Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
What is the best time to perform the two cycles of prayer after performing the ritual ablution?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
It is from the sunna to perform two cycles (rak`ats) of prayer (tahiyyat al-wudu) after performing the ritual ablution (wudu), as long as it is not a disliked time to pray. [see attached article]
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Bilal, tell me that action that you have done since entering Islam which gives you the most reason to hope, for I heard the sound of your sandals ahead of me in the Garden.” He said, “I have done no action which gives me more reason to hope than that of never purifying myself at any time of the night or day without then praying after that purification as much as is written for me to pray.” [Bukhari]
The proper time for this prayer is to pray it before your limbs would dry under normal conditions. Further, Ibn `Abidin quotes from Ghaznawi’s Diya’ that a person should recite Surah al-Kafirun and Surah al-Ikhlas in its two cycles.
Some scholars also mention that a person who immediately performs an obligatory (fard) [or any other] prayer after his wudu would also attain the virtue of praying this prayer at the same time. However, this is not the akin to the one who does so out of humble worshipfulness and with a specific intention.
[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, with Tahtawi’s Gloss (1.537); Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar `ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar (1.458)]
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani