The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to recite Surah al – Fatihah which was followed by another surah. In Fajr Salaah he would prolong the recitation as long as it would take to recite 6O to 1OO ayat. Some time he would recite surah al-Qaf (L) and sometimes al-Room (XXX) and sometimes he would shorten the recitation. During travel he would recite surah asSajdah (XXXII) in the first rakah and surah ad-Dahr (LXXVI) in the second rakah of Fajr Salaah (morning Salaah). In the Friday Salaah – Jum’ah Salaah he would recite surah al – Mu’minun (XXIII) and sometimes surah – al-Aala (LXXVII) or surah al – Ghashia (LXXX VIII).
In brief, the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) would recite a long or a short surah according to circumstances as has been narrated in a tradition reported by Hadrat Umar (Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhu). So far as the common and well known practice is concerned , and which is observed by most of the jurists that in the Fajr Salaah and Zuhar Salaah, he would recite tiwal Mufassal (long chapters of the Holy QURAAN), and in the Asr Salaah and Isha Salaah, he would recite ausat Mufassal (not very long chapters of the Holy QURAAN) and in Maghrib Salaah, he would recite Qisar Mufassal (short chapters of Holy QURAAN), this was the general practice of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).
There are a number of traditions on this subject but according to Hanafites this had not been a regular practice of the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) According to Hanafites, it is undersirable (makruh) to particularise any surah for recitations in a particular Salaah. Shaikh Ibn Hamam has opined that this undesirability is in such a situation that this specific recitation is considered obligatory and a practice other than this is considered undesirable. If this practice is followed only by way of blessing on account of this being the practice of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) there can be no objection, but even then it is desirable that other surahs be recited at times so that one may not carry an impression that this i.e. recitation of other surahs, is not in order. [Madarij -un- Nubawah]