Days before the holy month of Ramadan, the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs has given instructions to lower the sound of the Muslim call to prayer, the adhan, because of complaints from people who live near mosques who said that it disturbs them.
In a video posted on Twitter by the ministry, Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Ash-Shaikh said that the call to prayer is an obligation but not at the expenses of others.
Al Ash-Shaikh explained that lowering mosques’ loudspeakers is important so they will not overlap with nearby mosques’ loudspeakers. He said, “It is causing confusion to the worshipers and residents of the nearby neighborhood to the mosque, and loses its prestige and spirituality.”
Many Saudis agreed with the ministry’s decision and called for the government to impose fines on mosques that did not respect the guideline.
Others opposed to the ministry’s arrangement argue that the adhan should be loud, especially during Ramadan, saying it gives them spiritual comfort.
The ministry has also given instructions to “set the sound level to four because of mosques’ proximity to each other, in order to prevent disturbance and interference with other adhans, which disrupts worshipers in other mosques.”