Photos by Dennis Jarvis and Jorge Láscar
Muslims perform a wudu, or a washing, in preparation for prayer.
an instant. In cities like Jakarta, Indonesia, there are mosques every mile, so the call and the lights fill the entire city. Locals grow accustomed to the adhan and can sleep through the pre-dawn call if they choose, but that is not often the case with travelers. For some, especially Muslims, this can bring a sense of excitement and wonder to hear the familiar words out in the open for all to hear. For others, it can be an unwelcome interruption of a REM cycle. Kyle Durfee, who recently visited Jerusalem, advised tourists to resist the urge to reach for their earplugs. “Sure, it might wake you up, but that’s an essential part of the experience in going there. Also, if you can get the chance to hear one of the reciters do it live, take that opportunity! It sounds way better when it’s not over a loudspeaker.”
The Abu Bakr mosque stands as a religious beacon in Egypt.
“We immediately stop talking and wait for the adhan (call to prayer) to end.” A good rule of thumb is to watch the locals for cues on how to behave when the prayers are called. In each country, and even in each individual city, the norms can vary. Many Muslims will pull over if driving or halt their other activities while the call rings through the city. Whatever you do, try to show respect for the symbol of devotion you are experiencing. “When we, as Muslims, hear the call for prayers, we immediately stop talking or at least lower our voices and wait for the adhan (call for prayer) to end. Non-Muslims should at least lower their voices
and not be rambunctious. It certainly is not a singing session and naturally one should not dance to the call,” said Akhan. Meghan Johnson, who visited Turkey for a month last year, said that the experience helped remind her of her own religious beliefs and encouraged her to pray in her own way. The ritual call to prayer is a beautiful tradition that steeps any environment in color, sound, and spirit. The next time you have the opportunity to participate in a call to prayer, take a moment to reflect on the world you’re being allowed to witness.
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Published on Jan 12, 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...