Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
How do we invoke blessings and peace (ṣalāt and salām) to the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) at his tomb in Masjid Al-Nabawī? Are there some etiquette to be followed?
It is an emphasized recommended practice (mustaḥab muʾakkadah) to visit the Prophet’s mosque according to mainstream classical and contemporary Islamic jurists. Invoking peace and blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) is also a duty upon all believers. When one visits Madīnah, there is a profound opportunity to express the ṣalawāt at the tomb of the Messenger (peace and blessings upon him).
“O you who have believed, ask [Allāh to confer] blessings upon Muḥammad and ask [Allāh to grant him] peace.” (Qurʾān 33:56)
Imam Nawawī (may Allāh’s mercy be with him) writes, “Visiting the Prophet’s tomb is one of the best righteous acts, successful efforts and a superior deed.” (Al-Adhkār)
Here below are the etiquettes and proper protocol to visit and make invocations to the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) at Masjid Al-Nabawī;
Make the intention to primarily perform ṣalāh (ritual prayers) in the Prophet’s mosque, thereafter to invoke peace and blessings upon Muḥammad.
When traveling to Madīnah, develop a feeling in the heart, of obedience to Allāh and reverence of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him).
When on route, excessively recite words of ṣalawāt upon the Prophet.
Upon reaching Dhū Al-Ḥulayfah on the outskirts of Madīnah, if possible, offer two units of prayer just as the Prophet did upon entering the city.
When seeing the first trees and or structures of the city, once again, intensify your ṣalawāt.
Take a bath and wear your best clothes. In the least, make wuḍū (ablution).
Enter the Prophet’s mosque with your right foot and recite the duʿāʾ (supplication) of entry to the mosque.
Perform two optional units of prayer for entering and also gratitude to Allāh, if the time is appropriate.
Make duʿāʾ after the two units, as desired.
Proceed to the grave of the Prophet. Stand with utmost respect and lower your gaze with a deep understanding that you are in the presence of the Prophet’s tomb.
Recite the various words of (ṣalāt and salām). One of the shortest ones is the following “Al-Salām Alayka Yā Rasūl Allāh!”
Move to the right and greet Abū Bakr and ʿOmar (may Allāh be pleased with them) with the various wordings and known recitations. A short greeting to both is, “Assalāmu Alayka Yā Khalīfata Rasūl Lillāh” and “Assalāmu Alayka Yā Amīr Al-Muminīn”
Make duʿāʾ to Allāh facing the qiblah for all your needs, wasīlah (prophetic agency) and shafāʿah (prophetic intercession) for your family and friends.
The last thing when leaving Madīnah should be your presence and greetings to the Prophet at his tomb.
(See: Al-Ikhtiyār, Al-Adhkār, Al-Majmū’, Hadiyat Al-Sālik, Wafā Al-Wafā, Ashal Al-Madārik, Manāsik Al-Nawawī)
And Allāh Knows Best