Is it allowed to offer all sunnat rak`ahs in one go and only offer fard with jamaat or is it necessary to follow the sequence of every salaat? For example, a person may offer all the sunnats (10) of jummah prayers at home then offer two fard with the jamaat.
The essential Rak`ahs of each Sala’h consists only of those, which we call ‘Fard’. All other Rak`ahs – whether termed as Sunnah or naf’l – are, in fact, supererogatory.
The Sunnah Rak`ahs are not an essential part of Sala’h. One’s Sala’h would be considered to have been completed even if one does not offer the Sunnah Rak`ahs.
One may offer supererogatory Rak`ahs, in any number and at any time. However, there is no need to offer all the Sunnah Rak`ahs in one go. Furthermore, the Prophet (pbuh) generally preferred to offer supererogatory Rak`ahs before and after most of the obligatory Rak`ahs in prayers. These supererogatory Rak`ahs signify, on the one hand, our desire to offer more than what God has made obligatory upon us and, on the other, these supererogatory Rak`ahs prepare us for the obligatory prayers – when offered before the obligatory Rak`ahs – and serve as a recompense for any mistakes or errors in our obligatory Rak`ahs – when offered after the obligatory Rak`ahs. Offering supererogatory Rak`ahs before and after the obligatory Rak`ahs is a part of the Uswah e Hasanah (Best of examples) of the Prophet (pbuh), which we should try to emulate to the best of our abilities.
It is preferable to offer supererogatory prayers at one’s home, rather than at the mosque. However, it should once again be stressed that the number of these supererogatory Rak`ahs is not fixed. For instance, offering ten supererogatory Rak`ahs with the Jum`ah prayers is not supported by historical sources.
I hope this helps.
January 18, 2002