Praise be to Allah.
It is proven in the Sunnah that on Friday there is an hour of response, during which no Muslim happens to ask Allah for good but He will give it to him. The scholars differed as to when this hour is, and there are more than forty views, the soundest of which are two. The first view is that it is from the time when the imam sits down until the end of the prayer, and the second is that it is after ‘Asr. The latter is the more correct of the two views.
The most likely time is the last hour of the day on Friday, because of the reports narrated by Abu Dawood (1048) from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdillah, from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), that he said: “Friday is twelve [hours]. There is no Muslim who asks anything of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, but Allah will grant it to him, so seek it out in the last hour after ‘Asr.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Abu Dawood (1046) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam said: I know which hour it is. Abu Hurayrah said: I said to him: Then tell me when it is. ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam said: It is the last hour on Friday. I said: How can it be the last hour on Friday, when the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No Muslim happens to pray at that time…”, and at that time no one prays? ‘Abdullah ibn Salaam said: Didn’t the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “Whoever sits, waiting for the time of prayer, is in a state of prayer until he prays”? I said: Yes indeed. He said: That is what it is.
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Sa‘eed ibn Mansoor narrated, with his isnad, that Abu Salamah said: Some of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came together and discussed the hour (of response) on Friday, and when they parted they all agreed that it is the last hour of Friday." (Fath al-Baari 8/302-303).
See also the answer to question no. 82609 .
The prayer to greet the mosque (tahiyyat al-masjid) is prescribed at any time, even at times when prayer is otherwise disallowed, because it is a prayer that is done for a reason, so it is prescribed when that reason is there.
See the answer to question no. 306 .
So if the Muslim enters the mosque at any time after ‘Asr on Friday, there is nothing wrong with him praying tahiyyat al-masjid; in fact, this is prescribed in his case. But it is not prescribed for him to get up and offer a general supererogatory prayer, because at that time prayer is disallowed.
Al-Bukhaari (935) and Muslim (852) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) mentioned Friday and said: “On it there is an hour when, if a Muslim happens to stand and pray at that time, asking Allah, may He be exalted, for something, He will give it to him.” And he gestured with his hand to indicate how short that time is.
What is meant by the words translated here as “stand and pray” is that he is sitting in the mosque, waiting for the prayer, remembering Allah and calling upon Him, because the one who sits in the mosque waiting for the prayer is in a state of prayer.
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Al-Qaadi said: The early generations differed concerning the meaning of the phrase “stand and pray.” Some of them said that what is meant by prayer is offering supplication (du‘aa’) and what is meant by standing is persisting in prayer and focusing on it. End quote.
Something similar is mentioned in Fath al-Baari (2/416) and Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh (3/1012).
What is meant by seeking the hour of response is not that a person should be hard on himself, staying up all night and spending the entire day in offering supplication, for in addition to being hard and difficult, that is not Sunnah.
It is not Sunnah to spend the entire night in praying and offering supplication; rather one may pray qiyaam and sleep.
It is also not prescribed to single out the night before Friday for praying qiyaam, to the exclusion of all other nights, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not single out the night of Friday for praying qiyaam and do not single out the day of Friday for fasting, unless that coincides with a fast that one habitually observes.” Narrated by Muslim (1144).
This indicates that seeking out the hour of response is not to be done in such ways.
But if a Muslim strives, by sitting in the mosque after Fajr prayer, for as long as Allah wills, then he goes early to Jumu‘ah prayer, at the first hour thereof, until he completes the prayer with the imam, then he stays in the mosque from ‘Asr prayer until the sun sets on Friday, then his staying there will have coincided with the hoped-for hour, in sha Allah, and that there is the hope that Allah will not deprive him of its blessing.
And Allah knows best.