Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you

Loudspeakers in the Masjid

I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. 

As strange as this might sound, what we have today of loudspeakers echoing from masaajid especially during Fajr prayer, Maghrib and Isha is not appropriate Islamically. Islam prevents us from causing annoyance to others and that we should try as much as possible not to inconvenient others. 

Notably, it is a religious rite to make the adhan (call to prayer) and the aim is to make the adhan reach the listeners in order for them to come to the masjid. Hence, scholars said it is okay to use loudspeakers for the adhan.

To buttress this position, there are two narrations amongst numerous ones from Sahih al-Bukhari that aptly fit in. 

Abdul Rahman narrated: Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri told my father, "I see you liking sheep and the wilderness. So whenever you are with your sheep or in the wilderness and you want to pronounce Adhan for the prayer raise your voice in doing so, for whoever hears the Adhan, whether a human being, a jinn or any other creature, will be a witness for you on the Day of Resurrection." Abu Said added, "I heard it (this narration) from Allaah's Apostle."

Also, Anas bin Malik said, "Whenever the Prophet went out with us to fight (in Allaah's cause) against any nation, he never allowed us to attack till morning and he would wait and see: if he heard Adhan he would postpone the attack and if he did not hear Adhan he would attack them." 

However, with regards to using loudspeakers on minarets to amplify the recitation of the Imam or otherwise, Shyakh Uthaymeen has this to say in the 13th and 15th volume of his Majmoo Fataawa,

".....using loudspeakers on the minaret for the prayers in which Qur’aan is recited out loud is something that is not allowed, because it causes a lot of disturbance for the people in houses and other mosques nearby. Imam Maalik narrated in al-Muwatta’ from Sharh al-Zarqaani in Baab al-‘Aml fi’l-Qiraa’ah (How Qur’aan is to be recited) from al-Bayaadi Farwah ibn ‘Amr –RA– that the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ went out to the people when they were praying, and their voices were loud in recitation, and he said: “ A worshipper is conversing with his Lord, so let him think about the One with Whom he is conversing. Do not raise your voices above one another when reciting Qur’aan. ..........."

He also said,

"But if the sound comes out of the mosque from the top of the minaret and there are no other mosques around whose worshippers may be disturbed, or dwellings whose people will be disturbed by the sound, then I hope that there is nothing wrong with that. But if there are other mosques around whose worshippers will be disturbed or dwellings whose  people will be disturbed by the sound, then it should not be done from the top of the minaret, because that is annoying and disturbing others." 

It was narrated that Abu Sa’eed a-Khudri RA said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ observed i'tikaaf in the mosque and he heard them reciting Qur’aan out loud. He drew aside the curtain and said: “Each one of you is conversing privately with his Lord, so do not disturb one another and do not raise your voices above one another in reading Qur’aan, or in prayer.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, authenticated by al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawood.

Alhamdulillah, some Masaajid have separated their internal speakers from the external. This enables them to use the external when making the adhan and the internal when praying.

I implore one and all to bring this issue to their mosque committees and take the appropriate step. May Allaah guide us.

Twitter: @Penabdull