After reciting Bismillah and salutation to Prophet Mohammed (SAS), make the following supplication:
“O Allah, please forgive my sins and open the doors of Your Mercy for me.”
On entering the mosque offer two rakat Tahayya-tul-Masjid and then make dua for yourself and the rest of the Muslims.
Proceed towards the resting place of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and make salutation to him respectfully followed by salam to Abu Bakr (RU) and Omar (RU). We must observe same manners, which the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) did. For example, companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) used to make salutation in low voice and with lowered eyes: Loud voice in this area is a great rudeness and earns wrath of Allah (SWT). More details of above etiquettes are given below.
1. PREPARATION FOR VISITATION OF THE MOSQUE:
We must wear clean clothes before visiting the mosque. It should be more so for Salat-ul-Jumma (Friday’s congregational prayer) and Eid days, following the command of Allah (SWT). Al-Araf # 31
O children of Adam, take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying and going round (the Tawaf of) the Kabah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not those who waste by extravagance.
Salman Farsi (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “A person who cleans himself fully, takes a bath, wears clean clothes, uses scented oil and proceeds to the mosque for Salat-ul-Juma in such a manner that he does not try to push around people already seated in the mosque, he listens to the Khutba (sermon) quietly and attentively and offers his obligatory salat, Allah (SWT) will forgive such person from this Friday to the next Friday.”1
In this Hadith cleaning himself fully means to cut nails, clean hair of the arm pits and around the private parts, dress up the hair on the head and in the beard, and brush the teeth.
Ibn Hajar said, “This forgiveness from one Friday to the next Friday is valid only if the following conditions are fulfilled.
1. Complete personal cleanliness.
2. Use perfume (non-alcoholic) and scented oil.
3. Wear clean clothes.
4. Walk peacefully.
5. Do not jump over the shoulders of other persons.
6. Do not push around the seated persons.
7. Don’t harm anybody.
8. Be quiet.
9. Avoid nonsense.”2
2. A PERSON WITH BAD SMELL IS FORBIDDEN TO ENTER THE MOSQUE:
Mosque is an ideal place for a congregation to practice Islamic teachings. According to the Islamic teaching, we must care for others’ feelings and comfort in such congregations. Hence we should not go to the mosque after eating raw onion and garlic which cause unpleasant smell. It will bother other persons and the angels present in the mosque.
Jabbar (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “Whoever eats raw garlic and onion should not come to the mosque. He should rather stay at home.”3
In Muslim it is narrated, “A person should not come near the mosque who has eaten raw garlic and onions, since angels are bothered by whatever bothers the human beings.”4
In fact, it is forbidden to go to a mosque with anything, which produces bad smell. For example, smoking, perspiration, or need of bathroom.
Imam Nawawi said, “It is forbidden to enter any mosque with bad smell in the light of the above hadith.”5
Note that if onion or garlic is washed in vinegar or well cooked before its use, the bad smell disappears. It would be permissible to go to a mosque after eating these products in this manner.
3. EARLY ENTRY INTO THE MOSQUE:
It is advisable to go to the mosque early enough in order to find a place in the first row or in Riyad-ul-Jannah (a place inside the Prophet’s Mosque). If you are delayed, you should not jump over the people. You should rather sit down wherever you find some space. You should, however, avoid sitting in the doors and walkways to facilitate smooth flow of the people.
Basar-bin-Arta (RU) narrated one day Prophet Mohammad (SAS) was delivering an address and he saw a person making his way through the people by jumping over others’ shoulders.
Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “Sit down. You are bothering others. You came late yourself.”6
4. HOW TO ENTER AND LEAVE THE MOSQUE:
To enter the mosque put your right foot in first and then say:
“(I start) with the name of Allah (SWT). I send salam and salat to Prophet (SAS). O Allah, please forgive my sins and open doors of Your Mercy for me.”
When you leave the mosque, put your left foot out first and say: 7
i.e. “I start with the name of Allah (SWT). I send salam and salat to Prophet (SAS). O Allah, I ask for Your bounty.”
Tayyabi said, “There is a subtle point in seeking the mercy of Allah (SWT) at the time of entry into a mosque and His bounty at the time of exit. We seek His mercy since we are looking for reward during our worship in the mosque. We, however, seek His bounty when leaving the mosque since we will be engaged in trade, commerce and other such activities.”8
It is in accordance with the guidance of Allah (SWT) Al-Jumah #10
And when the salat is finished, you may disperse through the land and seek the Bounty of Allah (SWT) (by working etc.)
5. IT IS FORBIDDEN TO RUSH INTO THE MOSQUE:
It is generally observed that when the doors of the Prophet’s Mosque are opened at the time of Salat-ul-Fajr, people race with each other to occupy a spot in the first row or for a space in Riyad-ul-Jannah. This racing is not good for several reasons. It displays bad manners in the mosque and disrespect for such a holy place. During this struggle for space, sometimes bad words are exchanged. It also harms the old and weak persons. It is, in fact, very unfortunate and takes a person away from the mercy of Allah (SWT). The holiness of this place demands that we should enter it with peace and good composure and calmness. We must not forget the reverence of this place and our own position as compared with this esteemed place.
Similar unpleasant situation is seen when the doors are opened for ladies for salutation to Prophet Mohammad (SAS). They should also show respect for the Mosque and observe the calmness during their presence in the mosque.
Abu Hurrairah (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “When you hear the call for salat, proceed to it. Keep your calmness and composure together. Don’t rush. Offer whatever part of the salat you can following the Imam and then make up the missed part.”9
Ibn Hajar said, “We rush because we wish to have reward for first Takbeer. We are advised to walk with calmness even outside the mosque. It will be indeed very bad manners to rush inside the mosque.”10
6. RAISING OF VOICE IS PROHIBITED:
Raising of voice inside any part of the Prophet’s Mosque is forbidden. It is not permissible to raise voice even when engaged in recitation of Quran, remembrance of Allah (SWT) and during salutation. Al-Hujurat # 2-4
O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (SAS), nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds should be rendered fruitless while you perceive not. Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of AIlah’s Messenger (SAS), they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for piety. For them is forgiveness and a great reward. Verily those who call you from behind the dwellings, most of them have no sense.
In these verses Allah (SWT) has advised us to show very high respect to Prophet Mohammad (SAS) at all times. It is strictly prohibited to raise voice individually or in a group in his mosque. It is not allowed to raise voice when addressing the prophet of Allah (SWT). This shows that Allah (SWT) has extraordinary respect for his Prophet. Who are we to violate this etiquette. Hence extreme caution must be observed during our stay in the Prophet’s Mosque.
Furthermore, we are not supposed to address the Prophet (SAS) by his name. It will be very bad manners. Surah An-Nur # 63
Make not the calling of the Messenger (Mohammad (SAS)) among you as your calling one of another.
It is not proper to address the Prophet as ‘O Mohammad’ or ‘O Ahmad’. We should address him by his titles Nabi Ullah
or Rasol-Ullah or other similar titles keeping our voice very low. Allah (SWT) has praised such people in above verses and gave them good tidings of forgiveness and tremendous reward for observing good manners around His respected prophet. Those who call the prophet by name and with loud voice are definitely foolish people according to the above verse.
The deep respect for the Prophet must be observed not only in his lifetime but also after his death. Abu Bakr (RU) said, “Raising voice around the prophet of Allah is not permissible during his life and afterward too.”11
Similarly Imam Malik always talked with a low voice in the Prophet’s Mosque and said that this respect for the Prophet is mandatory during his life and afterward too.12
In order to remind us the following verse of Quran is written on the Sacred Chamber where we often offer salutation to Prophet Mohammad (SAS). Al-Hujurat # 3
Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allah’s Messenger (SAS) they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for piety. For them is forgiveness and a great reward.
Of course this form of respect must be displayed throughout the Prophet’s Mosque. As mentioned in Bukhari, Said-bin-Yazeed (RU) said, “Someone hit me with a pebble while I was standing in the Prophet’s Mosque. I turned around and found that it happened to be Caliph Omar (RU)”. He said to me, ‘Bring these two persons to me.’ I brought them to him. Caliph Omar (RU) asked them, ‘Who are you and where do you come from?’ They said, “We are from Taif city.’ Caliph said, ‘I would have punished you if you were residents of Madina since you are raising your voice in the Prophet’s Mosque.’” 13
Mohammad -bin- Muslim (RU) said, “Any voice which distracts those who are offering salat in Prophet’s Mosque is not allowed.”14
7. LEAVING PROPHET’S MOSQUE AFTER ADHAN (CALL FOR PRAYER) IS PROHIBITED:
Abu Hurairah (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “Whoever will leave my mosque after Adhan without any necessity and has no intention to return is a hypocrite.”15
Caliph Osman (RU) narrated a similar Hadith as mentioned in
8. SPITTING IN THE MOSQUE IS PROHIBITED:
Cleanliness is of paramount importance in Islamic teachings. A mosque is a place for Islamic congregations. Hence every visitor to the mosque should take extra care in keeping the cleanliness there. Prophet Mohammad (SAS) prohibited spitting in the mosque.
It is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim as narrated by Anas (RU), Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “It is a mistake to spit in the mosque. To remedy your mistake you should bury the saliva.”17
Imam Nawawi said, “Burying here means to cover the saliva with dust, sand or with pebbles. If there is a concrete floor, clean it with a cloth or wash the floor.”
Note that the open spaces around the covered Prophet’s Mosque are also designated for praying. Hence we should also avoid spitting there and keep cleanliness all around the mosque.
It is mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim as narrated by Abu-Qatada (RU), Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “When you enter a mosque, you should offer two rakat salat before sitting down in the mosque.” 18
Hence it is necessary to offer this salat whenever we enter any masjid. Note that if a person offers any salat before sitting down and makes intention for Tahayya-tul-Masjid as well, he will get credit for both salats.
10. SALUTATION TO PROPHET MOHAMMAD (SAS) & HIS CALIPHS:
Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, Al-Ahzab # 56
Allah sends His Salat (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy) on the Prophet (Mohammad (SAS)), and also His angels (ask Allah to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salat on (ask Allah to bless) him (Mohammad (SAS), and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islamic way of greeting (salutation i.e. As-Salamu ‘Alaikum).
Try to come to the southern side of the Sacred Chamber and very respectfully salute the Prophet with a low voice. If there is a big rush of people, salutation can be done from any part of the mosque. Send salam on Prophet Mohammad (SAS) as mentioned in Bukhari.19
After that, salute Abu Bakr (RU) and Omar (RU).
Abdullah bin Dinar said, “I saw Abdullah bin Omar (RU) standing near the graves. He used to salute Prophet Mohammad (SAS), then Abu Bakr (RU) then his father Omar (RU).”20
Nafi (RU) said, “I saw Abdullah bin Omar (RU) saluting more than one hundred times. He used to salute the Prophet first, then Abu Bakr (RU), then his father and after that he used to walk away from there.”21
Ibn Taimiya said, “All scholars agree that we should say salam to the Prophet at the time of our visitation.” Abu Hurairah (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “When one of you says salam to me, Allah (SWT) makes my soul attentive to that person and I shall answer his salam. Ibn Taimiya called it a strong Hadith.22 Al-Bani called it a good Hadith.23
If someone requested you to convey his salam to Prophet Mohammad (SAS), you should say, “Dear Prophet of Allah, such and such person has sent his salam to you.” Caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz used to send a messenger from Syria (which was the capital at that time) to convey his salam to Prophet Mohammad (SAS).24
Yazeed bin Abu Saeed Harvi said that I visited Omar bin Abdul Aziz. At the time of departure he said to me, “Please do me a favour. Visit Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and convey my salam to him.”25
Ibn Taimiya said that the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) used to say salam to Abu Bakr (RU) and Omar (RU) after saying salam to Prophet Mohammad (SAS).26
11. ETIQUETTES OF MAKING A DUA (SUPPLICATION):
You can make dua for your relatives and friends whenever you like. You may do so in the Sacred Garden or in any part of the mosque. You also make dua facing towards Qibla after conveying the salam.
Ibn-Hamam said, “After visitation to the Sacred Chamber, you should engage yourself in remembrance of Allah (SWT) in the Sacred Garden and make more and more supplications.”27
Nawawi said, “After conveying salam and salat, face towards Qibla. Make dua for your parents, relatives, teachers and rest of the Muslims.”28
12. PROHIBITION OF MAKING SAJDA TO THE GRAVE:
The companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) loved him a lot. One day they said to him, “When people come to visit other kings, they prostrate or make sajda to the king to show him the respect. If you permit us, we will do so.” Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “It is not allowed to make sajda to anyone except Allah (SWT). If there was any possibility for it, I would have ordered the wife to make sajda to her husband.”
It is mentioned in Bukhari as narrated by Aisha that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said just before his death, “May Allah’s curse be on the Jews and Christians who make sajda to the graves of their Prophets.”29
The companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) never did sajda to Prophet Mohammad (SAS). If we love Allah (SWT) and his prophet sincerely, we must follow their teachings. Hence anybody making sajda to the prophet’s grave would deserve curse of Allah (SWT) even if he is making loud claims of love of Allah (SWT) and Prophet Mohammad (SAS).
It makes it very clear that it is totally prohibited to make sajda to prophet during his life or afterwards. Hence it is totally forbidden to make sajda to an alive or a dead sacred person.
13. KISSING OR PUTTING HAND OVER THE SACRED CHAMBER TO SHOW LOVE, IS PROHIBITED:
Fadeel-bin-Ayyad said, “Follow the path of guidance and not of those who went astray even if they are in large number. You do not get any extra blessings by touching a grave with your hand or by kissing it. We get blessings only and only by following the guidance of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and not by acting contrary to it.”30
Imam Gazali said, “You should stand near the Sacred Chamber just like you used to stand in front of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) when he was alive. If Prophet was alive, would you go so close to the Prophet as you wish to do now? You would not have dared to touch his body by your hand or kiss him. Hence you should stand near the Sacred Chamber very respectfully. Touching graves with hand or kissing the graves is the habit of Jews and Christians.”31
Ibn Taimiya said, “All scholars agree that we should not touch by hand or kiss the grave of the Prophet, companions of the Prophet and family members of the Prophet. In Islam, it is not allowed to kiss any inanimate thing except the Black Stone of Kabah.”
Caliph Omer (RU) said facing the Black Stone, “By God, you are only a stone. You cannot do any good or harm to a person. I would not kiss you, if Prophet Mohammad (SAS) had not kissed you.”32
14. TAWAF OF SACRED CHAMBER IS PROHIBITED:
Tawaf is an act of worship. It is specifically done for the House of Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) said in Surah Hajj # 29
And circulate around the Ancient House (The Kabah).
In Islam, it is not allowed to make tawaf of any structure except Kabah, just like it is not allowed to face another direction than Kabah during the salat. Hence it is not permissible to make tawaf of the Sacred Chamber. It is, therefore, very clear that it is haram (forbidden) to make tawaf of the grave of any other pious person.
It is mentioned in Kitab-ul-Manasik of Mulla Ali Qari, that one should not make tawaf of Sacred Chamber since it is specifically done for the House of Allah. Hence making tawaf of the grave of any prophet or wali is haram (forbidden). Some ignorant people mislead others, since they are dressed up like scholars during the tawaf of graves.33
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