Stockton mosque's plan to hold weekly outdoor 'call to prayer' over loudspeaker

A Stockton mosque has lodged plans to hold a weekly 'call to prayer' outdoors, in a first for the area.

Farooq E Azam mosque on Bowesfield Lane became the first mosque in the North East to recite azan, the Islamic 'call to prayer', in the open air, from its rooftop during lockdown. (see video below)

Committee members say they want to make it a regular event.

They have applied to Stockton Council to recite azan over loudspeakers every Friday, which is a sacred day for Muslims.

Azan is the Islamic call to public prayer in a mosque, recited by a muezzin (an official) at set times of the day.

Vice chair Sufi Mubeen said if permission is granted, the regular recitals will start from this Friday, around 1.15pm.

He said: "We were the North East's first mosque to call to prayer outside, we did it on the roof. People weren't allowed to mingle together, the community was struggling due to covid. We just asked people to come, but keep their distance.

"It was a good time for people, it brought a smile. If the council accepts our application, you'll be able to hear azan outside."

"We will still do it from inside," Sufi added, "normally we get between 500 and 1000 on a Friday. It's something that people want, people hear azan outside and they come for prayer.

"It's good for the community, it makes them happy. In the Muslim community they can hear the call to prayer and it's a nice feeling, people come outside and listen for it.

"It would take place for one to two minutes every Friday, which is a special day for Muslims. We get 10, maybe 30 people during prayer time but on a Friday we get major numbers."

Open-air call to prayer happens around the UK, in areas including Bradford and London. "It happens in Waterloo Road in Middlesbrough every Friday," Sufi said, "but it's not very loud, it reaches just a couple of streets."


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