the call to prayer

Muslims are obliged to pray five times a day. Correclty performed prayers include ritual acts, such as the washing of certin body parts and positioning oneself in the direction of Mecca.
The prayer times are announced by someone who gives the call to prayer from the minaret of a mosque or another place. This call is as follows:

Times said

Arabic

Transliteration

English translation

4 x

الله أكبر

Allahu akbar

God is the greatest

2 x

أشهد أن لا اله إلا الله

Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Allah

I witness that there is no god but God

2 x

أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله

Ash-hadu anna Muḥammadan Rasulullāh

I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God

2 x

حي على الصلاة

Ḥayya ʿala as-salaat

Come to the prayer

2 x

حي على الفلاح

Ḥayya ʿala ‘l-falaah

Come to the success

2 x

الصلاة خير من النوم

As-salaat khairun min an-naum

Prayer is better than sleep

2 x

الله أكبر

Allahu akbar

God is the greatest

1 x

لا إله إلا الله

La ilaha illa Allah

There is no god but God

The left column shows how often the sentences are repeated. The sentence in italics is only pronounced at the early morning prayer.

This is the call to prayer as used by the Sunnis. The Shiites have a slightly longer version, where they confess that Ali is the friend of God. They say this after the confession that Muhammad is God’s messenger. According to them, Ali was appointed by Mohammad as his successor. Afther the sentence “Come to the success” they add the sentence, “Come to the best of all (good) works.”

For more information, see Islamic prayer.

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