Why do we read salli-barik prayers in the first sitting of the first sunnah of the afternoon and night salahs? In case of forgetting to read them, do we have to make sajda as-sahw?

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Why do we read salli-barik prayers in the first sitting of the first sunnah of the afternoon and night salahs? In case of forgetting to read them, do we have to make sajda as-sahw?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It is sunnah to read salli and barik prayers in the first tashahhud of afternoon and night salahs. Nothing is necessary to do if a person forgets to read them. If someone leaves this sunnah, he/she misses the thawab (reward). There is no need to make sajda as-sahw.

We can perform the first sunnahs of afternoon and night salahs as two rak’ahs. Our Prophet (s.a.w) sometimes performed them by saluting at the end of the two rak’ahs. For this reason, salli-barik prayers are read in the first sitting of the first sunnahs of the afternoon and night salahs.

According to a hadith  reported by Abu Dawud, our Prophet  (s.a.w) performed the sunnah of the afternoon salah as four rak’ahs, and he divided it into two as two rak’ahs by  saluting. According to a narration by Hadrat Aisha, “Our Prophet (s.a.w) performed four rak’ahs after and before the fard of the night salah and went to sleep.”

There are also narratives telling us that our Prophet (s.a.w) performed the sunnah of afternoon salah as only two rak’ahs. According to a narration of Nasai from Hz. Ali, “The Messenger of Allah performed two rak’ahs before the fard of the afternoon salah.”

According to these hadiths, it is mandub to perform four rak’ahs before the afternoon and night salahs. It is a kind of worship whose thawab and virtue are high. Imam Muhammad stated that the sunnah prayers before the afternoon and night salahs can be performed as two or four rak’ahs. That is, the sunnah of the afternoon salah can also be performed as two rak’ahs. However, the other imams of Hanafi madhhab regard it better to perform it as four rak’ahs.

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