|Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Dear brother in Islam, we would like to thank you for showing keenness on knowing the teachings of Islam, and we appreciate the great confidence you have in us. We hope our efforts meet your expectations, yet we apologize for the late reply.
With regard to your question, Sheikh Hamed Al-`Ali, instructor of Islamic Heritage at the Faculty of Education, Kuwait and Imam of Dahiat As-Sabahiyya Mosque, answers:
“Sunnah prayers have many benefits, some of which may be outlined as follows:
1- Sunnah Prayers bring more reward to Allah’s servant, as increasing voluntary Prayers is the best of supererogatory acts after Jihad in the Cause of Allah.
2- Sunnah Prayers compensate and make up for any shortcoming or incompleteness in the obligatory Prayers.
3- The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: Whoever prays twelve Rak`at during the day and night will have a house built for him in Paradise.”(Reported by At-Tirmidhi)
4- It is stated in a hadith that whenever a Muslim prostrates to Allah, He will elevate him one degree and forgive him one bad deed.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi)
5- Sunnah Prayers increase the light of Iman (faith) in the heart, as each Prayer brings light to the heart of Muslim.”
In his The Reliance of the Traveler, Ahmad ibn Naqeeb Al-Misri, explains the Sunnah Prayers before and after the Prescribed Prayers, as follows:
“It is Sunnah to diligently perform the nonobligatory Prayers that are offered before and after the Prescribed ones.
The optimal number of these is two rak`ahs (Prayer units) before the Fajr Prayer, four before and after the Zuhr Prayer, four before the `Asr Prayer, two after the Maghrib Prayer, and two after the `Isha’ Prayer.
The confirmed Prayers of these, which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not leave whether traveling or at home, consist of ten rak`ahs:
1- Two before the Fajr Prayer,
2- Two before and after the Zuhr Prayer,
3- Two after the Maghrib Prayer, and
4- Two after the `Isha’ Prayer.
It is recommended to pray two rak`ahs before the Maghrib Prayer.
The Sunnah of the Jum`ah Prayer are the same as those of the Zhur Prayer.”
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Allah Almighty knows best.