موقع الشيخ عبد الحق التركماني - The Western Phenomenon of a Multitude of Masājid in Close Proximity to Each Other

/ 19 يونيو 2024

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The Western Phenomenon of a Multitude of Masājid in Close Proximity to Each Other

نشرت بواسطة : إدارة الموقع / 8 يونيو 2023 82

The Western Phenomenon of a Multitude of Masājid in Close Proximity to Each Other

 

All praise and thanks belong to Allāh. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allāh alone without any partners, the God of the earliest nations and the last. And I bear witness that Muḥammad, the trustworthy one, is His slave and messenger; may the salutations of Allāh be upon him, his family and all his companions.

As for what follows:

The noble brothers from Masjid al-Ghurabāh Islamic Centre in the town of Luton have written to me seeking my opinion and advice in regards to some of the brothers who disagreed with them over managerial matters, such that dispute and enmity occurred, driving the latter to desert the masjid and incite the authorities against the administration and resorting to the courts. Consequently, they have now begun working towards establishing a new masjid in the same town, in the same area, even though Masjid al-Ghurabāh can accommodate all of them.

This masjid (al-Ghurabāh) was established upon the Quran and Sunnah in 1992 and the brothers bought the building in 2001 fulfilling the most important condition of a masjid: that it must be an endowment for the sake of Allah, the Most High. And it is not on lease as is the case for most of the places of prayer in this country which are also called masājid, however, they are not masājid in the absolute sense. Due to this, the founders of Masjid al-Ghurabāh view that the brothers splitting from them, and their current endeavour to establish a new masjid in the same area, will lead to an increase in disunity and discord in the Muslim community, especially when considering their disagreements and enmity with the masjid they have split from.

 

I am faced with the request for an article in regards to this important topic because this problem has reoccurred and will continue to reoccur in European countries every time differences or discord occurs between brothers, so much so that many Muslims have indeed divided between small masājid in single neighbourhoods. They exert abundant efforts, spend great amounts of wealth and waste their lives and the Muslim community’s time and interests over disagreements and animosity.

Verily one of the most important reasons for this phenomenon is the non-existence of an authority which could regulate the building of masājid in these countries. Many of these buildings are registered with official bodies as charitable or social organisations. Then the founders of them publically declare them masājid and this method has led to the establishment of masājid for the smallest of reasons. In most cases it is over a personal reason – be it a dispute, vexation or a desire to be on top, leadership, or a materialistic reason based on working in a role in the masjid or the madrasah connected to it. This is an old disease in the people that surfaces every time its means are present or the opportunities for it are abundant.

The traveller Ibn Ḥawqal (d. 367/977) mentions in his book Ṣūrat al-Arḍ (Leiden edition, 1/120) that one of the conditions of the Muslims in Sicily was the multitude of masājid in some of its regions for no reason except what I have alluded to. He mentions that in the city of Palermo there were more than 200 masājid! He states:

I have not seen this number of masājid in any place or country among the larger countries that take up twice their area and I have not heard anyone professing this except what the people of Cordoba do when recalling that it has five hundred masājid. I do not know the reality of this in Cordoba but I am certain about Sicily as I have seen most of them. One day I was standing in it [Palermo] in the neighbourhood of the house of Abū Muḥammad ʿAbdul-Wāḥid b. Muḥammad, who is known as al-Qafṣī, the jurist and documenter, and I saw ten masājid from his masjid, the distance of a single arrow’s throw away. My eyes looked onto them and then towards another, and between the two was the width of only a single street. I asked about this and I was informed that the leaders of the people, due to their extreme pride, preferred that there be a masjid exclusive to them and that no one else would had a part of one except one household, their servants and perhaps those who associated with them as brothers, their houses bordering each other and the walls adjoining. Thus every one of them would make a masjid for himself so that the gathering in it would be for him and his own only.

In a total of ten of these masājid that I have mentioned, is a masjid in which Abū Muḥammad b. al-Qafṣī prays in. And between it and his son’s house – who used to study fiqh – is less than 40 footsteps. His son constructed a masjid next to his house and it extends from the first wall, it is brand new, but the doors are always closed. He appears at ṣalāh times, sitting in the passageway of his nearby house adjacent to the masjid. He does not pray in it and it is as if his desire in constructing it was so that it would be said: “The masjid of the jurist (faqih), the son of a jurist!” And so it happened; he has earned a great standing (in the community for himself) as well as a grave harm.

In this description of Ibn Ḥawqal is a clarification of the underlying reasons for the numerousness and abundance of masājid which includes inflexibility, stubbornness, egocentricity, pride and feelings of superiority.

The diversity of masājid in Britain, as well as their large number, is a good thing if it is spreading the Muslim community across the country in a controlled and deliberate manner. In this there are lots of benefits, the first and greatest being: establishing the remembrance of Allah I, elevating His words, calling to Islam and whatever benefits to the Muslim community follow on from this in terms of service in their religious and societal affairs. Similarly, there is great benefit in the multiplicity of masājid based on the country, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds of the Muslim communities in preserving the children of those communities by means of recruiting participants of their respective racial, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds in teaching, guiding and strengthening the social bonds between them, and in strengthening their identity and their common affiliation.

Our concern is with multiple masājid and their proximity to each other in one region without an apparent benefit but instead due to splitting in the religion into sects and groups, or due to enmity, hatred and differing about worldly matters – as is the case in this situation (in Luton). So there is no doubt that the multiplicity of masājid and their multitudes in this circumstance is a dispraised matter opposing the purpose of the sharia and the fatwas of prominent scholars.

The most important condition for building masājid, financially and morally, is that the intention is sincerely for the sake of Allah I, not due to ostentation or seeking reputation, nor for tangible or abstract worldly gains. Verily masājid are the houses of Allah so it is necessary that they are built with this intention and objective just as Allah, the Most High, said:

The Masājid are for Allāh alone so do not invoke anyone with Allāh. [Sūrah Jinn:18]

And He said, the Most High:

The Masājid of Allāh should only be maintained by those who believe in Allāh and the Last Day, establish the prayer, pay the zakat and fear none but Allāh, for it is expected that those will be of the [rightly] guided. [Sūrah at-Tawbah:18]

The intention is a secret between a Muslim and his Lord, no one can know it, so it is not permissible to accuse anyone in regards to their intention or goal. A maxim in the sharia states: “We judge by the apparent and Allah manages the secrets.” However, strong and obvious evidences point to the defects of intentions and goals. From them is the pursuit of these brothers in building a masjid in the same region, in the same location as the first masjid, only two kilometres away. This evidence gives reason to mistrust them because whoever wants to make the word of Allah I the highest and to serve the Muslims by building a new masjid, they search for a city or place that there is no masjid in. Or, the existing masjid is not sufficient for the people of that region, or it has a masjid that belongs to the followers of one of the misguided sects. As for when there is a masjid following the Sunnah in the same neighbourhood and it can accommodate the residents therein, then establishing another masjid near to it is not a righteous action, rather it is the cause of dispraised splitting, dissension and trouble. 

Another reason to mistrust them is that they live in the same neighbourhood, yet they want the congregation in their new masjid. And if they had built a masjid in a location far from them, it would not be possible for them to go to it for the five daily prayers. So it is clear from this that the essence of their intentions in building a masjid, is for themselves and not for the Muslims, and if this was not the case, then they would make a masjid in a location where there isn’t one nearby. 

 

Indeed building a masjid with these dispraised intentions falls under the generality of the hadith collected by Ibn Mājah (739), Abū Dāwūd (449) and An-Nāsāʿī (689) reported on the authority of Anas b. Mālik who said:

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The hour will not be established until the people compete with one another regarding the masājid.

 

This hadith – even if it refers to the decoration and exaggerated embellishments of the masājid in their construction – also includes, in its essence, building them without need or benefit as is alluded to in another version of this hadith collected by Abū Yaʿlā (2817), Ibn Khuzaimah (1321), aṭ-Ṭabarānī in al-Awsaṭ (7559) and al-Baghawī in Sharḥ as-Sunnah (466) from Ṣāliḥ b. Rustum, who said: Abū Qulābah al-Jarmī said: We walked one morning with Anas b. Mālik, may Allāh be pleased with him, to az-Zāwiyah (a place close to Basrah). We attended the morning ṣalāh and we passed by a masjid whereupon Anas said: “We could pray in this masjid”. So some of the people replied: “Let’s go to another masjid.” So Anas said: “Which masjid?” They replied: “A masjid which has just been built.” So Anas said:

Verily the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “There will come a time for my nation when they will compete with one another regarding masājid and they will not be filled except by a few people.

The wording of aṭ-Ṭabarānī is: “…they will compete with one another in multiplying the masājid.

There is disagreement as to the authenticity of this ḥadīth; however, it is correct to cite it in this situation. Imam al-Albānī authenticated the ḥadīth in Ṣaḥīḥ Sunan Abī Dāwūd (476) with the first wording in Abū Dāwūd and he said in Tamām al-Minnah (694) about the second wording according to Ibn Khuzaimah: “this wording is weak even though it is consistent with what is happening nowadays.”

Abū Ṭālib al-Makkī (d. 386) said in Qūt al-Qulūb (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyyah, 288/12005):

And they (the Companions) used to dislike many masājid in one district. It is reported that when Anas b. Mālik, may Allāh be pleased with him, entered Basra, he saw a masjid every few meters and he said: “What is this innovation? When the masājid are many, the ones who pray (in them) will be few.” I bear witness that there would be an entire tribe with only one masjid and the people of the tribes used to take it in turns in the one masjid in that neighbourhood. And they differed in which one they should pray in if two masjids were in one locality. Some said: in the oldest one. This is the opinion that Anas b. Mālik preferred as did some of the Companions. He said: “They (the Companions) used to bypass the newer masājid in favour of the older masājid.” Al-Ḥasan used to say: “One should pray in the one closest out of the two.”

The Ḥanbalī Jurist Abū Bakr b. Zaid al-Jarāʿī (d. 883) said in Tuḥfat al-Rākiʿ wa’s-Sājid bi Aḥkām al-Masājid (Kuwait: Ministry of Endowments, 2004, p. 366):

[Imam] Aḥmad [b. Ḥanbal] said: “A masjid is not built next to another masjid except for a need such as the first being limited in space or what is similar.” And Ṣāliḥ said: I said to my father [Imam Aḥmad]: “What is the recommended distance that should be between two masjids if they want to build a masjid next to one-another?” He said: “A masjid should not be built wanting to harm the masjid next to it, and if the people are too many such that one becomes constricted for them, then there is no problem if a second is built even if it is near to that one.” And in a narration from Muḥammad b. Mūsā, when it was asked: “Is a masjid built next to another masjid?” [Imam Aḥmad] said: “Masājid are not built so as to infringe upon one-another.” The narration confirms that it is not built for the purpose of harming. And if it (harm) is not intended but there is no need (for a second masjid), then the narration of Muhammad b. Mūsā (applies): It is not built. Abū-l ʿAbbās [Ibn Taymiyyah] favoured this view and added (about the second masjid) that its demolition is obligatory; he said in regards to what was built next to Jāmiʿ Banī Umayyah: “Some of them (the scholars) claimed that it is apparent from the narration of Ṣāliḥ that it (a second masjid) is built even without a need so long as harm is not intended.” But this is not the case. Verily Imam Aḥmad said: ‘If the people become many such that the space is constricted for them’, then no problem and Allah knows best.”

And a text of Shaykh al-Islām Abū-l ʿAbbās Ibn Taymiyyah reads:

(The construction of) a masjid is started next to another when there is a need for it and no harm is intended, but if harm is intended or there is no need, then it (the construction) is not initiated. This is one of the narrations from Aḥmad transmitted from him by Muḥammad b. Mūsā, and its demolition is obligatory. (Al-Ikhtiyarāt al-Fiqhiyyah included in al-Fatawa Al Kubra, 5/349)

Al-Hajjāwī said in al-Iqnāʿ (Beirut: Dār al-Ma’ʿrifah; 1/333): “It is haram to build a masjid next to another masjid except due to a need such as the limited space of the first or a similar reason.”

Al-Buhūtī said in Kashf al-Qināʿ ʿan al-Iqnāʿ (Riyadh: Ministry of Justice, 1429/2008; 5/427) – in explanation of al-Hajjāwī’s words –: “Such as fearing trouble in gathering with them in one masjid. Its apparent meaning is if harm is not intended (it would be allowed).” And the wording in al-Muntahā is: “The building of a masjid next to another masjid near to it, intending by it harm, is haram.”

These books: al-Iqnāʿ, Kashf al-Qināʿ and al-Muntahā are widely-regarded Ḥanbalī fiqh books.

Abū ʿAbdullāh al-Qurṭubī said in his tafsīr al-Jāmiʿ al-Aḥkām al-Qurʾān (Sūrah at-Tawbah: 107):

Our scholars said: “It is not permissible for a masjid to be built next to another masjid, its demolition is obligatory and its construction is prevented so that the people of the first masjid do not go away such that it remains empty. Unless it is a big district and one masjid is not sufficient for its people, in which case another is built.”

As-Suyūṭī (d. 911/1505) mentioned in his book al-Amr bi’l-Ittibāʿ wa’n-Nahī ʿan al-Ibtidāʿ (Saudi Arabia: Dār Ibn al-Qayyim, 1990; p. 300): “And from what is (considered innovative): the decoration of masājid, the beautification of maṣāḥif and numerousness of masājid in one district.”

Jamāl ad-Dīn al-Qāsimī (d. 1332/1914) transmitted in Iṣlāḥ al-Masājid (Beirut: Islamic Library, 1983; p. 96) the words of as-Suyūṭī and he added to it in clarification and explanation by saying:

And that is because of what it contains from splitting the congregation, breaking up the unity of those who pray, unravelling the bond of joining together in worship, the departure of the beauty of the abundance of worshippers, multiplying viewpoints, differing in opinions and opposing the wisdom of the legitimacy of congregations – namely: unity of voices in performing acts of worship and working towards beneficial things and services, as well as harming the old masjid or what resembles harm, love of fame and reputation, spending money in that which there is no need for.

Shaykh Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn (d. 1421/2001) said:

It is necessary that we know that it is not permissible to build a masjid and then another one next to it because this resembles Masjid Aḍ-Ḍirār, the one that Allāh I prohibited the Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه وسلم from standing in (for prayer). This was because the hypocrites built a masjid near to Masjid Qubā to divide the Muslims and to cause harm to them, so Allāh, the Blessed and Exalted, said:

And [there are] those [hypocrites] who took for themselves a masjid for causing harm and disbelief and division among the believers and as a station for whoever had warred against Allāh and His Messenger before. And they will surely swear, “We intended only the best.” And Allāh testifies that indeed they are liars. Do not stand [for prayer] within it – ever… [Sūrah at-Tawbah: 107-108]

Such are the ones who build a masjid when there are other masājid next to it. And if it is not kufr or haram, if Allah wills, and harm is not intended, there is a third intent and that is splitting the Muslims. So it is not permissible that they build this masjid and it is also not permissible for those responsible over the masājid to allow everyone who wants to build a masjid to build one. Rather it is obligatory to see if the region needs masājid due to their long distances between each other. Otherwise, the original masjid remains the only masjid. (Fatāwā Nūr ʿalā’d-Darb)

This is a selection of the words of the scholars in regards to this matter and we conclude with these points:

  1. That the numerousness of masājid in one district is disliked by the consensus of the scholars.
  2. That building a new masjid close to an old masjid where the Friday and congregational prayers are prayed without an urgent need or an apparent benefit is haram.
  3. The prohibition is more severe if the intent behind building the new masjid is to cause harm to the old masjid and to split up those who pray in it, especially if the reasons for splitting are due to a disagreement, enmity or quarrelling.
  4. That in the numerousness and closeness of masājid there is opposition to the goals of the sharia in building masājid as al-Qāsimī clarified in his speech.
  5. That building a new masjid next to an old masjid with the intention of harm and splitting between the Muslims is from the actions of the hypocrites, the ones who Allah dispraised in Sūrah at-Tawbah. And even if it is for other than the intention of harming and splitting, then it still contains a resemblance to the hypocrites and their characteristics.

Due to these points, it is obligatory for every Muslim to desire the face of Allah and the final abode. He should be vigilant of falling into discord or participating in it. He should not participate in building a new masjid in the same neighbourhood that has a masjid which follows the methodology of the Book and the Sunnah, whose doors are open and Friday and congregational prayers are established in it. This is because this action is not from a type of good thing or righteous action; instead it is a waste of effort, squandering of wealth and provocation of disunity and discord between the Muslims.

Also it is obligatory upon the students of knowledge and the du’at (proselytisers) to advise those brothers in opposition and to rebuke them and urge fellow Muslims not to work with them (in setting up a second masjid).

I ask Allah, the Exalted, that He safeguards us from trials and tribulations, what is hidden and what is apparent. That He shows us truth as truth and enables us to follow it and shows us falsehood as falsehood and enables us to avoid it. All praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of all things, and may salutations and peace be upon Muḥammad and all his family and Companions.

 

Written by Abū Maslamah, Abdul Haqq Turkmani

Leicester

Thursday 4th Dhul Hijjah 1444

Corresponding to 8th June 2023

 

 

Comments from Some of the Noble Shaykhs on the Article “The Western Phenomenon of a Multitude of Masājid in Close Proximity to Each Other” After it was Posted on a Forum

 

1. The Noble Shaykh, Ustādh and Doctor, ʿĀsim b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Qaryūtī, Ustādh in Ḥadīth at the Islamic University in Madinah al-Munawwarah, then in Imām Muḥammad b. Suʿūd Islamic University in Riyadh:

All praise and thanks belong to Allāh. May the salutations of Allah be upon His truthful Prophet. As for what follows:

I have examined what our brother, the noble Shaykh ʿAbd al-Haqq Turkmani, may Allāh grant us and him success in every good matter, has written regarding the issue of a multitude of masājid in close proximity to each other. To which I say: Indeed the spread of masājid and their numerousness is a good sign for this ummah, and it is among the things which encourages people to carry out the ṣalāh in the houses of Allāh, especially in regions which are entirely empty of masājid; it is more befitting to build them than in places like these than where masājid are found which suffice worshippers. Indeed from the significance of worshippers gathering in a single masjid is that it creates unity between them, and increases them in attachment. As for districts which are far from one another, and each district has a masjid so that its residents are not inconvenienced, then there is nothing to prevent this - on the condition that the building of these masājid are not extremely close to one another perchance that leads to splitting the Muslims. But if there are two masjids and one has a larger congregation than the other, then it is better to attend the larger congregation. This is what the esteemed Shaykh Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn, may Allāh have mercy on him, concluded because the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “The ṣalāh of a man with another man is more pure than his prayer alone. And his ṣalāh with two men is more pure than his prayer with one. And where there is more (people praying), then it is more beloved to Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic.” This was recorded by Abū Dāwūd and al-Nasāʿī and it is a ḥasan ḥadīth according to supporting narrations.

And what is obligatory to note is that if it is desired to build a masjid in any place, it is essential that this is for a necessity or a need in this location. And it is not a masjid which is desired to cause harm to another masjid or the Muslims. The scholars have stated the prohibition of building a masjid next to another masjid, or nearby it, with the intention of causing harm and rivalry due to it splitting the Muslims, causing divisions between them and rebelling. Indeed every masjid which is built in order to defy the Muslims, causing harm to them, or to show off and gain credit, is a masjid ḍirār (harmful), or at it takes the ruling of one. It is constructed just as masjid aḍ-ḍirār was constructed. The Most High states:

And [there are] those [hypocrites] who took for themselves a masjid for causing harm (ḍirār) and disbelief and division among the believers and as a station for whoever had warred against Allāh and His Messenger before. And they will surely swear, “We intended only the best.” And Allah testifies that indeed they are liars. Do not stand [for prayer] within it – ever. A masjid founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves; and Allah loves those who purify themselves. [Sūrah at-Tawbah: 107-108]

As for conducting several jumuʿah prayers or more in a single masjid in a land when there is a need for it, such as the expansiveness of the land and the large distance between its districts, or the far distance of the main masjid or its lack of space, then it is permissible to conduct several prayers because of this reason alone. This is what aṭ-Ṭaḥāwī, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Mufliḥ and others mentioned, may Allah have mercy on them all, and this concords with the maxims of the pure sharia and its principles.

Based on what has preceded, what our brother, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Haqq Turkmani, has written is in clear agreement to the position of the scholars. And I agree with him in what he has concluded and what he has advices our brothers in the West. May Allāh reward him with good, and all praise and thanks are for Allāh, the Lord of all things.

 

2. The Noble Shaykh, Doctor Bāsim Faiṣal al-Jawābirah, Ustādh in Ḥadīth in the Faculty of Sharia, in the Department of Uṣūl al-Dīn in Jordan University, Oman:

May Allāh reward the noble Shaykh ʿAbd al-Haqq for these pure words and various quotes which indicate the dislike of a multitude of masājid in a single land. And this causes hate and dislike between brothers who follow the same methodology. I beseech all the brothers to love one-another and distance themselves from differences, arguments and disunity. Allāh has commanded us to practise unity and love. The Most High states:

And hold firmly to the rope of Allāh all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allāh upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allāh make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. [Sūrah Āl ʿImrān: 103]

 

3. The noble Shaykh Ḥusain al-ʿAwāyishah, Jordan

May Allāh reward you noble Shaykh. The Most High and Perfect states:

And hold firmly to the rope of Allāh all together and do not become divided. [Sūrah Āl ʿImrān: 103]

The true and committed, pious believers hold firmly to the strong rope of Allāh – the pathway to success – and they fight against their lowly desires and create harmony for the purpose of spreading good and mercy between people. And Allāh has warned against differing with one-another when He, may His praises be magnified, stated:

…and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. [Sūrah al-Anfāl: 46]

 

4. The noble Shaykh, Doctor Ziyād Salīm al-ʿIbādī, Ustādh in Ḥadīth in the Faculty of Sharia, Jordan University, Oman:

May Allāh reward Shaykh ʿAbd al-Haqq for what he wrote as a warning of one who loves his brothers. How great is the need of our brothers in the West for harmony, mutual love and wariness of splitting and disagreement! And we recall as an example in this matter masjid aḍ-ḍirār (which caused harm). While it was apparently a house from the houses of Allāh, yet its assigned intention and condition for which it was built was the reason it was given this name in the Book of Allāh. And we recall from Islamic history that the city of the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم remained for years and years though its worshippers were many and they did not pray in congregation except in the masjid of the Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه وسلم . And the proximity of bodies leads to the unity of hearts. And the beginning of discord and arguments appears when the bodies distance from one-another.

…and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart. [Sūrah al-Anfāl: 46]

How great is the need of our brothers for harmony and selflessness and from staying away from the ego which creates egocentricity! And our differences over matters allow us to disagree but it does not necessitate that this causes us to argue and split. We ask Allāh to create harmony in the hearts and rectify all souls.

5. The noble Shaykh, Abū ʿUthmān Muḥammad Ḥusain Shaʿbān Ḥasan, a researcher and author of sharia sciences, a graduate from the Faculty of Daʿwah and Uṣūl al-Dīn, Jordan:

May Allāh reward you for your eagerness to unite the Muslim ranks on the statement of tawḥīd which is called out five times a day in the houses of Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic. The masjid gathers the people and it does not divide them, not like masjid aḍ-ḍirār. And Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allāh have mercy on him, has alluded to a subtle difference between the two masjids (Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 7/470). He said:

Allāh’s states:

A masjid founded on righteousness [Sūrah at-Tawbah: 108]

This [description] comprises the Prophet’s masjid and Masjid Qubāʾ, and it comprises every masjid which is founded on righteousness, not like masājid ḍirār. And due to this, the Salaf disliked ṣalāh in whatsoever resembled it and they preferred the old (masjid) over the new because the old one is less likely to have been built to cause harm, unlike the new one where it is feared this is the case. And the old age of a masjid is one of its good qualities. And due to this, Allāh said:

…then their place of sacrifice is at the ancient House. [Sūrah al-Ḥajj: 33]”

 

And he, may Allāh have mercy on him, said (Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 31/220-221):

The people gathering in one masjid is better than them dividing into two masjids. This is because gathering, whenever it increases in numbers, is better. This is due to the saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم : “The ṣalāh of a man with another man is more pure than his prayer alone. And his ṣalāh with two men is more pure than his prayer with one. And where there is more (people praying), then it is more beloved to Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic.”

And he, may Allāh have mercy on him, said (Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā, 31/255): “As for the few numbers of a community and their sufficing with one masjid, for example, they live around it, then it is not necessary to divide their unity in another masjid.”

6. The noble Shaykh, Doctor Mālik Ḥusain, member of the Teachers Council in the College of Islamic Sciences and the Arabic Language in Indonesia, a branch of Imām Muḥammad b. Suʿūd Islamic University in Riyadh:

May Allāh reward Shaykh ʿAbd al-Haqq Turkmani for this beautiful research paper in which it offers a cure for a phenomenon which has occurred and spread throughout the earth and its occurrence is not merely between Muslims, pay attention! No, it is between the sons of the Salafi manhaj as well! And this phenomenon has causes and motives and Shaykh ʿAbd al-Haqq has clarified them. And the advice in this place is that unity, harmony and the criticism of differing and splitting is from the objectives of Islam. Gathering in the masājid is among the reasons which will settle this matter and increase it in stability. So we ask Allāh the Most High that He unites the hearts upon His obedience, and He creates harmony between them. Indeed He is all-capable of doing so. And may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Prophet Muḥammad, his family and Companions.

 

7. The noble Shaykh, ʿAbd al-Mālik al-Ramaḍānī al-Jazāʾirī:

Allāh has blessed me with the opportunity to read what our brother, the researcher, the one enabled by Allāh, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Haqq Turkmani, has written under the title “The Western Phenomenon of a Multitude of Masājid in Close Proximity to Each Other.” And I have found it to be very beneficial and sincere. And I, for quite some time, have noticed this (phenomenon) and I have alerted people to it during my speech which I gave at the recent Luton conference. I recalled to the attendees the statement of the Messenger of Allāh صلى الله عليه وسلم : “It is to my liking that the prayer of Muslims should be united (in congregation), so much so that I intended to send people to the houses to announce the time of prayer; and I also resolved that I should order people to stand at (the tops of) the forts and announce the time of the prayer for the Muslims...” This was recorded by Abū Dāwūd and al-Ḥākim. Shaykh al-Albānī said it is ṣaḥīḥ.

Your brother, ʿAbd al-Mālik al-Ramaḍānī.

 

8. The noble Shaykh, Walīd Saif al-Naṣr

May Allāh [Shaykh ʿAbd al-Haqq] for this pure and blessed research paper. Allāh has praised His sacred House with seniority and called it bait al-ʿatīq (the Ancient House); He praised it for being ancient and old. And He has recorded for the worshipper therein a tremendous reward in relation to the house which was built after it by 40 years, i.e. Masjid al-Aqṣā. For the [worshipper] at the first [i.e. Masjid al-Ḥaram] is 100,00, and for the [worshipper] at the second [i.e. Masjid al-Aqṣā] is 250 prayers worth (of reward). Due to this, the Salaf would ask about a masjid, is it old or new? If it was old, they would pray in it. And if it was new, they would bypass it and not pray in it. This was related by Mujāhid and others from the Salaf.

The noble Shaykh, ʿAbd al-Haqq has mentioned of texts and confirmed harms – and it has afflicted hearts for real –, so may Allāh bless his endeavours and the efforts of our brothers. As such, I commend his words and the words of other scholars, and I forbid the construction of a masjid close to the masjid of the brothers. And I advise them to gather, altogether, in a single masjid, and it is the first one, together, in harmony. And the preservation of the unity of the Muslims is one of the foundations of Ahl al-Sunnah wa ‘l-Jamāʿah, and one of their signs. And the brothers should hold to this principle, for if this door opens, it will split the Muslims living in one area, and dangers will take place, and we would resemble the hypocrites who built a masjid to cause harm and division between the believers! And Allāh the Most High states:

…and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart. [Al-Anfāl: 46]

And Allāh states:

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakat and obey Allāh and His Messenger. Those - Allāh will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allāh is Exalted in Might and Wise. [Sūrah at-Tawbah: 71]

May Allāh have mercy on us and you all and make us among those who love for His sake, who exert their efforts for His sake, those who will stand on platforms made of light on the Day of Judgement, and may He gather us and you all with the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his Companions. And all praise and thanks are for Allāh, the Lord of all things.

 

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