Hours after it asked trustees and maulvis of different mosques in the city to not use loudspeakers for azaan (call for prayer) amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the Surat police on Friday gave permission to recite azaan through loudspeakers during the holy month of Ramzan following representation by Muslim community leaders.
Amid the lockdown, the Gujarat state home department had earlier issued a notification which stated that “religious congregations for activities such as puja/bandagi is banned and even the use of loud-speakers and other mediums for the same is also prohibited.”
Taking this order as a reference, Surat police had started making calls to the trustees and maulana’s of different mosques, from Friday morning onwards, informing them about the government order.
During the holy month of Ramzan, Muslims wake up for doing sehri namaaz at 4 am and the fast starts after announcement is made on the loud speakers from the mosques. The fast is also broken after the azaan call at 7 pm.
Maulana of Chand Shahid mosque in Rani Talav area in Surat, Uzair Daryaee, said, “I received a call from the Lalgate police station today morning from a police constable telling me that azaan through loudspeakers from the mosques is banned as per the government notifications. The policeman also told that azaan is not banned but the use of loudspeakers is banned. The constable also called the mosque trustee Jehangir Nalband. We called the maulvis and trustees of other mosques in the city and they too have received such warnings. We made representations to our community leaders and they sorted out the issue.”
After receiving the representations from community leaders, Surat Police Commissioner R B Brahmabhatt has allowed the use of loudspeakers for azaan.
“We have come to know that azaan during holy month Ramzaan is important as people keep fast and break fast after listening to azaan. On the representations from the community leaders, we have ordered our police staff to allow for azaan through loud speakers from the mosques. We have crossed checked and found that no congregation is done in the mosques after azaan,” the commissioner said.
Talking to the Indian express senior Congress leader Kadir Pirzada said, “We are following the rules of lockdown and even no congregation is done in the mosques. We don’t know the reason behind banning azaan from mosques. We are happy that the Surat Police Commissioner had listen to our representations and given us justice.”