Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
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?
What you mention is true in the Shafi`i school. The only difference, in terms of confirmed sunnas, in the Hanafi school is that the pre-fard sunna of Zuhr is 4 rakats. Two would not fulfill the sunna.
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.