It is categorically prohibited by the consensus of classic Islamic scholarship:
Imam Qalqashandi in his book Subhl al-Asha says, "It is forbidden to appoint two Imams at the same time".
Ibn Hazm, of the zahiri school of thought, in his book al-Muhalla says, "It is permitted to have only one Imam in the whole world."
Imam Sharani in his book al-Mizan says, "It is forbidden for the Muslims to have in the whole world and at the same time two Imams whether in agreement or discord."
Imam Juzayri says in his voluminous work, al-fiqh Ala Madhabi al-Arba'a, "The Imams of the four schools of thought agree that the imama is an obligation. It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Imams in the world whether in agreement or discord."
Imam Mawardi says in his his book al-Ahkam al-Sultanyia, "It is not allowed for the Muslim nation to have two Imams at one time, but a group has deviated and allowed it."
Imam Nawawi has also discussed this, "The scholars have agreed that it is not allowed to give the contract (of the pledge) in the same period of time even if Dar al-Islam spread (extensively) or not."
Imam Haramain said in his book al-Irshaad, "Our scholars have said that it is not allowed to have the contract (of allegiance) with two people in one area and their is an Ijma on this." He also says, "if the distance between the two Imams is separated and the area between them is enormous then there is a possibility to this position."
Imam Nawawi however goes on to say, "this is a corrupt position against the (agreement) of the salaf and khalaf and the apparent wordings of the ahadith on this topic."
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