The member of parliament for Akwatia constituency in the Eastern Region, Mr Baba Jamal has hit back hard at the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng who suggested that Muslims should use text massages to call for Azan rather using megaphones.
The minister's call or suggestion didn’t only angered the outspoken legislator, but also many Muslims, who wondered if that should be his focus when the country is literally covered in plastic bags
Angry Muslims have cautioned the minister to be careful in order not ignite religious conflict in Ghana. Mr. Jamal in a statement drew the attention of the minister to the fact that the Islam religion is perfected by Almighty Allah Himself so we fallible human beings are strictly careful what we adopt as innovation in Islam. Innovations that take away the originality of a practice in Islam is an abomination.
BELLOW IS THE FULL STATEMENT
In response to the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng....
The statement by the Minister be it advice , a call or suggestion to Imams and muslims must NOT be taken lightly because in Islam the issue of innovations are very important and goes to the core of the religious practice.
It is important for public officers especially Ministers of State to be careful in what they say especially when it comes to religion other people's believe albeit suggestions.
For the Minister to say he is aware his suggestions "maybe controversial" should have prompted him to do further studies about the issue of Azan or call to prayers in Islam. Infact his so called advice in itself suggests that the call to prayers by Muslims pollutes the environment.
Islam, unlike other religions don't adopt innovations just because it makes things easier or it serves the course of some people. An innovation can only be acceptable when it finds its roots in the Holy Quran or the Hadith or sayings and practices of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW).
Azan in Islam goes to the core of Islam because it is a Quranic injunction which cannot be changed. It is a human activity and must go as far as acceptable by the laws of the state.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has fixed the safe noise levels for a city at 45 Decibels and in Ghana by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) (2008) Ambience Noise Level Guidelines on Residential Areas, permissible noice levels during the day is 55 decibels or less and at night 48 decibels or less. I am not sure any of the machines used in the various mosques in Ghana during the or night in the call of Azan come anywhere in the Decibels mentioned in the laws above to warrant a statement like this from a Minister of state.
I am sure the Minister must be aware of these laws and to come out to suggest that the Azan or the call to prayers by muslims pollutes the environment is unacceptable to say yhe least.
Let me draw the attention of the Minister to the fact that the Religion of Islam is perfected by Almighty Allah Himself so we fallible human beings are strictly careful what we adopt as innovation in Islam. Innovations that takes away the originality of a practice in Islam is an abomination.
As stated in the Holy Quran:
ﺍﻟْﻴَﻮْﻡَ ﺃَﻛْﻤَﻠْﺖُ ﻟَﻜُﻢْ ﺩِﻳﻨَﻜُﻢْ ﻭَﺃَﺗْﻤَﻤْﺖُ ﻋَﻠَﻴْﻜُﻢْ ﻧِﻌْﻤَﺘِﻲ ﻭَﺭَﺿِﻴﺖُ ﻟَﻜُﻢُ ﺍﻟْﺈِﺳْﻠَﺎﻡَ ﺩِﻳﻨًﺎ ۚ
This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam.
Quran chapter 5 v 3. Suratul Maaida.
So you can see that Allah has perfected Islam for mankind and innovations that affects the originality of the practice is forbidden.
It is instructive to note that The Quran, the Supreme book of Islam has been kept in its ancient Arabic text up till today. This is what guides the religion.
I must also draw attention of the readers of this message to the fact that the call of Azan is not to only human beings but also to all the spirits in the vicinity. The prophet Mohammed (SAW) was not sent to only human beings but to the spirit as well . The Quran testifies to this in the following verse:
ﻭَﻣَﺎ ﺃَﺭْﺳَﻠْﻨَﺎﻙَ ﺇِﻟَّﺎ ﺭَﺣْﻤَﺔً ﻟِﻠْﻌَﺎﻟَﻤِﻴﻦَ ﴿١٠٧﴾
We sent thee not save as a mercy to the entire world.
Quran chapter 21 v 107 Suratul Anbiya
So calling Azan is to the spirits as well and I wander how the Imams can send text messages to the spirits. The spirits are also under the same obligations to believe in the prophet and to justify why they are created into this world. The same as human beings, the spirits must listern to the Azan and respond to prayers. The Quran says:
ﻭَﻣَﺎ ﺧَﻠَﻘْﺖُ ﺍﻟْﺠِﻦَّ ﻭَﺍﻟْﺈِﻧْﺲَ ﺇِﻟَّﺎ ﻟِﻴَﻌْﺒُﺪُﻭﻥِ ﴿٥٦﴾
I created the jinn(spirits) and humankind only that they might worship Me.
Quran chapter 51 v 56 Suratul Zariyat
So clearly if the Minister had done some basic research on the role of Azan and the need for it to called by natural human beings in Islam, he wouldn't have made this distasteful suggestions to Muslim Imams.
My humble advice to all especially leaders in public office to be careful with what they say and take time to research on matters of religious importance so as to safeguarded and preserve our national unity, the religious tolerance and the national peace we enjoy in our beloved Ghana. Thanks