Difference Between Masjid and Musalla
At work, we have a designated area for offering the prayer where we offer the Zhuhr (Noon) and `Asr (Afternoon) prayers. Once, there was a dispute between some of our colleagues because somebody walked in and sat down without offering two rak`ahs of Tahiyat Al-Masjid (greeting the mosque). Then, somebody else asked him to get up and offer the two rak`ahs of greeting the mosque. He said, “This is not a Masjid, so I do not have to offer them”. So, what is the ruling of offering Tahiyat Al-Masjid at the musalla? What is the difference between masjid and musalla?
Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymeen, the late Saudi scholar, once was asked the same question and his answer was as foolows:
The entire earth is considered a masjid in the general meaning of the word. However the specific meaning for masjid is a place purposely built for prayers to be held at all times. A masjid is a place specifically built for prayer. It can be built by stone, mud, or cement. Even if the place is designated to be a masjid and it isn’t complete, but intended to be a masjid then it’s a masjid.
The musalla, on the other hand, is a place that a person conducts his prayers at sometimes. This place is not considered a masjid. He only prays there when the prayer comes in (and he can’t make it to the masjid).”
It should be noted that the rulings for masjid do not apply to musalla even if they have been endowed as places for offering prayers. This is because the place surrounding a masjid is part of it while private properties are usually built over a musalla.
Responding to this question, Dr. Muhammad Salah mentions the difference between masjid and musalla. Then, he clarifies the ruling of offering the two rak`ahs of greeting the mosque at musalla.
Source: Iqra Youtube Channel.