Imagine a visitor that enters your home, takes a seat, occupies himself with his personal affairs, fulfills his need and then leaves without even greeting you..?
The consequences of such a visit are obvious! Moreover, what if such behavior is repeated daily or even weekly?!!
Ironically, it is we ourselves that are the perpetrators of such behaviour and we don’t even realise it!
One who visits the Masjid is described as one who is actually visiting Allah Ta’ala. (Shu’abul Iman, Hadith: 2943, also see Takhreejul Ihya, Hadith: 408)
A Sahabi once entered the Masjid of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and sat down. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) reprimanded him by enquiring: “What prevented you from performing two (rak’ahs of salah) before you sat?” The Sahabi (radiyallahu ‘anhu) replied: “O messenger of Allah! (I did so because) I observed that you and the rest of the gathering were all seated.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) then said:
“When anyone of you enters the Masjid, he should not sit down until he offers two rak’ahs of salah.”
(Sahih Muslim, vol.1 pg. 248)
Sayyiduna Abu Qatadah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) once said: “Fulfil the right of the Masjid.” The Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) enquired as to what was “the right of the Masjid” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied: “Two rak’ahs of Salah before you sit.”
(Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah, 1824; Fathul Bari, vol.1 pg.696, Hadith: 444)
These two rak’ahs have been termed: “Tahiyyatul Masjid” which translates as: “The greeting of the Masjid”. The ‘Ulama state that these two rak’ahs are in actual fact one’s greeting to Allah, as the Masajid belong to him.
(Tahtawi, pg.215 ; Shami, vol.2 pg.18).
The extent to which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) emphasised on Tahiyyatul Masjid is evident from the above. In fact some of the scholars are of the opinion that Tahiyyatul Masjid is Wajib, although the correct view is that it is a Sunnah.
(Fathul Bari, vol.1 pg.696 ; Shami, vol.2 pg.18)
A sign of Qiyamah
The absence of this practice in our society at present is a realization of the Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in which he has stated that one of the signs of Qiyamah will be that a man would pass through a Masjid and not perform two rak’ats (Tahiyyatul Masjid).
(Fathul Bari li Ibn Rajab, vol.3 pg.277 ; Majmau’z-zawaid, vol.2 pg.24)
In fact, it is Makruh for one to use the Masjid as a path way. (Shami, vol.1 pg.656)
Therefore the next time we visit the Masjid, let us be more “ethical”
By doing so, we would be strengthening our bond with Almighty Allah as well as the Masjid, Insha Allah.
The Fuqaha (Jurists) have indicated that the Tahiyyatul Masjid will be fulfilled if one offers any Salah (Fard, Sunnah etc.) upon entering the Masjid (before being seated). One may even offer this Salah after forgetfully sitting down. (Shami, vol.2 pg.18)
The Makruh times are excluded
According to the Hanafi view, if one enters the Masjid at a time in which it is Makruh to perform Nafl Salah, one should not offer Tahiyyatul Masjid. Rather one should occupy oneself with Dhikr and Tasbih. (Tahtawi, pg.215 ; Shami, vol.2 pg.18 )
The Makruh times for Nafl Salah are:
1) After the fard of Fajr till 15 minutes after Sunrise, (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 586; Sahih Muslim, vol.1 pg.275)
2) At Mid-day, (Sahih Muslim vol.1 pg.276)
3) After the fard of ‘Asr till Sunset, (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 586)
4) During the Friday Khutbah. (Nasbur-Rayah, vol.2 pgs.201-202)
The current extent of disregard for this sunnah is disturbing.
How unfortunate is the one who forsakes the opportunity of fulfilling the right of the Masjid and greeting Almighty Allah several times each day?!
May Allah Ta’ala instill in us the value of this salah.