Although there are no specific surahs for prayers, there are surahs that our Prophet read more frequently in some prayers. Some of those will be mentioned below.
However, it should not be understood that He would constantly read these surahs. Because reading the same surahs continuously causes one to ignore the Qur’an’s other surahs and verses in prayer. This is not very convenient. From this point of view, the Islamic Scholars have made it possible to read these surahs during those prayers, but reported that they are not necessary.
1- Fajr (Morning) Prayer
It is narrated that the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ kept the sunnah of the morning prayer easier.1
Sometimes he read the Surah of the Kafirun in the first rakah and the surah of İhlâs in the second rakah.2
Sometimes, in the first rakah, the verse of Baqarah 136:
قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحٰقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَى وَعِيسَى وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
In the second rakah, he read the verses 52 or 64 of Âl-i İmrân:3
فَلَمَّا أَحَسَّ عِيسَى مِنْهُمُ الْكُفْرَ قَالَ مَنْ أَنصَارِي إِلَى اللَّهِ قَالَ الْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ اللَّهِ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَاشْهَدْ بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ
قُلْ يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَى كَلَمَةٍ سَوَاء بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَلاَّ نَعْبُدَ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ وَلاَ نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ
Some of the surahs narrated by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in the Morning Prayer after Fatiha are below:
Surah of Tur4; Surah of Kaf5; Surah of Tekvir6; Surah of Rum(Greek)7; Surah of Muminun(believers)8; Surah of Zilzal(earthquake)9; Surah of Enfal (40 verses)10; Surahs of Felak and Nas.11
During the Morning Prayer on Fridays, he would read surahs Sajdah and Insan.12
2. Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) often read the surahs called Evsât-ı Mufassal 13 in the fard(obligatory) of the noon prayer.
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) sometimes kept the recitation of fard prayer very long; usually the recitation in the first rakah was longer than the second rakah. 14
It was reported that he read about thirty verses from the Surah as Secde including surah al Fatiha.15 He read surah at Tariq, Surah of Ghashiyah, Burûc, Surah of Leyl, Surah of Inshiqaq, and so on.16
3. Asr (Afternoon) Prayer
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) read the surahs that are often called evsât-ı Mufassal17 in the obligatory part of the afternoon prayer.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) read about fifteen verses each, half as much as he read in the first two rakah of the noon prayer.18 It is rumored that he read the surahs mentioned above, which he also read in the afternoon prayer.
4. Maghrib (Evening) Prayer
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) kept the recitation of the obligatory part (fard) of the evening prayer short. 19 He usually read after the surah of Al Beyyine (definitive document) during the evening prayer.
During the evening prayer, he sometimes read long and medium-sized surahs 20; Tur21 he read the surah of Araf and Maide as well.22
Prophet Muhammed read the surah of the Kâfirun and İhlâs in the recommended part of the evening prayer, as in the Morning Prayer.23
5. Isha Prayer
Prophet Muhammed recommended that the recitation of the Isha prayer should not be kept too long and instead , the following can be read : Ash Shams(sun)24, Al- Inshiqaq (sundering) 25, Tîn(fig) 26, Al-A`la(highest), Iqra(embryo), Al –layl(night)28
6. Tahajjud (Night) Prayer
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) sometimes read night prayers in a loud voice.29 He kept his recitation sometimes long and sometimes short.30 Sometimes in the night he would read Al-Baqarah, Al Imran, and An-Nisa).31
He stated that he/she would not be unwary by reciting a hundred verses every night and encouraged his/her companion to do so. 32
Prophet Muhammed (Peace upon him) read only one verse in the night prayer as well.
In a hadith narrated by Abu Zer (raduyallâhu anh) he explains: The Messenger of Allah (Peace upon him) initiated the night prayer and continued until the morning time. He read one verse in prayer. Here is the following verse:
إِن تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ وَإِن تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (Surah of Al Maidah 5/118).33
7. Witr Prayer
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) left the Witr prayer at the end of the night prayer and recommended that it be delayed until the end of the night unless you are afraid to get up at night. He read A’la in the first rakah of the witr prayer surah of the Kâfirûn in the second rakah and Al İkhlas(sincerity) in the third rakah.34 Sometimes he added the Al falaq (the day break)and surahs An Nas(human) to them.35
It is rumored that he once read a hundred verses from An Nisa(women) during a recital of the witr prayer.36
8. Friday Prayer
Our Prophet (peace be upon him) sometimes read the Surah of Al Jumua in the first rakat, and the second rakat Surah of Al-Munafiqun(The Hypocrites).37 Sometimes, in the second rakat, he read the chapter of Al Gashiyah instead of Surat of Munafiqun.38
Sometimes he read the chapter of A’la in the first rakat and Gashiyah in the second rakat.39
9. Eid Prayer
During the Eid prayer, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) read the Surah Ala in the first rakah and the Surah of Gashiyah in the second rakah.40 Sometimes he read the Surah of Qaf and Surah of Qamar.41
- Bukhari Tahajjud 28; Muslim, Prayer of guest 92, 93; Ebû Dâvud, book of Tatavvu 3.
- Muslim, Prayer of guest 98; Tirmidhi Al Mevakit 191.
- Muslim, Prayer of guest 99-100. Ebû Dâvud, book of Tatavvu 3; Nesai i Iftitah 38.
- Bukhari Haj(pilgrim) 64; Muslim Haj(pilgrim) 42.
- Muslim, Salat 165-168; Tirmidhi, Salat: 226-228.
- Muslim, Salat 164 ; Darimi Salat 66; Nesai Iftidah 44; İbn Majah, İkametus -salat 5; Ebû Davud, Salat 131,132.
- Nesai, İftitah 41
- Bukhari, Ezan 106; Müslim, Salat 163; Ebu Davud, Salat 89, Nesaî, İftitah 76.
- Ebu Davud, Salat 134.
- Ibn Mas’ud (radulyahu anh) explains: He read 40 verses from surah of Al Anfal in the first rakat of the Morning Prayer but he read one of the mufassal surah in the second rakat. Bukhari, Azan 106
- Once when traveling he read the surahs of Al Falaq and Al Nas. Ebu Davud, Salah 19; Nesai İftitah 45.
- Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) recounts: The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) read, surah of Sajdah and surah of Insan the Morning Prayer on Friday. Again, the Messenger of Allah (peace upon him) read the surahs of Jumah and Munafiqun during the Friday prayer. Muslim, Jumah 64; Abu Davud, Salat 218; Tirmidhi, Salat 375; Nesai, Jumah 38, Honor 47.
- Evsat ı Mufassal: Means from surah Burj to surah of Bayyinah
- Muslim, Salat 154,161, 162; Nesaî, İftitah 56; İbn Mâce, Ikametuh -salat 5, 7; Ebu Davud, Salat 124, 125.
- Muslim, Salat 156; Tirmidhi, Salat 227; Nesai Salat 16.
- Muslim, Salat 170; Tirmidhi, Salat 227; Ebu Davud, Salat 124, 125.
- Evsat ı Mufassal: Means from surah Burj to surah of Bayyinah
- Muslim, Salat 156.
- Nesai İftitah 61, 62; Nesai, İftitah 13; İbn Mâce, Salât 7.
- Bukhari, Ezan 98; Muslim, Salat 173; Nesai, İftitah 64.
- Bukhari,,Ezan 9; Müslim, Salat 174; Nesai, İftitah 65; İbn Mâce, İkametü’s-salât 9.
- Buhârî,Ezan 98; Ebû Dâvud, Salât 127.
- Nesâî, İftitah 68.
- Tirmizî, Salât 229; Nesâî, İftitah 62.
- Nesâî, İftitah 53.
- Nesâî, İftitah 72, 73.
- Muaz (May Allah be pleased with him) made his friends pray and extend the recitation. A young man from the Ansar (Tribe) left the prayer and performed his prayer alone. When the Muaz finished the prayer, this event was told to him. Thereupon Muaz: “This is the hypocrisy that this man did!” said. When the young man heard this, he spoke these words of Muaz to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) “O Muaz! You want to put people in Temptation? When you have people pray, read surahs of “Ash Shams, Ala, Iqra, Layl.” (Surely, old, weak and needy people are praying behind you.27Bukhari, Ezan 63, 96; Muslim Salat 178-181; Nesai, İftitah 71.
- Nesai Kıyamul’l-leyl 23; Tirmidhi, Salat 327.
- Bukhari Tehejjud 9; Muslim, Prayer of guests 203, 204; İbn Mâce, İkametü’s-salat 200; Nesâî, İftitah 164, Kıyamü’l-leyl 25.
- Muslim, Salâtu’l-Müsâfirîn 203; Nesâî, İftitah 164, Kıyâmü’l-leyl 25.
- Ebu Davud, Salat 326.
- Nesai, İftitah 79.
- Nesai, Kıyamü’l-leyl 47-50; Tirmidhi, Vitr 337; İbn Mâce, İkametü’s-salat 115.
- Tirmidhi Vitr 337; İbn Mâce, İkâmetü’s-salât 115.
- Nesai Kıyamü’l-leyl 46.
- Muslim, Jummah 61; Ebu Davud, Salat 234,236 ; İbn Mâce, İkâmetü’s-salât 90; Tirmidhi, Jummah37.
- Muslim Cuma 63; Ebu Davud, Salat 234,236; İbn Mâce, İkâmetü’s-salât 90.
- Muslim Cuma 62; Ebu Davud, Salat 234,236; İbn Mâce, İkâmetü’s-salât 90.
- Muslim, Cuma 62; Ebu Davud, Salat 234,236; İbn Mâce, İkâmetü’s-salât 157.
- Muslim, Ideyn 14, 15; İbn Majah, İkamestus salat 157; Ebu Davud, Salat 243,246.