Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Praying 2 rakats after performing ablutions (wudu) is recommended, except during the 3 times it is disliked to pray in. These are during sunrise (for 15 minutes after Fajr time ends), right when the sun is at its zenith (to be safe, 5 to 10 minutes before Zuhr comes in, though in reality, it is just a moment), and right at the end of Asr time, when the sun seems to dim as it is beginning to set (20 to 30 minutes before Maghrib).
The general fiqhi principle is that, “There is no reward without intention.” Therefore, the fuqaha mention that the full reward for the ablution prayer is only attained if one prays 2 rakats intending the ablution prayer. However, any prayer one prays after ablutions, before one’s skin is completely dry (or would have normally dried, if one dried oneself), gives one some reward.
Note, too, that it is disliked after the Adhan of Fajr to prayer any non-obligatory prayers other than the 2 rakats of the sunna of fajr. Therefore, one would not, for example, pray the 2 rakats Tahiyyat al-Masjid, unless one intended them with one’s sunna.
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