Why are masjids (mosques) in India allowed to place loud speakers?

Explanation of the question:

We see that many Masjids are located at prime residential areas. Even near Parks and Hospitals. Why is Government allowing such sound levels? Namaz is played 5 times a day. There has to to be restriction on location and where it should be played. What is the real intention of Muslims to place Loud Speakers? Is it to proclaim or propagandize their Gods? Countries like United States, dont allow such noise pollution. Would Muslim Majority Countries (Pakistan,Saudi Arabia,Qatar etc)have allowed other religions to do this on loud speaker everyday ? Is this an intentional historic intention  to propagandize Islam by making all the non believers listen to their prayers?

For perspective.
365 days * 5 times * 5 minutes / 60 minutes / 24 hours
= 6.33 days of prayer per year !

I have collected the best voted answers.

1) Answer by Syed Zeeshan Hussain:

As a guy who once performed namaz 5 times a day here is what i have got to say:The Indian Government is ineffective in passing laws for the general good if it is against a particular community(we still have reservation for God’s sake)…thanks to their vote bank politics..and they are not going to take a stand against a popular practice of a religious minority that has almost 15% of their vote shares…any one who does can say bye bye to these 15% guys permanently with almost 100% certainty while it won’t gather them much support from the remaining 85%…in fact a lot of 85% will go against as well on the grounds that the Government is harassing the minorities…i believe that answers the why…More

2) Answer by Tesjasvita Apte:

I see a lot of people challenging the OP’s premise while explaining the need for loudspeakers. Now guys, I care a hang about political correctness, it is NOISE POLLUTION. The reason Mosque is questioned is because a mosque blares loudspeaker 5 times every day. Same is not the case with temples. Nevertheless, Hindus too indulge in group noise pollution few times every year like the Ganesh Festival etc. and that too deserves a ban. More

3) Answer by Abhimanyu Ghosh:

It is pretty obvious that you have a staggering amount of bias going into this question. At any rate, I’ll try to present a rational answer for others to understand this. More

4) Answer by Shaleen Sharma:

Well you are absolutely right that a law must be imposed against the ‘namaaz’ played on loudspeakers in mosques in India. The 5 times without fail routine play can be intolerable to anyone and in fact it is your fundamental right to be intolerant to such a routine ill-act!  Following is a government page  describing various laws against noise pollution in India- More

5) Answer by Sarosh Mohammed:

There have already been quite a few answers to this question. Some have ridiculed the OP and some have justified his claims. Some have used rationality to argue while some have made quite some insensitive comments. But I am surprised very few have addressed the question details so let me do that before proceeding to the actual question. More

6) Answer by Adnan Zafer:

Come on man! Firstly it’s just the azzan and not the prayer that is recited on loudspeaker. It hardly lasts for 3 minutes or so. And you have to admit that the only time at which you would expect one to get disturbed is in the morning at 5 am. More so it’s not like they play some hard metal that it’s so annoying to you? Trust me I have to concentrate hard to listen to the azaan, unless obviously your house is ridiculously close to the mosque. More

Advertisements

Should Laud speakers be allowed in India for Azaan (Adhan)?

Answer 1 by Syed Zeeshan Hussain:

As a guy who once performed namaz 5 times a day here is what i have got to say:The Indian Government is ineffective in passing laws for the general good if it is against a particular community(we still have reservation for God’s sake)…thanks to their vote bank politics..and they are not going to take a stand against a popular practice of a religious minority that has almost 15% of their vote shares…any one who does can say bye bye to these 15% guys permanently with almost 100% certainty while it won’t gather them much support from the remaining 85%…in fact a lot of 85% will go against as well on the grounds that the Government is harassing the minorities…i believe that answers the why…

now lets see if it is morally or ethically the right thing to do…and the answer is… Yes,the Government should ban the use of loudspeakers in mosques….now it goes without saying that the Government should also ban the use of loudspeakers during any other religious function of any other group(i.e the bhajan and kirtans) and the use of high volume speakers during marriage functions(that play jimmy-jimmy and babul ki duayein incessantly)….but the question is about loudspeakers in mosques and i will stick to that…and i also believe that the loudspeaker problem in mosques is a bit more persistent(given that marriages and bhajans dont happen daily,not to be taken as i support them)…

first lets take the time into consideration…though the loudspeakers do one azaan(call for prayer) for barely 2 or 3 minutes,the timing is quite bad..the fazr(morning) azaan is at 5 a.m(approximately)…now all of us are not early sleepers…i sleep between 12a.m to 1a.m(force of habit)…and i am forcibly awakened by the sound of azaan at 5 a.m…needless to say it ruins my entire day…now when i try to catch my sleep in the afternoon there is an azaan at 1 p.m,one at 4 p.m,one at 6 and one at 8 p.m(all approximate)…so there goes my afternoon nap…and if u have your exams(as i had my boards) the problem is intensified to a whole new level…besides i have 3 mosques(and one in construction) in a 200m radius around my house so its no longer 3 minutes but an annoying 9 minutes(the azaans rarely overlap)..plus sound from mosques that are a bit farther does manage to trickle in during the wee hours…and i am a young fellow(or so do i consider myself)…so i can only imagine the plight of the sick and the elderly..

now lets play the numbers game… muslims in india are almost 15%…as a guy who once went for namaz 5 times a day..the religious one who pray 5 times the day are not more than 10% of them(in a locality of 100 men only 10 visit the mosque regularly and the fact that women don’t go to mosques)…so it comes down to 0.75% of the indian populace..now coz of these 0.75%(the original number will be even less) the remaining 99.25% are needlessly bothered…and as Spock says “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”…loudspeakers should be banned…
Besides as a human being and as a citizen of this country its my right to be provided with a disturbance(read pollution) free and a conductive environment for my overall growth and health..atleast in the comfort of my home..

The alternative: As muslims would agree azaan(or namaaz) time for a particular day is known before hand(almost a month)…now those who wish to offer namaz could set up an alarm at the time and go for their prayers without disturbing others…its not like a military drill where the sergeant calls u at random times and you are supposed to answer or u are punished…so u just need to see the calender..set up your alarm and be God’s favorite without disturbing others…

The question: Is the government ever going to ban loudspeakers in mosques?
the answer is no..they won’t ever have the guts to do controversial yet right things..lets hope someone files a PIL and the judiciary does it…
The solution: until the Government(which it won’t) or the Judiciary steps in here are some ways to deal with it..ear buds(flipkart,ebay),bose sound cancelling earphones(yes they are costly),my personal favorite is a long table fan which makes a whirring(read gharrr-gharrr) sound..it faces me during summer and opposite during winter(i want to post a pic of this awesome dude but he is a shy fellow)…and as they say “what can’t be cured must be endured”…

Edit: thank u Shashank Rathi for pointing out the mistake…by assuming 10% religious men the indian people who go to mosques 5 times a day aren’t 1.5% but rather 0.75% of the total population..removing half(50%) women of the 15% total muslim population who dont visit mosques.P.s: the questioner assumes that azaan is propaganda..i can assure u its no such thing..its just a call for prayer..albeit an annoying one.

Is Azaan (Adhan) Noise Pollution?

Answer by Tesjasvita Apte: I see a lot of people challenging the OP’s premise while explaining the need for loudspeakers. Now guys, I care a hang about political correctness, it is NOISE POLLUTION. The reason Mosque is questioned is because a mosque blares loudspeaker 5 times every day. Same is not the case with temples. Nevertheless, Hindus too indulge in group noise pollution few times every year like the Ganesh Festival etc. and that too deserves a ban.

Masjids as well as temples or in fact, anybody (even private bodies) can make any amount of Noise in India. There is absolutely no legal limit. The only restriction in the state of Maharashtra is a deadline of 10 pm. After 10 pm, they have to stop no matter what. Other states may or may not have such a restriction.The reason why Mosques (or temples or anybody) are allowed such noise pollution is because we have a spineless government which in the name of religious freedom doesn’t even care about our health.

And most people too support such decisions because for them anything even remotely religious has divine sanction.This my friends is the basic problem. We have such a spineless government since independence that we do not even have a Uniform Civil Code in spite of having it in our Directive Principles of State Policy and SC saying so many times.

What is the alternative for Azaan (Adhan)?

Answer by Abhimanyu Ghosh: It is pretty obvious that you have a staggering amount of bias going into this question. At any rate, I’ll try to present a rational answer for others to understand this.

Like you have mentioned, Muslims are supposed to pray 5 times a day. Islam has a custom in which at each of these times, the muezzin has to call upon Muslims to let them know that it’s time for prayer. Before the advent of mechanized transport, cities used to be much smaller in size. A muezzin could call upon Muslims in the surrounding area without needing a loudspeaker. But with the advent of new technology and the increasing size of cities, loudspeakers are necessary for the prayer call system to function. In fact, this is one of the rare instances of successful adoption of modern technology by religious institutions.

As far as your irritation is concerned, the azaan is called out only 5 times a day for a few minutes. So you are irritated by this, apparently. Have you ever been in UP during Dashera or Bengal during Durga Puja or Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi ? Have you ever wondered how the patients in hospitals would cope with this ? Forget about festivals, have you ever seen the countless wedding processions all over the streets of northern India and the noise emanated by those brass bands ? Of course, none of that probably made you think of sick people in hospitals because that doesn’t fit your worldview.

It’s true that the US doesn’t allow noise pollution at that level because of which burning crackers at home in Diwali is also banned. Do you have any plans of imposing that in India?

Should a Law be imposed on Azaan (Adhan)?

Answer by Shaleen Sharma: Well you are absolutely right that a law must be imposed against the ‘namaaz’ played on loudspeakers in mosques in India. The 5 times without fail routine play can be intolerable to anyone and in fact it is your fundamental right to be intolerant to such a routine ill-act!  Following is a government page  describing various laws against noise pollution in India-

Specific Information

I have seen that many people have called the questioner a biased person when He/She simply wants to say that he ‘is’ annoyed by a ‘without fail’ 5 times a day practice of mosques. Also many people have given counter judgements by saying that in Hindu festivals like the 10 days long ‘Ganesha Chaturthi’ or the ‘Dussehra’  or ‘Diwali’ too heavy noise is produced and nobody questions that. Well, there are especial laws against all these festivals. Following are a few reports from print media criticizing the law breaking on such occasions which became possible only because there was a law against noise pollution especially for all such festivals-

Diwali horror in Panchkula: No action against noise pollution

Officials ready to enforce noise laws

Was Mumbai truly noise-free during Diwali 2011?

Now someone will be a fool to say that nobody follows these laws and hence there must not be a law against the loudspeakers in mosques. To have a law against any ill practice is necessary irrespective of if it is strictly imposed or not! Having a law makes sure that the law is imposed in at least the important areas of a city and also gives someone a fair chance to file a complaint against anyone who is breaking the law. For example, if someone is bursting crackers at my door or playing ‘jai mata di’ songs or whatever till late night there is a provision for me in the Indian law to complain against such person however I have no provision in the law to complain about a mosque which wakes me up at 5 a.m in the morning with its high pitched and amplified prayers. This clearly does not abide by the fundamental ‘equality before law’ right and a bunch of people might feel not preferred by the law.

Again the complete counter judgement that since no actions are taken against Hindus for creating noise pollution on one or two festive occasions hence mosques should be spared is wrong. Just think if only there was a provision in the law that ‘if you can name someone to be guilty and yet not punished by the judiciary then you shall be exculpated’ then every one would be exonerated from being guilty. This is not the rational way you take up an issue. We must decide something to be either right or wrong and must not compare it with something else in the society which also is wrong. Because that ways no ill practice from the society will ever get eliminated. Every time you will try to eliminate something from the society the people defending it will point their fingers on some other bunch of people committing some other offense!

P.S- I have read in one of the highly (up)voted answers to this question that the person has deeply expressed his disappointment regarding a few comments by a particular person and hence (taken permission to) put some really offensive statements against Hindus. Sir, I request you not to get agitated over a small issue like this and to stay calm and think rationally before writing something down. I too become really upset when someone (Muslim) says on my face that he will support Pakistan in an India-Pakistan cricket match but I ‘don’t’ react like you assuming it to be his personal view rather than a common Indian Muslim’s view! I got really upset when I read one of my Kashmiri friend’s Fb status that he celebrated the day two Indian soldiers were beheaded by Pakistani army. But, again I have not started pointing out grammatical errors in his Fb statuses now.

How is Azaan (Adhan) not a Noise Pollution?

Answer by Sarosh Mohammed: There have already been quite a few answers to this question. Some have ridiculed the OP and some have justified his claims. Some have used rationality to argue while some have made quite some insensitive comments. But I am surprised very few have addressed the question details so let me do that before proceeding to the actual question.

Why is Government allowing such sound levels? Namaz is played 5 times a day.

Namaz is not played on the loudspeaker 5 times a day. Only the azan (call for the namaz) is. I haven’t come across any mosque that plays the entire namaz on the loudspeaker. As a matter of fact there is a Hadith that quotes the Prophet (saws) as saying “Listen ye who supplicate to his God, let not these of you cause disturbance to others” to a man who was reciting the Quran very loudly in the mosque.

What is the real intention of Muslims to place Loud Speakers? Is it to proclaim or propagandize their Gods?

It is these sort of statements that make me not want to take this question seriously. There is no hidden agenda, no hidden motive, nothing. It’s just a way of saying “Hey Muslim folks! Look it’s time for the prayer”. Sure it contains verses that glorify Allah but if you don’t understand Arabic it’s not going to convey any meaning to you. On a side note, Muslims believe in one God, not Gods.

Countries like United States, dont allow such noise pollution.

The United States has different laws for different cities. While I will agree that generally Mosques over there don’t use loudspeakers I also think it’s worthwhile to point out that some mosques are allowed to do so. Al-Islah Mosque is one such example that I know of. There could be a few more.

Would Muslim Majority Countries (Pakistan,Saudi Arabia,Qatar etc)have allowed other religions to do this on loud speaker everyday ?

To answer that question, Maybe, maybe not. But it doesn’t matter. The countries you have pointed out are not secular. There are other secular countries with a majority Muslim population and Purujeet Parida points out some relevant statistics regarding them.

Now having got those details out of the way let’s actually delve a little more into the azan. The azan is an integral part of the Muslim prayer. Without an azan the namaz cannot be started. Of course there is no compulsion to call out the azan on the loudspeaker. But the azan actually serves a purpose and is not there only because it is a part of the tradition. The time for certain namaz vary by a minute every third to fourth day. Also the maghrib namaz (prayer at sunset) starts immediately after the azan. Most farz namaz (obligatory prayers) last for as little as 10 minutes. Therefore without a system to let the people know that the namaz has started in the mosque, it would be quite hard to guess the starting time and people would end up missing it completely or join in late. Remembering the time of namaz doesn’t help since it’s highly unlikely that all our clocks show the same time accurate to the minute. This coupled with the fact that different mosques might follow different times for namaz makes the presence of an “alerting system” all the more necessary.

Contrary to what most people think, calling out of the azan is not really a “who’s got the strongest lungs contest”. When a mosque is built, the mic is calibrated to ensure that the azan wouldn’t be too loud. However I understand this is sometimes not the case. The muezzin is also trained to give the azan in a soothing way but quite often an over zealous one will scream his lungs out and get too close to the mic (the ideal distance is 6 inches). Also the orientation of the loudspeaker can make a huge difference in dissipating sound. These are small things that should definitely be taken care of by the mosque and it’s committee as they needlessly cause problems to other people, Muslims and non Muslims alike.

I hope my fellow non Muslims however understand and appreciate the need of an azan for a Muslim. The azan at the longest would run for no more than 3-4 minutes at a time and when recited properly is melodious and should not be something disturbing. I am not saying this only because I am a Muslim but also because I’ve been told this by some of my non Muslim friends who’ve heard the muezzin in their locality. However if you claim that it’s not music to your ears then I can’t force you to look at it that way and I admit I will have to concede my point. I will however wholeheartedly agree that mosques near schools, hospitals and other such places should keep a check on the noise they produce.

One of the reasons why this question is being viewed with hostility from the Muslim’s perspective is because we feel we are being singled out here. The fact that this question has attracted so much attention while a similar question Hinduism: How apt is it to pray on loud speakers? has only ONE answer with NO upvotes sort of proves it. We all know that there are enough Hindu practices that produce more noise pollution than an azan. Sure it doesn’t happen 5 times a day through out the year but when it does happen, it happens for hours at a stretch unlike for a few minutes like the azan. Also the fact that the temples vastly outnumber the mosques will only amplify this figure. Therefore if you decide that the azan on the loudspeaker should be banned then it is only fair that a lot of other things including but not limited to various pujas on the loudspeaker in a temple, marriage processions in the late night, politician rallies, firecrackers during Diwali, dubstep and hard rock concerts should also be on the list.

I however don’t think a blanket ban is a solution. In a truly pluralistic society such differences are bound to come up and if we are supposed to maintain our diversity then we’ll have to learn to live together. This does not mean that we have to compromise on our rights but let’s look at solving problems while maintaining mutual respect. If a particular mosque in a particular locality receives a complaint of being too loud it’s only fair that the mosque turns down it’s volume. As long as the complaint is genuine the Muslims should not view it as an attempt to defame them. The same should hold true for temples too.

Also do take a moment to listen to this beautiful azan 🙂

The Effect of Monotheism on Human Life

The Effect of Monotheism on Human Life

The Qur’an and the Holy Prophet declared that this universe was neither without (peace be upon him) a Lord nor was it jointly controlled by a set of deites. It had One Lord and Master, the Creator and Controller wielding complete and absolute power over it. The Qur’an announced: Lo! His is the Creation and the Command, (Al-Araf: 54) meaning that God was the Sole Creator, the Sole Originator, or, the Sole Creative Principle and everything around man was dependent on Him by virtue of its creation by Him. Yet to Him submitted whose is in the Heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly (Ali-Imran: 83), was a natural corollary of this declaration meaning that all things in nature, whether heavenly or earthly, bow down to His decrees and have perforce to submit to His Physical laws— so Exalted is he. So was it not incumbent on the creature possessing will and option to submit to Him willingly? Sincere and exclusive obeisance was due to God alone. He asks: Belongs not sincere religion to God? (Sad: 3)

Check this Video Out:

The natural consequences following from this belief was that the world was united through a Common Principle; a Universal Law ran through it. Man was led to acknowledge a unity of purpose, motive and law in the varied phenomena of nature which could also help him find meaning and significance in his own life since it was integral to the wisdom underlying the integrated nature of this universe.

The Prophet of Islam acquainted man with the clear and easy creed to the Unity of God which was satisfying and full of vitality since it took away all irrational fear from him. This simple creed made him self-reliant, courageous, rational and undoubting by removing the fear of everything else save that of His real Master and Lord. It was because of this creed that man came to recognise his Creator as the Supreme Power, as the Enricher and the Destroyer. This discovery meant a world of change for him; he could now see the unity of cause in the manifoldness of phenomena, was reassured of his pivotal position in the scheme of creation, became aware of his worth and dignity; in short, is acceptance of the serfdom of the One and only God made him the master of every other created being and object. As a vicegerent of God, he became aware of the exalted position allocated to him as the executor of the Will of God on earth. It was a concept previously unknown to the world.