Is it preferable for a musallee to perform his Nafl and Sunnah Salaah in the Masjid boundaries or outside the Masjid boundary, in the court yard?
If the Musallee is able to pray the Sunnah and the Nafl at his home, that would be the best as it comes in a Hadith: “the best Salaah of a person is that which is performed at home, except for Fardh Salaah.” However, if he is already in the Masjid and the Salaah has not commenced yet, then he can perform his pre-Fardh Sunnah wherever he wants . If when he arrives at the Masjid, the Fardh Salaah of any time besides Fajr Salaah has commenced, then he should immediately join the Imaam.
Yes, if he arrives for Fajr Salaah and the Salaah has already commenced, he is allowed to first pray the two Sunnah of Fajr before joining the Imaam. In this latter case, he should not perform these two Sunnah within the boundary of the Masjid but rather outside the boundary in the courtyard or any other similar place such as behind the Masjid door that leads into the boundary. If there is not enough room to pray outside the Masjid boundary, then he should pray behind the pillars within the Masjid boundary or a place where he can obscure or conceal his presence .
If it is the post-Fardh Sunnah Salaah, he is allowed to perform it close to the place where he had performed his Fardh Salaah but (preferably) by moving a few steps ahead or behind the spot where he performed his Fardh Salaah. If he does not fear indolence/laziness when going to perform his post-Sunnah and Nafl at home, then he should pray it at home .
However, we are living in an era where if a person walks out after Fardh Salat without performing his Sunnah, people tend to jump to conclusions and have negative thoughts about him (such as that “this person does not even perform his Sunnah Salaah”). To avoid people developing such negative thoughts about him, it would be advisable to perform his Sunnah after the Fardh Salaah in the Masjid and then proceed home to perform other Nafl Salaah such as Awwaabeen for instance. Due to this factor, it is better to perform the Sunnah after Fardh Salaah in the Masjid to avert any type of belittlement and criticism that people may direct towards him.
Checked and Approved By:
Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.
عليه عن زيد بن ثابت ان النبي ﷺ صلُّوا أَيُّها النَّاسُ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ، فَإنَّ أفضلَ الصَّلاةِ صلاةُ المَرْءِ في بَيْتِهِ إِلاَّ المكْتُوبَةَ
.ثُمَّ هَذَا كُلُّهُ إذَا كَانَ الْإِمَامُ فِي الصَّلَاةِ، أَمَّا قَبْلَ الشُّرُوعِ فَيَأْتِي بِهَا فِي أَيِّ مَوْضِعٍ شَاءَ كَمَا فِي شَرْحِ الْمُنْيَةِ (حاشية ابن عابدين ج4 ص404)
قَوْلُهُ عِنْدَ بَابِ الْمَسْجِدِ) أَيْ خَارِجَ الْمَسْجِدِ كَمَا صَرَّحَ بِهِ الْقُهُسْتَانِيُّ. وَقَالَ فِي الْعِنَايَةِ لِأَنَّهُ لَوْ صَلَّاهَا فِي الْمَسْجِدِ كَانَ مُتَنَفِّلًا فِيهِ عِنْدَ اشْتِغَالِ الْإِمَامِ بِالْفَرِيضَةِ وَهُوَ مَكْرُوهٌ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ عَلَى بَابِ الْمَسْجِدِ مَوْضِعٌ لِلصَّلَاةِ يُصَلِّيهَا فِي الْمَسْجِدِ خَلْفَ سَارِيَةٍ مِنْ سِوَارِي الْمَسْجِدِ، وَأَشَدُّهَا كَرَاهَةً أَنْ يُصَلِّيَهَا مُخَالِطًا لِلصَّفِّ مُخَالِفًا لِلْجَمَاعَةِ وَاَلَّذِي يَلِي ذَلِكَ خَلْفَ الصَّفِّ مِنْ غَيْرِ حَائِلٍ اهـ وَمِثْلُهُ فِي النِّهَايَةِ وَالْمِعْرَاجِ.
(حاشية ابن عابدين ج4 ص403)