Is it permissible to recite a long or short Surah in the first Rak`ah (unit of Prayer) of Salah (Prayer),
as many people recite a short Surah (Qur'anic chapter) in the first Rak`ah and a longer one in the second.
It is Sunnah (action following the teachings of the Prophet) to recite a long Surah in the first Rak`ah after Al-Fatihah and a shorter one in the second Rak`ah, due to what is narrated by
Abu Qatadah (may Allah be pleased with him)
that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite in the first two Rak`ahs of Zuhr (noon) Prayer Al-Fatihah followed by a Surah from the Qur'an, and only recited Al-Fatihah in the second two Rak`ahs. He would raise his voice so we could hear him. He prolonged the first Rak`ah compared to the second one. He would do the same in `Asr (afternoon) and Fajr (dawn) Prayers.
Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, and this is the wording of
Al-Bukhari. However, if (Part No. 6; Page No. 389) two equal Surahs are recited or the second is longer, there is nothing wrong with that, for the Prophet (peace be upon him) occasionally did that. It is authentically reported that he used to recite in Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer Surah Al-A`la in the first Rak`ah and Al-Ghashiyah in the second, which is a little longer.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.