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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Muslim prayer tower

Listen to the sounds of the Adhan, the Muslim prayer call, echo around the city of Doha on a Friday morning.

About the prayer call

The prayer call you here is the Sunni version - Qataris are predominantly Sunni Adhan is heard five times a day, calling the Muslims to Salat, a prayer which is complusory and must be performed. Traditionally a Muezzin climbed the a prayer tower to deliver the prayer call. However, nowadays the prayer call is often delivered by loudspeaker, which can result in a rather tinny sound.

We've shortened the Adhan posted here. The full text goes:

Allahu akbar Allahu Akbar
As ha du Allah illaha illaulah x2
Ash-hadu anna Muhammadur rasūlullāh
Hayya alas-salāt
Hayya alal-falāh
As-salatu khayru min an-naum x2(fajr prayer)
Allhu akbar Allahu Akbar
Lā ilāha illallāh

Which means:

Allah is great, Allah is great
I bear witness that there is no God except Allah (x2)
I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of God
Make haste towards prayer
Make haste towards welfare
Prayer is better than sleep
Allah is great, Allah is great
There is no God except Allah

(We've left Allah as Allah, although of course the translation of Allah is God).

The five prayers:

Salat Ul Fajr - the morning prayer. Should be performed between dawn and sunrise.

Salat Ul Zuhr - the noon prayer.

Salat Ul Asr - begin soon after Salat Ul Zuhr, although the prayer can take place up until just before sunset.

Salat Ul Magrib - begins just after sunset

Salat Ul Isha - begins an hour after sunset.

It is interesting to note that the majority of the praying takes place quite late in the day, presumably to allow people the opportunity to complete their work during daylight hours.

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