Muslims should perform five obligatory prayers daily but those who wish to earn extra good favour should consider Nawafil prayers, the sermon will tell mosque-goers on Friday.
A type of optional prayer, Nawafil prayers compensate for uncompleted obligatory ones. Prophet Mohammed once said to his companion Thawban, "The first thing for which a servant of Allah will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his Salat (or prayers). If it is found to be complete then it will be recorded as complete, and if anything is lacking Allah will say: 'Look and see if you can find any voluntary prayers with which to complete what was defective in his obligatory prayers'."
There are several types of Nawafil prayers; the first of these are "Al-Sunan Al-Rawatib" (the Sunna prayers associated with obligatory prayers).
Those optional prayers are performed either before or after prescribed prayers. Prophet Mohammed encouraged Muslims to perform them saying, "For every Muslim who offers twelve Rakaas of optional prayer, other than the obligatory one in day and night, seeking the pleasure of Allah, He will build a house for him in Paradise."
The Prophet favoured performing two Rakaas before Al Fajr prayers, saying “they are better than this world and all that which in it.” He was also persistent in offering the four Rakaas before the Dhuhr prayer and valued greatly the two Rakaas after the Dhuhr prayer.
Amongst the other Nawafil prayers that the Prophet observed regularly are the two Rakaas after the Maghrib prayer and the two Rakaas after Isha prayer.
Nawafil prayers can be offered in mosque or at home. “When any one of you observes prayer in the mosque he should reserve a part of his prayer for his house, for Allah would make the prayer as a means of betterment in his house,” the Prophet said.
By performing the Nawafil prayers often, a worshipper’s soul will be purified, their heart cleansed and spirit elevated and Allah will engulf them with His mercy and open the gateways of Paradise for them to reside in it eternally.