The Ruling on Leaving the nearby Mosque for another Mosque on Friday

Q: O Eminent Shaykh, we inform you that we go, some people and I, on Friday, to pray the Jumu`ah prayer in a congregational mosque located in a neighboring village, even though we have a congregational mosque with someone who gives the sermon. So is it obligatory that a person prays in the congregational mosque in his village, or that he prays the Jumu`ah prayer in any congregational mosque? Wassalaamu `alaikum.

A: There is no problem that the Muslim prays in any congregational mosque, especially if the congregational mosque that he goes to, the sermon there is finer and more beneficial, or that the prayer there is more tranquil, or the congregation is greater – there is no problem if he left the mosque near him due to a valid, legislated reason, and likewise if he were to pray in the mosque near to him then there is no harm, and all praise is for Allaah.

However if he left the mosque that was closest due to a valid, legislated reason, whether that was due to their having many mistakes, or the one who gave the sermon in the other mosque was more beneficial, or his prayer was more complete, or due to other reasons then there is no problem with that.

But if him leaving the mosque closer to him brought about hardship for his family by his leaving them, or caused his family to accuse him of not being pleased with the imam, or caused his family to think that he accuses the imam of something, then it is befitting he takes precautionary measures to repel those fears.

He should pray with this one occasionally, and with the other one occasionally so that there are no doubts or suspicions, as long as the imam of the mosque that is near to him is good, and there is no ambiguity regarding him. He prays there with them sometimes – so that they do not think he has bad thoughts regarding the imam, or that such an imam is not befitting.

The intent is – if his prayer in a mosque further away does not result in any harm – then there is no problem in that.

Especially if him leaving off a particular mosque could result in it’s imam having doubts, and causes him to think that he is not worthy of being the imam, then he should pray in that mosque sometimes so that these doubts are removed.

[Fataawaa Noorun `Alaa ad-Darb of Shaykh ibn Baz rahimahullaah; vol. 13, pg. 143, online: http://www.alifta.net/fatawa/fatawaDetails.aspx?languagename=ar&View=Page&PageID=3456&PageNo=1&BookID=5 ]

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