• The Allahabad High Court allowed azan in three districts of Uttar Pradesh — Ghazipur, Hathras, and Farrukhabad — where it had been stopped by the district administration citing the Home Ministry’s lockdown rules.
• The adhan (also written as adhaan, azan, azaan, or athan) is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. Adhan is called out by a muezzin from the mosque five times a day, summoning Muslims for obligatory prayer.
• The high court ruled that “Azan can be recited by a muezzin from minarets of the mosques by human voice without using any amplifying device. Such recitation cannot be hindered under the pretext of violation of the guidelines issued by the state, to contain COVID-19.”
• The court held that azan may be an integral part of Islam but its recitation through loudspeakers/sound-amplifying devices cannot be said to be an integral part of religion, warranting protection of the fundamental right enshrined under Article 25 of the Constitution.
Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Azan