|Prayer||No. of Raka at|
It is sinful to leave out a Fardh Prayer intentionally, but if such a Prayer is missed through forgetfulness or due to unavoidable circumstances, then this mistake can be rectified by offering the missed Prayer as soon as one remembers, or whenever possible.
The following Prayers are regarded as Wajib (necessary) Prayers:
If a person misses these Prayers intentionally, he is deemed to have committed a sin. However, if he misses a Wajib Prayer unintentionally, e.g., through forgetfulness, he is not required to offer it as a Qada Prayer. Qada means offering of a missed Prayer.
The Holy Prophet of Islam, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, offered extra Raka'at of Prayer in addition to those of Fardh Prayers. These Prayers are called Sunnah Prayers. Offering Sunnah Prayers is considered to be necessary by all jurists. The wilful neglect of Sunnah Prayers is censurable in the sight of Allah. Sunnah Prayers are:
Note: Ahmadi Muslims, who most often follow the Hanafi school of thought, offer four Raka'at of Sunnah before the Fardh of Zhuhr and two Raka'at of Sunnah after the Fardh of Zhuhr Prayer. However, some other Muslims offer four Raka'at of Sunnah before the Fardh of Zhuhr Prayer and four after the Fardh of Zhuhr Prayer.
Muslims also offer additional Raka'at of Prayer apart from Fardh and Sunnah Raka'at. These are called Nawafil Prayers or Nafl.
These are optional Prayers. Those who voluntarily offer Nawafil Prayers reap the benefits of Allah's favours. Nawafil Prayers are as follows:
There are some other Nawafil Prayers which are mentioned later in this book.
One may offer as many Nawafil Prayers as one wishes. However, Nawafil should not be offered during the forbidden times for Prayers. For example, they should not be offered between 'Asr Prayer and Maghrib Prayer. It is preferable to offer Nawafil Prayers at home rather than in a mosque except for those which have been mentioned to be offered in a mosque. However, it is a matter of personal choice and there is no compulsion in this matter.