Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
If two (or more) people come to the Masjid after the congregational prayers have ended, is it permissible for them to start another congregation or should they pray individually?
In the Name of God, Most Kind Most Merciful
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question.
In regards to repeating a congregational prayer in the same masjid, there are differing views among the Islamic jurists as follows:
According to the Ḥanafī school it is permissible provided there is no formal adhān and iqāmah for the second congregation.
According to the Mālikī school it would be reprehensible if the masjid has a designated imam. No congregational prayer may be held before the prayer he leads or after it.
According to the Shāfi’ī school, it would be permissible provided the designated imam leads the first prayer and gives permission for the second one to be held.
And finally according to the Ḥanbalī school it would be permissible in general.
In this matter, we prefer the opinion of the great jurist, Imām Abū Yūsuf al-Ḥanafī that repeating a congregational prayer in a community masjid is permissible if it is observed in a manner that it does not resemble the appearance of the first main congregational prayer. This can be achieved by having the imam stand away from the place where the first imam stood while leading the prayer. If on the other hand the congregational prayer is repeated in a ‘road masjid’ i.e. a masjid that has been constructed at a service station for travellers to observe their prayers while passing by and does not have a designated imam and or a known congregation then it is absolutely permissible. (Rad al Mukhtār)
Abū Sa’īd (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated, “A man came [to the masjid] when God’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) had just finished the prayer. The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) asked [his congregation], “Which of you will carry out a [spiritual] trade with this person?”. Subsequently, a man stood up and prayed with him [thus entitling him to the reward of observing the prayer in congregation]. – (Tirmidhī)
And Allāh Knows Best