Your Allah Isn’t Deaf, Pray Silently In Your Beds: Rwanda Bans Muslims Overnight Call To Prayers Over ‘Unnecessary Noise’

Your Allah Isn’t Deaf, Pray Silently In Your Beds: Rwanda Bans Muslims Overnight Call To Prayers Over ‘Unnecessary Noise’

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By Spy Uganda Correspondent

Rwanda’s Ministry of local government (MINALOC) has stated that the recent decision to ban the overnight Muslim call to prayer known as Adhan, was taken into consideration due to noise pollution raised by the public.

The practice of attaching loudspeakers to the minarets on mosques began in Asia in the 1930s and spread across the globe. Five calls are made per day, to summon the faithful for their five daily prayers.

Rwandan authorities say that residents had complained about the earliest call to prayer – which happens between 04:30 and 04:49 and lasts about two or three minutes.

But some Muslim faithful in the country has condemned the ban and stated that the culture of call to prayer is their faith.

“We are not happy… during Ramadan, it is adhan which tells us that it is time to start fasting, and not all Muslims in Rwanda have alarm clocks,” says a resident, Nuhu Bihibindi.

Ms. Mukamabano says the government could have told mosques to simply turn down the volume, “just like they tell bars to limit the volume on their music”.

“Adhan is our culture, it is our faith, banning it is upsetting Muslims, not having it during Ramadan is more painful,” she says.

Another Kigali resident, Issa Karim Mugabo, says he and others are now considering taking the government to court.

But Sheikh Souleiman Mbarushimana, an advisor to Rwanda’s mufti, or Islamic scholar, says Muslim leaders had already discussed the matter with the government and agreed upon the decision.

“Muslims say their right to faith was violated… but the authorities have told us [the morning call to prayer] is banned for the common good,” Mr Mbarushimana says.

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