Is a Second Jama’ah permissible ?
The issue of the second Jama’ah has indeed raised much contention amongst ulema of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah.
There are two positions;
- General Rule – impermissible (Shafaiee / Maliki)
- Specific Rule – Permissable (Hambali / Hanafi with certain exceptions)
The General Rule regarding the Second Jama’ah – Impermissable
The general rule is that it is a practice disliked by the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah for a number of reasons.
- In some of the schools of fiqh, there is no evidence (ahadith) to show as proof for the practice of a second Jama’ah, thus it is regarded as a bidah. (The exception to this is the Hambali school of fiqh, which does provide evidence.)
- The Ulema cite the ahadith of Tabarani where Rasulallah Sallallahu alayhi wasalam reached Madina after the congregational salah had been performed. No second jamaah was performed and Rasulallah Sallallahu alayi wasalam returned home to perform the salah. Thus the Hanafi school regard it as Makruh.
Abu Bakrah Radiallahu anhu narrated:
“Once Rasulallah Sallallahu alayhi wasalam came from the outskirts of Madina al-Munawwara,
and intended to offer Salat in the Masjid.
He noticed that people had already offered their prayer.
So he went home and performed his Salat in congregation with his family members.”
Mu’jam al-Kabir of Tabrani
authenticated by al-Haythami in Majma al-Zawaid
- The allowance of a second Jama’ah detracts from uniting the believers as one Jama’ah.
- The allowance and continued practice of a second Jama’ah would discourage believers from attending the main first Jama’ah
- There are many ahadith reflecting the compulsive nature of attending Salah in Jama’ah, in reference to the main Salah in Jama’ah
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) reports that
Rasulallah Sallallahu alayhi wasalam said:
“Verily I intended to order the Mu’azzin to say the Iqamah and order a man to lead the prayer,
I take a flame of fire to burn all those (including their houses)
who had not yet come out of their houses to perform Salat.”
Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 626
The Specific Rule regarding the Second Jama’ah -Permissable
This view is the view held by Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (Rh) and supported by evidence;
Narrated by Tirmidhi
“A person came to the Masjid after the Rasulallah Sallallahu alayhi wasalam had prayed.
He Sallallahu alayhi wasalam said:
“Who will volunteer to join him for prayer and receive a reward.
A person stood and performed Salat with him.”
Sunan Tirmidhi, 1/30
As regards the evidence for a second congregational prayer of two after the main congregational prayer;
One day the Rasulallah Sallallahu alayhi wasalam was sitting with his companions
when a man came in after the prayer had finished, and
He; Rasulallah Sallallahu alayhi wasalam said:
“Who will give charity to this man and pray with him?”
One of the people got up and prayed with the man.
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (220) and Tirmidhi with a Sahih Isnaad
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri Radiallahu Anhu narrated that
Rasulallah Sallallahu alayhi wasalam saw a man praying on his own and said:
“Why doesn’t a man perform an act of charity for him
pray with him?”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2652.
This hadith illustrates that it was a command to a person who has not prayed, to pray with the man who had just arrived, even though this had occurred after the Salah in Jama’ah (main congregational prayer)
Cautionary Circumstances under which Second Jama’ah may be performed.
- Where there is a limitation in space for all to attend the main congregational prayer or missed the Salah in Jama’ah and make a second Jama’ah (Hambali Fiqh), (This is recently seen in social distancing with the limitation in numbers as a Jama’ah)
- Where the Musjid is located at a thoroughfare and there are always Muslims traveling through this area, there is no permanent Imam or Muadhin (a Musallah – Jamaat Khana) (Hanafi Fiqh)
- Where it is not by ongoing arrangement to avoid the initial main Jama’ah, but circumstances have given reason to perform a second Jama’ah. This is also in the case of travelers who pass by from out of the locality who come to perform their Salah in Jama’ah. (Hanafi Fiqh)
- People of the locality may also come and offer their Salah in Jama’ah, as this is not in opposing the main Jama’ah, but rather they were not aware of others who offered their Salah. (Hanafi Fiqh)
These illustrate the exceptional circumstances, other than these the Salah in Jama’ah at the musjid is the default practice of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah regardless of the school of fiqh.
Abu Shurayh al-Khuza’i reported:
Rasulallah Sallallahu Alayhi wasalam,
came out to them one day and he said,
Do you not witness that there is no God but Allah and I am the messenger of Allah?”
They said yes.
RasulAllah Sallallahu alayhi wasalam said,
“Verily, this Quran is a rope.
One end is in the hand of Allah and the other end is in your hands.
Hold fast to it, for you will never be lead astray or ruined ever again.”
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Ibn Ḥibbān 122
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Alb
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