The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has mentioned great rewards for one who prays six rak’ahs after Maghrib. The rewards for these rak’ahs, called Salāt al-Awwābīn (the prayer of one who repents to Allāh Ta’ālā with abundance), include:
1. Reward equivalent to the ‘ibādah of twelve years
2. Forgiveness of sins, even if it is as much as the foam on the ocean
3. Allāh Ta’ālā’s building a house for him in Paradise
4. Being recorded as one who repents abundantly to Allāh Ta’ālā
However, the ‘ulamā’ hold difference of opinions on whether the six rak’ahs of the Salāt al-Awwābīn include the two sunnah mu’akkadah rak’ahs of Maghrib or whether they are in addition to those, making a total of eight rak’ahs after Maghrib.
According to al-Fatāwā al-Tātārkhāniyyah, Marāqī al-Falāh, and Ṭawāliʾ al-Anwār, the six rak’āhs of Salāt al-Awwābīn are independent of the two sunnah mu’akkadah rak’ahs of Maghrib. This is also the view expressed in Heavenly Ornaments, Fatāwā Dār al-’Ulūm Deoband, and Khayr al-Fatāwā.
However, Imām Ibn Humām رحمه الله تعالى concludes in Fath al-Qadīr that two sunnah mu’akkadah rak’ahs will be included in the six rak’ahs of Salāt al-Awwābīn. This view has been preferred in al-Durr al-Mukhtār, Radd al-Muhtār, Nihāyat al-Murād, and by Ibn Nujaym رحمه الله تعالى in al-Bahr al-Rā’iq (as opposed to what he mentions in al-Ashbāh wa al-Nazā’ir). Furthermore, texts of al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyyah, Jāmiʾ al-Rumūz, Badā’i’ al-Sanā’i’, al-Mukhtār,Fath Bāb al-‘Ināyah, Majmaʾ al-Anhur, and Muktārāt al-Nawāzil also suggest the same, and Muftī Rashid Ahmad Sāhib رحمه الله تعالى gives fatwā on this view inAhsan al-Fatāwā.
Therefore, if one prays two rak’ahs of sunnah mu’akkadah of Maghrib, followed by another four nafl rak’ahs, then this will constitute as the six rak’ahs of Salāt al-Awwābīnand, inshāAllāh, he/she will receive the full rewards mentioned in the ahādīth. However, it would be commendable for him/her to pray six nafl rak’ahs in addition to the twosunnah mu’akkadah in order to accommodate for the difference of opinion.
And Allah knows best
Ml. Abrar Mirza,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah