A RAKAT is a unit or section of the prayer.
Name of Salat Number of Rakats and Method of reading
Fajr 2 Said loud,
Zuhr 4 Said silent,
Asr 4 Said silent,
Maghrib 3 First 2 loud, last rakat silent
Isha 4 First 2 loud, last 2 silent
Name of Salat, Number of Rakats, Number of Rakats Fard
Fajr 2 before Fard and non after
Zuhr 4 before Fard and 2 after
Asr (4)* before Fard and non after
Maghrib - before Fard and 2 after
Isha - before Fard and 2 after
The Prophet (pbuh) used to pray a certain number of rakats, before and/or after every obligatory prayer. These prayers are highly recommended by the Prophet, yet they are not obligatory, they are termed (as-soonan ar-rawatib) which means “regular Sunnah prayers”.
* Most ahadith confirm atotal of 10-12 rakats, while these four before Asr, are not as strongly confirmed.
It is the last prayer of the night and can be performed any time after the Isha prayer.It was strongly recommended by the Prophet (pbuh). Witr literally means an odd number and is commonly prayed as three rakats, but can also be done in one, five, seven or nine rakats.