What is the muakkad sunnah? What does muakkad sunnah means in islam? How many types of sunnah are there?
Some of the prayers performed in conjunction with the five daily prayers and Friday prayers are mu’akkad sunnah. These are reported as follows in a hadith narrated by Umm Habiba, Aisha, Abu Hurayra, Abu Musa al-Ash’arī, and Ibn Umar (r. anhum), “The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘Whoever prays twelve cycles during the day and at night, apart from the obligatory prayers, Allah will build a house for him in Paradise. These are the following prayers: two cycles before the dawn prayer, four cycles before the noon, two cycles in the late afternoon, two cycles after the evening, and two cycles after the night prayer.’”
Upon the question of Abdullah ibn Shaqīq (ra), Aisha (r.anha) explained the daily supererogatory prayers that the Messenger of Allah (saw) performed daily, apart from the obligatory prayers with these words, “Before the noon prayer, he would pray four cycles in my house, then go out and lead the people in prayer, then return to my house and pray two cycles. He would lead the people in the sunset prayer, then return to my house and pray two cycles. Then he would lead the people in the night prayer, and enter my house and pray two cycles. He would pray nine cycles during the night, including witr (prayer). At night he would pray for a long time standing and for a long time sitting. When he recited the Qur’an while standing, he would bow and prostrate from the standing position, and when he recited while sitting, he would bow and prostrate from the sitting position, and when dawn came he prayed two cycles, then he would come out and lead the people in the dawn prayer.”
We Can List Mu’akkad Sunnahs Attached to Prayers as Follows:
1) A two-cycle sunnah performed before the dawn prayer: This prayer is one of the strongest sunnahs. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Even if horses chase you, do not abandon the two-cycle sunnah of the dawn prayer.”, and “The two-cycle sunnah of the dawn prayer is better than the world and everything in it.” Moreover, Aisha (r.anha) said, “The Prophet (saw) never left the four cycles before the noon prayer and the two cycles before the dawn prayer.” Hafsa also reported that when the call for dawn prayer was recited, the Messenger of Allah (saw) would pray two brief cycles before going to the prayer. Furthermore, it was reported that on his return from the Battle of Khaybar, the Messenger of Allah (saw) performed a two-cycle prayer first and then led the farḍ prayer after the sun came up at their campsite.
Based on the above-mentioned and similar hadiths, a person who misses the dawn prayer makes up the sunnah of the dawn prayer together with the farḍ cycles before the zawāl time on the same day.
If the congregation commences the farḍ cycles before a person gets a chance to complete the sunnah cycles of the dawn prayer, and if he or she believes that the farḍ can be caught up to even if it is in the second cycle, he or she should perform the sunnah. However, if the worshipper thinks that he or she will not be able to catch it up even in the second cycle of the farḍ, then the sunnah should be abandoned and instead follow the imam. Moreover, in this case, the sunnah cycles are not made up after the farḍ. According to the Ḥanafis, it is more virtuous to perform the dawn prayer close to the sunrise.
2) The four cycles performed before the noon prayer: This prayer is one of the mu’akkad sunnahs. Aisha (r. anha) reported that the Prophet (saw) never stopped performing the four cycles before the noon prayer and two cycles before the dawn prayer. It is narrated from Ali (ra) that he said, “The Prophet (saw) used to pray four cycles before the noon prayer and two cycles after the (farḍ) cycles.”
3) A two-cycle prayer after the noon prayer: These two cycles are sunnah mu’akkad, and it is mandūb to complete it in four cycles.
Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) said: “I prayed two cycles before noon and two cycles after the noon with the Prophet (saw).” The following is stated in another hadith: “Whoever prays four cycles before the noon prayer and four cycles after the noon prayer, Allah will forbid his body from entering the fire of Hell.”
4) A two-cycle prayer after the evening prayer: This is one of the twelve cycle mu’akkad sunnah prayers that the Messenger of Allah (saw) continuously performed.
5) A two-cycle prayer performed after the night prayer: Evidence for this is the hadith narrated by various Companions stating that “whoever prays twelve cycles during the day and at night, apart from the obligatory prayers, Allah will build a house for him in Paradise”. Two of the twelve cycles are the last sunnah of the night prayer.
6) The Tarawīḥ prayer: Tarawīḥ is the plural form of the Arabic word tarwīḥa and means “relaxing, resting”. The sitting at the end of each four cycles of this prayer, which is performed after the night prayer, especially in the month of Ramaḍān, is called tarwīḥa, and later, the plural of this word, “tarawīḥ”, became the name of this supererogatory prayer that is performed during the nights of Ramaḍān. The tarawīḥ prayer is mu’akkad sunnah for both men and women. It is a sunnah kifāi to perform tarawīḥ in the congregation.
The Prophet performed the tarawīḥ prayer alone, except for a few nights, and encouraged his Companions to perform this prayer as follows, “Whoever revives the month of Ramaḍān by believing and expecting his reward from Allah, his past sins will be forgiven.” According to the narration from Aisha, she said, “The Prophet (saw) prayed in the mosque (after the night prayer in Ramaḍān), and people prayed like him. In the morning, people talked to each other about this prayer. The next night, a larger group formed and they prayed with him. In the morning, they talked about this prayer among themselves again. On the third night, the congregation became even more crowded. The Messenger of Allah (saw) came out and prayed, and people prayed like him. On the fourth night, people waited for the Prophet to come out, but he did not appear. When he performed the dawn prayer, he turned to the congregation and said, “I saw you gathered last night, there was no obstacle for me to lead this prayer for you, but I was afraid that it would become obligatory for you and it would be difficult.” The practice continued in this way until the death of the Messenger of Allah (saw).”
The tarawīḥ prayer is performed after the night prayer and before the witr. It is mustaḥab to delay this prayer until after midnight or one-third of the night. A tarawīḥ prayer that is missed cannot be made up but this prayer can be performed alone. However, it is considered more virtuous to perform it in a congregation.
The tarawīḥ prayer consists of twenty cycles and since the congregation rests at the end of each four cycles, these four cycles are called “tarwīḥa”. There are five tarwīḥas prayers in a tarawīḥ prayer.
Intention for this prayer is made by saying “For the sake of Allah, I intend to perform the tarawīḥ prayer”, “the sunnah of the time” or “night prayer”. According to many jurists, it is also permissible to intend for an absolute prayer without any specifications or nāfilah.
It is more virtuous to finish the tarawīḥ prayer with ten salutations by offering greetings once in every two cycles. A greeting can also be given in four cycles. It is also permissible to offer greetings every eighth, tenth, or even at the end of twenty cycles but this is not free from reprehensibility.
If the tarawīḥ prayer is performed by offering greetings at every two cycles, it is performed like the two-cycle sunnah of the evening prayer, and if the greetings are offered after four cycles, it is performed like the four-cycle sunnah of the night prayer. Hence the way to perform the tarawīḥ prayer varies based on the views of the schools and regarding which supplications and Qur’anic chapters from the Qur’an are recited in each cycle. For example, according to the Ḥanafis, at the beginning of the tarawīḥ prayer and at the beginning of every two cycles of it, supplications of “subḥānaka”, “aūdhu–basmala” is recited, and the supplications of “taḥiyyāt”, and “ṣalli and bārik” are recited in each sitting at the end of the two cycles. The views of other schools can be found under the section on how to perform the five daily prayers.
When the tarawīḥ prayer is performed in congregation, the congregation should intend to both follow the performance of the tarawīḥ prayer and to follow the imam. The imam leads the tarawīḥ prayer aloud like the farḍ cycles of the dawn prayer.
According to the Ḥanafis, the number of cycles of the tarawīḥ prayer and its performance regularly in the congregation is based on Umar’s practice. According to the narration from Abdurrahman ibn Abd al-Qāri (ra), he said, “One night of Ramaḍān, I went to the Masjid an-Nabawi with Umar (ra). People were in a dispersed state. Some prayed alone, others in small groups. Umar (ra) said, “it would be better if I gathered them behind an imam (qāri’)” and then assigned Ubay ibn Ka’b to lead the tarawīḥ prayers. During another night, when we went out with Umar (ra), he saw people praying behind their imams and said, “What a wonderful innovation! Those who do not attend this prayer and sleep now are better than those who pray.” What Umar (ra) was referring to with this last sentence were the Companions who would sleep in the evening and wake up and perform the tarawīḥ prayer at the time of the tahajjud prayer.
Accordingly, no one objected to performing the tarawīḥ prayers of twenty cycles in congregation in the Masjid an-Nabawi, both during and after the caliphate of Umar and the other rightly guided caliphs. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “After me, do not deviate from my Sunnah and from the Sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs.” On the other hand, it is narrated that Ibn Abbas (r.anhuma) performed the tarawīḥ prayer of twenty cycles individually during Ramaḍān followed by the three cycles of witr prayer. According to what Imam Malik narrated from Yazid ibn Rūmān, the tarawīḥ prayer was performed in twenty cycles during the period of Umar apart from the witr prayer.
When Abu Ḥanīfa was asked about the practice of Umar, he said, “The tarawīḥ is a strong sunnah. Umar did not invent anything new in this matter. He did this only on the basis of evidence that he knew. He made it as an oath to the Messenger of Allah (saw).
Some hadith scholars have concluded that the Messenger of Allah (saw) performed eight cycles of the tarawīḥ prayer during Ramaḍān. The evidence on which this is based is the following hadith narrated by Bukhari and others from Âisha (r. anha), “The Messenger of Allah (saw) did not observe either in Ramadan or in other months more than eleven cycles (of the night prayer). He (in the first instance) observed four cycles. Ask not about their excellence and their length (i.e. these were matchless in perfection and length). He again observed four cycles, and ask not about their excellence and their length. He would then observe three cycles (of the witr prayer). Aisha again said, ‘Messenger of Allah, do you sleep before observing the witr prayer?’ He said, ‘O Aisha, my eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep.’” Again, Ibn Ḥibban narrated the following hadith from Jabir (ra) in his Ṣaḥīḥ, “The Prophet (saw) led the witr prayer after he led them through eight cycles.”
Accordingly, there is no doubt that the eight cycles of the tarawīḥ prayer are mu’akkad sunnah. Some scholars such as Ibn al-Humam maintain that more than eight cycles are mustaḥab. This is similar to the fact that it is recommended to perform four cycles of supererogatory prayers after the night prayer, the first two cycles of which become mu’akkad sunnah.
7) The sunnah of four cycles performed before and after the Friday prayer and two cycles performed after the ẓuhr al-ākhir prayer are also listed among the mu’akkad sunnah prayers. However, there are different narrations about how long the Prophet (saw) continued these prayers, the number of their cycles, and the place where they were performed.
 Al-Tirmidhī, Ṣalāh, 189, Hadith No: 415, Ṣalāh, 203, Hadith No: 433; Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 100, Hadith No: 1140-1142; Abū Dawūd, Ṭaṭawwū’, 1, Hadith No: 1250; al-Nasā’ī, Qiyām al-Layl, 66, Hadith No: 1792-1801. In the first hadith narrated by al-Nasā’ī, there is the expression “whoever performs these prayers will enter Paradise”. Abū Dawūd, Ṭaṭawwū’, 1, Hadith No: 1251. There are not many differences regarding the names of the sunnah prayers among the schools of Islamic law, but they differ about the number of their cycles and how they categorize those cycles. Since this is a very detailed subject, we mostly take the Ḥanafis views here and mention only the significant differences for the sake of brevity. For more details in this matter see, Jaziri, ibid, p. 427 ff. Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, II, 405; Abū Dawūd, Ṭaṭawwū’, 3, Hadith No: 1258. Muslim, Musafirin, 96, 97; al-Tirmidhī, Ṣalāh, 190. Abū Dawūd, Ṭaṭawwū’, 1, Hadith No: 1253. Al-Nasā’ī, Qiyām al-Layl, 57, Hadith No: 1758. Abū Dawūd, Ṣalāh, 11, Hadith No: 435, 443; al-Nasā’ī, Mawāqīṭ, 54, 55; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, IV, 444; al-Taḥanāwī, Iʿla al-Sunan, II, 126. Abū Dawūd, Ṭaṭawwū’, 1, Hadith No: 1253; al-Nasā’ī, Qiyām al-Layl, 56. Al-Tirmidhī, Ṣalāh, 198, H.no: 424. Al-Tirmidhī, Ṣalāh, 199, Hadith No: 425. Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 108; al-Nasā’ī, Qiyām al-Layl, 67. Al-Tirmidhī, Ṣalāh, 189, Hadith No: 415; Ibn Maja, ‘Iqāmah, 100, Hadith No: 1140-1142; Abū Dawūd, Ṭaṭawwū’, 1, Hadith No: 1250, al-Nasā’ī, Qiyām al-Layl, 66, Hadith No: 1792-1801. Al-Bukhari, Ṣalāt at-Tarāwīḥ, 1; Muslim, Musāfirīn, 174. Al-Bukhari, Ṣalāt at-Tarāwīḥ, 1; Muslim, Musāfirīn, 178; Abū Dawūd, Shahru Ramaḍān, 1, Hadith No: 1373; Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣalāt fi Ramaḍān, 2, Hadith No: 3. Al-Bukhari, Ṣalāt al-Tarāwiḥ, 1; Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣalāt fi Ramaḍān, 2, H. No:3. Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣalāt fi Ramaḍān, 2, H. No:3 footnote. Abū Dawūd, Sunnah, 5; Al-Tirmidhī, ʿIlm, 16; Ibn Maja, Muqaddimah, 6; Al-Darimī, Muqaddimah, 16; Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, IV, 126, 127. This hadith was narrated by al-Bayḥaqī and said: Only Abu Shayba Ibrahim Ibn Uthmān narrated this hadith. Abu Shayba is weak. See al-Shawkanī, ibid, III, 53. Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣalāt fi Ramaḍān, 2, H. No:5. Al-Zuhaylī, ibid, II, 44. Al-Bukhari, TaḤajjud, 16, Tarawīḥ, 2; Muslim, Musāfirīn, 125; al-Tirmidhī, Mawāqīṭ, 208; Malik, Muwaṭṭā’, Ṣalāt al-Layl, 9. Al-Shawkanī, ibid, III, 53. Ibn al-Humām, Fatḥ al-Qadīr, I, 333, 334.For details and evidence, see “Sunnah prayers in Friday prayers”.