As the debate around noise pollution by religious institutions grows, a group of mosques in Malappuram are showing the way by regulating themselves. In a bid to reduce noise pollution, 17 mosques in Vazhakkad in Malappuram have decided to have a single Azan – the call for prayer recited five times a day – for all of them.
“There are seven mosques in the Vazhakkad junction alone, and 10 more in a radius of a few kilometers. It has come to our notice that the call for prayers by these mosques at different times, multiple times in the day, had caused inconvenience to educational institutions, to the public and for merchants in nearby areas,” TP Abdul Azeez, President, Vazhakkad Mosques Committee, told TNM.
“Some of the mosque committee members had convened a meeting to discuss the issue. The majority held the view that we should curb sound pollution. The decision was reached after several rounds of deliberations, but it was unanimous,” Azeez said.
According to the agreement signed by the members of the Mosques Committee, a single Azan will be called out from the Valiya Juma Masjid. The mosque is the biggest in the local Muslim council called Mahal. All of the other mosques will repeat the call without using loudspeakers.
“We have been practicing it for the past five days,” Azeez said, of the decision to regulate the use of loudspeakers.
A five-member panel has also been constituted to unify the timing of Azan of all the mosques. The panel, in which Azeez is also a member, will meet community leaders to arrive at consensus.
What is most interesting about the agreement is that the consensus includes various groups that are normally in strong disagreement with each other within the Muslim council. Hence, for the past five days – the Sunni, Mujahid (Salafi), Jamate Islami and Tableeg Jamath factions have also stopped the use of loud speakers.
The authorities of various mosques have also decided to stop using loud speakers for all other religious programmes.