Call to prayer. Marrakech.

I love to hear the call to prayer (Adhan) it really makes you feel like your abroad.

It’s now 1345 and this is the first time I’ve heard it today, though I think there are calls 5 times a day?

There are several Mosques close by and they seem to be competing with each other in volume and complexity though I think the words are the same.

God is the greatest (Allahu akbar); intoned four times.
I testify that there is no God but Allah (Ashhadu anna la ila ill Allah); intoned twice.
I testify that Mohammed is God’s Prophet (Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasul Allah); intoned twice.
Come to prayer (Hayya alas salah); intoned twice.
Come to security/salvation (Hayya alal falah); intoned twice.
God is the greatest (Allahu akbar); intoned twice.
There is no God but Allah (La ilah ill Allah); intoned once.

The way these words are phrased, drawn out and emphasised seems to vary from Mosque to Mosque.

I’m intrigued to know who does the call to prayer? I assume it’s a prestigious position, one that is coveted in the community and I wonder whether the caller ( I need to research their title) craves a bit of celebrity, encouraging each caller to develop an independent style?

Yesterday we hired a Taxi driver and he met us at the Riad before escorting us through a warren of alleyway which eventually came out through a gate in the Medina wall, right by a huge taxi rank where hundreds of beaten up old Mercedes were slumped in various states of repair. Some looking terminal.

However, before we set off our driver asked if we would mind if he prayed first and with our approval he joined maybe 50 other people who faced Mecca and prayed, kneeling on carpets spread over the rubble and dust of a car park.

What significance this venue had I don’t know, but it seemed a popular spot.

I felt quite privileged to witness this first hand. There was some thing very humbling about watching people display such faith in a God, even though their lives are so hard and there is such obvious poverty.

I wonder whether we would be so trusting if our lives were as challenging.

I suspect many of us would be asking our God to make life better, to help us get out of poverty or At least,  asking for the winning lottery numbers.

So, is this it. This is the demon of the right wing press, the threat to democracy, freedom and our way of life.

These old men with shaggy beards and ragged clothes. With callouses on their hands and sweat stains on their Manchester United T Shirts?

We have more to fear from ourselves, from our greed and our arrogance than we do from these humble people.

Yet these Men (they were all Men) went back to their lives and their jobs, without doubts.

Our Driver thanked us and then did battle once again with the Marrakech traffic.


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