The Obligatory Rak`ats of the Prayer
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Which are the obligatory rak`ats and which are the optional ones in our five prayers?


The five prayers Fajr, Zuhr, `Asr, Maghrib and `Ishā imposed on the Muslims consist of  two, four, four, three and four obligatory rak`ats respectively. These rak`ats called fard rak`ats must be offered in all circumstances.

The Prophet (sws) offered some more rak`ats before and after these stipulated ones to set an example in worshipping Allah, and, as such, a believer should try to offer them as much as he can. However, all these rak`ats are optional. Offering them will certainly earn a believer a lot of reward from the Almighty, but not offering them will entail no penalty. These optional rak'ats are:

Fajr: two before the fard rak`ats

Zuhr: two or four before the fard rak`ats and two after

`Asr: two or four before the fard rak`ats

Maghrib: two after the fard rak`ats

`Ishā: two or four before fard rak`ats and two after.

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