Faizel Patel – 27/04/2021
The Muslim community of Isipingo Beach have been dealt a blow after a Durban judge ruled that the Athan should not be heard beyond the boundaries of the local madrassah.
The Post reports that Judge Sidwell Mngadi rejected an application to appeal his judgment on the Athan in the Durban High Court on Monday.
The matter was brought before the courts by lone Hindu resident Chandra Ellaurie who sought a court interdict to silence the athan and shut down the Madrasah Taleemuddeen Islamic Institute’s operations in the residential neighbourhood and sell its property to the state or to a non-Muslim entity.
In August last year Judge Mngadi ruled that Madrasah Taleemuddeen Islamic Institute must ensure that the Athan from the institute is not audible within the buildings of Chandra Ellaurie’s property, 20 metres away.
Judge Mngadi said Ellaurie was “unashamedly opposed” to the Islamic faith propagated by the madrasah.
In the appeal, the madrassah’s attorney Ashraf Paruk argued that the Athan was integral in Islam and was the first thing recited in the ear of a newborn and that while Judge Mngadi had mentioned the right to freedom of religion, he had failed to consider how the right might limit Ellaurie’s property rights.
The madrasah also argued that Ellaurie was opposed to the Athan because it gave the suburb a Muslim atmosphere and attracted those of the Islamic faith.
“Another court would find that Ellaurie had failed to demonstrate that the unamplified call to prayer constitutes a real or material intrusion on his rights. There is also reasonable prospect that a court of appeal would find that Ellaurie failed to exercise a level of tolerance towards the call of prayer.”
Paruk told the Post that the Madrassah intended to take the matter further adding they will approach the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.