Ruling Regarding Holding Two Friday Prayers Due to Government COVID19 Restrictions – Shaykh Saalih al-Luhaydaan
Bismillaah ar-Rahmaan ar-Raheem
Shaykh Saalih al-Luhaydaan (hafidahullah), Member of the Committee of Senior Scholars of Saudi and Former Chief Council of the Supreme Judicial Court was asked:
Oh Honourable Shaykh, this questioner from Britain says, alhamdulillaah we have a Salafi masjid in the city of Manchester, “Salafi Centre of Manchester” Alhamdulillaah Allah has blessed us in being able to call to Tawheed and the Correct Methodology.
Our Shaykh, this Masjid normally accommodates approximately 400 people for the prayers, and sometimes for the Jumu’ah prayer it is full. However currently, due to the Corona Virus – Allah protect us and you from it – the government has placed conditions in this country restricting mixing in the masjid, it is therefore a must that we have at least a one metre gap between the people praying, this means – especially for the Jumu’ah prayer – that we can only accommodate 100 people.
The question oh Shaykh, is it permissible to establish two Jumu’ah prayers instead of one, so that we can accommodate more people, with the knowledge oh Shaykh, and this is important, that if we did not do this then indeed the people will feel compelled, especially the common folk, to go and pray in the masaajid of the people of innovation, and in this is great danger for their religion, especially with the fact that this country is full of evil misguided groups and their misguiding doubts – Allah’s aid is sought.
And if this is permissible, is it better that we establish the two Jumu’ah prayers with one khateeb or two different khateebs?Please give us fatwa (on this issue), Allah reward you with good.
The Shaykh (Allah preserve him) answered this question saying,
Yes this is permissible in necessity (like the current situation with Covid 19 and the Government restrictions). However it should be done by two separate khateebs, the first Jumu’ah prayer with their imam and khateeb, shortening the length of the khutbah and prayer Jumu’ah, then the other congregation with another imam and khateeb, shortening the Khutbah likewise and praying the Jumu’ah prayer.
The shaykh also said, it is not allowed for anyone in the first congregation to repeat with the second. Allah knows best.
Question posed: Yawmul Ithnayn 15 Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah 1441 AH 4.00pm Saudi Time: Monday 6th July 2020 2.00pm UK Time