Summarized from http://www.sunnah.org/ibadaat/salat_al_duha.htm
Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim
The morning prayer (offered between Fajr and Dhuhr) is called Salat al-Duha.
It is also known by the names 1) Sibhat al-Duha (Sibha meaning supererogatory; Duha meaning morning), 2) Salat al-Awwabin (meaning Prayer of the oft-returning – this term is also related to the word “tawba” which means ‘to repent’); this prayer is usually referred to as Salat al-Awwabin when it is prayed in mid-morning about one or two hours prior to Dhuhr, 3) Salat al-Ishraq (meaning Sunrise prayer – think of shurooq as sunrise), and 4) Salat al-Fath (meaning the Victory Prayer because the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) prayed this upon entering Makkah and so this has become the sunnah of military leaders when entering a newly conquered region.)
Salat al-Duha is a Sunnah Mu’akkada which means that it is an emphasized or recommended sunnah. Abu Hurayra (by Ahmed in his musnad) narrated “My beloved instructed me never to leave three things until I die: fasting three days a month, praying Salat al-Witr before sleep, and praying 2 rak’ats of Salat al-Duha, which is Salat al-Awwabin.” The preferred time for it begins after one-quarter of the day has passed. On the day of `Eid, it is preferable to pray al-Duha before Salat al-`Eid.
When I was at an Islamic camp a few years ago, our leaders always recommended us to pray Fajr, then do some sort of Dhikr (either reading Qur’an, doing tasbeeh, or making du’aa) until about 15 or 20 minutes after the sun rose, and then pray Salat al-Duha. According to a hadith narrated by `Utba ibn `Abd by al-Tabarani, one who does this gets the rewards of a pilgrim who makes both the major and minor pilgrimage! As related by al-Hasan ibn `Ali by al-Bayhaqi, Allah (SWT) will also protect this person from hell fire.
According to most hadith, Salat al-Duha is 2 rak’ats however there are some narrations that indicate it could be prayed in up to 12 rak’ats.
This salat is a form of Sadaqa. The prophet (SAWS) stated that in the morning, every one of our limbs must pay a sadaqa . He (SAWS) said that every tasbih, every tahmid, every tahlil, every takbir, every command of good, and every forbiddance of evil is a form of Sadaqa and all of this is accomplished through two rak’ats one can pray in Duha. Salat al-Duha was a tradition of all of the prophets (upon whom be peace) including the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). As a matter of fact, Prophets Dawud, Sulaiman, and Ayyub (AS) are all called “Awwab” in the Qur’an.
Lastly, Salat al-Duha is especially recommended for those who miss tahajjud (prayers in the last one-third of the night) and acts as its replacement.
***If you would like further details on anything in this summary, please refer back to the source (http://www.sunnah.org/ibadaat/salat_al_duha.htm)***
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