Q&A (Fatwa)

#252: Ruling of Two Congregations in a Single Masjid at the Same Time


” As salaam ‘alaekum warahmatullah. I happen to witness a 2 solatul maghrib being observed after the main jama’at. I entered upon Tasleem of Imam, I pronounced the iqomoh and started solah. One person joined me having confirmed it’s maghrib. Knowingly or maybe unknowingly, another solat commenced simultaneously. May I please ask, is it proper and is the solat of both valid?”


Wa alaykum Salām Warahmatullāh Wabarakātuh


On the matter of two Congregations of Jamā’ah in the same Masjid at the same time, the majority of the Ulamā have declared it a Makrūh.

This is for three or more reasons

1. It goes against the spirit of Islām which obligated unity and congregation

2. It causes distractions in the Masjid and possibly confusions

3. It brings about hatred and enmity in the Ummah.

Now, if the two Congregations were established without knowledge of the later about the former, then there is no blame on both parties.

If however it was intentional, then there is a sin on the establisher of that congregation if he intended by it to sow enmity or disunity in the ranks of the Muslims by so doing.

Another Situation: What if the second congregation came in and they intend to observe another Salāt different from the Salāt that is being observed by the first congregation?

Response: it is still not permissible for them to establish the second congregation.

This is among the innovations that people have innovated into Islām.

We see this is Travellers’ Mosques so often, and in Masājid during Ramadān when a people come into the Masjid to observe Salātu Al-‘Ishā while the Tarāwīh is already on.

What is expected of such persons is to join the first congregation but with an intention to observe whatever Salāt they intended.

This is because of the numerous Ahādith that have been reported that implies the permissibility of the follower behind an Imām having a different intention with that of the Imām.

An-Nawawī – rahimahullāh – mentioned in the Majmū’ that this is the position upheld by ‘Atā, Tāwūs, Al-‘Awzā’ī, Ahmad, Abū Thawr, Sulayman Ibn Harb, Ibn Al-Mundhir, Dāwud Adh-Dhāhirī, and the Stallions of the Shāfi’ī Madh’hab.

While some of the Ulamā such as Hasan Al-Basrī, Mālik, and Yahya Ibn Sa’īd differed with them, their position is rendered weak by virtue of the Ahādith that proves its permissibility.

Of them is the Hadīth that was recorded by Imām Al-Bukhārī and Imām Muslim from Jābir Ibn ‘Abdillah – radiyallāhu anhu – that Mu’ādh Ibn Jabal – radiyallāhu ‘anhu – used to observe Salātu Al-‘Ishā with the Rasūl – salallāhu alayhi wasallam – in Madīnah and then return to his people and observe with them the same Salāt.

In the narration of Īmān Ash-Shāfi’ī – rahimahullāh – he added:

“It served as a Tatawwu’ to him but was for them the Maktūbah of Ishā”.

This categorically shows the permissibility of that.

Haven said that, it is necessary to state also that among the Ulamā are those that hold that if the observers if Ishā come to the Masjid while the Tarāwīh is going on, it is better they observe their Salāt in a seperate congregation outside the Masjid and not inside it. But, as we have stated, this position is weak.

Allāh’ s guidance is sought.

None the less, none of the Ulamā have stated that the Salāt of such people, the second congregation was imvalid.

This is because observing the Salāt in a single congregation is not among the Conditions for the acceptance of Salāt.

And Allāh knows best

Bārakallāhu fīkum


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