Masjid in Islam has a significant role in Muslims’ life, not only as a place of worship, but also as a center for the administration of public affairs of the whole Muslim community. The establishment of masjids is thus a great act of drawing near to Allah for which Muslims have been promised great rewards. Therefore, Muslims hasten to set up masjids wherever they may be seeking the reward from Allah and as a manifestation of their identity and a stronghold of their religious beliefs.
However, the setting up of a masjid should be purely for the sake of Allah, aimed to serve the local community, not to compete with others or to propagate sectarian agendas, which will eventually lead to division and schism among Muslims. Here, it is the adherence to the Sunnah that distinguishes goodwill from evil intents.
Answering this question, Dr. Main Khalid Al-Qudah, member of the Permanent Fatwa Committee, Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America (AMJA), said,
It is difficult to judge a particular case like the one in question without first conducting a full investigation. Generally speaking, if the establishment of the new masjid was a response to the increasing growth of the Muslim community, then this is something commendable, even if the two masjids are close to each other.
But if it is established without a true need for it and it is clear to the whole community that the new masjid was just built to compete with the existing one though the first one follows the Sunnah and fulfills the needs of the local community, then the new one should be abandoned.