Salah (Prayer), is the second pillar of Islam. The performance of Salah, from the ablution to the actual prayer, was prescribed by Allah. At no point in the history of Islam, has Salah been reformed to conform with the changing times.
The Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, last week, when he took his turn at the meet the press series, feigned the highest form of unpardonable ignorance, when he suggested that, whatsapp and text messages, should be used to call Muslims to prayers.
He said, “In the house of worship, why is it that the noise will be limited to the house of worship…and again maybe from the mosque, why is it that time for prayer would not be transmitted with text message or whatsapp so the Imam will send whatsapp message to everybody that the time for prayer is up so appear…,” he suggested.
This is the most absurd suggestion anybody, could ever make. He sounded like a serial caller, who had to talk, because he was fortunate enough to get through into a radio programme.
It is obvious that, his knowledge of Islam is limited, I am, however, disappointed at the Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid, who himself is a Muslim scholar, for not enlightening his colleague, who had gone off tangent.
My instinct tells me to forgive the good Prof, but I am equally tempted to bring his attention to certain fundamental truth, that is very well within his professional ambit.
First of all, you cannot wake someone up with a text message of whatspp message, some people react to the least of noise, but majority of the people, need more than an SMS or whatsapp message to wake them up.
Muslims in Ghana have been very cautious in the practice of their religion. They have done that, without incurring the wrath of the other groups, including Christians. We have observed the ban on noise making by the Gas.
We observe five daily prayers, none of the prayers last more than ten minutes. The only time that could be considered in the estimation of the Minister of making noise is, when the call to prayer is being made, but that too doesn’t last more than two minutes.
Again, In Islam there are no specific denominational mosques that capture certain categories of worshippers.
Wherever a Muslim gets to, he prays in any available mosque where the azan (call to prayer) is called.
There are a lot of things, we can do as a nation to reduce noise pollution, but suggesting that, people should be called to prayers, using text messages and whatsapp, is certainly not one of them.
Charity, it is said begins at home. Prof. Boateng, should suggest to his colleagues politicians, to stop mounting speakers on pick-ups and be making noise in the name of campaigns.
When he is successful in this regard, then he can turn his attention to those practicing their faith. We are victims of the behavior of advance countries. They cause more pollution than we do, yet the solution or sacrifice, has to come from us.
We have so many problems that is killing more people and causing harm to the environment more than noise pollution.
The harm plastic or polythene bags are causing to the environment, leading to the loss of lives, is worse than, the cumulative effect of our cal to prayers.
The perennial flooding we have been experiencing in this country can largely be blamed on choked quarters.
The quarters are choked because we drop plastics in them, the minister should rather help to find lasting solution to the menace, the plastic bags are causing rather than insignificant noise that Muslims make, when they call ‘Azan’.
The suggestion the minister made is an error which smacks of paucity of learning, he should get an education on the religion, before coming out with any pronouncement in the future.
A suggestion as this, should only be made when you are with friends and maybe you will get an education, making a mockery of himself, is not good for his person.
Mustapha Hamid, should please help his colleagues, who have limited knowledge of Islam to be abreast with it, before making any comment that could be taking out of context.
Religion evokes a lot of emotion in people, we never do anything with so much conviction, unless when we are doing it from a religious point of view. This is why politicians must be mindful of their utterances, when the subject of religion is being discussed.
Beer bars and Pubs, with blaring sounds that echo our communities from morning till evening and seven days in a week nonstop, are the places the minister should concern himself with, if he is really serious about reducing noise pollution.
The day politicians, will campaign for votes through text messages and whatsapp, instead of rallies, maybe Muslims in Ghana, can also ask almighty Allah, if we could be allow to call members to the mosque, using text messages and whatsapp.
Many people in Ghana, do not use mobile phone, what becomes of them, the Minister, since he is full of ideas, no matter how twisted they are, should tell us, how those people can also be reached.