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Last Updated: 2011/01/26
Summary of question
It has been twenty years that we are offering Friday prayers. Some say that since the distance between our Friday prayer and another that has been going on for 30 years is less than required. Please note that there are two routes to our Friday prayer; one is conventionally used and the other is five kilometers but no one uses it. Considering this, what is our duty?
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I have a question regarding Friday prayers. We have been offering Friday prayers for the last 15 to 20 years but it was always controversial, because some people say that the distance of this place is not enough from a place where the same has been offered for more than 30 years. We are measuring road which is usually used by people and is considered as a conventional way because local traffic (buses) run through this road, but there is another one which is connecting the two places and is only 5 kms but people do not use this way because buses don't run through this road. What is our responsibility? Should we continue with our Friday prayers or stop? What are the rulings for this type of scenario from the viewpoints of different maraje’, because some people may question that they are not followers of the Supreme Leader.
Concise answer

The office of the Grand Ayatullah Khamenei:

The required distance between two Friday prayers is one legal farsakh and the criterion isn't a straight line between the two points, rather, it is the conventional route people take to come and go between the two points. [In the case of there being two conventional routes], if one of the routes is shorter and one is longer, according to obligatory precaution, the shorter one is to be counted.

The office of the Grand Ayatullah Sistani:

In the mentioned case, the second Friday prayer is void, unless the first is lacking in some conditions of validity.

The office of the Grand Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi:

The distance between two Friday prayers shouldn’t be less than one farsakh, and in the case of two Friday prayers being offered in less than that distance, the first will be valid and the second void and the criterion is the route used by most people.

The office of the Grand Ayatullah Safi Golpaygani:

In my humble opinion, during the occultation of the twelfth imam, the Friday prayer doesn’t replace the Dhuhr prayer and it is necessary that one who has offered the Friday prayer to also pray Dhuhr prayer, nevertheless, offering Friday prayers is permissible, and if the distance between two places using the conventional route is over one farsakh, holding Friday prayers in both is permissible.

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