Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: According to the School of Imam Malik, is one’s Jumu’ah valid if prayed in a rented space as opposed to a Masjid?
Conditions of a Mosque for Friday prayers
According to the Maliki school, one of the conditions for the Friday Prayer (jumu’ah) to be valid is that the building be owned and designated as a Mosque. The building also has to be equivalent to the dominant living structures of an area (Khalil, Mukhtasar).
Examples of Prayer places not sufficient for Friday Prayers
Thus, a rented space would not fulfill the condition of being a valid place to hold Friday Prayers according to the Maliki school. Similarly, a building not designated as a Mosque as an endowment until the Day of Judgment is not sufficient to hold Jumu’ah in. Lastly, a building such as a portable structure in an area where people have brick houses would not be sufficient to pray Jumu’ah in.
The Friday prayer is a integral part of maintaining community cohesion. Therefore, every community needs to facilitate the prayer and community members must attend. If one is in a community where the mosque does not fulfill the conditions according to the Maliki school, those following the Maliki opinion must strive not to make the issue an issue that causes division within the community.
I personally advise Muslims in prison not to leave the Friday Prayer if they are Malikis and to perform the prayer according to the Hanafi school of thought. This is because the Friday Prayer for Muslims in prison is especially essential to identity, inviting others to Islam and community cohesion.
A person following the Maliki opinion may choose to attend Friday Prayers that do not fulfill the conditions according to their school, and then they can make up four units of Dhuhr prayer privately without making it obvious. A Maliki may also choose to follow the valid opinion of another school, such as the Hanafis or Shafi’is that would allow for a Friday Prayer to be valid in a rented space.
And Allah knows best.