Q. I wanted to know in a sunnat salaat of Zuhr, in which order can we recite the following suras: SURA ASR, SURA FEEL, SURA KAUTHER, SURA KAFIROON, SURA NASR, SURA IKHLAS, SURA NAS, SURA FALAQ. Please give all the possible combinations. Also I would like to know is the surah of 3rd rakaat supposed to be shorter than that of 2nd rakaat and the surah of 4th rakaat be shorter than that of 3rd rakaat? Also mention what is meant by a long and short surah in a prayer, is it the number of verses or the time required to recite a surah that makes it longer or shorter when compared with other surahs?
A. While reciting Suras in different rakaats of Salaah, one must maintain the sequence of these Suras as given in the Quran. The sequence of the Surahs which you have asked about is given as follows:-
1) Sura Asr
2) Sura Feel
3) Sura Kauthar
4) Sura Kafiroon
5) Sura Nasr
6) Sura Ikhlas
7) Sura Falaq
8) Sura Nas
If you are performing four rakaats of the Sunnah Salaat of Zuhr, then you must recite that amount of Quran in each rakaat which will allow the 1st rakaat to be the longest, the 2nd rakaat to be shorter than the 1st, the 3rd to be shorter than the 2nd, the 4th to be shorter than the 3rd.
If all are equal in length, then it is acceptable. However, the last rakaats should not be longer than the first ones.
A long or short Sura is based on the amount of verses each has.
If you wish to recite all the above mentioned Suras in a 4 rakaat Sunnah in the Zuhr Salaah, then combinations can be done in the following manner.
1st rakaat: after Sura Al Fatiha recite Suras Asr, Feel
2nd rakaat: after Sura Al Fatiha recite Sura Kauthar, Kafiroon
3rd rakaat: after Sura Al Fatiha recite Sura Nasr, Iklas
4th rakaat: after Sura Al Fatiha recite Sura Falaq, Nas
You can also recite the combinations in the following manner:-
1st rakaat: after Sura Al Fatiha recite Suras Asr, Feel, Kauthar
2nd rakaat: after Sura Al Fatiha recite Sura Kafiroon, Nasr, Ikhlas
3rd rakaat: after Sura Al Fatiha recite Sura Falaq
4th rakaat: after Sura Al Fatiha recite Sura Nas
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan