Visiting the Prophet's Masjid and greeting the Messenger and his Companions

Q 1: I wish to visit Masjid Al-Rasul (the Mosque of the Prophet, peace be upon him) in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, how should I greet the Messenger of Allah? Is it obligatory to visit his Masjid?

A: Visiting the Masjid of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) is not obligatory but if you wish to go on a journey to Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah in order to offer Salah (Prayer) in the Masjid of the Prophet, this is desirable and it is Sunnah (supererogatory act of worship). When you enter the Masjid begin with offering Salah. Then, go to the Prophet's grave and say, "May Allah's Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and His Mercy and Blessings! May Allah send mercy upon you and upon your family and companions!" You are required then to supplicate to Allah often to send prayers on the Prophet (peace be upon him) according to what is authentically reported from him, Invoke blessings on me, for your blessings reach me wherever you are. Then, greet Abu Bakr and `Umar and supplicate to Allah to be pleased with them. You should not wipe yourself with the grave or say supplications by it. Leave the grave and supplicate to Allah wherever you are whether in the Masjid or elsewhere. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: No journey should be made except to three Masjids (mosques): Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah), this Masjid of mine (the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah), and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem).” Related by Imam Ahmad, (Part No. 9; Page No. 118)  Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa'y. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, and companions!