Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: I used to pray confirmed sunnah prayers before but recently I have stopped praying sunnah prayers (apart from 2 raka of Fajr sunnah prayer). This is the case unless I am fasting when I try to pray all confirmed prayers. I find it difficult to pray them with concentration so I find it much easier to just pray and focus on fard prayers. Sometimes it might be also due to time constraints (e.g. when I’m at university).
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.
The confirmed sunna prayers are those the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) habitually performed, and rarely left.
Umm Habiba Ramla bint Abi Sufyan said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘No Muslim slave prays to Allah Almighty twelve voluntary rak’ats (t: two before Fajr, four before Zuhr, two after Zuhr, two after Maghrib, and two after `Isha) 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]
Take it step by step. Start praying the two cycles (rak`ats) after `Isha; then add the two after Maghrib, and so on. Pray out of love and longing, out of awe of the Divine, and striving to live the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani