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What is the etiquette of entering and leaving mosque?

What is the etiquette of entering and leaving mosque?

It is recommended to recite the dua

Allaahum-maf-taḥ lee abwaaba rahmatik
O Allah, Open for me the gates of Your Mercy. (Muslim and Abu Dawud)

Praying two rakahs when entering the mosque: Tahiyyat al-Masjid

It is also recommended, but not obligatory to pray 2 rakahs nafl salah upon entering the masjid before sitting down.

This can be prayed when you enter any mosque, and also if you enter a prayer room which is not a mosque, though it is more emphasised in a mosque than a prayer space where no congregational prayer or khutbah is held.

One is not sinful if one does not pray it, but if one does pray it, one will be rewarded for it.

You can recite the two rakahs again if you leave the mosque and re-enter it, if you wish.

It is not necessary to recite the 2 rakahs if the iqamah is being given, as you should join the congregation for salah.

Can you recite Tahiyyat al-Masjid if you enter the masjid for Asr prayer, even though Asr is a time when it is not recommended to pray a nawafil salah?

If you enter a masjid after Fajr or after Asr, it is permitted to pray the 2 rakahs of Tahiyyat al-masjid. The Imam ‘Abdul-ʿAziz Ibn Baz said in response to this questions that to pray it preferable because the Sunnah is that the one who enters the mosque is to pray two rakahs — even in the Time of Forbiddance before the [entrance of the time of] Maghrib, or before the sun has fully risen. There is no harm in this, due to the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): 

“When one of you enters the mosque, then he should not sit until he has prayed two rakahs.” (Agreed upon)

Reward of praying in a masjid

Praying in the masjid carries a great deal of reward, above praying at home. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (peace be on him) said:

“The prayer offered in congregation is twenty five times more superior (in reward) to the prayer offered alone in one’s house or in a business centre, because if one performs ablution and does it perfectly, and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for each step which he takes towards the mosque, Allah upgrades him a degree in reward and (forgives) crosses out one sin till he enters the mosque.

When he enters the mosque he is considered in prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and the angels keep on asking for Allah’s forgiveness for him and they keep on saying: ‘O Allah! Be Merciful to him, O Allah! Forgive him, as long as he keeps on sitting at his praying place and does not pass wind. (Bukhari)

In addition, by visiting the mosque, one builds familiarity, friendships and becomes more aware of what is going on in the community, which creates a network of support. It breaks down social barriers and enables people within the community whose paths do not ordinarily cross to see each other.

Dua when leaving the mosque

Alaahumma-j‛al fee qalbee noor-an, wa fee lisaanee noor-an, waj‛al fee sam‛ee noor-an, waj‛al fee baṣaree noor-an , waj‛al min khalfee noor-an, wamin amaamee noor-an, waj‛al min fawqee noor-an, wa min taḥtee noor-an, allahumma a‛ṭinee noor-an

“O Allah, place within my heart light, and upon my tongue light, and within my ears light, and within my eyes light, and place behind me light, and in front of me light, and above me light, and beneath me light. O Allah, bestow upon me light.“

Shaykh Haytham Tamim 9th August 2022

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.