Indonesia regulates the use of loudspeakers in mosques

Indonesia Religion Ministry issued rules for the use of loudspeakers outside and inside mosques. They should not be louder than 100 decibels.

A mosque in Indonesia
Great Mosque of An-Nuur Banjarnegara, Java, Indonesia | © Mufid Majnun, 2021

Indonesia Minister of Religion Yaqut Cholil Qoumas issued rules about the use of loudspeakers in mosques and prayer rooms, the ministry announced on February 21.

The guidelines are intended for mosque managers on the use of both internal and external loudspeakers.

The maximum sound of loudspeakers should be set at 100 decibels now with good sound quality and correct pronunciation.

Among the regulation, the use of external loudspeakers will not last longer than 10 minutes before the call for Fajr, the daily prayer starting at sunrise. For Zuhur, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha, the four other daily prayers, loudspeakers would be used externally for a maximum of 5 minutes, except on Fridays when it can last 10 minutes.

The rules acknowledge that “the use of loudspeakers in mosques and prayer rooms is currently a necessity for Muslims as one of the media to spread Islam”. But at the same time, the ministry points out that Indonesians “live in a diverse society, in terms of religion, belief, background, and others, so efforts are needed to maintain fraternity and social harmony”.

The guidelines are issued as an effort to improve peace, order and harmony among citizens,” said Minister of Religion Yaqut in Jakarta on Monday.

Indonesia is the country with the world’s largest population of Muslims. About 225 million people are Muslims among the 270 million Indonesians.

The new rules were issued on February 18 and sent to Muslim authorities, governors and mayors throughout Indonesia.

The minister of Religion already evoked such guidance last November, asking mosque managers to “be wise in using loudspeakers” and to consider aspects of mutual comfort.

In May 2021, Saudi Arabia limited the sound of loudspeakers in mosques to one-third of their capacity according to the Saudi Gazette. Authorities noted that external loudspeakers used during prayers “harmed patients, old people, and children in the houses in the vicinity of the mosques”.

Read more about Indonesia

Pers Rilis Menag Terbitkan Pedoman Penggunaan Pengeras Suara di Masjid dan Musala Menag Terbitkan Pedoman Penggunaan Pengeras Suara di Masjid dan Musala, Indonesia Minister of Religion, February 2022, Free access

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