Ruling on the salutation given by the Imam upon ascending the pulpit on Friday

Q 1: Some Imams (those who lead congregational Prayer) who deliver Friday Khutbah (sermon) come to the Masjid (mosque) and offer Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid (two-unit Prayer to salute the mosque) in one of the corners of the Masjid. Then, they start reciting the Qur'an and when it is the time of the Khutbah, they ascend the Minbar (pulpit). Is this act compatible with Shari`ah (Islamic law)?

A 1: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to enter the Masjid for the Jumu`ah (Friday) Prayer when its time was due and he would ascend the Minbar without offering Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid or other Prayers. If an Imam enters the Masjid ahead of the Jumu`ah Prayer time and waits, there is nothing wrong with this. But he should perform Tahiyyat-ul-Masjid before sitting down. Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in the context of the Prophet's manner in going out to people on Friday to deliver the Khutbah and lead the Prayer: "He would await until people assemble. Then, he would come out lonely to them without anyone with him shouting to people. He never wore a pallium, a scarf or black clothing. When he entered the Masjid, he would greet people, and when he ascended the Minbar he would turn to them with his face and salute them..." This is part of what Ibn Al-Qayyim mentioned in his book Zad Al-Ma`ad, vol. 1, p. 429.Thus, among the characteristics of Friday is that a Ma'mum (person being led by an Imam in Prayer) should occupy himself with Prayer, Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) and reciting the Qur'an till the Imam comes out. One of the opinions regarding the 'hour of answering supplication' (in Friday) is that it starts when the Imam sits down on the Minbar until the Prayer is done. (Part No. 7; Page No. 109) This opinion is attributed to Al-Nawawy and other scholars according to an authentic Hadith narrated by Abu Musa Al-Ash`ary (may Allah be pleased with him) in this concern.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.