Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations Minister, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has called on Muslim leaders in the country to consider using text messages in inviting Muslims to prayer instead of the traditional megaphones.
This, he said, will help reduce the noise pollution in Ghana.
“In the house of worship, why is it that the noise will (not) be limited to the house of worship…and again maybe from the mosque, why is it that time for prayer would not be transmitted with a text message or WhatsApp so the Imam will send WhatsApp message to everybody that the time for prayer is up so appear,” the minister stated when he took his turn at the Meet the Press series in Accra on Tuesday.
Award winning broadcast journalist Abdul Hayi Moomen has responded to the Minister comments via his Facebook account. And here is what he shared:
THE “WHATSAPP” CALL TO PRAYER
I take it that just like no human being “Knows it all”, you also genuinely do not know all about the Muslim call to prayer. Therefore, I humbly wish to attempt to tell you a little about it.
Muslims have, since the day prayer became one of the 5 pillars of Islam, been called to gather in congregation through live HUMAN VOICE. The “Adzan” is followed by another tradition known as the “Iqamah” which is also called out loud by a live HUMAN VOICE when the prayer is just about to begin.
It is a “tradition” that has survived in many nations, and many generations for over 1400 years now. We of this generation won’t and cannot change that tradition.
Let me explain. At the last independence day parade, a group of students “traditionally drummed and sung appellations before the president rose to speak. If anyone had suggested before the ceremony that because drumming would contribute to “noise pollution”, the drumming and appellations should have been sent to the President via whatsapp, you would have found it absurd. or? That’s exactly how I see your suggestion.
Just in case, point number one does not make enough sense to you, let me try again. Maybe, next time the Black Stars have a match, in order to save time, cut out the cost of paying the band that would be playing the national anthem and also reduce “noise pollution”, the national anthem should simply be sent to all the players on “whatsapp”. Do you find this suggestion absurd? Aha!……. That’s how I also feel about yours.
One more. What if during football matches, when a goal is scored, instead of the “noise pollution” we all help to create when we shout “Goal!”, parliament passes a law making it incumbent on all football fans to, henceforth, send all their “shouting, wailing, yelling, groaning and insults” to the GFA through “whatsapp”? Can that be done? Or is this another suggestion that can’t hold water? …….. That’s how I feel about your suggestion.
Prof, The Adzan is part and parcel of the Islamic prayer. Muslims do not pray on whatsapp.
And oh! one more thing…….My mother is not on whatsapp, yet she is a “Praying Muslim” this new “policy” will leave her out. or?
On the other hand, Since Islam emphasizes so much on good neighborliness, and since Islam despises all types of pollution in whatever form, including noise pollution, Muslims can begin to rethink of ways the “Adzan” can be said without causing inconvenience to their neighbors.
A good starting point could be to reduce the volume of the sound that emanates from outdoor loud speakers. Once the adzan has been called out, the sound should be regulated in such a way that all other activities will be confined to the mosques.
Your humble admirer
According to starrfmonline, The suggestion comes as the Rwandan government in a bold move in March issued a ban on loudspeakers from mosques in its capital Kigali.
According to the government, the new procedures come as part of Rwanda’s efforts to reduce noise pollution.
Muslims have largely complied with the ban but have criticised the move, saying they could have just lowered the volume.
“I have found that they have begun to respect it and it has not stopped their followers from going to pray according to their praying time,” Havuguziga Charles, a local official from Nyarugenge, told the BBC.
Some 1,500 churches have been closed for not complying with building regulations and noise pollution.