Questioner: Is it permissible for one to enter the Masjid (mosque) and go straight to the position of the Imaam to observe Tahiyyat al-Masjid (two raka’aat prayer observed to greet the Mosque)?
Dr Sharof: Is it permissible or not for one to enter the Masjid (mosque) and go straight to the position of the Imaam to observe Tahiyyat al-Masjid? It is not permissible; it is not appropriate. This is because if you do so, it is possible that the Imaam misinterprets your stance, and the one who enters the Masjid (after you) may also have that misinterpretation. While standing there (at the Imaam’s position), some people may enter the Masjid thinking that the prayer had started and as such they may form a congregation behind you thinking that you are standing at that position because you’re the only one praying the obligatory prayer. If the Imaam comes in and discovers that the congregation has been formed behind you he may become terrified. This can result to mayhem; this is called al-Iftiyaat (treason against the religion). This will cause a great confusion which you may not be able to contain. For this reason, we should stay at the Saff (rows in the mosque) and pray our Nawaafil (supererogatory prayer). That is it.
[SOURCE: EXPLANATION OF BAABU SOLAATUL JUMU’AH OF BULUUGHUL MUROOM (TAPE 1); DATE: 2-4-2013; TIME OF THE TRANSCRIBED QUESTION AND ANSWER, 1:10:29]
Translated by Aboo Aaishah Al Odeomeey