Residents can complain about loud mosque call to prayers, Islamic Affairs department says
DUBAI // Residents upset at the volume of a mosque’s call to prayer can file a complaint with the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department.
An Iacad spokesman said there were limits to how loud or how low a mosque’s call to prayer should be.
“Whether the sound is lower or higher than it should be, residents should feel free to log a complaint and the relevant parties will investigate and resolve the issue as soon as possible,” he said. “They can call the free hotline, 800600, and we will register it.”
Jalal Obeid, of the engineering department at Iacad, said a mosque’s call to prayer should not exceed 85 decibels in residential areas. It is widely accepted that extended exposure to noises at 85 decibels and above can lead to hearing loss.
“Sometimes when there are buildings with lots of windows there can be an echo, making it seem louder,” Mr Obeid said.
“In open areas, the call to pray can legally go up to 90 decibels.”
Sound-level tests taken by The National at apartment blocks 150 metres from Hamel bin Khadam Al Ghaith Mosque in Barsha Heights, formerly Tecom, registered an average of 86 decibels, although there was also construction work going on near by.
One resident in the area said the call to prayer was so loud in the morning that she and her husband decided to move out.
“We’ve been living in this building for about four years but we want to start a family,” she said. “There’s so much noise around, and if we have a newborn baby, you can imagine how stressful it would be for parents already not getting enough sleep. So it’s forward planning.”
She said that their decision to move was also prompted by a string of construction projects.
According to Dubai Municipality, noise from any type of building or demolition site should not exceed 55 decibels between 7am and 8pm and 45 decibels between 8pm and 7am.
W K, a Lebanese resident of Barsha Heights, said that the sound of the mosque’s call to prayer came as an early morning shock to him.
“When the mosque first opened, about six months ago, the call was very loud, but I think they have turned it down now,” he said. “It was just very difficult getting up two hours before I had to be at work.”
He said he did not file a complaint because he did not want anyone misconstruing his complaint to be against Islam.
“I’ve been living here for more than 10 years, and I know and respect the fact that I live in a Muslim country,” he said.