We live in a small to medium town in the US. We have had a mosque here but the mosque hasn't been run properly and has been taken over by the followers of a very unreasonable scholar from Saudi who makes tabdi' of people all the time and is very harsh. The mosque leadership thus is obsessed with its sectarian dawah at the cost of the rest of the community. About 3 years ago they brought an imam to reinforce their dawah, and it became worse. They have done very little community development, use the minbar to condemn laypeople, Muslim personalities and groups while the community has and is drifting away from the mosque. They harshly denounce many practices as bid'ah even though they were differed upon by the salaf. They accuse and label people with the worse attributes possible. And, thus they don't want to work with other scholars and duaat in the country who can provide us with valuable help.
Some of us have populated the mosque all these years (6 years) and tried talking to the leadership many times. Since there was no permanent imam for a couple of years we were able to make slight improvements to try to help the community. But, after the latest imam we decided to move on and open another mosque with the support of the community.
We consulted a scholar also and started raising the money. The effort has been going on for about 2.5 years and we have raised enough money from all across the US and now have found a location too and have kept the community updated. However, then someone said that in a smaller town there can't be another mosque in which Friday prayers can be done unless there are necessary circumstances. We believe our situation would necessitate another mosque especially since the current mosque's leadership once had been normal but was eventually taken over by this group. Please provide some guidance.
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad, is His slave and Messenger.
If rectifying the situation of this mosque is not possible and there is no way to bring Muslims together and foster their unity except by establishing another mosque in which Friday prayers would be held, then we believe that there is nothing wrong with that.
The Muslim scholars held different opinions regarding the permissibility of holding multiple Friday prayers in the same town. The Hanafi scholars held that it is absolutely permissible with no exceptions. This was also one of the opinions narrated on the authority of Imam Ahmad. On the other hand, the majority of the scholars held that it is impermissible.
We believe that there is nothing wrong with opting for the opinion of the Hanafi scholars to realize an outweighing benefit, when there is a need, and if it is not possible to rectify the situation of this mosque. If it can be rectified, then it is better to remain there and not establish another mosque.
Allah Knows best.
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