Karnataka Waqf Board on Tuesday issued a circular barring the use of loudspeakers during azaan, a call for prayers for Muslims, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The decision was taken to prevent increased ambient noise level, the circular read.
"It is observed that increasing ambient noise level around many masjid and dargahs due to generator sets, loudspeakers and public address systems have deleterious effects on human health and the psychological well-being of the people. With the objective of maintaining the ambient standards of noise The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 are in force. The loudspeakers shall not be used in night time which shall mean from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am," the Board said in the circular.
Every mosque calls Muslims for prayers (azaan) five times a day. As per the order, the call for early morning prayer of Fajr on loudspeaker will be restricted, but the rest of the four azaans will continue. The second prayer of Dhuhar is in the afternoon and the remaining three prayers are in the evening between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The Karnataka Waqf Board also issued strict orders preventing any use of amplifier or burst sound emitting firecrackers, loudspeaker or public address system in silence zones or face penalty. Any area comprising not less than 100 meters around hospitals, educational institutes and Courts are declared as silence zone, where a limit of 50dB during the day and 40dB during night is in place.
Ten practices for K'taka mosques, dargahs
Karnataka Waqf Board further gave specific instructions for masjids, Dargahs across the state. Take a look at the 10 points below:
- Loudspeakers used during the day shall be as per the ambient air quality standards, in respect of noise
- Loudspeaker shall be used only for azaan and important announcements such as death, timing of burial, sighting of moon etc.
- Congregational Salat, Juma Qutba, Bayans, religious, socio-eulturai and knowledge-based-functions shall be performed with the speakers installed in the religious premises
- Noise governing apparatus may be installed in the institution in consultation with the local environment officers
- The management of the institutions shall train the muezzin (the person who gives the call to prayer at a mosque) to operate the amplifier within the prescribed limit
- No sound-emitting firecrackers shall be burnt in or around the masjid and dargahs at any occasion
- The incidence or carrying on in or upon, any premises of any trade, avocation or operation or process resulting in or attended with noise
- Open spaces of the masjid and dargahs shall be used for the plantation of fruit-bearing shady trees and ornamental plants. Drinking water tanks may be constructed for animals and birds if possible
- Clean and hygienic atmosphere shall be maintained
- Discourage beggary in the religious premises, instead, counseling and philanthropic measures may be taken at the institution level.