Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Noise in the name of religion...

Why do certain religions insist on practicing their faith at ear splitting levels even in residential areas where peace and quiet should prevail? I have written about this many times over the years but, despite there now being a law passed by NEMA regarding noise pollution, very little enforcement of it is apparent. Why is this?Why is it that when one complains about religious noise to officialdom, and especially from the mosques, everybody is terrified of doing anything about it? If there is a law regarding noise, it should be enforced, since the law is not denying these institutions from worshiping but, the people objecting have an objection to them doing so loudly.

Since God is not deaf (Astaghfirullah), and He can hear the most silent of prayers, one gets the impression from the loud worship that the worshipers would like the whole world to know howholy they are. This smacks of hypocrisy. One reaches the conclusion while suffering from this noise that these people are more bothered about what the people on the outside think than what their Maker does.

Take Islam and Muslims for instance - the numerous mosques have no need to be heard beyond their immediate neighbourhoods and therefore do not need to use public address systems even for the call to prayer, because every neighbourhood has at least one mosque if not more, so whom exactly are they calling for prayers? People on the other side of town? For their information, those places too, have their own neighbourhood mosques, so there is no need.

Then, when the Imam starts leading the prayers, there is no need for him to be heard outside the mosque since he is not leading the ones outside the confines of the mosque in prayer and it is not valid either, anyway, for someone to follow the Imam while for example he/she is at home. So, why should he add to the noise by being heard outside?

Also, in the entire history of Islam and the practices of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), calls for prayers have never been given a whole hour before the actual time in the early morning. In Mombasa, this happens at 4.00 am. Of course, if somebody wants to say supererogatory prayers it is a very private affair and there is no need to give the call to prayer for it. Also, in this day and age we have alarm clocks, etc., and those of us who are interested in praying will get up of our own free will and there is no need for mosques to disturb non-Muslims among us. Why should they be disturbed? There's freedom of religion, remember?

Now that Ramadhan is just about a month away, most non-Muslims and even some Muslims are dreading the continuous racket that we will have to endure for a whole month in the name of freedom of religion. Because, of the loud recitation of the Holy Qur'an after the mid-afternoon prayers as well as the Tarawih prayers at night. It is really awful and disturbs even the Muslims who are praying at home, the sick and the elderly.

Can the authorities please draw a line between freedom of faith and noise making? And enforce their law about noise pollution, please?

This is also on behalf of the NCRRA, btw.

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