ETIQUETTE OF VISIT THE PROPHET’s MOSQUE
O you who come to the City of the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ, you have come to a good place and you are going to earn great reward. May Allaah accept your righteous deeds and fulfil your greatest hopes. Welcome to the land of Hijrah and victory, the land of the Chosen Prophet, the land to which the righteous Sahaabah migrated and the home of the Ansaar.
Visiting the Prophet’s Masjid is prescribed and recommended as it is one of the three mosques to which one may make an effort to travel to for the sake of praying and worshipping therein. Abu Hurayrah (RA) narrates from the Prophet ﷺ that he said: You should not undertake a special journey to visit any place other than the three Mosques: the Sacred Mosque of Makkah, this Mosque of mine, and Al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem). [Bukhaari and Muslim].
It was narrated from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “The best places to which a person may travel are this Mosque of mine, and the Ancient House (i.e., the Ka’bah).” (Narrated by Ahmad).
When entering the masjid of the Prophet ﷺ one should do so with the right foot (first) and say the prescribed du’aa for entering a masjid. Following is an example of one such du’aa:
Bismillah wassalatu wassalamu ala rasulillahi, Allahumma ighfir lee dhunubee wa iftah lee Abwaba Rahmatik, Allahumma Inni A’uthu Billahi Al-Adhim, Wa Wajhihi Al-Kareem, Wa Sultanihi Al-Qadim mina Shaitani rajim.
(In the Name of Allaah, O Allaah! Bless Mohammad, his family and his followers. O Allaah! Forgive my sins, and open the doors of Your mercy for me. I seek refuge with Allaah, the Supreme, with His Noble Face, and with His Eternal Dominion from the accursed devil.)
If the Fard prayer is not going on then one should then pray two raka’ah tahiyyat al masjid before sitting as prescribed by the Prophet ﷺ: When one of you enters the masjid, let him not sit until he prays two raka’ahs. [Bukhari and Muslim].
Prayers offered in the Mosque of Madeenah bring a multiple reward, both obligatory and naafil prayers according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. The Prophet ﷺ said: “One prayer in this Mosque of mine is better than one thousand prayers offered anywhere else, except al-Masjid al-Haraam.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari & Muslim).
It is prescribed for the one who visits the Prophet’s Mosque to pray two rak’ahs in the Rawdah or whatever he wants of naafil prayers, because it is proven that there is virtue in doing so. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet ﷺ said: “The area between my house and my minbar is one of the gardens (riyaad, sing. rawdah) of Paradise, and my minbar is on my cistern (hawd)” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, & Muslim).
And it was narrated that Yazeed ibn Abi ‘Ubayd said: “I used to come with Salamah ibn al-Akwa’ and he would pray by the pillar which was by the mus-haf, i.e. in the Rawdah. I said, ‘O Abu Muslim, I see that you are keen to pray by this pillar!’ He said, ‘I saw that the Prophet ﷺ was keen to pray here.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 502; Muslim, 509.
Being keen to pray in al-Rawdah does not justify being aggressive towards people or pushing the weak aside, or stepping over their necks.
It is prescribed for men who are visiting the Prophet’s Mosque to visit the grave of the Prophet ﷺ and the graves of his two companions Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them), and to send salaams upon them and make du’aa’ for them.
The way in which the grave of the Prophet ﷺ is to be visited is that the visitor should come to the grave and face it and say “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Rasool-Allaah (Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allaah).” Then he should move about a yard to his right and say salaams to Abu Bakr by saying, “Al-salaamu ‘alayka ya Aba Bakr.” Then he should move a little further to his right, about a yard, and say salaams to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, by saying, ‘Al-salaamu alayka ya ‘Umar.”
It is prescribed for the visitor to Madeenah and for the one who lives there to go to the Mosque of Quba’ and pray there, following the example of the Prophet ﷺ and seeking the reward of ‘Umrah. It was narrated that Sahl ibn Haneef said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “Whoever goes out until he comes to this mosque – meaning the Mosque of Quba’ – and prays there, that will be equivalent to ‘Umrah.” (Narrated by Ahmad & al-Nasaa’i)
In al-Saheehayn it is narrated that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ used to go to the mosque of Quba’ every Saturday, walking or riding, and he would pray two rak’ahs there. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1191; Muslim, 1399
It is prescribed for men who are visiting Madeenah to visit the people buried in Baqee’ al-Gharqad and the martyrs of Uhud, to send salaams on them and to make du’aa’ for them. It was narrated that Buraydah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ used to teach them, when they went out to the graveyards, to say,
“Al-salaamu ‘alaykum ahl al-diyaar min al-mu’mineen wa’l-muslimeen, wa innaa in sha Allaah bikum laahiqoon. Nas’al Allaah lana wa lakum al-‘aafiyah.
(Peace be upon you, O dwellers of these abodes, believers and Muslims. We will, when Allaah wills, join you. We ask Allaah to grant salvation to us and you).”
Permission to visit graves is subject to the condition that no false words are spoken, the worst of which are shirk and kufr. It was narrated from Buraydah from his father that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “I used to forbid you to visit graves, but now whoever wants to visit them let him do so, but do not utter any falsehood.” (Narrated by al-Nasaa’i)
It was narrated that Abu Marthad al-Ghanawi said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ say, “Do not sit on graves or pray facing towards them.” Narrated by Muslim, 972.
And it was narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said, “All of the earth is a place of prayer apart from graveyards and bathrooms.” (Narrated by Ahmad & al-Tirmidhi)
O you who come to Madeenah, you are in a place which, after Makkah, is the best and noblest of all places, so respect it as it should be respected; honour its sanctity and holiness and observe the best etiquette therein. Know that Allaah has warned of the severest punishment for those who commit evil therein. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Madeenah is a Haram (sanctuary), so whoever commits evil therein or gives protection to an evildoer, the curse of Allaah, the angels and all of mankind may be upon him. Allaah will not accept any obligatory or naafil deed from him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari & Muslim)
So whoever commits any evil action or offers protection to any evildoer who seeks his help is exposing himself to a humiliating punishment and the wrath of the Lord of the Worlds.
Making Dua to him
Praying (making du’aa’) to the Prophet ﷺ or calling him, or seeking his help, including asking him (directly) to intercede on our behalf before Allaah. Rather, we turn to Allaah, begging of Him to grant the Prophet ﷺ permission to intercede on our behalf on the Day of Judgement.
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah and ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: When death was approaching the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ, he put a cloak over his face, and when he felt hot he removed it and said, “May Allaah’s curse be upon the Jews and Christians, for they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship” – warning against doing what they did. (Narrated by al-Bukhaari & Muslim).
Praying to Allaah at the Grave
Abu Ya’la and al-Haafiz al-Diya’ narrated in al-Mukhtaarah that ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (may Allaah be pleased with him) saw a man entering through a gap at the grave of the Prophet ﷺ, and making du’aa’. He told him not to do that and said, “Shall I not tell you a hadeeth that I heard from my father from my grandfather from the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ? ‘Do not take my grave as a place of festivity (which you visit repeatedly) and do not take your houses as graves. Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are.’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood)
Praying to Allaah at the grave, or believing that du’aa’ offered at the grave will be answered. This shouldn’t be done because it is something that may lead to shirk. If du’aa’s offered at graves or at the grave of the Prophet were better the Sahaba would have done it and the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ would have encouraged us to do that, because he did not leave anything that will bring us close to Paradise but he urged his ummah to do it.
Standing before the Grave in a posture of Prayer
Placing the right hand on top of the left over one’s chest or below it. This is not allowed, because this is a posture of worship which we are only permitted to do for Allaah.
Praying in First Row is Better than praying in the Rawdah
One also needs to pay attention to the fact that praying the fardh (obligatory) prayer in the first row is more meritorious than praying in the rawdhah. Therefore, if you can pray in the front rows it is better than praying in the raudhah for the fardh. The Prophet ﷺ said: The best of rows for the men are the front row. He also said: If the people knew what (reward) there is in the call and the first row, and there was no other way to settle the matter than drawing lots, they would draw lots for it. [Bukhari and Muslim]
Telling the Visitors to convey your Salam
Some of those who are unable to go to Madeenah send their salaams to the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ with some visitors, some of whom stand and convey these salaams. This is an innovated action that has been made up. Those who send salaams and those who convey them should refrain from doing so, because there is no need for that, as the Prophet ﷺ said, “Send blessings upon me for your greeting will reach me no matter where you are.”
And he ﷺ said: “Allaah has angels on earth who travel around conveying to me the salaams of my ummah.” (Narrated by Ahmad & al-Nasaa’i)
Repeatedly visiting his Grave
Repeatedly doing so and going there a great deal, such as visiting after every obligatory prayer, or every day after a specific prayer. This is going against the words of the Prophet ﷺ, “Do not take my grave as a place of festivity (which you visit repeatedly).”
Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about a stranger who comes to the grave of the Prophet ﷺ each day. He said, ‘That is not right,’ and quoted the hadeeth, ‘O Allaah, do not make my grave an idol that is worshipped.’”.
The companions of the Prophet ﷺ did not do so and they were more knowledgeable of this deen than those who followed them and they loved the Prophet ﷺ more than others.
Seeking Barakah from the Pillars or Walls or the likes
It is not permissible to seek blessing (barakah) from any part of the Prophet’s Mosque, such as the pillars, walls, doors, mihraab or minbar, by touching or kissing them. It is also not permitted to seek blessing from the Prophet’s hujrah (chamber) by touching it, kissing it, or wiping one’s clothes against it or to circumambulate it. It is narrated in a hadeeth that even the Black Stone of Kabah is not to be kissed seeking blessings rather it is done because it is Sunnah so how can these man made pillars which were made hundreds of years after the prophet benefit?
Do not visit other mosques to offer prayers there or seek blessings
For the visitor to Madeenah, it is not prescribed to visit any other mosques in the city apart from these two, the Mosque of the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ and the Mosque of Quba’. It is not prescribed for the visitor or anyone else to head for a particular spot, hoping for blessing or to worship Allaah in that place, when there is no evidence from the Qur’aan or Sunnah concerning visiting that place and no evidence that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) did that.
It is not prescribed to go to the places and mosques in which the Prophet ﷺ or the Sahaabah prayed in order to pray there or to worship Allaah by offering du’aa’s there etc., because the Prophet ﷺ did not enjoin that or encourage people to visit these places. It was narrated that al-Ma’roor ibn Suwayd (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: We went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, and we passed by a mosque on the way. The people hastened to pray there, and ‘Umar said, “What is the matter with them?” They said, “This is a mosque in which the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ prayed.” ‘Umar said, “O people, those who came before you were doomed because they followed such practices, until they established places of worship in such locations. If a time for prayer comes when you are there, then pray, and if it is not the time for prayer, then move on.” (Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf, 7550).
When ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab heard that there were people who came to the tree under which the Prophet ﷺ had received the bay’ah (oath of allegiance), he ordered that it be cut down. Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf, 7545.
We ask Allaah to guide us and help us to guide others, and to follow the Sunnah of the greatest of the Messengers.