A mosque’s plans to broadcast the ‘call to prayer’ to raise community spirits during the Covid-19 pandemic have been withdrawn.

Harrow Central Mosque withdrew its application to modify a planning condition that could have allowed it to play the adhan once a week – on Fridays at 6pm – for a period of three months.

Its representatives wrote to Harrow Council yesterday (June 15) confirming its intentions, citing the wider easing of lockdown restrictions as the reason for stepping away.

The mosque had hoped to play the adhan as part of wider ‘Call to Prayer’ project encouraging faith groups across Harrow to make a weekly vocal show of support in a similar manner to the ‘clap for carers’ initiative.

It also cited similar campaigns in other London boroughs, including Brent, Newham, and Waltham Forest, as well as other places around the country including Birmingham, Manchester, and Southampton.

In a statement, it said: “Harrow Central Mosque was one of over 25 faith institutions in Harrow approached to support the ‘Call to Prayer’ initiative in early April 2020 when the effects of the pandemic in the UK were at a peak, lockdown was at its most stringent phase, and there was a heighted sense of fear and uncertainty.

“There has since been a significant easing of lockdown restrictions and, with the Grace of God, the official figures of the devastation caused by Covid-19 in the UK has significantly dropped.”

Jahangeer Choudhry, general secretary of Harrow Central Mosque, explained that it had always intended to remove the proposals if the Government allowed more freedoms during the pandemic.

With the wider reopening of shops this week, as well as some places of worship for private prayer, it decided it would not be appropriate to proceed with the application.

It reminded worshippers that the mosque remains closed until further notice, though it is always “ready to assist vulnerable people in the community, regardless of their religion”.

Despite receiving lots of support from several sections of the Harrow community, the planning application was met with significant opposition.

Those living close to the mosque objected to the potential noise issues and an online petition against the plans received thousands of signatures.

However, Mr Choudhry sought to clarify the initiative, explaining that it would have been a short-term measure that did not seek to “disturb the community”.

At the time, he said: “We are not asking people to come to the mosque or indeed carry out formal prayers, it is a symbol of hope and solidarity just like church bells ringing in support of this initiative at the same time on Friday.

“The mosque only intends to promote peace and harmony and not unrest of any sort; the prayer being sought is with the wider multi-faith and intended for the entire community of Harrow who have suffered during the pandemic.”