Azan should be heard only up to 500 meters in Azerbaijan

Baku (ANTARA News) – Azerbaijan has a rule that the call to prayer (azan) should not be heard beyond a radius of 500 metres, Azerbaijans Assistant to the President for Public and Political Affairs, Ali Hasanov, said here recently.

“The prayer call for Muslims should not disturb people of other faiths,” Ali Hasanov told several Indonesian journalists who were visiting Azerbaijan on the invitation of its government.

He said the rule showed that Azerbaijan had high religious tolerance with Muslims and people of other religions not interfering with each other. Azerbaijan, known as the Land of Fire, is home to Islam, as well as Christianity, Judaism and Zoroaster.

Although Islam was the majority religion, the government did not require its followers to pray or observe Ramadhan fasting. Some mosques seemed deserted and even empty, very different from the situation in Indonesia.

According to Hasanov, in Azerbaijan worship was a private matter. “We do not know or should not know whether or not someone is following a religious practice such as fasting. In the office, I do not know whether my employees are fasting or not, and they do not need to know whether or not I am fasting,” he said.

Source: ANTARA News