Can I Pray Sunnah Prayers Before Making up Obligatory Prayers? (Shafi’i)

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Is it permissible to pray tarawih, tahajjud, and the other sunnah prayers and then proceed to make up missed obligatory prayers?

What are the sunnah prayers according to the Shafi’i school?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Making up Missed Prayers

In the Shafi’i school, one must immediately make up missed obligatory prayers to the extent of one’s ability. This means that it is not permissible for a person to spend their available time on non-obligatory prayers in its stead.

It is permissible to perform the Witr prayer as one rak’at, although continuously doing so is disliked.

Please see: How to Make up Years of Missed Prayers? (Shafi’i)

The Number of Sunnah Prayers

There are ten emphasized rak’ahs of Sunnah prayers:

-2 before Fajr
-2 before Dhuhr/Jumu’ah
-2 after Dhuhr/Jumu’ah
-2 after Maghrib
-2 after ‘Isha

In addition, the following are non-emphasized Sunnah prayers:

-2 before Dhuhr/Jumu’ah
-2 after Dhuhr/Jumu’ah
-4 before ‘Asr
-2 before Maghrib
-2 before ‘Isha

Shuaib Ally

This answer was collected from It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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