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Photo by seier+seier

day, to stop what they are doing and take a few moments out of their lives to worship God Almighty,” says Shariq Akhan, a practicing Muslim living in Utah. “During the time of the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, there was a debate that took place as to how to inform the people about the timings of the prayers. After much consensus, it was agreed that the best of voices is the human voice and as such the best of voices amongst us should call the worshipers for prayers. Thus started the tradition of calling people five times a day for prayers. The words are very simple and it states that God is great and that we bear witness that there is only one God and that Prophet Mohammad is the messenger of God. It further asks the believers to attend to prayers to achieve salvation.” Islamic law calls for five daily prayers. Mohammad, last and greatest prophet according to Islamic belief, was called up into heaven during a night vision. During his interview with Allah (God), he was given a law

Once before sunrise, once at noon, once in the midafteroon, once while the sun is setting, and last after the sun goes down.

Left: Green lights signal the call to prayer at sunset in Jerusalem. Above: The Imam Mosque is famous for its intricate ceilings.

to command all of his followers to pray fifty times each day. As he left the highest heaven, he passed Moses, who asked Mohammed what Allah had told him. After hearing of the fifty prayers, Moses convinced Mohammad to go back to Allah and ask for the number to be reduced. Mohammed did as Moses suggested and Allah reduced the number of prayers by half. When Mohammad returned, Moses asked him the same thing

and again convinced him to ask for a reduction. This continued until the number of prayers was reduced to five, and Mohammad told Moses that he could not ask Allah for more. Each prayer counts for ten prayers, making the original fifty prayers commanded by Allah. The prayers are said at various points throughout the day: once before the sunrise, once at noon, once in the midafternoon, once while the sun is setting, and last after the sun has gone down. ◀ 31

Stowaway Winter 2016  

Winter is here, but adventure awaits! Strike up a conversation, spark a new interest, or slip into something familiar in this issue of Stowa...