Answered by Ustadha Sulma Badrudduja
Question: In obligatory prayers, after the first tashahud you stop and stand without sending blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him), and in the third and fourth rak’ah there is no surah after the fatiha. But in a sunna prayer I’ve heard you do recite after Fatiha in every rak’ah, and you do recite durood and du’a (rabbij-‘alni…) in the second rak’ah tashahud. Is this correct? And is it for all four rak’ah sunnahs or only for ghayr mu’akkadah (and which are ghayr mu’akkadah)?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
InshaAllah this reaches you in the best of states.
For the fard salah, one recites a sura after the Fatiha in the first two rak`as only. In the first first sitting, one recites al-Tahiyyat only.
For four-rak`a sunna mu’akkada prayers (i.e. the sunna before dhuhr and the sunna before and after Jumu`a) one recites a sura after Fatiha in all rak`as. In the first sitting, one recites al-Tahiyyat only.
For four-rak`a non-mu’akkada sunna prayers (for example before Asr), each two rak`as is like a separate prayer, though they are offered with one taslim only at the end. This means that in addition to reciting a sura in all rak`as, one would also recite the durood after al-Tahiyyat in the first sitting, and recite the thana’ (opening invocation: subhanakAllahuma wa bihamdik…) and ta`awwudh (a`udhu billahi…) at the beginning of the third rak`a.
In the last sitting of all prayers, one recites al-Tahiyyat, durood, and d`ua.
[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani