Sunnah Prayers Explained by Shaykh Bin Baz
May Allah have Mercy upon him
What are the Rawatib (Sunnah Prayers associated with Obligatory Prayers) which can be made up if the person misses them?
Shaykh Bin Baz:
The Rawatib which the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to preserve are twelve Rakats, these are the Rawatib; for the resident not the traveler. Twelve Rakats; four before Thur prayer with two tasleems, and two after Thur prayer; this is six. Two after Magrib prayer and two after Isha prayer; this is ten. And two before the morning (Fajr) prayer; this is twelve. The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to practice these consistently while present at his residence. And he, peace be upon him, said:
“Whoever preserves four Rakats before Thur and four after it, Allah will make him forbidden for the Fire.”
If the person prays four after Thur, thus adding two Rakat then this is better, but it is not Rawatib. The Rawatib is two Rakats. If he prays four after Thur prayer then this has in it virtue and a tremendous amount of good.
In a similar fashion before Asr prayer it is recommended for the person to pray four Rakats, but these are not Rawatib, rather they are recommended. This is based upon the statement of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him:
“May Allah have mercy upon the person who prays four Rakats before Asr prayer”.
Likewise if he prays two Rakats before Magrib prayer and two Rakats before Isha prayer, between the Athan and the Iqamah, this is recommended; but these are not Rawatib. Rather it is recommended after the Athan to pray two Rakats, after the Athan for Maghrib and after the Athan for Isha the person prays two Rakats; two Rakats which are different than the two Rakats to greet the Masjid.
As for greeting the Masjid, if the person enters the Masjid even before the Athan then he greets the Masjid with two Rakats of prayer. And if he enters after the Athan, the Athan of Maghrib or after the Athan of Isha, then he greets the Masjid with two Rakats of prayer and this will suffice him from the two Rakats between the Athan and the Iqamah.
As for travel - then it is only prescribed to pray the Sunnah prayers of Fajr and the Witr prayer. During travel the person only prays the Witr and Tahajjud prayers during the night, and he prays the Sunnah prayers of Fajr. As for the Sunnah prayers of Thur, Maghrib, and Isha, then it is better to leave them during travel. But as it relates to the Sunnah prayers of Fajr, then the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to preserve then during travel and while he was a resident.
And if the person misses the Sunnah prayer for Fajr he prays them after the Fajr prayer or after the sun has risen. As for the other Rawatib, for Thur, Maghrib, and Isha, then they are not made up after the time has passed; if the time passed they are not made up. Therefore one would not make up the Sunnah prayers for Thur after Asr, nor the Sunnah prayers for Maghrib after Isha, nor the Sunnah prayers for Isha after Fajr. These prayers are not made up. As for the Sunnah prayer for Fajr then it is made up. If he prays it after the Fajr prayer then there is no problem with this. And if he prays it after the sun has risen and reached its height then this is better.
As for the Sunnah prayer of Duha and Tahajjud prayers at night then they are prescribed for the travel and the resident. Likewise is the Sunnah prayer after completing Wudu; after the person completes Wudu it is recommended (for him to pray) whether he is on a journey or a resident.
Likewise if a person enters a Masjid while upon a journey he also prays two Rakats of prayer, even if he is travelling. May Allah reward you with good.
Therefore we will summarize the answer once again, if you will allow me; the Sunnah prayers which are recommended to make up.
First the summary of the answer: The twelve Rawatib which are specific to the resident are: Four Rakats before Thur with two tasleems, two Rakats after Thur with one tasleem; two Rakats after Maghrib with one tasleem; two Rakats after Isha with one tasleem, and two Rakats before the morning prayer after the rising of the Fajr. These are the Rawatib that the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to preserve.
As for those that are made up then it is only the Sunnah prayer for Fajr, if it is missed then it is made up after Fajr or after the rising of the sun. Likewise the Sunnah prayers that come before Thur can be made up after Thur. If the four Sunnah prayer that come before Thur are missed they are prayed after Thur, then he prays the two Rakats after Thur; thus praying six Rakats. The four that come before Thur, and the two Rawatib that come after Thur. May Allah reward you with good.
Translated by Rasheed ibn Estes Barbee