Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: The only surahs of the Qur’an I have learnt by heart so far are al Fatiha, al Iklaas and an Nas. I recite these 3 surahs when I pray. I have heard that when praying, you should recite the surahs in the order they appear in the Qur’an – i.e. al-Iklaas comes before an-Nas so you should recite Iklaas in the first rakat and Nas in the second. However, I’ve also heard that it’s better to make the first rakat longer than the second. My question is: would it be better for me to recite Iklaas in rakat 1 and Nas in rakat 2, or the other way around?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.
It would be necessary (wajib) for you to recite al-Ikhlas in the first cycle (rak`at) and al-Nas in the second.
According to the Hanafi school, it is necessary (wajib) to maintain the Qur’anic order between surahs during one’s obligatory prayers. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
As for one’s voluntary prayers, it would be permitted to recite the surahs in reverse order.
Secondly, it would be considered somewhat disliked (makruh tanzihan) to make the second cycle (rak`at) longer than the first by more than two verses. Hence, your reciting of al-Ikhlas and then al-Nas would not be considered disliked. [Tahtawi, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani