Hi everyone,
A friend of mine asked a few questions earlier today, while I was rushing to go out so I wasn’t able to answer them then, I told my friend I would answer some of them when I come back.
I’ve decided to put the questions on my wall and invite others to answer instead. I think that would give a better overview. Also, I am not very knowledgeable (in this area) to answer the questions posed, but I am very humbled and grateful that this friend felt ok to ask me.
Here are the questions:
“I was obsessed by something, I am not sure can u help. I really need a Muslim friend who is objective, open minded and fair.
I live in a condo, there is a surau underneath. At first, the surau didn’t come with speaker. However, few months later, the speaker has been installed on the top of the building, at 7th floor, without notified to management office. Not offended, as u know, 5 times of Azan is a must, and I am ok with that. Cause i believe in respecting each other. I (and others non muslim residents) dont mind the Azan, but we are really concern about the morning session Azan at 5:45am. This morning Azan seriously cause a problem to non muslim (even partial for Muslim).
I am not sure about Islam, but I do really want to know about it. some questions are waiting for answer:
1) Do u think this surau function is like the surau we see in Petrol station and shopping mall? It should be without the speaker, for the resident or outsider have a decent place to pray. I think that is the intention of setting this surau up from the developer, just someone abuse the initial function. So what do u think?
2) What is the purpose for Azan?
3) Does it really necessary Azan everyday? Cause some of my friends said some of the surau not even make Azan everyday.
4) What is the difference between surau and mosque?
Mazlyn, if above questions cause you to feel uncomfortable, u can just totally ignore the message”.
Thanks again for asking. Now I will tag some of my more knowledgable friends who are in a better position to answer. — feeling happy with Farouk Musa and 8 others.See More
  • Yeo Eng Khean my Muslim friends pray 5 times a day withOUT any need for reminders or loud-speakers …
  • Felicia Chang i used to face the same problem. I have insomnia  and sometimes the early morning Azan woke me up and cause a lot of distress. Almost gone nuts. But since someone was penalised because complain about the speaker, most of us suffer in silence being afraid to voice out our concern. It is actually causing a lot of physical and emotional distress. Somehow God has been kind coz after few months, the surau lower the volume. I was planning to move if the problem not resolve. Frustrated but what to do! I love my Muslim friends and respect their need to connect with their God but then again, I think respect is mutual too.
  • Mazlyn Mustapha I found this http://blog.limkitsiang.com/…/the-true-spirit-of-the-azan/

    blog.limkitsiang.com

    By Prof Dr Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi | MalaysiaKini Let us be clear on the purpose of the adhan in its original form. According to the hadith
  • Nurul Afifah Mohd Yusoff Just to share some thoughts. 1) I think, the surau set up in a condo or a resident serves more functions that a surau in Petrol station or shopping mall. In a resident area, a surau serves not only as a place to pray, but also for the Muslims to gather and strengthen their bonds during Islamic events. Living in the same resident area especially, Muslims have to know each other. Therefore, the speaker serves as to call (the Azan) the Muslims, to gather and pray in jemaah (together) especially for the man. To compare with, the surau in petrol station and shopping mall doesn’t need this speaker. Petrol stations and shopping mall especially doesn’t open 24hours a week, and there is nobody to call for gathering. As the main purpose of going to a shopping mall is to shop. And for the petrol station, the surau serves as a proper place for a musaafir (a traveller) to pray if he or she could not find a mosque or in a rush.
  • Ahmad Ramadzan I have my opinion. but best keep at the moment. anyway why not try to get advice from learned people like Dr MAZA.
  • Nurul Afifah Mohd Yusoff I am just a student and still learning. I’m sorry if my explanation make it more confusing. Just sharing. 🙂
  • Mazlyn Mustapha Dr Ahmad Ramadzan, maybe you can tag someone or paste the link/s? Thank you.
  • Mazlyn Mustapha I have to go now, working early tomoro morning. Anyone is welcome to answer or tag anyone or paste links that are helpful. Thanks!
  • Lim Lian Cheoo I think all religions teach us to be good, understanding, loving, caring, accommodating yet able to share and be able to tolerate one others!
    The idea ( in my opinion is to serve like an alarm ) to wake the still sleeping Muslim but it also wakes up the others…!
    With due respect to all others, I think we shd also keep in mind that respect shd be given to non Muslims as well. God teach us not to be selfish, isn’t it? God bless us! Hope no one offended!
  • Enver Anwar http://drmaza.com/home/?p=1339

    drmaza.com

    Saya ingin mengulas sedikit tentang bacaan-bacaan –selain azan- yang menggunakan… pembesar suara sehingga mengganggu orang ramai. Bacaan ini telah mengelirukan orang bukan muslim sehingga mereka menyangka ia azan. Sesetengah pihak cuba mempertahankan amalan tersebut atas alasan ia bacaan al-Quran ata…See More
  • Sofwan Albar Dear friends, I try my best to answer some of the questions based on my limited experiences. Here you go.
    Technically azan is compulsary to be performed. There are a few ways to deliver azan, either by speaker or without speaker. Living in a mixed community, yes I agree, not all people can tolerate the azan. Dont quote me, the place where I stay, hang the speaker on a tree near an open space, not hang to the wall of an erect building. Actually if there is a nearby mosque that already delivers the azan and it can be heard, there is no need to repeat the azan. Mainly it should go by discipline. Time for prayer is already been given for 1 year. But not all people bothers much, so they rely on azan.
  • Enver Anwar http://mstar.com.my/kolumnis/cerita.asp…

    mstar.com.my

    Di dalam bahagian kedua temubual bersama Mufti Perlis Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin…, beliau menghuraikan tentang penggunaan pembesar suara di masjid atau surau selain untuk melaungkan Azan serta kemusykilan tentang penggunaan wali atau jin untuk perubatan Islam. See More
  • Lim Lian Cheoo Also when I was the only non-Muslim serving in a royal malay regiment in the armay, the cooks had to serve me meals as I’m an officer! Out of respect, I declined, refrained from eating, drinking, smoking infront of them during fasting months. When they doa, I stood still. I was with with them for 3 years and had the highest respect from all rank n file! MUTUAL RESPECT to me is truly lacking nowadays …
  • Alizah Ali I grew up on a street where I woke up to the Fajr azan from the Masjid Negeri. At 12 noon, I was greeted by the chimes of bell from the Catholic Church at the end of the steet. When we played outside, we knew it was time to head home because the Hindu Temple bells are rung at 7 pm. We ran home, just in time before the Maghrib azan was called out from the minarets again. And all weekend we had the chants of Satnam Vaheguru from the Gudwara right next door.  The street was predominantly Chinese and I saw all of the colourful and loud festivals throughout the year. I accepted and tolerated all. To be honest I enjoyed it. There was always mutual respect. Now I live in a place where the silence of religious sounds is deafening.
  • Adam Mokhtar I think the management office should have informed or consulted tenants of the building since the establishment of a place of worship or any, might directly or indirectly affect the immediate vicinity. Nevertheless, it is to be expected that sights and sound and smells in some cases, of a religious establishment, might influence one decision when one is looking for a place to stay. Location location location. Here in Brunei, all if not some non muslim expats  ‘silently’ prefers living far from a mosque, much larger version of a surau. Which I can understand, if I was born a highly strict conservative Muslim and work abroad I wouldnt have chosen a location too near an establishment of other beliefs. If a mosque is to be built near their location, they can either put up with the azan or move. But then it is Brunei. I am not speaking on behalf of all Bruneians, mind you. In this case I also believe in tolerance and Islam is a religion of tolerance. There is no measure on how loud the azan should be, its a call to prayer hence it can be performed with or without the speaker in some cases. I see an amicable solution to the issue and I sincerely hope the affected tenants and management office can resolve the matter.
  • Ahmad Sadhiqin Maybe the article is not the answer you look for but please have a look – http://www.ali-gomaa.com/m/fatwas.php?fatwa_details=889…

    www.ali-gomaa.com

    Question: My father and uncle erected a residential building in 1983. The ground… floor was readied as a musalla which was divided into two sections; one for men and the other for women. The two sections are not linked and the entryway to the building separates them. Since the building was first cons…See More
  • Ahmad Sadhiqin personally i think it is unwise for the musalla/surau to perform loud azan/calling for prayers if it involves bringing discomfort to the nonmuslim residence.. in the quran there is this ayat “La ikraha fiddin” which means there is nobody can be forced in religion.. this also applies to the azan at the surau issue.. my suggestion, in order to answer to question correctly, we need to look at the conditions to build a surau and compare it with the conditions for a mosque… its related to each other and how the enforcement can be done on a mosque got any difference with a surau… 🙂
  • Ahmad Rusydan ermmm sensitive and delicate issue ni..

    1. Azan is compulsory n necessary in Islam. A call to prayer and a reminder.. (yeah.. we need to be constantly reminded abt our duty… as a human we tend to went astray.. :P).

    The following is the Arabic transliteration and the English translation of what you hear:

    Allahu Akbar
    God is Great
    (said four times)

    Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah
    I bear witness that there is no god except the One God.
    (said two times)

    Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah
    I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
    (said two times)

    Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah
    Hurry to the prayer (Rise up for prayer)
    (said two times)

    Hayya ‘ala-l-Falah
    Hurry to success (Rise up for Salvation)
    (said two times)

    Allahu Akbar
    God is Great
    [said two times]

    La ilaha illa Allah
    There is no god except the One God

    For the pre-dawn (fajr) prayer, the following phrase is inserted after the fifth part above, towards the end:

    As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm
    Prayer is better than sleep
    (said two times)

    2. The issue here me think is not the Azan… it is more on the level of tolerance of Azan.. n tolerance comes both ways. I give u an example of my situation at the moment. My neighbour (sbelah rumah jer) like birds esp the murai batu (wild murai). He also have wild roaster and tekukur.. he have 5 murai and 4 wild roaster (ayam hutan) and 1 tekukur.. n these birds i tell you very loud one every single day.. esp morning & petang (sumtime i really wanna just shot the freaking birds.. hihi), noon, nite (not so much- tido ma). Btw, i tolerate the noise i really ‘KNOW’ my neighbour.
    so… me think the solution here is the muslim and the non-muslim at the condo MUST get to know i mean really know each other then the TOLERANCE and RESPECT will be there.

    3. Btw… im staying in bandar kinrara where there was a time when the AZAN issue ada timbul. siap kutip tandatangan, n what not. me think does not have to come to that.. try talk to the surau committee member.. slow talk… and cakap elok2.. melayu muslim ni usually very accommodating.. i pray i hope amicable solution can be reached as we r all brother and sister in religion if not.. in human kind… 😉

    hope this will help… Allah know’s best.

  • M Yusaimi Md Yusof 1) surau funtion- in housing area – for solat jemaah / group (congretional) prayer. community center,foster unity, build stronger bond among community. group praying often a more intense experince than praying alone. 

    2) purpose for Azan- call for prayer, to inform people time for prayer (time management), reminder to people who buzy with a daily live activity. Its inspired by Allah in one of the follower of the holy Prophet,it s remain same ever since.

    3 ) yes its  necessary. even if the muslims pray alone in his house,  either he azan then  iqamah or just iqamah.

    4) What is the difference between surau and mosque?

  • M Yusaimi Md Yusof surau basiclly smaller then mosque, cant perform Friday prayer  cant iqtikaf (explain later)  by Prophet standard there was no surau just mosque. who ever can hear a azan must go to mosque.
  • Mazlyn Mustapha I just got up, it’s nice to see everyone participating in the discussion and I read most of the links except the one posted by Ahmad Sadhiqin because it was taking very long to load, I’ll read it later. I don’t consider myself a religious person although religion is important to me. I’m glad I was asked and I am glad I post the question because the answers here are way much better than what I could have given on my own. So once again, thanks everyone. Islam is a peaceful faith which teaches tolerance, and as far as I know, other religions too teach similar principles. I am grateful to God that Malaysia has remained a peaceful country despite all recent events that have taken place especially in the last few months. I hope God will continue to bless Malaysia with peace and harmony and that I will always have friends from all the different faiths and religions of the world 😀
  • Yen Teck Hoe Know the truth and it sets you free.  Are we really free indeed?
  • Azlindarita Aisyah Mohd Abdullah Sorry didn’t get a chance to comment earlier. A lot of people have really good answer & I agree.

    Tolerance is key I think.

  • Sofwan Albar One question here to be clear Mazlyn. Is it azan or quranic recitation? Azan is performed about 5 – 7 minutes the least..azan and non azan is different…
  • Mazlyn Mustapha Going to work now. I think the original question from my friend clearly asks about azan. But for the sake of discussion, we can bring in all relevant information and let the audience read and decide what is relevant to them imho 😀
  • Shahridan Fathil · 71 mutual friends

    I view this issue as striking a balance between defending the faith and being fair and accomodating to non-members of the faith.
    Athan is a compulsory call for prayer. Being a predominantly Muslim country we should uphold this part of the shariah.
    However Quranic readings, ceramah and even the imam’s recitations during solah should not be aired through an external speaker in a multi religious neighbourhood or maybe even a Muslim neighbourhood as it is not exactly sunnah.
    Athan may be more of an issue in densely populated condos than landed property estates.
    Maybe as suggested above, an engagement (with hikmah) by the surau committee with the neighbours (or the other way around) may relieve the tension.
    My suggestion : to look into the set up of the speaker ie. location,direction and maybe volume.
    Wallahu’alam
  • Khairul Azhar Jaafar there’s a big difference between screaming,shouting or even wailing on the speaker(which is already loud) and calling in a gentle,sweet, appealing voice. Have we lost the wisdom? Bilal was chosen by the Prophet Muhammad as the first to perform azan because he possessed the best voice.
  • Sathish Ch Faith is important in any religion ,children’s should be reminded about the importance of prayers especially in this age of internet . as a hindu i do appreciate the importance of prayers but would prefer if things are more systematic controlled volume , set in a certain timeframe and set amount of speakers in a area
  • 裸男 Alizah Ali, do all these chants ,chimes of bell etc happen at 5:45am? Does it obsess your sleeping?

    Ahmad Sadhiqin, thanks for you understanding and objective comment. The residence here are 70%~80% of non Muslim.

    Ahmad Rusydan, the Azan is for calling the prayer… sorry, no offence, don’t the prayers know the time for praying? hmmm… we all tried to tolerate at first… somehow, it is louder and louder like forget about the rest especially there are so many infants, toddlers, old folks are still sleeping, which most of us can’t stand still. My kids were shocked by the Azan and crying EVERYDAY, so do you think we still need to tolerate again? I really don’t know what to do, that’s why I posted here for a help.

    In this multi racial country, as a non Muslim, I always respect and tolerate Muslim friends. But if something is out of human tolerance and not logic, some will choose to silence and some will voice out. I understand there is no chance of changing morning Azan, and I understand that Malaysia are reside with most of the Muslim. What I feel is, since I can avoid drinking and eating in front of my Muslim friends during Ramadan to show my respect, how come the Azan can’t be lower down or to be muted in the MORNING SESSION only? Even we talked to them, the surau committee said: Jagan ganggu kita.
    Well, i was taught by my pendidikan moral tutor that, egoism is not a good thing. So, is it possible the Muslim friends tolerate non Muslim once, just one time for this issue? I am going to talk to them again.

    P/s: Above writing are not harming or offend anyone, and no sarcastic emotion in i, it is just a statement. I am here to looking for a solution, and to understand more about Islam, trying to find a balance point for both parties.

  • Sofwan Albar Dont worry we are very understanding human being. You are welcome to ventilate these issues. Someone told me if you feel that you dont get solution on your own better to discuss with others. Ideas or solutions can pop up without you realise it. Anger and hatred will not solve anything. I dont mind if someone condemn me on how I write this issue. Healthy discussion is a good way to solve problems.
  • Ahmad Rusydan no worries. none taken.. 😉 yeah. we muslim should know what time we should pray. it is just sumtime we need the reminder. thats all. like sumtime we need alarm clock to wake us up for work.. once it is set in our biological clock.. no need alarm anymore. but basically Azan is compulsory practise for us muslim. So.. when you approach them again… try not to focus on the Azan is offensive.. focus on the volume & appropriate timing, location of speaker and what not. n try to bring sumbody that they actually respect/bagi muka. that might help.

    anyway… sorry to hear the cold response “jgn gangu kita”. seriously… that is so not cool. tough situation ni already… btw.. surau committee should comprise of few people.. have you tried to slow talk to each of them personally n get to know them. maybe 1 jenis kapla batu.. n maybe ada yang jenis tolerance. the tolerance one maybe can help you in the issue.

    hopefully next time you talk to them… they can be more considerate.

  • Ben Sharif Ahmad Rusydan, you mentioned that Azan is mandatory in Islam. Mandatory as in the command of Allah? If that is so then please quote the relevant verse in the Quran because I have not been able to find it. With your guidance I hope to be a better Muslim rather than to be misguided by bidaah. Inshyallah.
  • Ahmad Rusydan gulp… alamak.. masuk bab bidaah la pulok.. heavy stuff im not qualified to even go there..

    anyway… based on my limited knowledge… islam four major source shariah are Qur’an, Sunnah, Ijma’ and Qiyas.

    QURAN:
    Dan apabila kamu menyeru (azan) untuk mengerjakan sembahyang, mereka menjadikan sembahyang itu sebagai ejek-ejekan dan permainan. Yang demikian itu ialah kerana mereka suatu kaum yang tidak berakal.

    When ye proclaim your call to prayer they take it (but) as mockery and sport; that is because they are a people without understanding.
    (Al-Maaidah 5:58)

    yeah.. the verse does not spesifically tell muslim – ‘o ye muslim must call for azan 5 time a day bla bla bla..’ yet it mentioned the is practise of azan / call for prayer.

    HADITH.
    Narrated Ibn Umar:

    When the Muslims arrived at Medina, they used to assemble for the prayer, and used to guess the time for it. During those days, the practice of Adhan for the prayers had not been introduced yet. Once they discussed this problem regarding the call for prayer. Some people suggested the use of a bell like the Christians. Others proposed a trumpet like the horn used by the Jews. But Umar was the first to suggest that a man should call the people for the prayer; so Allah’s messenger ordered Bilal to get up and pronounce the Adhan for prayers. Bukhari Book 1 Hadith 578

    and btw.. i hope we can actually focus on the issue esp how we can assist our friend from the problem with early morning call of prayer… bab validity of azan ni… me think each of every one of us have our very own views abt that.. Allah knows best. 😉

  • Ben Sharif Ahmad Rusydan, thank you for your explanation and please accept my appreciation.  I just want to make sure that I understand what is being prescribed by Allah and the manner in which Azan is to be delivered.  As is currently being practiced in Malaysia makes me wonder if ii is the call for prayer for the believers or if it is a political instrument for distrust. I hope it is the former.. wallahualam.
  • Mazlyn Mustapha Ronan, if you need my help, maybe we can approach the surau committee together with a group of mixed people, and see if we can negotiate something. Can pm me 😀
  • Sofwan Albar Yg ni x discuss virtual azan lg nih…we will discuss this some other time…
  • Mazlyn Mustapha Sure you can discuss it here Sofwan, go ahead…
  • Adam Mokhtar ‘Jangan ganggu kita’..ouch.
  • Ahmad Sadhiqin Another point that need to be considered is good akhlaq… During the time of the prophet saw, he would never ever bring discomfort in whatsoever form to the nonmuslim. Since the majority of the residence are nonmuslim, we should show our good manner to them and should consider bringing down the azan from the musolla/surau.  If its a grand mosque then it’s a different case altogether.  Remember that the prophet saw was sent to us to perfect our manners/akhlaq. Where is the akhlaq when we keep intefering the nonmuslim and bring discomfort to them.
  • Ben Sharif Bro Ahmad Sadhiqin, you took the words right out of my mouth Alhamdulillah level headedness must prevail at all time.
  • Ahmad Sadhiqin Alhamdulillah may Allah swt bless the whole people who involved in this discussion and get benefit from it be it muslim or nonmuslim :).
  • 裸男 Sofwan Albar, thanks for your understanding. 🙂

    Ahmad Rusydan, yes, i thought the same way. There are few committees over there, i should try to talk to others. 🙂

    Adam Mokhtar, I am sure the person who replied me is the conservative type. I am sure there are still many full of love, understanding and caring Muslims. 🙂

    Ahmad Sadhiqin, thousand thanks! 🙂

    and Mazlyn Mustapha, thanks for your helping in this. Appreciate all of you. ❤

  • Nik Sue Hussain I can’t agree more re Ahmad Sashiqin’s comment about akhlaq, Masha Allah. I cannot comment on the fiqh of the adhaan, since I am not qualified to, especially given the added complexities of high-rise living, majority non-Muslims etc. This should be referred to a proper Islamic scholar(s) ie who is/are devoid of political leanings and influence. A few observations, however: 1. I worry that here in Malaysia, we Muslims take for granted the fact that Islam is our official religion hence take many liberties in implementing the deen not in accordance to the shariaa or sunnah (Prophet Muhammad SAW’s teachings and practises) but more in line with what is easy for us and of course political power ie ‘because ‘we can’. The comment by Felicia Chang really makes me cringe and is distressing to me, because as a Muslim we should not cause discomfort to others. 2. There is a lack of appreciation of how tolerant and respectful most of the average Malaysians are for each other’s religious practices, and because I am Muslim, my examples are one from this perspective – non-Muslims waiting to eat during breaking fast with their Muslim colleagues, many institutions schedule meetings around prayer times, etc. just to name but a few. 3. there is a lack of sensible discourse in our country, which is getting worse I think when issues like this are brought up. If this were asked ‘publicly’ eg letter to a newspaper, many would be labeling the questioning disrespectful to Islam, etc with many people esp politicians jumping on the bandwagon to score some points. The silence unfortunately would be from the people who are qualified to answer, the religious scholars; and I mean the real scholars who do not have any political leanings/ motivation. A suggestion of someone learned who may be able to help would be Shaykh Hussain Yee of the Al-Khadeem Institute. To the questioner, thank you for asking and not judging Islam straight away; also for doing so with such ‘adab’ or proper manner. I pray that you find the truth and the answer that you are looking for.
  • 裸男 Nik Sure Hussain, thanks for your long replying. Indisputable, in Malaysia, Islam has been politicized. I still remember Teresa Kok, she and a reporter were both detained because of this issue once, happened in Puchong. Teresa Kok only wished them to lower the volume for morning session, but she got caught. Funny thing is, those politicians citied Internal Security Act to detain them. So, that is why, with the politician of strong support, we (residents) really hesitate to make a move, until we really can’t stand any more.
    I don’t know much about Islam, but I do believe, every religions are mean to teach us to be a good, caring and loving man. Base on my common sense and moral be the criterion to judge, at least the volume should mute or lower down in MORNING SESSION ONLY. The rest of the time of Azan, we don’t really mind, really. 🙂
    Anyway, one of the person in charge (committee) is really understanding. He requested me to collect signature for petition, he would help me on this. Hope we can live in harmony and happy ending. 🙂