural of Nafl] which are performed either before or after the obligatory prayers, then firstly, it should be noted that every Sunnah according to the Hanafi School of jurisprudence, is a supererogatory [Nafl] prayer and not the contrary. The Sunnah is an act which the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) used to do, and if he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did it on a continuous basis without abandoning it, then this is evidence of a confirmed Sunnah, and if sometimes he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) did not perform it, then this is evidence that it is not a confirmed Sunnah, and if a religious text states that one is blamed if he did not perform it, then it is evidence that this is an obligatory Sunnah.

The Sunnan (supererogatory) prayers that are performed either before or after the five daily obligatory prayers according to the Hanafi School of jurisprudence are as follows:

                           2 Rak’ahs before Fajr,

                           4 Rak’ahs before Thuhr,

                           2 Rak’ahs after Thuhr,

                           4 or 2 Rak’ahs before ‘Asr,

                           2 Rak’ahs after Maghrib,

                           4 Rak’ahs before ‘Ishaa’,

                           4 or 2 Rak’ahs after ‘Ishaa’.

Similarly, Taraaweeh prayers are a confirmed Sunnah in Ramadan and they are performed straight after the ‘Ishaa’ prayer.

According to the above School, Witr prayer is an obligation [Waajib] and there are no Nafl Sunnah prayers that are linked to an obligatory prayer. However, according to the Hanafi School, there are many Nafl prayers [open supererogatory prayers that are not performed before or after the obligatory prayers] but we just mentioned the Nafl Sunnah prayers that are performed either before or after the obligatory prayers according to your request.

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 83409.

Allaah Knows best.

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