Minneapolis makes history — first major US city to allow adhan five times a day

4/25/2023 11:27 AM

All five adhans will now be heard through the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota, after the city became the first major US city to allow mosques to publicly broadcast the call to prayer five times a day.

In the past, the city's noise regulations prohibited some morning and evening calls to prayer due to them taking place at night.

But the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution last week that amended the city's noise ordinance.

It means, in the summer months, the call to prayer can be as early as 3.30am and as late as 11pm.  

The city allowed year-round broadcast of the call to prayer last year but with time restrictions from 7am to 10pm.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) welcomed the resolution's passage.

"Today is a historic day," said Jaylani Hussein, CAIR-MN Executive Director.

"A woman who was standing outside, she never believed that there would be a day where she could hear the call to prayer and did not have to leave the country - the United States - to be able to do that. That, and many stories like that, have inspired us all to be here today."

Widespread support

The adhan was initially broadcasted in Minneapolis during Ramadan in 2020 at the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque.

All mosques in Minneapolis will be allowed to publicly broadcast the adhan five times during the day, but the Imam of Dar Al-Hijrah is encouraging mosques in neighbourhoods where most people are not Muslim to refrain from all the calls.  

Imam Sharif Mohamed expects this change will attract more worshippers to his mosque.

"What we provide in the mosque is not only for the spiritual, but also we do a lot of other part of the healing, too, because we believe in mind, body and soul," he added.

The resolution received support from various faith leaders who spoke in favour of extending the hours during a recent public hearing.

Since the 1990s, Minnesota has had a thriving community of immigrants from East Africa, and mosques have become a common sight throughout the city.  

The city is home to nearly 80,000 Somali Muslims, making it the largest Somali community outside of Somalia.  

The Muslim community in Minnesota is highly active in national and local politics. It is home to the first Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison, and the first Somali Muslim Congressperson, Ilhan Omar.

Minnesota also has the second-highest number of Muslim state legislators in the country, totalling five.