The eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, states: The five daily prayers are prescribed upon every Muslim. But there are certain supererogatory (Sunnah) prayers that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) regularly offered. A Muslim is highly recommended to keep on offering the supererogatory prayers for the following reasons:
1. They bring the Muslim nearer to Allah. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Allah, Most High, said: ‘Whoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works (acts of worship) so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.’” (Reported by Al-Bukhari)
2. Whoever turns away from these sunnan (supererogatory prayers), seems to be turning away form the love of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). Allah says: “Indeed there is for you, in the Messenger of Allah, a good example to follow.” (Al-Ahzab: 21) Whoever loves Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), should adhere to his Sunnah. As the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ke
pt on offering these supererogatory prayers, his adherents should follow his footsteps.
3. These supererogatory prayers compensate for whatever shortages and deficiencies that take place in the performance of the obligatory prayers. It stands to reason that no one can assume perfection of his prayers. When man will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment – and the first thing to be accounted for is prayer – his prayer will be looked at. If the obligatory prayers are incomplete, then the sunnan will compensate for them.
Finally, as for the Muslim who limits himself to performing the obligatory prayers, there is no punishment to be afflicted on him. It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to the Arab who swore that he would not add to or reduce from the obligatory prayers: “He will succeed if he says the truth.” And in another version, he (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever would like to look at a man from the people of Paradise, then he may look at this (man).”