Penang mosques ban use of loudspeakers except for prayer calls

Masjid Tuan Guru, the main mosque in Kampung Tanjung Tokong, one of the oldest Malay villages in Penang.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

GEORGE TOWN - The decision to ban the use of loudspeakers outside the mosques and surau except for the calls of prayer (azan and iqamah) in Penang will be gazetted soon.

In a letter dated Sept 1, the Penang State Mufti Office said the move followed a decision made by the State Fatwa Committee meeting on July 1 and 2, according to Bernama Wednesday.

The letter said it had agreed on the command decided at a meeting on April 7, 2011 on the prohibition of reading the Quran before subuh (dawn) by using external loudspeakers, extending the ban to all programmes and meetings.

Loudspeakers are only allowed for internal purposes only.

Ten complaints had been received by the Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department on the use of loudspeakers in mosques and surau from January 2012 until May 2015.

This included external loudspeakers for recordings of Quran reciters or ceramah before the call for prayer.

Penang Mufti Datuk Salim Mohd Noor, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed the letter, but stressed that it did not affect the sanctity of Islam.

In 2011, former Perlis mufti Dr Juanda Jaya said the state had similarly made such a ban a few years ago.

He had said the practice of turning up the volume on the microphones especially before dawn went against the Prophet's teachings because it disturbs those who are still asleep.

Azan is a call for prayer while Iqamah is the second call.