Monday, 27 June, 2022
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Allahabad High Court allows azaan recitation, says it does not violate lockdown rules

Allahabad High Court, however, refuses to allow use of loudspeakers for the recitation, saying that cannot be considered an integral part of Islam.

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New Delhi: The Allahabad High Court Friday allowed the muezzins in the state to recite the azaan (call to prayer) from minarets of mosques during the lockdown, ruling that recital of the azaan is an integral part of Islam.

However, the bench, comprising Justices Shashi Kant Gupta and Ajit Kumar, refused to allow the use of loudspeakers for the recitation, stating that the use of loudspeakers or microphones cannot be considered an integral part of Islam.

It observed that the use of loudspeakers, in fact, affects the fundamental rights of citizens under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, and observed: “No one has got the right to make other persons captive listeners. One cannot disturb others’ basic human rights and fundamental rights.”

The state government had relied on the lockdown guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 24 March, pointing out that they provide for closure of all places of worship.

The court, though, rejected this contention.

“We fail to understand as to how the recital of azaan by a single person in the mosque i.e. Muezzin/Imam or any other authorised person, through human voice without using any amplifying device, asking the Muslims to offer prayer and that too without inviting them to the mosque, can be violative of any guidelines,” the bench said.

The court directed the district administrations to not cause any hindrance to the recital of azaan from mosques being done without loudspeakers on the pretext of it violating the lockdown guidelines.


Also read: Call off Friday prayers, cut duration — how mosques plan to tackle COVID-19


Letters by Salman Khurshid & Ghazipur MP

Letters were written to the court by Ghazipur MP Afzal Ansari, former Union law minister and senior advocates Salman Khurshid and S. Wasim A. Qadri, challenging the prohibitory orders passed by the district administrations in Ghazipur, Farrukhabad and Hathras against the azaan.

They had called these restrictions arbitrary and unconstitutional, and had demanded that Muslims in these districts be permitted to recite the azaan through muezzins, by using loudspeakers.

The petitioners had asserted that the azaan does not violate any of the lockdown conditions, and had alleged that a ban on it violates the fundamental right to freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.

They submitted that the pronouncement of azaan is “not a congressional practice” but is simply an act of recitation by a single individual, calling the believer to offer Namaz at their homes, and therefore does not violate any of the conditions of the prevailing lockdown.

In response, the state government had submitted that the azaan is a call for the congregation to offer prayers at the mosque, and therefore violates the guidelines for containing the pandemic.

It submitted that during the lockdown, neither has any religious activity been permitted, nor have loud speakers been used during festivals such as Navratri, Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti.


Also read: Lucknow Covid hotspots named after mosques, Yogi govt draws flak for ‘communalising’ illness


Loudspeakers not essential for Islam

The court referred to the Supreme Court as well as high court judgments to reject the contention that the use of loudspeakers was essential for practice of Islam.

For instance, it referred to the judgment in Church of God (Full Gospel) in India v. K.K.R. Majestic passed in 2000, when the Supreme Court had observed that “no religion or religious sect can claim that the use of loudspeakers or similar instruments for prayers or for worship or for celebrating religious festivals is an essential part of the religion which is protected under Article 25”.

The high court then observed that the petitioners have not been able to prove any azaan cannot be offered without using loudspeakers.

Additionally, the court noted that it had not been informed of any permissions being taken for the recital of azaan using loudspeakers, under the Noise Pollution Rules.

It observed that if any such application is filed before the authorities, it may be dealt with in accordance with the law.


Also read: Distrust between Hindus and Muslims won’t help Covid fight, last thing Modi govt would want


 

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Every citizens of this country has right to profess faith they choose. Before Advent of loudspeaker, faithful use to visit holy place. In our modern world, by using high decibel notice you cannot increase number of believers. It all depends on, who wish to attend prayers or not,

  2. In early days there was no sound by fan, ac, tv, mobile at home and no motor vehicles on road, and no till buildings to prevent sound of Athan travel in air. But now with all these things its impossible for Azaan to travel even a 100 meter distance. All aspect of situation should be understood.

    • Our Country is secular and we can not have law based on religion. Where were you when the Loudspeakers where Ban on our Temple at Ujjian. Our rights are equal and it should be banned immediately, It creates noise for elders sleeping early morning, we also do Yoga and chanting our Mantra early morning and we do not say it on Loudspeakers.

    • Come up with a different solution rather those disturbing speakers. Make it more personal and not impose it on others. Such imposition only makes others hate you.

  3. In this one sided judgement i have not seen any ban on ganesh festival pandals which has huge loudspeakers 24/7 for 11 days nor i have seen any ban on diwali crackers which has noise and air pollution. And no restrictions to any temples using loudspeakers. Oh i got it the rules & regulations is only to the Muslims in india. Good going india what next? We have faith in Allah he will grant us freedom for sure.

    • I have time and again complained to police during Ganesh Festivals about all the loud noise, despite being a Hindu myself. Only zealots will come and support use of loud speakers during any of the Hindu festivals. And their numbers are pretty low. Yet, what surprises me though, is your intentional misdirection to use it as an excuse to play victim. Very typical. You are basically comparing an 11 days an year trouble, with a 365 days an year trouble, to call the judgement one-sided? Grow up. Have your faith, just don’t force its manifestation on others.

    • Talking about pollution, Diwali is just for a couple of days. It’s makes sense to celebrate for 2 days and be extremely cautious on reducing pollution by various means. With the onset of eco friendly fireworks, let’s hope the pollution in those 2 days comes down too.
      Usage of loudspeaker should be highly restricted, no matter which faith one practices.

  4. Lmao. The print. The wannabe epitome of free speech. Deletes comments which don’t match their propoganda on it’s blogs . FrEe sPeEcH haha. Go on 👏👏

  5. Hello constitution savers. It’s now your chance to prove how constitutional you’ll are. Stop raping my ear at 4 in the morning. Let me enjoy my constitutional rights of 19 (1) (a). Prove your nationality by abiding to the constitution. Please.

  6. The views are just perfect. This was the usual practice in good old times.I remember these new inventions of loud speakers etc were around eighties.Whereas a God fearing person always knows when he has to perform his duty. Now it’s the politics which is playing it’s role. At last most of the listeners of Azaaan believers/nonbelievers do not understand the real meaning and the message otherwise it cannot create any confusion.

    • Exactly. Even if a person’s god fear is not enough to let him know when is the right time, the person can use these electrical appliances called alarm clocks and messengers . Equally helpful and also helps coexist peacefully. Also reduces noise pollution and helps me cure my sleep apnea.

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