In a landmark judgement with far reaching consequences, the Allahabad High Court has observed that loudspeakers/audio amplifying devices are not an essential part of Islam and only azaan from human voice is part of Islam and can be allowed. In effect, the Allahabad High Court has ruled that azaan, or call to namaz, can be recited by a muezzin from minarets of mosques by human voice only without using any amplifying device or loudspeakers.
The Allahabad HC also directed that district administration not to cause hindrance in the same on the pretext of guidelines to contain Covid19 unless such guidelines are being violated. In its ruling it said that Azaan may be an essential and integral part of Islam but the recitation of Azan through loudspeakers or other sound-amplifying devices cannot be said to be an integral part of the religion,warranting protection of the fundamental right enshrined under Article 25 which is even otherwise subject to public order, morality or health&to other provisions of part III of the Constitution of India.Thus, under no circumstances, sound-amplifying devices can be permitted to be used between 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. by the district administrations.
The HC said that the petitioners have failed to bring on record or even plead that they sought any such permission for the use of sound-amplifying devices, for a recital of Azan from their respective mosques and, therefore, their use without such permission would be illegal and cannot be accorded approval by this Court. However, in case any such application is filed before the concerned authorities, that may be dealt with in accordance with law including Noise Pollution Rules.
The order has been passed on petitions seeking directions that the Muslims in the Districts Ghazipur and Farrukhabad may be permitted to recite Azan through “Muezzin”, by using sound-amplifying devices. Petitioners had contended that the restrictions imposed by the administration are wholly arbitrary and unconstitutional since they do not, in any way, violate the guidelines issued for the containment of the pandemic.