Question # 508: Please provide evidence for the opinion that it is permissible to offer Tahiyat ul Masjid and other prayers, with valid reasons, during the forbidden times of prayer. I need to show it to someone.
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).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: In an authentic hadith, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “When any one of you enters the Mosque, he should not sit down until he has prayed two rak’ahs”. According to the majority of the scholars and the most correct opinion, the ahadith which prohibit praying during forbidden times are common while the ahadith enjoining performing certain voluntary prayers are specific, like Salat al-Tawaaf, Salat al-Kusoof (prayer at the time of an eclipse), and the Funeral Prayer. Therefore, it is permissible to offer Tahiyyat al-Masjid at times when other voluntary prayers are disliked, because it is a prayer with a specific purpose.
Long Answer: Greeting the Masjid is a Sunnah Mu’akkadah (established tradition) for the one who enters the Masjid, having made wudu’, and wanting to sit. Muslim narrated in his Saheeh from Abu Qataadah that the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “When one of you enters the Masjid, let him pray two rak‘ahs before he sits.” In another report: “He should not sit until he prays two rak‘ahs.”
[However,] there are differences among the scholars concerning this matter. The correct opinion is that Tahiyat al-masjid is permitted at all times, even after Fajr and after ‘Asr, because of the general applicability of the [aforementioned] hadith, and because this is one of the prayers that is done for a specific reason, like Salat al-Tawaaf (prayer done after circumambulating the Ka’bah) and Salat al-Kusoof (prayer at the time of an eclipse). The correct view concerning all of these is that it is permissible to do these at times when prayer is generally disallowed, like making up missed prayers. Concerning Salat al-Tawaaf, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “O Banu ‘Abd Manaaf, do not prevent anyone from circumambulating this House and praying at any time of night or day.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad and the authors of Sunan with a saheeh isnad); concerning Salat al-Kusoof, it was narrated Abu Mas`ud: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death of someone from the people but they are two signs amongst the signs of Allah. When you see them stand up and pray” (Sahih Bukhari).
[To elaborate further,] …many scholars do not like performing any prayer after the [obligatory prayer of Fajr and before sunrise.] The basis of this opinion is the hadith narrated from Ibn Umar he said that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Who is present here must convey the message to the one who is absent that no one should perform any prayer after Fajr except two prostrations (two raka’h)”. (This hadith is good and reported by Abu Dawood). [However,] Shafi’is, Hanbalis and a group of authentic research scholars, such as Ibn Taymiyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Shaukani, and others, reasoned that prayers at such times are allowed if the person has a reason for that prayer, like Tahiyyat ul-Masjid, the prayer one performs after making ablution, and so on.
Their evidence for that is the fact that the ahadith which prohibit praying in such times are common while the ahadith enjoining performing certain voluntary prayers are specific, thus there is no contradiction between those two types of ahadith. [Hence,] the latter opinion is more preponderant than others.
According to Shaykh Waleed Basyouni PhD, “it is permissible to perform Salah after ‘Asr if it is for a particular reason, such as Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid (two-unit-Prayer to greet the mosque), Salat-ul-Kusuf (Prayer on a solar eclipse), the two rak‘ahs after Tawaf (circumambulation around the Ka‘bah) following the ‘Asr and Fajr Prayers, and the Funeral Prayer, due to the hadith mentioned in this regard.” (amjaonline.org)
(Unless stated otherwise, most part of the above reply is based on various answers on similar topics provided by:
- Islamqa.info; and
- Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar)
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.