Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As salam alaykum,
Can I pray only the two sunna cycles (rak`ats) after the Zuhr prayer?
The reason why I am asking this question is that sometimes I don’t have enough time for praying all the emphasized sunna prayers.
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray this message finds you well, insha’Allah.
There is a difference of opinion as to whether the two sunna cycles (rak`ats) after the Zuhr prayer are superior to the four before it.
(1) The two cycles being superior is what was chosen by al-Halwani because it is agreed upon to be a sunna (unlike the four cycles prior to the obligatory prayer).
(2) The four cycles being superior is what deemed to be the sounder position by al-`Inaya, al-Diraya, al-Nihaya, and also Ibn Nujaym in his Bahr, Haskafi in his Durr, and what Ibn `Abidin seems to lean towards.
However, strive as best you can to pray all the emphasised sunnas of the day, even if only briefly and quickly. If difficult, ask Allah for facilitation, as He is the one who grants out of His Pure Favour.
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No Muslim slave prays to Allah Almighty twelve voluntary rak’ats over and above the obligatory ones every day without Allah building a house for him in the Garden (or without a house being built for him in the Garden.)” [Muslim]
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani