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There have been many requests from different parts of the country seeking guidance in regards to performing Jumu'ah in this critical situation, in a restricted environment. Jumu'ah prayers has its own salient features, and is more rewarding, has stricter regulations and the warnings for missing it are more severe in comparison to other obligatory prayers. The guidance of the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam in regards to jumma prayers is that all the people should gather in one place and offer prayers collectively, unlike other obligatory prayers. From amongst the many regulations and conditions for the validity of Jumu'ah, one is the requirement of a minimum number of permanent residents from the locality. The scholars have differed in regards to this minimum number, based on the evidence that they have come across. The scholars of the Shafi'i and the Hanbali schools of thought, as well as some other scholars, are of the opinion that the minimum requirement is 40 persons. Whereas the scholars from the Hanafi and Maliki schools of thought permit the conducting of Jumu'ah with less than 40 persons.
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The likes of Imam Subuki, the most prominent scholar of the Shafi'i school of thought, have mentioned that there is a consensus (Ijma’) of Scholars that conducting two Jumu'ahs in one Masjid is not permissible. According to verse 09:62 of the Holy Qur’an, engaging in business activities at the time of Jumu'ah is prohibited. If two Jumu'ahs are conducted in one mosque, the public would be led to a confusion as to when they should abstain from engaging in business activities.
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The conducting of two Jumu’ah prayers in one Masjid is not permissible according to the Sharee’ah and we are unaware of any basis for it in Islam. In actual fact, only one Jumu’ah should be conducted in a vicinity, and more than one Jumu’ah should not be conducted except under religious concessions; such as the Jumu’ah Masjid being too far for some of the attendees, constraint of space, or other reasons that serve as a justification for the establishment of the second Jumu’ah; in such circumstance a Jumu'ah could be conducted in another place that fulfils the conditions of establishing Jumu’ah.”
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In this manner, the followers of the Hanafi Mathhab will not have to leave the congregation, and will be able to pray behind the same Imam. Hence, the unity and harmony amongst the Muslims of London can be maintained.