Archive for the Religion Category

Call to prayer

Posted in Culture, Religion on April 17, 2011 by Home Strange Home

Minaret: check. Loudspeakers: check.

One ever-present fact of life in Hargeisa is the call to prayer, heard in every corner of the city five times per day. Somaliland is the most conservative and most Muslim country I have ever visited; people here tend to be very devout. The large number of mosques throughout the city, and the regular call to prayer which sets the rhythm of the day, are constant reminders of Islam.

One of the Five Pillars of Islam is salah, the practice of formal prayer occurring five times per day. To remind people to pray at the correct times, the muezzin of each mosque recites the adhan (the Islamic call to prayer) through a loudspeaker. There are five prayers: fajr, the pre-dawn prayer before sunrise (which includes the line, “Prayer is better than sleep”); dhuhr, the noon prayer; ‘asr, the late afternoon prayer; maghrib, the sunset prayer after the sun goes down; and ‘isha, the evening prayer.

Because the prayer times depend on the sun, they vary from one Muslim country (or city) to the next and also vary throughout the year as and when the sun cycle changes. In Hargeisa, the prayers currently fall around the following times: 4:40am for fajr (the sun rises about an hour later at 5:50am); five minutes after noon for dhuhr; 3:10pm for ‘asr; 6:15pm (sunset) for maghrib; and around 7:20pm for ‘isha.

The adhan is recited in Arabic and says the following:

Allah is Most Great. Allah is Most Great.
Allah is Most Great. Allah is Most Great.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.
I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.
Come to prayer. Come to prayer.
Come to Success. Come to Success.
Allah is Most Great. Allah is Most Great.
There is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.

Allahu Akbar.

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