It’s been more than a month that social gatherings have been prohibited to prevent coronavirus India and across the world. It includes mosques too. That is the reason Azaan is carried out in the mosques but only 4-5 people are performing prayers. Muslims across India are asked to pray at home. Even Muslim clerics agreed to do so to fight against COVID-19. However, something controversial took place just a day before this Ramadan 2020 that made Muslims across India took to social media and use #AzanBandNahiHogi.
A video wherein two policemen from Delhi’s Prem Nagar police station are seen telling people that Azaan is banned in this lockdown. The video has gone viral on social media. They were trying to restrict Azaan citing its Lieutenant-Governor (LG) order.
However, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took to Twitter to clarify the matter. He tweeted: “There is no restriction for Azaan. In the lockdown, there is a complete ban on the gathering of people for prayers in mosques or worship etc. at any other religious place.”
Even, the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) on Friday asked Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to ensure that the police does not stop mosques from using loudspeakers for Azaan.
Azaan banned in UP’s Ghazipur
According to social media and some media reports, it is confirmed that Azaan is banned during the lockdown in Ghazipur of Uttar Pradesh. This news came as a shock for Muslims across the country. They are asking the state government to lift the ban while questioning if Azaan is spreading COVID-19.
Shahid Siddiqui, former Member of Parliament, Managing Director and Chief Editor Weekly Nai Duniya took to Twitter to express his point of view explaining why Azaan is important in Ramadan.
Many Twitter users wrote on Twitter saying Azaan doesn’t spread the Coronavirus that is why Azaan will be carried out.
Hazrat Moin Miyan Ashraf, a senior cleric and head of Grant-road based Madrasa Ashrafia Quadriya also condemned the act by the UP government saying it is ‘extreme’.
Why Azaan needs to be carried out?
This matter has raised relevant questions- why is it necessary to carry out Azaan if people are restricted to perform prayers in the mosques? Why is it necessary to carry out Azaan in loudspeakers?
I asked the same questions to clerics and found that they have a relevant point to justify their act of carrying out Azaan that too in a loudspeaker. They say mosques are not closed entirely. “We are following the COVID-19 protocol made by the government. Only 4-5 people are praying in mosques five times a day,” said Hazrat Moin Miya.
Clerics say that Muslims wait for Azaan to perform prayers whether they are at home or in mosques. “It’s a call for prayer. Azaan indicates that it is time to perform prayers. We are not urging Muslims to gather in mosques for prayer through Azaan during this coronavirus pandemic,” said Maulana Aijaz Kashmiri, Handi Wali Masjid, Mumbai.
He went on saying Azaan has other benefits too. According to Islam, it is believed that Azaan is carried out to get rid of huge problems like coronavirus. Maulana Aijaz told that some are carrying out Azaan at night intending the same. This is also seen in foreign countries. “Azaan has many blessings,” added the Maulana. Every religion has its symbol and “Azaan is Islamic symbol,” added the Maulana.
Muslims across the world stop eating suhoor (early morning breakfast) when they hear Fajr Azaan (early morning call for prayer) and break the fast when they hear Maghrib Azaan (evening call for prayer) during Ramadan.
“We are sacrificing a lot by not performing congregation prayers in mosques. Not even Juma Namaz (Friday prayers) which is very important to perform in the congregation. We are also not praying in mosques during this Holy month of Ramadan. We are doing it for our country and its people. But still, people have a problem with Azaan,” added Maulana Aijaz.
No loudspeakers at the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)
Those who believe Azaan should not be carried out in loudspeakers justifying it by saying that there was no loudspeaker at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Hazrat Moin Miya said on this, “If they believe Muslims should not use loudspeakers for Azaan just because there was no loudspeaker facility at the time of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) then they should refrain from using mobile phones, travel by cars and flights. Because there were no such facilities then.”