Mosque Loudspeaker Noise

Feb 14th, 2007, in News, Opinion, by

Parvita writes on the topic: Loudspeaker Abuse in the Mosques: should mosques be disciplined?

If you live in Jakarta and look around some of the housing pockets in the area, how many mosques do you find in 5 kilometer radius? Have you ever seen a mosque without a loudspeaker? Have you ever had trouble sleeping because the mosque(s) was/were so loud, not only during adzan?

I stayed for couple of days in my sister's place at Pancoran area. I can hear at least two different adzans, so at least there are two mosques around there. The first night I stayed there, I was awakened by the Adzan Subuh. Which is alright. Then it stopped. But the last couple of days staying there, I was awakened around 3:30am by the sound of somebody reading the Qur'an with very high pitched voice.

It is not only there. At Kuningan, there are also at least 3 mosques using loudspeakers and they don't only use it during adzan, but also for calling each other, announcing who donated money or food, who died, sometimes kids singing, and all other kinds of information that are not really important (maybe for the neighbourhood, but not for all the people living in the apartment, I believe!).

Honestly, I feel bothered. First of all, the loudspeaker in the mosques has been abused. When you call for prayers, that is a reminder. Reading the qur'an loudly, or saying prayers or preachings loudly, that is already bothering other people's privacy. Especially when it is used for other things like calling your friends, that is extremely rude and insensitive; we have no choice to listen or not to listen. Some people still need to sleep, they need to work early and leave work late, and they want to have a decent sleep to be ready for work the next day, and here they are with their loudspeakers. I often wonder, when I need concentration in the office, those people are back in bed, taking a nap. Especially during Ramadhan. Experienced very loud sounds that keep you awake from 2am?

Second of all, is there any rules on how loud a loudspeaker can be, and how far from one mosque can you build another mosque? Check the Tegal Parang area, Warung Buncit. Just walk along the small street and look at how many mosques you see in that small area. A lot. And can you imagine if all of them abuse the use of the loudspeakers? Noise pollution.

Moslem people here believe that when you build a mosque, your merit "points" (pahala) will continue even when you are dead. Some people build mosque so that they are socially uplifted. Even though the Qur'an clearly says that your merit score ends when you are dead. Moslems also believe that to spread the preaching is a must for moslems. The Qur'an clearly says not to 'sell cheap' the teachings (for one example, using the verses when you know people don't want to listen to them). Qur'an also tells that prayers that will be answered are those which are said with humble heart and low/soft voice. So where did they get this idea?

I'm not a believer in hadits, but I remember someone told me that one of the hadits mentioned that the distance between building one mosque and another is when the adzan cannot be heard from the previous mosque. That makes sense. I wonder if there is any regulation in Jakarta for building mosques. Seems like there isn't.

Call me what you want, I am a moslem myself, I say my prayers, but me, my parents, my siblings living around Jakarta, and my other friends who are moslems, they feel bothered. But nobody goes to the mosque and complains. Of course nobody dares. What is the use of pointing out what is written in the Qur'an to them?

100 Comments on “Mosque Loudspeaker Noise”

  1. avatar Hassan says:

    RADEN, you obviously lacks something called ’empathy’. You can yap all you want, but you haven’t tried being an African American living in the US, have you? Not everyone is as spoiled and privileged as you are.

    Besides, if you love America so dearly (which made you sound like a ‘kacung’ sucking up to his master) and hates Indonesia so much, why don’t you just pack up and leave, and don’t ever come back for any reason whatsoever! No one here will miss you, I can guarantee that. I hate people who likes to badmouth his own country. I guess you must have been cursing your luck for being born in Indonesia.

    would it be better to let all of them to use loud speakers when praying to their God ?

    Adzan is a call for prayer, not the prayer itself, smart Alec.

  2. avatar Raden says:

    Hasin … eh Ha-san,
    it is up to the immigration check point of Indonesia to decide who is a better & worth citizen among us unless the Immigration officer is blind can not identify who is Raden & who is Arab wannabe Hasin … eh Hasan

  3. avatar Raden says:

    Abu, you have not explained, why do you chosed not to adapt & mingle around with majority American since u born in the land of USA?. If u study hard, get any degree in America then you will not be cornered by the society. Pls do not drag off the topics back to pre historic few hundred years ago (not relevant as u have not born), blah blah blah … just answer me within your domain age, the time zone as we are living in the internet zone time, why ?

  4. avatar Sputjam says:

    Todays’s muslims disregard God’s messages in the koran. The more muslim you becomes, the more deviant you are from the koran.
    this is the truth! there is no ritual worship in the koran. The koran forbid idol woship.
    If you disregard this message, the chances are that you will die as a pagan (or idol worshipper) and will face punishment in the hereafter.

  5. avatar Hassan says:

    RAT-IN… err RA-DEN (see, two can play that game),
    About the immigration officer thing, first off, in no way would I want to go to a racist country like the US. Secondly, I don’t think sucking up to Uncle Sam will help you in any way to get that green card you always want so you can be a second class citizen there. You might as well beg, but they still wouldn’t give it to a White people wannabe like you.

    And you call me an Arab wannabe? Did you hear me sucking up to the Arabs the way you sucked up to your perceived masters (the Bules)? Besides, I don’t look like Arabs in any way and I don’t plan to imitate them in the future. But I reckon you must have the Bule look in you, the way you seem to almost worship their values.

    If you call a Muslim like me as an Arab wannabe, then perhaps to you Christians are White people wannabes, and Hindus are Indian wannabes. How smart (sarcasm intended)..

    PS: Stop telling other people like Abu Sulaiman to mingle and all that. Now I ask you this, can you mingle here in Indonesia? All the talk, but I suspect the reason why you ran off to the US is because nobody here likes you. In your stays in the US, you were a tourist or an outsider, try living like the way Abu Sulaiman had lived all his life, try being an African American living in the US first, then you can yap all you want, wise man.

  6. avatar Hassan says:

    Abu Sulaiman:

    While Indonesia is a Muslim dominated country, the posters in this blog are mostly non-Muslims. Most of them are good people, but there are always bad apples like RADEN in any community. People like him hates anything about Islam (not just the Adzan), some people unfortunately thinks that jumping into the anti-Islam bandwagon is a good thing, while they’re actually spreading (and will eventually reap) hatred. While Sputjam is.. different to say the least. He’s one of those progressive Qu’ran-only Muslims, or something like that.

    All I can say about your situation, Brother, is I hope that you can fulfill your dreams to immigrate (as an act of Hijrah) to a Muslim country very soon.

    As the Holy Qur’an mentioned in Surah Az-Zumar (39:10) Say: “O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is Allah’s earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!”


  7. avatar Janma says:

    Hassan, you were actually sounding pretty racist and hateful yourself there sweetie, you might want to watch that, because I always thought you were calm and understanding… now I see that you actually have a deep hatred for ‘bule’ as you put it.


  8. avatar Hassan says:

    I’m sorry to disappoint you, Janma. But I do have this tendency to give people a taste of their own medicine when normal measures fails. In my life’s experience, that is one of the most effective way to make people learn something called empathy.

    No, I don’t hate ‘bules’, in fact I grew up among them (my father worked for an American oil company in Sumatra). I just wanted to make RADEN feel the same way I felt when he call me as an Arab wannabe, and make him realize the futility of his statement (as I can say the same thing about him). 😉

    Did you notice the different tone I used when addressing Abu Sulaiman, though? It means that I was just returning RADEN the favor he gave me. 🙂

  9. avatar Janma says:

    I do have this tendency to give people a taste of their own medicine when normal measures fails. In my life’s experience, that is one of the most effective way to make people learn something called empathy.

    Actually, I don’t think that creates empathy at all… I think that attack and counter attack just creates a vicious circle… people don’t often respond with empathy to being attacked… I mean he didn’t create any empathy in you by doing it did he? and I don’t see you attacking him back creating empathy in him. I am not condoning Raden’s mode of communication either…. but I didn’t expect it from you.

  10. avatar Sputjam says:

    Fact is muslim religionist have become arrogant. They will bulldoze their agenda, and they have no respect for the community of country they live in, as long as they get to do things their way.
    The azan call is an example. They do not care a hoot for creating loud noises. Some goes further by blairing out a whole sermon (maybe several hours) on loudspeakers at maximum volume. It defies their logic that those who have an interest in the sermon, would have gone to the mosque to listen.

    Hassan has confirmed what I have been saying all along. That those who believe and have faith in God, they will be judged by their deeds alone as he quoted the surah below :-

    As the Holy Qur’an mentioned in Surah Az-Zumar (39:10) Say: “O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is Allah’s earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!”

    There is no worship in God’s messages. If you perform worship ritual, you may be wasting your time. But if the worship ritual have an element of idol worship, then you may suffer in the next life.

  11. avatar Janma says:

    Sputjam said yet again!

    There is no worship in God’s messages. If you perform worship ritual, you may be wasting your time. But if the worship ritual have an element of idol worship, then you may suffer in the next life.

    you are beginning to sound like a broken record my friend! I think you must have harped on this point hundreds of times over! we get it already!

  12. avatar Raden says:

    From this thread of discussion, it is very clear that some militant muslim ala Arab will buldoze their agenda without respect to their community as if others non muslims are not rightfully exist ! This is arrogant ideology (I said just ideology not religion) as according to Sputjam’s statement, I agree.

    To Abu, if you plan to migrate into Indonesia, you maybe dissappointed because majority of Indonesian muslims are by identity card’s religion status only, because the state do not recognize ‘atheist’ thus muslim is our default !. Most of do NOT similar to the pagan Arab muslims, therefore without full respect, we do not need an arrogant muslim like you who proved can not co exist & try to be exclusive in your veryown born land the USA. Our muslim rich people who own bungalows in Beverly Hills happily living in your land of USA without any complaints and they will renew again & again their green card for their sons/doughters, grand sons, etc etc … so why there are Indon born muslims like to stay in USA while you are born USA muslims hate your very own country ?? it is obvious that u chose to be a militant by ideology nothing to do with your religion actually, you hijack your religion to justify your ‘ideology’
    Beside, we have enough stock of militant muslims here like Basyir the leader of JI in Ngruki Solo, it is enough to give us domestic troubles … please spare us, do not come here … we can not digest if there are too many militant muslims here, beside our country is not a prefer choice of international job seekers .. it is very difficult to secure a decent job here …


  13. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Janma said to Sputjam

    you are beginning to sound like a broken record my friend! I think you must have harped on this point hundreds of times over! we get it already!

    Don’t blame Sputjam. It’s the method they use in pesantrens. By constantly letting repeat the same ideas or verses over and over people start believing their own words. It’s called brainwashing.
    But at least he tries to convince us that we should focus on doing good deeds only. Nothing wrong with that.

  14. avatar Sputjam says:

    I am merely conveying the message repeated many times in the koran, which the muslim religionist have ignored.
    Instead these religionist created a new set of rules, which are not contained in the koran, which they observed with true dedication, like 5 daily rituals, friday prayers, fasting, the Haj (idol worship) etc.
    Doing good deeds have been obliterated from their daily ritual. It has been replaced by their enthusiasm for idol worship ( a great sin in the koran), which they do frequesntly and with enthusiasm.

  15. avatar Tuan says:


    You are not the first Muslim brother in the US to talk about making Hejira. In all honestly, I kinda agree with Radeon. America is a great country despite all the problems it has. It is the one country where a nobody can become a somebody with hard work and dedication. The greatest athlete of the last century was an American… a Muslim American (Muhammad Ali).

    I never been to Indonesia at all in my life. I was born and raised here and I am practising Muslim currently working on my masters degree and working. I think there are great things for a Muslim in America and many opportunities to help the condition of others while showing a good face of Muslim community in the world here in the US than in Indonesia. I have had contacts with Indonesian students during my college years and a lot of them say that America is great country to be a Muslim and raise a family. I do not want to assume things but there is no clear right or wrong in Indonesia. There is ambiguity about drug usage and drinking, even though they are Muslims at heart. In America, we have the opportunity to see a clear distinction between right and wrong, more or less this helps to strengthen our identity and our faith.

    While hearing the azhan each day and being around Muslims is nice and all but to me it is a luxury that we can live without. We all are given gifts from Allah that others do not have and why throw away the gift of living in America?

    Again I have known Muslims who talk about making Hejira to other Muslims countries but I do not think they see the big picture.

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslim

  16. avatar Anita McKay says:

    Just want to point out that I suffered from the ‘religious noise’ too but from the other way around. My parents’ house is right next to a church, I don’t know which church specifically but it’s definitely not Catholics, because every Sunday, they sing out loud it sounds more like a concert, complete with the band and clapping, starts from around 4PM and it could continue until 9. Not to mention the chatting in between and laughter could be heard too. Luckily all of them have good voices. I tried not to complain, but I only visited my parents and don’t live there. But we definitely have to yell to each other during the singing period, and it’s uncomfortable.

    Before that when I was little, we lived next to IAIN (the Islamic Institute) and they have the biggest and the loudest speaker in town, and during Ramadhan we could hear clearly everybody’s name and each donation to the mosque, and all night Qur’an reading, sometimes was really good, sometimes annoying high-pitch voices from little kids who were more yelling than reading, and started from 12.00 AM they would sing and bang the drums and everything, to wake people up until around 3.00 AM.

    My point is, any noise is annoying. Especially if the speaker abuse the microphone. Maybe everybody should learn about public speaking before getting close to the mic.

  17. avatar Ihaknt says:

    Janma, maybe he meant Indonesian Idol worship. now that’s haram!

  18. avatar Dragonwall says:

    When prayer is in the soul, faith is in the heart, do they need loudspeaker? Or is that they need God to know they are praying!

  19. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Abu, for f**k sake, don’t come here.

    If adzan is what you like, I suggest Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or Sudan. Allah swt lived there, definitely not in Indonesia.


  20. avatar Debby Tuilan says:

    Sun. June 22, 2008

    I live in US and my 2 teenage boys are Americans. I used to live there when I was a little kid. You bet, it’s annoying and wake you up as a wake up call……….hahahahahhahaa to take a walk outside or exercise. I hope they don’t keep breeding babies all the time. It’s sad to know of the growing fast of human popullation.
    I bet Jkt is not the same 40 years ago.

  21. avatar Anon says:

    Would someone be so kind to read this for me, please 🙂

    Surah Al Luqman 31:19

    Thank you.

    Allah bless you all.

  22. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    I am a Muslim and I have to partially agree with some complaints.

    Part of Pancasila freedom and right to Right to Worship is the Responsibility of not imposing unfairly on others.

    A lot of times the loudspeaker is turned up too loud- or tiny mosques clsoe together all have enormous loudspeakers.

    Having children poorly call the Azan or read prayers into the loudspeaker is not truly Muslim call to prayer for the faithful.
    I am lucky where I live- only the new muezzin will snig overly enthusiastically- otherwise volume at night-time during Ramadan even is low.
    Solat does not mean pray five times a day. It means obligation to pray- however, whenever is truly up to you- but it is recommended 5 times a day.
    But that’s a personal choide between you and God. The more the merrier- good for you.

    But God in His Infinite Wisdom will clearly see who is the better soul- the one who prays 5 times a day for his own benefit but is a somewhat nasty person- or the one who prays seldom and helps the poor for love of humanity.

    Legally- mosques are allowed to play azan. The volume is not specified in decibels nor relative volume and is ambiguously worded.
    The reality is the PemDa will do nothing- basically they don’t care and don’t want to tread on potential voter toes and honestly, there are bigger fish to fry.

    Try speaking to your local imam or ulama in a civil fashion in a scheduled appointment and see if he would be so kind as to turn it down a bit.
    BUT YOU or the community have to give something in return and not be demanding or expect a one sided take-take relationship.

    Support their orphanage or offer Sembako. Offer to pay for paint to their mosque. Offer new prayer rugs.

    In other words- ask and ye shall receive but give when given in kind.
    Fair is fair.

  23. avatar Nikhil says:

    I am facing same problem in India. 🙂 I was googling on noise from mosque and find this site. I am happy I am not alone who is unhappy due to loud noise from mosque.

    What I understand Muslim culture establish and developed in desert. It was a time where people should count people in their group, so five time gathering imposed as rule. To make sure everyone is present, decided to aahn loudly.

    Now time has change, Islam has spread across the world, but people don’t change. God listen voice of heart not from loud speaker.

  24. avatar Oigal says:

    As twist on the thread, due to the inherent inconsideration of others by a lot of Mosques using over-bassed, tinny cheap speakers at full volume with the Azan recited by some wacker with all the melody of two cats in wheat bag. The very first thing one must do when searching for new house, is to check the location and noise pollution ratio.

    Prayer time duely came and went and all things being equal not too bad..Moved in.. all is serene until Tuesday Night 10PM…Holy Crap Batman what’s that???

    Sure enough..Christian Revivalists and the full choir next door..three nights a week until after 12..

    Just goes to show in Indonesia..just when you think you have the angles covered !!!

    There is no escaping the religous and their quest for the mythical…

  25. avatar Jay says:

    Just imagine – no sound of instrumental live music from marriage procession and accompanied by crackers , no amplified loud Azans, Bhajans, no power horns from heavy vehicles – and either we are transported to a place where curfew has been imposed or to HEAVEN itself.

    But we have chosed otherwise so we live in the present hell with its above mentioned companions.

    There should be total ban on loudspeakers – it is possible only if the society is educated, govenment is strong and determined and people heading them are BOLD and with HEADS.

  26. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    if you have such a problem with 85% of the populations right to worship- leave.

    No one is keeping you here against your will.

    And last time I saw in Australia- typical obese Aussie xenophobes and the usual fearful ignorant suburbanites of Sydney had protested an Indian man applying for a permit to have his own house he owned outright (unlike his mortgage slave white neighbours) to be exempt from taxation as a musholla.

    “Joiz moyte, we don won any blaaardy Mussies he-yaah” Squawk! (Aussie accent sounds as melodious as a sodomised carrion crow).

    No one is keeping you here against your will.
    You are free to leave whenever.

  27. avatar DXP says:

    You are free to leave whenever.

    DXP as China – man is okay with Purba’s unfriendly statement.
    This is similar to a Javanese living in Guangzhou and shouting like hell to shut our temple making noise when praying to God with our typical mumbling praying noises, I will do the same to let the minority to leave my country likewise …

    The minority living in Indonesia must adhere with the localize culture, before you migrate into Indonesia, they hv practising their tradition long long time ago. What the hell you will try to change them for the sake of your minority’ existance ?
    My advice, those Indon minority who can not accept & blend the culture naturally shall peacefully look for other suitable countries …

    … peace from DXP ….

  28. avatar Peter Lowe says:

    Lets get real. Twaddle-mongering, from whatever religion, should be abhorred and confronted. Islam is full of crap, same for Christianity in all its forms. If you go to a mosque making a noise, you can be sure there won’t be more than a few nutters there, but they think they have the right to impose their crap on thousands around them. As democracy spreads, people will want to know where their money is going, and will gradually get rid of these parasites. Whenever you get the opportunity, let people know that the intolerance of zealots is unacceptable and make them pay a price.

  29. avatar wong says:

    Why we all are so afraid to complain to the mosque directly or to the government? Why islam is a religion so sensitive to touch? Malaysia have similar loud speaker problem, maybe worst than Indonesia, just search from net what happen to Teresa Kok who was jailed becoz she request the mosque to lower the Azan.

  30. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Indonesians are generally even-minded.
    However- they DO NOT like being imposed upon or having the unrealistic demanded of them.

    If you have a legitimate problem with the local mosque nooi8se you have two solutions.

    One- get over it, suck it up and grow a pair. Life is short- there is more to worry about- like the UK-USA killing innocent Afghanis and Iraqis for its oil-lust.

    Two- engage in a MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL AND FRIENDLY consultation with your local mosque.
    You must be prepared to give something for them to give something too.

    Atheism has yet to build the Sistine chapel, Borobhudur, Istiqlal Mosque, the Haga Sofia, etc, write a Matthew Passion, use astrology as a means of divination and in the process invent mathematics and algebra.
    Even Steven Hawkings is not so arrogant to dismiss a God.

    Atheism is academics elf-pleasure in extremis. The supreme arrogance of man to say what he believes is not possible according to his limited experience and knowledge on one planet in a vast universe must therefore be equally and identically applicable everywhere else.

    Can atheists say with all certainty God can not possibly exist- even beyond their own comprehension and intellect- identically to the rational of the argument Earth is the only inhabited and inhabitable planet of the universe?
    No, not with any certainty.
    Therefore if the answer is uncertain- then equally God is both certain to exist.

    Atheists would be more truthful to say:
    “Any answer I give is biased by my egocentricity and smitten by my own perception of my [sic:superior to yours] intellectual prowess to answer the question of the existence of God with any real insightful response”.

    The better answer for atheists on the existence of Allah (god, Tuhan etc) would be the more humble:
    “I am sorry, I am a normal human with many weaknesses and limitations. Therefore, I do not nor cannot know if God exists or not.”

Comment on “Mosque Loudspeaker Noise”.

RSS feed

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-18
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact