Thursday, September 11, 2008

Call to Prayer

Allah Akbar…Allah Akbar…The call to dawn prayer came gently to his ears, slowly awakening him. Haya ‘ala el- Sala…Haya ‘ala el-Falah…How he loved Sheikh Fadl’s voice…so pure…so warm…so divine. It made him feel as if the Almighty himself was calmly nudging him to wake up and guiding him gently to pray. Although he lived a few blocks away from the mosque, he could still hear Sheikh Fadl’s beautiful melodic azzan as it floated softly through the early dawn silence. For many years since he was a child he had heard this enchanting voice. Never had Sheikh Fadl, come rain or sunshine, failed to climb the long and winding stairs of the tall minaret five times a day to call the faithful to prayer. And never had he himself failed to answer his call and perform his religious duty …for how could anyone listening to this divine voice that touched both heart and soul fail to obey. He remembered how, as a child, he had once woken up trembling from a bad nightmare. At that same moment he heard Sheikh Fadl’s call to dawn prayer coming from afar. His heavenly voice soothed and calmed him. It brought peace to his heart and made him feel safe in the embrace of God's love. He knew from that day that the Almighty may be far above in the heavens, unseen and untouchable, yet he was near and ever so close with his mercy and compassion.

He continued to listen to the call to prayer as he lay in bed… …but why was it getting louder?...what was happening to Sheikh Fadl’s voice?...why was he shouting like that?...what was going on???

He woke up in bed with a start. He had been dreaming again of Sheikh Fadl and his call to prayer. He gave a long deep sigh as he got out of bed. Sheikh Fadl had died many years ago and nobody climbed minarets any more. There were microphones now…three of them from three different mosques in his street. They were open at full blast, all at the same time, bombarding his ears with what was supposed to be a call to prayer, but what was for him a jumble of shouting, hoarse voices and static. He knew that things changed with the times, but he could never reconcile himself to what others considered a sign of progress and modernity. He felt he was being roughly shaken awake, held by the neck and dragged out of bed by a harsh unfeeling hand. The cold metallic shouting from so many mosques only touched his nerves but never his heart. For him it felt more like a call to perform a mere ritual rather than an act of faith, a call that aroused the fear of hell rather than the love of God.

As he headed to the bathroom, he tried to shut out the ugly sounds that pierced his ears. He reached deep down in his heart and soul in search of the sounds of love, beauty and compassion stored in his memory from a distant past. From somewhere deep within, slowly and gradually emerged that divine and beloved voice…it gently enveloped him in an aura of peace and serenity…and it was all that he heard as he completed his ablutions and spread his prayer rug…the heavenly voice of Sheikh Fadl’s call to prayer.


Heba said...

gr888888 inspiring story
keep it up

Nadia said...

thank you Heba for passing by and for your lovely glad you liked it :)

nermeen said...

جميلة جدا القصة يا ريت تترجميها كمان بالعربى يا نادية .. و إمتى بس أئمة المساج يفهموا إن لا حاجة لهذه المكبرات اللعينة و إمتى يختاروا أحاسنهم أصواتا

و أحب تزورى مدونتى

أكون سعيدة جدا

Nadia said...

أشكرك يا نرمين على ملاحظتك الرقيقة و سأفكر جديا في ترجمة القصة إلى العربيةو أتمنى اليوم الذي نسمع فيه الآذان بشكل حضاري و إنساني
احييك على مدونتك