For the last three weeks I have been waking up everyday at 5 am. Not because I want to or need to but because I am forced to. By the azaan that bellows into my ears through my window from the nearby mosque –
Initially it made me very happy. I woke up and said a little prayer…
and then either tried unsuccessfully to go back to sleep (on weekends) or on weekdays sat upright in bed till 6.30 am when i could wake Kaveri up and get her ready for school. That first week i felt pious and religious and happy. New home, new beginings new awakenings.
Now the piety and spiritual high has been replaced by a sleep deprived crankiness that is making me edgy and irritable. I am a very secular person and pray at temples churches dargahs and budhist monastries. When poeple ask me what religion i follow i tell them that i follow the religion of humanity. We are a free nation and i revel and take pride in that freedom. Because i beleive that people should be allowed to follow their religious practices or abstain from it if they so desire.
Freedom to do or follow is as important and valid as the freedom to not do or abstain. And freedom cannot be at the cost of imposing ones way of life on another.
Noise is noise-whether it comes from prayer or party music bellowing out of loudspeakers. Wether it is the sound of hindu bhajans, christian hymns or muslim azaan, at 5 am the world is entitled to silence. There should be a time limit imposed on it that applies to all communities and sects. Religion is a private matter and should not spill on to the streets-if it does it should do so at civil hours say 8 am to 10 pm or something.
Like they do with dandiya celebrations or public shows where there is a spillage of sound that causes public disturbance
If it was bhajans or hymns that were waking me up at that unearthly hour I would have gone and met the head preist and initiated a dialogue on how one could figure out a way of inviting the beleivers into prayer while letting the others stay undisturbed. After all in a free world even prayer should be voluntary. I would have done this with the confidence that whatever the outcome of the dialogue I would not have to worry about having my head blown off over a simple discussion. But in this instance I dont know what else to do but blog
While i understand that it is tradition and religion a very touchy issue I was wondering if there no way to make use of modern technology to transmit the sound of the 5 am azaan to homes that wish to recieve it? Like an alarm or bell or intercom facilty? or some mobile wireless technology that people can voluntarily install in their homes?So that the rest of the world can remain undisturbed?
Is there a rich Muslim patron who will provide this free of cost to those in his community that can ill afford it for themselves? Technology has permeated every aspect of our lives-made it so much better. Why not in religion? Is there a huge opportunity here for the communications industry?Is there a way to live around a mosque and still get a full nights rest?