Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I’ve always been taught that the sunnah prayers are as follows:

* 2 before fajr
* 2 or 4 before Dhuhr and 2 after
* 2 before Asr
* 2 after Maghrib
* 2 after Isha then witr

The other day I was talking to someone who was doing a bunch more and said that in the Hanafi madhab this was the way it is suggested. I cant even begin to remember how many, but it was a lot. Do you know anything about this?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

What you mention is true in the Shafi`i school. There are two differences, in terms of confirmed sunnas, in the Hanafi school.  First, the pre-fard sunna of Zuhr is 4 rakats. Two would not fulfill the sunna.  Second, there is not a pre-fard sunna of 2 rakats for Asr.  Below is an accurate list of the confirmed sunnas in the Hanafi school:

* 2 before fajr
* 4 before Dhuhr and 2 after
* 2 after Maghrib
* 2 after Isha

Besides the confirmed sunnas, there are many non-confirmed sunnas related to the fards, such as praying

4 rakats after Zuhr (either by making the 2 confirmed sunna rakats 4, or separately),
4 or 2 rakats before Asr
6 rakats (salat al-awwabin) after Maghrib, ideally in sets of two (the confirmed sunna can be included as part of the 6 if one chooses)
2 rakats before Isha
4 rakats after isha (one can include the confirmed sunnas in this if one wishes).

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

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