Amid a seemingly endless debate over noise pollution from places of worship, 17 mosques in the Vazhakkad region of Kerala’s Malappuram district are leading by example with an integrated azaan, the call for prayer made five times a day.
Since last Sunday, the Vazhakkad region has followed a single azaan through the loudspeaker – called from the biggest mosque in the mahal, the valya (big) Juma Masjid – which is repeated in the other mosques, run by various groups, without noise. T P Abdul Azeez, president of the mahal committee, the council which oversees administration of mosques in the region, said the decision was a response to “long-discussed” requests for curbs in the use of loudspeakers.
“There are six mosques in and around the Vazhakkad market area alone. The excessive use of loudspeakers has been causing trouble for many schools and colleges in the area. When a meeting of representatives of all mosques was called, there was consensus on integrating the time of prayer calls,” Azeez told Deccan Herald on Thursday. A five-member committee has been formed in the council to discuss impact of the measure in detail and explore possibilities of extending the curbs on use of loudspeakers to other areas.
“The committee is a formality, there is consensus on what we’ve done. I was at a public gathering today in which many prominent leaders of the community came forward to laud the step,” Azeez said. The council has also proposed curbs on use of loudspeakers in religious functions.
The committee members are hopeful that the integrated azaan, proposed as a socially progressive step, finds acceptance in its religious context as well. “We are awaiting response from the Chief Qazi of Kozhikode in this matter,” Azeez said. He said the response from believers has been overwhelmingly positive. “Since the mosques were following varied timings for prayer calls, many public meetings were also getting affected,” he said.
First posted on deccanherald