When Does a Person Praying Behind an Imaam Start to Give Salaam? After the First or Second Tasleem?
by The Albaani Blog
Questioner: When giving salaam at the end of the prayer, is it allowed for me to give salaam behind the Imaam to the right and then to the left or do I have to wait until he’s finished giving salaam on both sides [before I start]?
Al-Albaani: This is a good question. You shouldn’t wait for his second salaam, because one exits the prayer through the first, i.e., the first salaam [to the right] is the one that is the rukn out of the two, the second one [to the left] is a Sunnah, if he does it, you do it, and if he doesn’t you don’t and along with him you are content with that first salaam.
What the people do nowadays in terms of waiting for the Imaam until they hear him finish the second salaam and then they follow him by doing the first and second tasleem, this goes against the most correct opinion in this issue.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 328.