Is it permissible to offer a two-Rak`ah

Q 1: What is the ruling on the Sunnah (supererogatory) Salah before `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer? Does it consist of two, four or more Rak`ahs (unit of Prayer)?

A: A Muslim may offer four Rak`ahs (unit of Prayer) before `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer and recite Taslim (salutation of peace ending the Prayer) after each two Rak`ahs. Because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, May Allah have mercy on a man who performs four Rak`ahs before `Asr (Afternoon) Prayer. Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhy who considered it a Hasan (good) Hadith and Ibn Khuzaymah who considered it a Sahih (authentic) Hadith as stated by Al-Hafizh ibn Hajar in his Book Bulugh Al-Maram. Also because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, The Sunnah (supererogatory) Salah by night and day should consist of pairs of Rak`ahs. Related by Imam Ahmad and Ahl-ul-Sunan (the Four Compilers of Hadith, i.e. Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Nasa'y and Ibn Majah) with a Hasan Isnad (a good chain of narrators). May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.