Repeating the Friday prayer at the same mosque
Due to the conditions of Muslims living in Switzerland, is it permissible to repeat the Friday prayer at the same mosque for lack of space? This would take place from the time of the call for Friday prayer until the call for 'Asr [midafternoon] prayer.
It is known in Islamic law that the purpose of holding the Friday prayer is to manifest the attribute of unity among Muslims. For this reason, the majority of scholars have stipulated that the Friday prayer should neither be preceded nor held concurrently with another Friday prayer in the same city except if the latter is so big that it is difficult for people to gather in the same place. In such an instance, it is permissible to hold more than one Friday prayer depending on the need.
The Shafi'is: There are two opinions in the Shafi'i school on this issue. The dominant opinion states the permissibility of holding several prayers according to the need. It was also said that it is impermissible even for a need. Diverging from the dominant opinion of their school by taking into account the opinion maintaining impermissibility, the majority of Shafi'i scholars recommended that a person who prays the Friday prayer in a place where other Friday prayers are held due to necessity and does not know that the prayer he prayed preceded the others, to repeat his prayer as a Noon prayer as a precautionary measure. This is to remove himself from the controversy.
The Hanafis: The dominant opinion of the Hanafi school states the permissibility of performing the Friday prayer in several locations in the same city. Imam al-Sarkhasi mentioned this as the sound opinion of Abu Hanifa's school.
From the above, it is concluded that:
• According to the majority of scholars, one of the conditions for the validity of the Friday prayer is that it should not to be preceded or held concurrently with another Friday prayer in the same city except for a necessity.
• It is permissible to hold several Friday prayers due to a necessity such as lack of space or difficulty of gathering in the same place.
• Some scholars have maintained the absolute permissibility of holding several Friday prayers in the same city even in the absence of a necessity. The prayer is to be performed in those mosques designated by authorities for Friday prayers.
In analogy to the above, it is permissible to hold several Friday prayers at the same mosque, with a different imam and congregation due to the following reasons:
• Lack of space.
• Unavailability of another mosque in the city.
• Some Muslims do not have more right than others to perform the Friday prayer.
• Necessity renders prohibited things permissible and necessity is measured by its extent.
Based on the above and in reference to the question, it is permissible to repeat the Friday prayer at the same mosque at its prescribed time. Multiple Friday prayers must be performed only according to the extent of necessity due to Muslims' needs in such countries.
Allah the Almighty knows best.