Question # 15: Is it compulsory, especially on a Friday to pray 2 rak’ahs  ‘tahiyyat al-masjid’. What if the person reaches masjid, when Friday sermon is going on?

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: On entering the masjid, a Muslim should perform two short (light) rak’ahs as greeting to the mosque (tahiyyat al-masjid), even if the imam is delivering the sermon on jumu’ah.

Long Answer: As for the “mosque greeting” (tahiyyat al-masjid), it is among the rulings that a Muslim should perform two short (light) rak’ahs if he enters the mosque while the imam is delivering the sermon on jumu’ah. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “If any one of you comes for the jumu’ah Prayer when the imam has already come out (to deliver the sermon), (even then) he should perform two rak’ahs.”‘ This hadith is recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim and in the narration of Muslim, he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) added, “…and should make them short.” However, if he sits before performing the two supererogatory rak’ahs, he should stand and perform them, for the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told the man who sat before performing these two rak’ahs. “Get up and perform two rak’ahs.” (‘AI-Mulakhkhas AI-Fiqhi’ by Dr. Salih AI-Fawzan) Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated that a man came while the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was giving the speech on Friday and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said to him, “O’ so and so, have you prayed?” He replied in the negative, so the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told him, “Stand and pray.” (Recorded by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi. Ibn Majah and Nasá’i)

As for the different madhhabs, if one enters the mosque after the speaker has come out to deliver the sermon for the Friday congregational prayer, one should not perform the mosque greeting according to the Malikis and the Hanafis; while the Shafi’is and the Hanbalis hold that if someone comes into the mosque while the imam is behind the pulpit, it is an emulation of the Sunnah to perform two brief rak’ahs before sitting down. One should not, however, perform more than two rak’ahs, and if one sits down before performing the mosque greeting in such a situation, one should not get up again in order to do so. (‘Islamic Jurisprudence According to the Four Sunni Schools’ by ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Jaziri)

According to Shaykh Ibn Baaz, the hadith of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is clear evidence in this matter and it is not permissible for anyone to dispute it, especially when a Sunnah is authentically attributed to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). It is likely that this Sunnah did not reach Imam Malik [and Imam Abu Hanifa] (Fatawa Islamiyah)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.