Amid azaan controversy, Muslim man wages lone battle against loudspeakers

Since 1992, 66-year-old Mohammed Ali alias Babu Khan has been fighting battle against loudspeakers atop mosques.

Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam's tweets questioning the use of loudspeakers in mosques for azaan has opened a huge debate countrywide over its use at religious places, but amid all the cacophony here's a story of Babu Khan, who has been relentlessly waging a lone battle against loudspeakers on mosques.

Since 1992, 66-year-old Mohammed Ali alias Babu Khan has been fighting battle against loudspeakers atop mosques. Khan stays in one of the most sensitive areas in Mumbai - Behrampada. This locality has been in the centre of communal tensions in the infamous Mumbai riots of 1992, and it's here, that he has successfully persuaded his community men and clerics against the use of loudspeakers.


Babu Khan persuades his people by telling them how the use of loudspeakers is not Islamic.

"In Quran 'Allah Pak' says that "azaan" is a 'nada'. You just have call people for namaz. That's about it. Till wherever the sound reaches is your responsibility, not beyond that. Hazrat Bilal used to give 'nada' in Madina and it used to reach people, and the entire Madina used to congregate for namaz. Those period there were no loudspeakers. Today's azaan is not happening as per the guidelines of Nabi. It is ruled by brain and not faith. Using loudspeaker is not right as per Shariyat," Babu Khan explains with full conviction.

A devout Muslim, Babu Khan has so far has succeeded in persuading seven mosques from areas like Behrampada, Tagore Nagar in Bandra to take off loudspeakers. He even successfully persuaded his distant relatives in 3 villages of Madhya Pradesh to do the same.

Initially reluctant, the ones around Babu Khan have now accepted his logic, but the battle hasn't been easy -- especially fighting against his own people. He had to move the Bombay High Court.


He fought his own case and even got 64 fatwas to prove his point. He further insists that his fight is not against the religion, but against the additional and unwanted practices attached to the religion.

"I told the court that use of loudspeakers in not part of Islam. Rather than any benefit, it is only doing harm to the religion. Even after hearing the azaan, 90 % of people do not turn up for namaz, whoever comes, only comes out of their own problems. So what's the use of calling people over loudspeakers," he adds.

And ask him about the recent Sonu Nigam controversy, Babu Khan defends Sonu Nigam's stand with full conviction calling him Allah ka banda.

"I am not fighting the battle. Allah is making me do it. He has sent you, He asked Sonu Nigam to raise his voice. Allah showed him the way. Today muftis are issuing fatwas against him asking to shave off his head, garland him with footwear. Will Allah give such fatwas? Is he (Sonu) not an Allah ka banda?, says an angry Babu Khan.

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