Friday Prayer Times Change

Last updated: March 15th, 2024

Dear Champions Community,

Assalamu Alaikum

Inshaa Allah, starting from Friday, March 15th (1st Friday in Ramadan), we are changing the Friday Prayers schedule at Masjid AlSalam (Champions) to be unified year-around as follows:

1st Prayer (Early Jummah):  Khutba begins at 12:15 PM, Prayer at 12:40 PM  (held in the Gym)
2nd Prayer (Main Jummah):  Khutba begins at 01:35 PM, Prayer at 02:00 PM
3rd Prayer (Late Jummah):  Khutba begins at 03:15 PM, Prayer at 03:30 PM

Reason for this change:

  • Masjid AlSalam held Friday prayers at 1:30 PM when we only had a single prayer. The rapid growth of the community required us to introduce a second and then a third prayer to meet the increasing demand.
  • All three prayer sessions were scheduled between 1:30 PM and 3:40 PM, maintaining consistency throughout the year.
  • On average, we host 1,600 worshippers for the first Friday Prayer, 800 for the second, and 400 for the third.
  • We found that a minimum of 45 minutes was needed to clear the parking lot entirely before accommodating worshippers for the 2.30 PM prayer. Currently, we have only 25 minutes to do this, which aggravates parking challenges for both our community and local law enforcement on Old Louetta.
  • Traffic concerns heighten during Ramadan, holidays, or in the event of a funeral prayer, often increasing the congestion.
  • Overparking in neighborhoods around Masjid AlSalam inconveniences our neighbors due to limited street access, difficulty finding parking spaces for residents and people coming to the prayer, increased traffic congestion, and potential safety concerns due to obstructed views.

The issues above required the administration to investigate alternatives to the status quo.

How we arrived at the proposal:

As part of Masjid AlSalam’s journey toward becoming a Center of Excellence (CoE) and enhancing the Quality of Experience (QoE) for our community, we conducted a survey to gauge community feedback on alternate Friday prayer timings which provide the necessary 45 minutes buffer between prayers.  Approximately 75% of the survey responses were in favor of the new times.

These alternate times were brought to Dr. Salah Elsawy, the Chair of the Religious and Ulema Committee (ISGH) and the Secretary-General for the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA), on the permissibility of starting the first Friday prayer before the normal time for Dhuhr due to necessity.

These proposed timings are endorsed by:

  • Dr. Salah Elsawy: Head of ISGH Fatwa Council
    • The fatwa by Dr. Salah Elsawy on the permissibility of early Friday prayers (prior to Zuhr) due to necessity, is available for review at THIS LINK.
    • Community members who choose not to follow this fatwa due to potential conflicts with their school of thought are welcome to attend the main Friday prayer at 1:35 PM.
  • Dr. Mamdouh Mahmoud: Resident Scholar of ISGH
  • Dr. Danish Hussein: Chair of ISGH Khutba Committee
  • Dr. Abdelhamid Moursy: Associate Director (AD) of Masjid Alsalam
  • Br. Reza Bacchus: Education Secretary of Masjid Alsalam
  • Sh. Zakir Hussein: Member of the Champions Khutba Committee

Furthermore, there are other non-ISGH Islamic Centers nationwide that currently hold Friday prayers before Dhuhr time.

ISGH Board of Directors (Shura) approved these new timings at their last February meeting.

The administration realizes that these changes may inconvenience some members of the community but the intention was to make things easier for the vast majority.  We will observe the attendance patterns with these updated prayer times and if the findings require that these changes be re-evaluated then we will InshaAllah do so.  Our goal remains to ensure that we provide the best possible service to our community at large.

May Allah SWT put barakah in this decision and overlook our shortcomings.  Ameen.

Jazak Allah Khairun.

Your Masjid AlSalam Team for 2024