Question & Answer
Is it obligatory to pray Tahyitul Masjid or Is it nawafil or sunnat?

Respected sir, Assalam u alaikum. I want to know whether it is obligatory to pray Tahyitul Masjid ( 2 rakat). Is it nawafil or sunnat? Please reply me.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

We begin with Allah’s blessed name, we praise him and we glorify him, seek his forgiveness and ask him to guide us. Whoever Allah guides, None can lead astray and whoever he misguides, None can guide. There is no power and no strength except from Allah, The most high, the Most great, the most powerful. We bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers. We pray for peace and blessings on all the noble messengers and in particular on the last of them all “the blessed prophet Mohammad (pbuh)”

Yahya related from Malik, from amir Ibn Abdullah Ibnaz-Zubayr, from Amr ibn Sulaymaz-zuraqi, from abu Qatadaal-Ansari that the messenger of allah(pboh) said, when ever you enter the masjid, you should pray two rakahs (Tahiyat-ul-Masjid) before you sit down [Al-Muwatta Hadith 9.60]

So whoever enters the Masjid and wishes to sit down should perform two rakahs before doing so. As for he who enters the Masjid as he passes by it and does not want to sit down but rather, he needs something after which he will leave, then he is not required to pray two rakahs. Likewise, if he entered to perform the obligatory prayer and finds that the congregation prayer (jamaa'ah) has already started, he should join the congregation prayer (jamaa'ah) and this suffices for Tahiyat-ul-Masjid.

According to Imam An-Nawawi, everyone who comes to the mosque and performs Fard Salah or Sunnah, he will be exempted from performing two Rakah “Tahiyat al-masjid.

Thus one is guided to pray Tahiyat-ul-Masjid, if one enters the ‘masjid’ and intends to sit down and wait for the congregation prayer to start.

I want to know whether it is obligatory to pray Tahyitul Masjid ( 2 rakat)

All prayers other than five daily obligatory prayers (five daily prayers prescribed by Allah) are considered voluntary prayers. according to the command of our beloved prophet (pbuh) one should offer two rakahs Tahiyat-ul-Masjid before one sits down in a Masjid, makes it a voluntary prayer but not obligatory.

Is it nawafil or sunnat?

Nawafil may be divided into two types: general and specific prayers. The nawafil are said to be those prayers which are in addition to the fard salah, as prayed by the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam.

The general nawafil prayer, that one offers according to ones will and order, as there is no restriction on the number of rakahs one can offer.

An-Nawawi says: "If one decides to make nawafil prayers and he does not make any intention concerning the number [of rak'at] he shall make, then he may end the prayer after one rak'ah or make it two rak'at or increase it to three or one hundred or one thousand, and so forth. If he prays a number of [rak'at], without knowing how many, and then ends the prayer his salah will still be valid." There is no difference of opinion on this. The Shaf'iyyah are in agreement with it.

The specific nawafil prayers are referred to as al-sunan ar-ratibah, or the sunnah prayers that have a specific order, number, and so on. These include the Sunnah prayers of fajr, zuhr, 'asr, maghrib, and 'isha.

According to Imam An-Nawawi, Some `Ulama' are of the opinion that the order in this respect makes it compulsory, and for this reason they held Tahiyat al-masjid as Wajib (a fractional degree below farad), while others think that it is a liked act and thus comes in the category of Mustahabb (desirable). And in our humble openion Tahiyat-ul-Masjid will come in the category of Mustahabb (desirable) .And Allah alone knows the best.

I ask Allah to make this a sincere effort, seeking his pleasure, and I ask him to grant us refuge in him from the evils within ourselves, and that in our deeds. I ask him to grant us success in achieving whatever pleases him; And May Allah Shower His blessings and mercy upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his family and his Companions and on all those who follow him until the final hour.

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