By S. Arshad, New Age Islam
26 July 2019
Since the last one decade, a section of Hindus have raised voice against the Azaan during morning or Azaan called in areas where a sizeable population of Hindus reside. Their grievance is that the call of Azaan disturbs their sleep at dawn or disturbs their peace during the day as the Azaan is called on loudspeakers. Recently, Sonu Nigam had raised his voice on Azaan called on loudspeakers as he said it disturbed his sleep in the morning.
Gradually, voices even from Muslim community have also been raised justifying the grievances of non-Muslims against Azaan and a section of Muslims have started realising the fact that the complaints of non-Muslims against Azaan on loudspeakers are not totally based on religious bias.
Last month, the President of Khilafat Committee, West Bengal, Shakir Randerian had called Azaan the voice of hate. Though his statement was wrong, he had tried to drive home the point that Azaan on loudspeakers was the cause of differences and confrontation between Hindus and Muslims. His statement raised a controversy and he had to tender a written apology for his statement.
However, this also started a debate on the justification of Azaan on loudspeakers. Qari Fazlur Rahman of Kolkata said that in the changing circumstances Muslims should change their ways according to the demands of the time. He admitted that very high volume loudspeakers are used for calling Azaans and in many Muslim populations, there are more than one mosque in one area and Azaan from all the mosques at the same time cause reaction from Hindus and other non-Muslim communities.
Therefore, he had given the suggestion that if there are more than one mosque in an area, Azaan should be called from only one mosque and that too in a low volume so that it does not disturb the peace of mind of the followers of other religions. Unfortunately, this suggestion was not approved or appreciated by Muslims.
Another issue which has become contentious in recent times is the offering of Friday prayers in public places or on roads. Non-Muslims have been objecting to Friday prayers on public places like Maidans or on roads for the last few decades but during the recent months the opposition has become violent. At some places Muslims have been forcibly prevented from offering Friday prayers on roads or Maidans and there were violence also on some places. In these circumstances, Muslims should not insist on offering Friday prayers in public places claiming it their religious right.
Muslims should make alternative arrangements for Friday prayers instead of insisting on offering prayers in public places. They should arrange Friday prayers in their locality mosques. Since the number of people is unaccommodable in most mosques, they should conduct multiple Namaz (two or three Jamats).
This might not be a big problem. It will be a more convenient arrangement than offering Namaz on roads and facing hostility and causing obstacles to general public. New mosques should be made more spatial keeping in view the number of people offering Namaz in the mosque.
S. Arshad is a regular columnist for NewAgeIslam.com