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:
In his response to your question, the eminent Muslim scholar, Dr. `Abdel-Fattah Idrees, Professor of Comparative Jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, states,
Islamic Law is characterized by its practicality that takes people’s concerns into account and draws laws according to the necessity. It does not overlook people’s immediate needs and compelling exigency. I
slam is not oblivious to the exigencies of life, to their magnitude, nor to human weakness and man’s capacity to face them.
Given this general legal principle, the scholars agree that the Friday Prayer can be performed in the same mosque twice if there is a need, such as overcrowding and a great number of Prayer attendants.
If the mosque cannot hold such numbers and there are no other mosques nearby, then performing Friday Prayer for a second time for the people who cannot attend the first one is permissible. This is a practical necessity.
If there is an empty space outside the mosque that can be used for Prayer or there are alternatives that allow all Muslims to pray at the same time, it will be better. If not, then there is no restriction in performing the prayer twice.
It is preferable, however, that each Friday Prayer has its own Imam. If this is not possible, then it is acceptable to have the same Imam for the two Prayers. His first Prayer will be obligatory while the second will be supererogatory.
Some of the Companions used to do the same. They used to attend the Prayer with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and then leave to their people to lead them in Prayer.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.