The Calls to Prayer

A favorite thing for me anywhere in the Islamic world is to hear the chaotic chorus of cheaply amplified voices erupting into song as they sing the call to prayer from mosque minarets all over town at the same time. Here, just outside Istanbul’s fabled Grand Bazaar, it’s that time. People seem to ignore it, but I can’t. It’s part of the audio track of any visit to this corner of our world. Mix the sounds with the people and you get Istanbul stew.

The warbling call to prayer used to unnerve me, and now I find it actually beautiful…even comforting. What happens to you when you hear this Muslim call to worship? When it wakes me early in the morning, I remember that that prayer has an extra line in it. It roughly translates, “It’s better to pray than to sleep.”

If you can’t see the video below, watch it on YouTube.


10 Replies to “The Calls to Prayer”

  1. I bet that the Christians who are even now being murdered and purged from Iraq and Eqypt do not find the Muslim call to prayer quite so “comforting”.

  2. Comforting is a strange way of feeling when one hears the sound of a mullah rallying the masses to spread the message of intolerance, hatred of people of different faiths, and the killing of all infidels.

  3. Wait a minute. The church bells that ring in the US are the progenitors of persecution which happened in places like Salem, Massachusetts just a few hundred years ago. And let’s not forget the male dominated religions in the US which are still guilty of pedophilia. Every zealot has his cause and the decent believers suffer the consequences.

  4. Goodness, some fallacious thinking going on here- Over Hasty Generalization for those of you who have taken a critical thinking course. How many times does it have to be said than not all Muslims are practicing Jihad?

  5. How many times does it have to be said that ALL good Muslims believe in the teachings of the Koran. The Koran which contains Sura 8.60 ” prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier to terrorize thereby the enemy of Allah; or how about Sura 9.5 which says of non-Muslims “when the sacred months have passed slay the idolaters wherever you find them and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. Or Sura 8.12 which compels believers to “cast terror in the hearts of non-believers and to strike off their heads and fingertips”. The fact of the matter is, Turkey thrived as a secular state. That is under threat with the Islamization of many Middle Eastern countries. Amnesty International has expressed concerns over the punishments of Sharia Law that include stoning, flogging, and amputations which are considered degrading and inhumane according to international human rights standards. The injustices that women face under the name of Islam include forced marriages, imprisonment or death after rape, to unfair treatment in matters of divorces, marriages, and inheritances. It is universally agreed that human rights violations are a serious issue in Islamci countries. It is inherently opposed to human dignity, justice and equality. So when I hear the calling of the mullahs to prayer in these societies I think foremost about the women and non-Muslims who live in these socieities. Their treatment is nothing to rejoice about.

  6. Yes, life is so much easier when you can generalize. Islam has many different flavors, as does Christianity. The shades of islam vary from Indonesia to Morocco to Denver, Colorado. As for quoting the Koran, thank goodness the bible is 100% internally consistant and 100% “on message” regarding love thy neighbor. Heres a Koran quote: (5:48) “Unto every one of you We have appointed a [different] law and way of life. And if God so willed He could surely have made you all one single community. but [he willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what he has Vouchsafed unto you. Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you understand all that on which you were wont to differ.” I’m no Islamic scholar, but THAT sounds like a call to tolerance. You play into the hands of the extremists by painting all Moslems as inherently evil.

  7. Again? Well. Good post Thomas I like the quote. I’ve never seen it before but its very relevant. hopefully you’ll see this before it’s erased.

  8. It’s the blindness of “tolerant” politically correct Westerners who cast ALL Muslims as innocent, peaceful and tolerant which plays into the hands of the extremists because those radical Islamicists know that no matter who they kill or torture, no matter what human rights violations they commit, they know that “tolerant” westerners will never stand up to them or criticize them for what they do. THAT is what causes terrorism. Shall I define the word appeasement?

  9. normally, the sound of the call to worship has a haunting beauty to it, but in this video, it sounds like a garbled mess.

  10. Rick….when I think of the call to prayer I picture in my mind two of the most beautiful mosques I have ever seen…..they are both in Istanbul…..”Suleymanyie Mosque and Rustem Pasta”….I am sure you have seen them both.

    I have found the Turkish people to be kind and helpful and I have never had any negative experiences in my travels there; however, I did almost get pickpocketed in Nice once while attempting to board a very crowded tram and almost got lured away from a McDonalds in Padua Italy by two overly friendly Jordanian gypsies who I am sure, in retrospect, wanted to rob me.

Comments are closed.