Islam is the United Kingdom’s fastest growing religion, and mosques across the country could soon begin daily loudspeaker broadcasts of the call to prayer. Special provisions were afforded to Muslims this year, allowing mosques to call the adhan, or call to prayer, in the month of Ramadan.
Twenty five mosques across London and nearby boroughs were allowed to use loudspeakers to call worshippers to prayer in the month of May. The government reasoned that Muslims were unable to attend religious services during the strict coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
Referred to as the adhan or azzan in Arabic, the Muslim call to prayer claims that “God is greater [than all others], there is no God but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Come to prayer”.
The Mail on Sunday reports that the calls to prayer first began in the London council of Kensington and Chelsea, which allowed the Al-Manaar mosque to broadcast the adhan every night through the month. The move was spearheaded by Conservative MP Elizabeth Campbell, who said that the public response was positive.
The calls to prayer were previously prohibited in London under noise pollution laws. The adhan broadcast is so loud that they can be heard within a one-mile radius of many of the mosques.
Other councils, including Waltham Forest in north-east London, then provided dispensation for nine mosques to do the same thing every night, and twice on Fridays. Last Friday, London’s Canary Wharf broadcast the call to prayer.
Breitbart reports that with the end of Ramadhan, Islamic organizations in the UK are seeking to make the adhan permanent in the United Kingdom.
“We want this practice to continue in the future,” said Allama Sadiq Quereshi, an imam at the Minhaj-ul-Quran mosque in Newham. “Just one symbolic adhan per day, if Newham council allow us. Just one adhan at the day time, at dhuhr [afternoon prayer], then it will be really good.”