The call to prayer, also known as Adhan, in Istanbul.  Istanbul for me is one of the fascinating cities in the world.  This is a city to which I always want to return.

The sound of the ice cream truck would jolt many back to their childhood.  For me, the sound of Adhan transports me right back to my family’s villa in Tripoli Libya.  Tripoli is where I grew up and the mosque was right around the corner from home.  Yes, travel and being immersed in cultures foreign to my own started early for me.

Five times a day the muezzin would summon Muslims to worship and the sound beamed from the minaret high above the mosque.  At first, the sound was shocking until it became a normal part of the day.  Being a kid I called it the sound of the wounded moose.  Today, it’s a melodic sound placing me back on the marble floors playing with my hot wheels.

What is Adhan?
In Arabic, the word ‘Athan’ is to call or to inform.  Religiously, it is a call made to inform people that the time of the prayer has begun. It is obligatory for the congregation in the mosque while for individuals praying alone at home, for example, it is a highly preferred act. It begins by proclaiming the greatness and oneness of Allah and the denial of disbelief and polytheism, testifying to the messengers of Muhammad and then calling to a prosperity which is everlasting, pointing to the return to Allah.

The ‘Iqamah’ is the second and final Call to Prayer and is uttered immediately before the beginning of the obligatory prayer indicating that it is actually time to perform the prayer.

Istanbul was the first place for me to hear Adhan since leaving Libya.  I remember stopping in my tracks as a broad smile swept across my face.  Funny how this happens.  As I travel far and deep, I hear the call to Adhan more often.  The feeling simply doesn’t change.


Destination:  Istanbul Turkey

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