The Call of the Muezzin

Friday Prayer Focus

Across the entire Islamic World men called the muezzin call the faithful to prayer five times per day: at dawn (fajr), noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), at sunset (maghrib) and nightfall (isha’a). On Fridays all male Muslims are supposed to attend the noon time prayers which are usually accompanied by a sermon. So today literally hundreds of thousands of muezzin are calling the faithful to prayer. Many millions of Muslim men will go to the mosque as their local muezzin pronounces the call to prayer.

(Photo: The famous minaret in Switzerland which inspired a national referendum in 2009)

Voices Behind the Scene

In most places the call to prayer is given by loud speakers located on a minaret attached to the mosque. Sometimes recordings are used but most people prefer a live voice. Some muezzin have become very famous for the dignity, professionalism and the beautiful vocal and musical quality of their calls to prayer. Recently a documentary film by Sebastian Brameshuber named “Muezzin” was released about individual expression and competition between muezzin in Turkey (www.muezzindocumentary.com). One muezzin says in the film “The more people I can attract to the mosque with my voice, the more successful I am.”

In Western and non-Islamic countries muezzin often cannot make the call to prayer except on the radio or in the courtyards of local mosques because of laws restricting loud and intrusive noises. In Africa Christian preachers sometimes give the Muezzin competition early in the morning using their own loud speakers to preach while the Islamic call to prayer is given.

Whatever our reaction to the call to prayer, God calls us to love the muezzin.

What the Muezzin Say:

Below are the words which are repeated day after day (Shiite Muslims use slightly different phrases for some lines).

x2: Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest)
x2: I bear witness that there is no deity except God
x2: I bear witness that Mohammed is the Messenger of God
x2: Make haste towards worship
x2: Come to the true success
x2: Prayer is better than sleep (said only at dawn)
x2: Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest)
x2: There is no deity except God

Prayer Starters

  • Pray for the muezzin in your own country and around the world.
  • Pray for the hundreds of thousands of muezzin around the world. Pray to many of them will encounter the living God through Jesus, the Messiah.
  • Sometimes muezzin become very centred on their role in society. As with any public figures like pastors and politicians some muezzin are tempted to place their own honour and prestige very high on their list of priorities. Pray that all muezzin would be brought to humility before God and truly confounded by His majesty in order that they may truly say “God is great.”
Video: Save the Lost (2:29)

Comments

  1. We already follow Jesus, alayhi’ salaam. We fast, just like he did. We have dietary restrictions, just like he did. We prostrate when we pray, just like he did. We believe he is the Messiah, just like he taught. Muslim women cover themselves, just like Mary, may allah be pleased with her. We believe that God is One, just like he taught. We disapprove of idolatry and man-worship, just like would do today.

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