Is it sunnah to abandon the first sunnah prayers of the afternoon and night (isha) prayers?

Details of the Question
The Prophet (pbuh) sometimes abandoned some sunnah prayers (the first sunnah prayers of the afternoon and night (isha) prayers). Then, will we have regarded to act in accordance with the Sunnah if we sometimes abandon them?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Prophet (pbuh) sometimes abandoned the sunnah prayer of the afternoon prayer, not the fard of it; it is haram to abandon the fard prayer.

The life of the Prophet (pbuh) is an example for us. The Companions followed him and tried to do everything he did. However, the Prophet (pbuh) sometimes abandoned some deeds so that they would not to be regarded as fard deeds.

As a matter of fact, once the Prophet (pbuh) addressed those who waited for him in the mosque until the morning in order to perform the tarawih prayer with him:

“I did not perform the tarawih prayer in congregation so that it would not be regarded as a fard prayer.”  (Bukhari, Salatu’t-Tarawih  2; Muslim  Salatu’l-Masafirin 178)

He sometimes abandoned some deeds that were not fard because all of his deeds were accepted as examples and models by his Companions. Thus, the Companions understood that it was not fard to do a certain deed but that there would be a lot of rewards for it and that it would not be haram to abandon it.

Today, there is not such a state of being an example. Why should we abandon the sunnah then? Those who do not perform the sunnah of the afternoon prayer will be deprived of its reward.

It is not sunnah to abandon the first sunnah prayers of the afternoon and night prayers.

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