Noise Jihad : Azaan on loudspeaker should be stopped.

In a recent important Judgement, Allahabad High Court ordered that Azaan on loundspeakers should be stopped. The Court said that although Azaan is an essential part of Muslim religion, loudspeaker is not. This opens a way for the govt to abolish this noise jihad.

इस पोस्ट को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें |

Noise Jihad
Azaan was traditionally given from minarets of mosques.

Noise pollution due to Azaan

This issue is not new at all. In medieval times Sant Kabir expressed himself in these words:-

कंकरपत्थर जोरि के मस्जिद लई बनाय,

ता चढ़ि मुल्ला बांग दे का बहरा भया खुदाय|”

Translation:-
“By joining pebbles and stones, you have constructed this mosque,
The Mulla climbs on it and cries like a rooster, as if Khuda has become deaf!”

Readers will recall that Sonu Nigam was in the center of a controversy a few years ago when he mentioned the problems due to Azaan. He was viciously targeted by the Islamists and finally had to seek apology amidst threat to his life.

Recent incident Karishma Bhonsale is also worth mentioning. She objected to loud noise of azaan which was pointed towards her house and was threatened by the local Muslims and the MLA. She posted the videos on twitter. OpIndia has covered her story here.

What is Azaan?

The Azaan is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. People living near mosques hear it 5 times a day.

This call to prayer is meant for only Muslims and asks them to congregate in the mosque.

Interestingly, this year Kuwait changed the words of Azaan. In place of usual hayya ‘ala as-salah, meaning “come to prayer”, to as-salatu fi buyutikum meaning “pray in your homes” or ala sallu fi rihalikum meaning “pray where you are” was used to discourage people from coming to mosques during COVID. In India, this change was not made and scores of videos of Muslims attending mosques came to light.

Anyways, the point is that Azaan itself is not immutable and can be changed according to circumstances.

Spritual activity or noise jihad?

The defenders of use of loudspeakers may say that it is a religious or spritual matter and govt should keep out of it. My contention is that it is a form of Jihad and a dominance technique by Muslims. Here are my reasons:-

  • Jihad is a war for dominance over Kafirs/non-Muslims. Azaan is the instrument to further this cause. It can be seen in weekly Friday stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Azaan proclaims the validity of only Allah and final Prophet-hood of Muhammad. This is not an acceptable doctrine to 80% of Indian population. Indeed, it delegitimizes and is insulting to other religions. Still non-Muslims are made to hear it 5 times a day.
  • Any protest against Azaan is met violently. From Azaan to threats of violence to actual violence for religion make a continuum of Jihad.

Why noise jihad should be banned?

  • It might be fine in a 100% Muslim country. In a majority Hindu country like India, Azaan is not concerned with 80% of the population.
  • In the times of Muhammad, there were no loudspeakers. Thus, its use is not mandatory for practice of religion.
  • There are precedents of such banning in other countries. In many other countries, there are sound limits. So, there is no ground for international censure.
  • Other religious groups have also started installing loudspeakers {however these are mostly used much less}. This has led to an increase in noise pollution.
  • Loudspeakers of mosques have been used for riots all over India, organizing massacres in Kashmir and for preaching anti-national messages.
  • The noise jihad produces noise pollution, which has a negative impact on students, on sick and old people living nearby, on sleeping babies etc.
  • Now there are alternatives available which can be used by those who wish to join prayers in Mosques.

Alternatives to loudspeakers in religious places

It should be clear until now, that the loudspeakers should be banned from all religious places, not only mosques. I have focused on mosques because it is the most difficult community to deal with in this situation. The attempts to reform it have invariably hit a wall of conservatism and hala lies. Read my post on Halal Lies below.

Halal lies have impeded reforms in Islam.

There are following alternatives, which can remove the need of loudspeakers :-

  • Use alarm clocks to keep abreast of the prayer timings. These were not avilable during Muhammad’s time but are now widely available and are part of all mobile phones.
  • There are many apps which will not only tell you time for prayers, but also let you hear azaan delivered personally to you.
  • Making a live stream is very easy these days. Mosques can use this feature to involve people in prayer.

These will save non-Muslims the hassle of listening to azaan, while ensuring that Muslims continue to be benefitted from it.

Indeed, Muezzins can climb up the minerets and shout at top of their voice to call Muslims living nearby. This is the acceptable as it is an ancient practice and will not trouble people living a few houses away.

Conclusion

It is important that loudspeakers on religious places are banned. The biggest challenge will come from Muslims. In this context, the judgement of Allahabad High Court is welcome as it gives a solid legal basis for this.

It is incumbent on UP govt to follow these orders and Central govt should also take a cue from this and take efforts to make this a national ban.

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Pawan
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6 Replies to “Noise Jihad : Azaan on loudspeaker should be stopped.”

  1. I think ur north Indian. In south, during ayappa period or other such times, early morning at 5 am laxmi aarti starts. But no one complains. People adjust. We Christian’s have to bear both sounds. Whom should we ask not to disturb?

    1. Vellington ji,
      I am an Indian from northern part of the country.
      If you read the article closely, you will see that I have mentioned that loudspeakers should not be used in religious places at all. If religion is personal, its public display should be avoided.
      Thanks for reading.
      Regards,
      Pawan

  2. Completely support Pawanji’s blog & accept that Azaan blast is a social nuisance & a noise Jihaad used by radical mozzies to show their supremacy over 83% Bharateeyas. It’s a curse on Students & Shift workers who cannot have a peaceful sleep. It’s time Azaan on loud speakers is banned.🙏🙏🙏

    1. Vasu ji,
      Thank you for reading and for the comment. Please share the post as much as possible.
      Regards,
      Pawan

  3. I totally agree with your article. Living in Virar, Maharashtra nearby a big temple . Arti on loudspeaker + Bhaktigeet early morning totally frustrating.And the powercuts of Virar multiplies the sounds. Not against any religion. Love all of them .
    The suggestions u gave were also noteworthy. But it should be applied for everyone if applied. Equally treated. We r all one, right my Friend. Because religion should b more of a personal thing.

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