Can we break longer rakat (farz or sunnat) into shorter ones i.e instead of performing 4 farz rakat of zuhar altogether, can I break them down into two parts of 2 farz rakat?

Note that I am not asking about whether I can shorten the farz salat entirely; I'm just asking whether I can split it into two easier salats. So I would still be performing 4 farz rakat of zuhar in total, just not all at once.

  • Only Sunnah rakats can be performed as 2 by 2. But not Faraz Rakat. And its better if you perform Sunnah Rakata as 2 by 2.
    – MFarooqi
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 9:56

2 Answers 2


You can't break 4-rakat faraz or sunnat into two+two. It is not permissible.

Although you can shorten your Salat by leaving Sunnat Ghair-Mo'akadah(Sunnah that are not emphasized). You can't skip Sunnat Mo'akadah(Sunnah that are emphasized) though. Here is a break down.


  • 2 farz
  • 2 Sunnat (Sunnat Mo'akadah)

So 4 Rakat for Salat-al-Fajar is mandatory. No shortening.


  • 4 farz
  • 4 Sunnat
  • 2 Sunnat (Sunnat Mo'akadah)
  • 2 Nafal (optional)

So, 10 Rakat for Zuhr is mandatory.


  • 4 farz
  • 4 Sunnat (Sunnat Ghair Mo'akadah) (optional)

So, 4 Rakat for Asar is mandatory.


  • 3 farz
  • 2 sunnat (Sunnat Mo'akadah)
  • 2 nafal (optional)

So, 5 rakat for Maghrib is mandatory.


  • 4 farz
  • 4 Sunnat (Sunnat Ghair Mo'akadah) (optional)
  • 2 Sunnat (Sunnat Mo'akadah)
  • 2 Nafal (optional)
  • 3 witar
  • 2 Nafal (optional)

So, 9 rakat for Isha' is mandatory.

Other than this, you can't break Salat on your own. I hope this answers your question.

  • Yes, it indeed does answer my question. Though can I ask why? Is there a particular reason we can't break it into 2 parts, or is it just one of those things that there is no explanation for.
    – Sara
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 18:36
  • There must be an explanation, there is always an explanation in Islam. Though you may not find it easily. Let me give you an example: Once a man asked an Aalim(scholar) where is Allah? Where is he now?The Aalim replied by asking a question. Tell me, where is the light? The man replied its everywhere. The Aalim replied so is Allah. So, my point is, the explanation lies within. If somebody can't answer you that doesn't mean there is no explanation. :)
    – Waqar
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 18:56
  • Really good example. He was one witty scholar! :D Thank you and may Allah bless you.
    – Sara
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 19:13
  • This looks like the hanafi view, but how you come to the conclusion that 9 rakat are mandatory for 'Isha'? 4+3 =7. Nafl basically is voluntary why do you count it as mandatory at all? There are only 5 mandatory (fard, farz as you pronounce it) prayers even in the hanafi madhhab with a difference that they consider fajr sunnah as wajib which is in their opinion a bit more than sunnah mu'akkadah but still not fard!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 8:03

For farz you can't change the number of raka-at, unless you are traveling with a halal intention (then you are allowed to shorten the 4-raka'a prayers to two raka'a only). But for some sunnah prayers you may find different ahadit which describe the number of raka-at. For example as far as i know only the Hanafi madhab does most sunnah prayers in 4 raka-at for example the taraweeh prayer in Ramadan. All others do pray them in 2 raka parts.

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