Waltham mosques broadcast daily calls to prayer

Waltham Forest mosques have been given permission to broadcast daily calls to prayer during Ramadan to support worshippers in lockdown.

The call to prayer or Adhaan, which lasts less than five minutes, will be played at sunset to announce the end of that day’s fast and at 1pm on Fridays to mark a prayer at this time.

During the holy period of Ramadan, which lasts until the evening of May 23 this year, worshippers usually attend mosques daily in huge numbers and break their fast together.

Since this is impossible during lockdown, the council gave permission for the Adhaan to be broadcast publicly for the first time in the borough on Monday May 4.

Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Cllr Clare Coghill said: “The holy month of Ramadan is normally a time for the Muslim community to come together to pray and break their fast.

“Like many aspects of all our lives, this has been affected by COVID-19 and the requirement to remain socially distant.

“As an alternative form of connection during this special month, the Waltham Forest Council of Mosques contacted the council to request that as an alternative to congregating they announce a short call to prayer at a number of mosques adapted to remind worshippers to stay at home.

“The council considered the request as it would with any religious or faith group looking to responsibly worship during this difficult time. Ramadan Mubarak to all our Muslim community.”

Permission was requested by the Waltham Forest Council of Mosques, who state on their Facebook page that they represent more than 70,000 muslim worshippers.

In a statement on their website, they said: “We trust this will not inconvenience anyone and hope you enjoy the melodious Adhaan.

“The Adhaan will take less than five minutes and due care will be taken not to cause nuisance to the neighbourhood.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours and we are sure that you will support us in this endeavour.”

Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter