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al kafi 1485


Assalamualaikum SS Datuk Mufti, I have a question. One day I entered a mosque and promptly sat in the saf. I realized that I haven’t performed the sunnah tahiyatul masjid prayer. My question is, is it permissible for me to immediately stand up and perform the sunnah tahiyatul masjid prayer?



Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

The sunnah tahiyatul masjid prayer is a great encouragement for a person who enters a mosque. This is according to a hadith by Abu Qatadah al-Ansari RA, he said the Prophet PBUH said:

إِذَا دَخَلَ أَحَدُكُمُ الْمَسْجِدَ فَلاَ يَجْلِسْ حَتَّى يُصَلِّيَ رَكْعَتَيْنِ

"If anyone of you enters a Mosque, he should not sit until he has offered a two rak`at prayer."

Sahih al-Bukhari (1167)

Scholars issued several wisdoms from the above hadith and we share them in the following points:

  • The hadith explains the sanctioning of two rakaat prayer for anyone who enters a mosque.
  • It also explains that the sunnah tahiyatul masjid is two rakaat. Thus, it is not acceptable if it is performed with only one rakaat.
  • Some scholars hold the opinion that the commandment of performing tahiyatul masjid only involves those who stay in the mosque. While if a person just briefly enters the mosque and walk back out, then he is not included in the commandment.

There is a hadith that explains the importance of performing the sunnah tahiyatul masjid even if the person has sat down for a short duration as narrated by Abu Zar al-Ghifari RA, he said: Once, as I entered the mosque, I saw the Prophet PBUH was sitting alone. Thus, I came and sat with him. The Prophet PBUH said to me:

يَا أَبَا ذَرٍّ إِنَّ لِلْمَسْجِدِ تَحِيَّةً، وَإِنَّ تَحِيَّتَهُ رَكْعَتَانِ، فَقُمْ فَارْكَعْهُمَا

“O Abu Zar, indeed for a masjid ther is tahiyat. Stand and perform two rakaat.”

Then Abu Zar said: “I then stand and perform two rakaat of prayer, then I sat back with the Messenger of Allah.”

Narrated by Ibn Hibban (361)

For the ruling of sunnah tahiyatul masjid prayer, Imam al-Nawawi Rahimahullah said that the scholars agreed that the tahiyatul masjid prayer is sunnah and if there is no excuse for leaving it, then it is makruh to sit before performing the two rakaat prayer. Refer Al-Majmu’ Syarh Al-Muhazzab, (4/52)

Although, it should be explained that tahiyatul masjid is automatically fulfilled when a person performs the obligatory prayer or other sunnah prayers such as sunnah rawatib qabliyah and others. The purpose is so that a person does not sit in the mosque to honour the mosque. Refer Fiqh al-Manhaji (1/215)

Whereas for the issue of performing the tahiyatul masjid prayer after a person has briefly sat, then the guidance for this matter is a hadith narrated by Jabir RA, Sulaik Ghatafani came on Friday (for prayer) while the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was sitting on the pulpit. Sulaik also sat down before observing prayer. The Apostle of Allah (ﷺ) said: Have you observed two rak'ahs? He said: No. He (the Holy Prophet) said:

 قُمْ فَارْكَعْهُمَا

“Stand and observe them,”

Sahih Muslim (875)

Imam al-Nawawi commented on the above hadith stating:

فَاَلَّذِي يَقْتَضِيهِ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ أَنَّهُ إذَا تَرَكَ التَّحِيَّةَ جَهْلًا بِهَا أَوْ سَهْوًا يُشْرَعُ لَهُ فِعْلُهَا مَا لَمْ يَطُلْ الْفَصْلُ وَهَذَا هُوَ الْمُخْتَار

“Among the meaning of the hadith is when a person leaves tahiyat (masjid) because of his ignorance or negligence, then he is instructed to perform it (sunnah tahiyatul masjid) as long as the duration is short (between him sitting and praying) and this is the chosen opinion.” Refer Al-Majmu’ Syarah Al-Muhazzab, Al-Nawawi (4/53).


As a conclusion, we would like to state that it is permissible to perform the tahiyatul masjid prayer after a person has sat down. However, the chosen opinion stated that it is only permissible if the duration of him sitting down is short and not after a long time.

Lastly, may Allah SWT give us an accurate understanding in religion. Amin.