Azaan, prayers’ timing: Clerics reject Religious Affairs Ministry’s proposed draft act


ISLAMABAD: The top clerics of the capital city have rejected the proposed draft of the Unified Timing of Azaan and Prayers Act, 2018, prepared by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Pakistan Today has learnt.

Last month, the ministry had approved the proposed draft of the Unified Timing of Azaan and Prayers Act, 2018, aimed to implement the uniform prayer timing in the city. However, the clerics have unanimously rejected the draft termed they were not taken on board in this regard.

The rejection came on Monday, during a meeting which held at a local mosque of the city. The meeting was attended by Maulana Nazir Farooqi, Hafiz Muhammad Ashfaq, Maulana Noor Muhammad, Maulana Akhtar Abbas, Maulana Tanveer Ahmed Alvi and Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal.

After the meeting, the clerics through a unanimous declaration stated that they have rejected the proposed draft which was being shared on mainstream and social media after the finalization by the ministry without taking them on board.

The declaration said that the punishment which was proposed in the draft has also rejected and declared the punishments were illegal. It is noted that the ministry had proposed six months and fine of Rs 5000 if a cleric fails or refuse to comply with the provision of Section 6 of the draft.

“We have agreed that any draft with regard to unified prayer timing and Azaan will not be accepted unless we take on board,” the declaration said. They went one step further and said that they would oppose the proposed draft if the government tries to present in the National Assembly.

The declaration said that a meeting which held last month with the religious affairs minister was only meant to discuss break-timing for prayer in public place and offices. However, the ministry deceived them after putting on the unified Azaan and prayer timing on the agenda which was surprising.

According to the draft, the government will ensure the publication and distribution of Azaan calendar in all mosques of the city and in this regard a monitoring committee will be constituted for the implementation of the law after the approval from the National Assembly.

MONITORING COMMITTEE: According to the proposed draft, the committee shall prepare a calendar in respect of unified timing of Azaan and prayers, will regulate such acts which will be necessary to achieve the purpose of the act. The committee will prepare an annual report in respect of the implementation of this act.

In all mosques situated in the capital, the timing of Azaan and prayers mentioned in the calendar will be observed. The Monitoring Committee shall inspect or cause to be inspected any masjid for purposes of ascertaining that this act and the rules have been and are being complied and may give directions to require compliance with the provisions of this act.