PETALING JAYA: Perlis mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin has come to Penang’s defence in calling for a stop to the use of loudspeakers in mosques and surau for other things besides azan (call for prayer).
In a Facebook posting Friday, Dr Asri said such a move had even been approved by Prophet Muhammad so as to maintain harmony with non-Muslims.
â€œIslam had ordered its followers to only amplify the azan. And there are no verses that justify the increasing of volume besides for azan.
â€œThere are also no verses that order us to do so and disturb others. Even Prophet Muhammad discouraged such move,â€ he said.
Dr Asri added that turning up the volume for Quran recitals or zikir (short phrases) had often resulted in misunderstandings.
â€œSome people would defend such practices on the grounds that Quran recitals and zikir should be glorified. They think this is one of the ways to defend Islam,â€ he said.
He said that although the recitals of Quran and zikir are encouraged, one shouldnâ€™t be compelled to listen to them.
â€œ Muslims therefore, should stop the use of loudspeakers for these recitals that could disturb those inside the mosque and outside the mosque.
â€œAdhering to this is not a political move, but what was ordered by the Prophet to maintain harmony and protect the sanctity of Islam,â€ he said.
On Thursday, Penang state mufti Datuk Dr Wan Salim Mohd Noor said the suggestion to ban the use of loudspeakers in state mosques, however, was only a proposal and not an edict.
He said the Penang Fatwa Committee had not issued any ban but proposed that loudspeakers not be used for Quran recitals before the azan and sermons.
State Religious Affairs, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abdul Kassiam added that the issue was being blown out of proportion by certain parties.
He added that no one from the state had interfered in or issued instructions to the fatwa committee or the muftiâ€™s department to ban the use of loudspeakers.
In 2011, then Perlis mufti Dr Juanda Jaya said the state had issued a similar ban some years earlier.