A court in northern India on Friday permitted Mosques to make Islamic call to prayer – Azaan, deciding that it did not infringe lockdown rules laid out due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Ruling that the Azaan was an indispensable part of Islam, the Allahabad High Court asked authorities against limiting its practices due to coronavirus.
The Azaan is recited by attendants called Muezzins using speakers to ensure it is heard by all Muslims living nearby. However, the Allahabad High Court only allowed muezzins to call the Azaan without using the loudspeakers, ruling that amplifying devices were not protected under the Indian constitution.
The Allahabad High Court was responding to Public Interest Litigations (PIL) and letter petitions disputing an order by the local Ghazipur district administration restricting the Azaan during coronavirus.
Former Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Advocate S Wasim A Qadri and Member of Parliament Afzal Ansari had approached the court seeking permission for the Azaan via amplifiers. Muslim clerics appreciated the court’s decision but may approach a higher court for approval to use speakers.
“The court has said that there will be no ban on the recitation of the ‘Azaan’. We will take further course of action after receiving a copy of the order. However, we welcome the decision of the court,” said Mufti Sharif Ahmed, a Muslim cleric in Ghazipur.