Sunday, July 24, 2005

tape 'em

Well, this Friday, we came to know that there were new regulations that the "waaz", i.e., the sermon that is given in Urdu language before the formal "Khutba" of the Jumaa prayer, was not to be done unless it is taped and delivered to the police station afterwards, hence, there was no waaz at our mosque.
There are good and bad points about this. One bad point is that we dont have provision for women praying in the mosques so some ladies did benefit from hearing the waaz from the mosque loudspeakers so that they learn something new every week. Now they wouldnt.
One good point, however, is reduction in noise pollution. I dont mean the traditional meaning of noise pollution, but I'm very concerned about the fact that any tom, dick and harry can put up a loud speaker any time and start howling into it whatever he wants. I'm not talking about mosques here, this is generally applicable to your neighborhood musical party during birthdays, naat competitions, qawwali nights all of which are excellent recipes for ruining people's peace.
All of that might be done in good spirit, but it is hurting the very spirit of Islam of caring about the comfort of the neighbor. Maybe someone is ill, someone needs rest, someone needs to concentrate on studies, maybe even pray. You cant even pray while someone is shouting on a loudspeaker.
In the US, no one could use loud speakers without prior approval, and I never heard anything on a loud speaker. I heard that there was one mosque in Houston, Texas, around which there were only muslim families and the mulsim faimilies certified that they were all OK with the calling for prayers on a loud speaker, hence the only mosque in the US that has call for prayers on loud speaker.
I wish that something would be done to ban loud speakers on all occassions. If you wanna do a concert, go do it at the creek where no one else could hear it, or maybe in an indoor theatre.

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