Kalla, who is the chairperson of the Indonesian Mosque Council, has been critical of external loudspeakers used to broadcast calls to prayer, sermons and Quranic recitals. This month he urged mosques to stop blaring recorded sermons through mosques’ loudspeakers, saying that worshippers would not gain God’s favour by doing so.
“A team will gather facts on the ground about overlapping sounds and timings of religious sermons, Quranic recitals and calls to prayer through loudspeakers” in major cities, Kalla’s spokesperson Husain Abdullah said.
The vice-president “believes the duration should be measured and the sound coverage should not go beyond the mosque’s immediate surrounding so that it won’t overlap with sounds from mosques in other neighbourhoods,” Husain said. Discordant voices fill the streets at the five prayer times, when all local mosques blast the azan at the same time.
During the current fasting month of Ramadan, mosques broadcast calls earlier to wake up the faithful for sahur, or the pre-dawn meal before the start of the fast.
Guidelines on the use of loudspeakers were issued by the government decades ago, including a requirement for mosques to use only inside speakers for activities other than calls to prayer, but they are often ignored.