NYC Ensures Adhan Rights for Muslim Community
Deputy Commissioner Mark T. Stewz Issues Memorandum to Uphold Religious Freedom
In a move to uphold the fundamental rights and religious freedoms enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, Deputy Commissioner Mark T. Stewz has issued a memorandum to all Community Affairs Personnel, directing them to facilitate the use of speakers for the Adhan (call to prayer) in the Muslim community. This directive aims to ensure that Muslims can practice their faith without hindrance, emphasizing the importance of respectful communication between religious communities.
The Adhan is a vital ritual in Islam, serving as a call to prayer, and a reminder for Muslims to set aside worldly matters and attend mandatory prayers. It typically takes 2-5 minutes to perform and is conducted five times a day. The prayer times are as follows:
- Fajr prayer at sunrise (early mornings)
- Dhur prayer around 1300 hours (midday)
- Asr prayer in the late afternoon before 1800 hours
- Maghrib prayer at sunset
- Isha prayer in the late evening (2000-2100)
To ensure that the Muslim community can carry out the Adhan, Community Affairs Personnel have been instructed to visit, inform, and ensure that Masjids (Mosques) are permitted to use speakers. These speakers must be set to a reasonable volume level. Furthermore, Muslim leaders are encouraged to establish a rapport with their neighbors, with Community Affairs helping in this regard.
It's important to note that houses of worship, including Masjids, do not require a written permit for the use of sound devices. However, they are subject to rules outlined in Section 10-108 of the Administrative Code and Administrative Guide Procedure 321-13 concerning the prohibited use of sound devices. These devices must be attached to the house of worship and set to an appropriate decibel level as per regulations defined by the Department of Environmental Protection. Importantly, they should not be used after sunset and only after 0900 hours.
Deputy Commissioner Mark T. Stewz's memorandum underscores the commitment to upholding religious freedom and ensuring that all communities, including the Muslim community, can practice their faith without hindrance. It serves as a reminder that the diverse fabric of our city should be celebrated and supported.
For further information and compliance, Community Affairs Personnel are encouraged to reach out to the relevant authorities.