Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: My question is about Duha prayer. Is it mandatory to pray the fajr prayer in a congregation for the rewards (as if you did umrah) of the prayer to be counted? In other words, can you go to the mosque and pray fajr alone and then do dhikr or read Quran until 15-20 min after shurooq and pray your 2-12 rakat prayer of Duha and that will suffice? Also, does the prayer have to take place in a mosque or can you do it anywhere? Finally, is there a certain time you have to be at the mosque (for ex from the time the athan is given) or is it anytime as long as it’s before fajr ends?
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, you do not have to be in a mosque nor pray in one to get the rewards mentioned for praying the mid-morning (duha) prayer.
The duha prayer is minimally two cycles (rak`ats), and optimally eight, offered any time between sunrise and the entrance of Zuhr time. See also: When Can One Pray Salat al-Duha?
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah Most High says: O child of Adam, don’t fail to perform four rakats in the beginning of your day, and I shall be your sufficiency at its end.” [See: The Virtues of Duha Prayer]
And Allah alone gives success.