Second Jama'at in Masjid

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 9 Jamad-ul-Awwal 1424, 27 June 2004

Q.) I have read your statement that it is makrooh to make second jama'at in the masjid and the reason you gave that Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, had left the Masjid when he came late out of the town. My point is that he did not say anything and he might have left for some other reasons. There is a hadith in which Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam said that if you are two, establish jama'at. In the whole of Saudi Arabia this practice is going on. In Canada also all Saudis who are here always establish second jama'at on the same musalla. Please comment with some solid hadith. [Ahsan Hameed]

A.) Before answering your questions, I think it would be necessary to clarify our standpoint on the matter. If Salat has been performed in a masjid which has an imam, then it is makrooh tahrimi to make a second jama'at of the same Salat inside the masjid proper. It is permissible to perform it in jama'at outside the masjid.

As for a musalla or a masjid that does not have an Imam, then it is permissible to perform more than one jama'at in such a masjid.

This is the standpoint of Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik and Imam Shafi, as well as the majority of the fuqaha from the salaf (rahimahullah). Imam Ahmed gives permission for it, thus your quoting the practice of the Saudis has no bearing on the issue, as the majority of them are either Hambalis (followers of Imam Ahmed) or Wahabis, who are also proponents of its permissibility.

The reason for this karahat (dislike) is not the narration we have mentioned; the reason is that the permissibility of second jama'ats leads to a decrease in the number of people coming for the first jama'at, while one of the objectives of jama'at is to gather the Muslims together at one time.

In addition to this great harm, by granting permission for second jama'ats the door is opened for discord and disunity to set in, as any group that has slight differences with the Imam on any issue will then begin performing their own jama'at in the masjid.

One of the main reasons mentioned by Allah for Masjid-ud-dirar being built was to cause disunity between the Muslims, thus our pious predecessors (the Sahaba, Tabieen and A'immah), on the basis of what they learnt from Nabi Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam made sure they closed this door on those who want to break the unity of the Muslims. Thus we find that the practice of the Sahaba, Radi-Allahu anhum, was that if they came to the masjid after the Salat was over, they would perform Salat individually. (Ibn Abi Shaibah Vol.2 Pg.113)

This was the practice of the salaf, thus we find it narrated from many of them that the second jama'at is makrooh, thus their practice was to perform Salat individually. Amongst those from which this is narrated is:

1. Qasim ibn Muhammad , the grandson of Sayyidna Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhuma, and the great faqih of Madinah. (Ibn Abi Shaibah Vol.2 Pg.113)
2.Hasan Basri (Ibid)
3.Abu Qilabah (Ibid)
4.Hafs ibn Sulaiman (Abdul Razaaq Vol.2 Pg.293)
5. Sufyaan Thawri (Ibid)
6. Abdul Razzaaq San'aani (Ibid)
7. Ibrahim Nakha'i (Abdul Razaaq Vol.2 Pg.292, Ibn Abi Shaibah Vol.2 Pg.112)

The practice of the Sahaba and the fatwa of all these luminaries is sufficient to establish karahat.

Now the narration about Nabi Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam also points to the same, thus we have used it as well. Our opinion regarding our beloved Nabi Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam is that he would not have left the great reward of performing Salat with jama'at in Masjid-un Nabawi, unless of course it was makrooh. Now when all the above proofs concur with this interpretation of the hadith, it is specified that this is its meaning.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best