It is very obvious that the recent ban on the recital of the Quran in Penang, just before Subuh prayers, giving a most insensible excuse of “disturbance to others”, is a prelude to ban azan (call for prayer) too, through loudspeakers, in the future. That would be following the footsteps of Singapore, which is suppressing Islamic activities.
If the recital of the Quran just 10 minutes before the azan is disturbing to others, and therefore banned, then very soon we can expect someone to complain that the azan too is disturbing their sleep; and therefore should be banned from calling through loudspeakers.
If one can bear with the azan, it is most illogical & insensible to say that the recital of the Quran, which is done just about 10 minutes before azan, is disturbing; and cannot be tolerated! Just 10 minutes before the actual azan would in no way cause any difference to the slumbering lot – unless they are in total prejudice against Islam. In fact, many of my non-Muslim friends have told me ‘that recital of the Quran and the following azan is good for them; because, it wakes them early to get ready to go to work’.
The exhaustive explanation given by Prof.Madya Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and many others, defending the ban giving all the dalils, is of course noteworthy. However, they have overlooked one fundamental point, which is the crux of the whole matter. Yes, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had prevented recital of the Quran aloud in the mosque. But when? Only when someone is praying; or performing dzikir; because the loud recital would distract their concentration in their communication with Allah (SWT), which is of greater status in ibadah.
Though Prof.Madya Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin and all the others know the very commonly-quoted hadith:
“Innamal amala bi niyyati ……..” (Bukhari) – (the benefit of) all actions depends on the motive – they have not taken this into consideration, when commenting & supporting the ban. In the case for recital of the Quran through loudspeakers, just 10-15 minutes before azan, the intention is to awaken Muslims to get ready for the important obligatory prayer of Subuh. And, the following azan after 10 minutes, is the call – signifying the time for prayer.
Both are done to ensure that Muslims do not miss their obligatory ibadah. The motive of a person reciting the Quran in the mosque – which is prevented by Prophet Muhammad (SAW), while others are performing other ibadah – is for his own pahala (benefit). This action done with the intention of getting pahala for himself has been prevented if it disturbs others.
The motive of reciting the Quran over loudspeakers just before Subuh azan is for the benefit of others. This action, done with the intention of doing good to others, is surely pleasing to Allah (SWT).
No sensible person would say that waking up 10-15 minutes earlier from sleep to get ready for the day, is disturbing him. In fact, a sensible person would only be thankful. To say that “it is disturbing”, is the reflection of one’s prejudice against Islam.