Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Holding a second jama`ah (congregational) Prayer in a mosque which has a regular Imam is subject to debate among the Muslim scholars, though the opinion which says that there is nothing wrong in holding a second jama`ah in the mosque carries more weight, particularly if there are valid reasons for holding a second jama`ah in the same mosque.
Answering your question, Al-Azhar House of Fatwa, states:
This issue is controversial among jurists. The Hanafi, Maliki, and Shafi`i scholars maintain that it is makruh (disliked) to hold a second jama`ah in the mosque that has a regular Imam.
The reason behind this is that it might cause dissension and hatred among people, besides some evil people may take advantage of this to delay the first jama`ah so that they could pray with an Imam who agrees with their own sect or innovated way of religion.
To prevent such dissension and evil schemes, the afore-mentioned jurists hold that it is not permitted to hold a second jama`ah in the same mosque where there is a regular Imam.
However, Imam Ahmad, Ishaq, Ibn Al-Mundhir and – according to At-Tirmidhi – some Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and their successors maintain that there is nothing wrong in people holding a second jama`ah if the regular scheduled jama`ah has already been over for the same Prayer.
They base their argument on the hadith reported by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad and Abu Dawud in his Sunan and At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) who entered a mosque after the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had prayed, then the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Who would like to give this man a charity by praying with him?” Then a man (Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him) came up and prayed with him.
Reviewing these views, we conclude that the second opinion is the most correct.
As for the mosque which does not have a regular Imam, it is held by consensus that it is not disliked to have a second jama`ah.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.