The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Call to prayer

The summons to Islamic faithful awakens a Christian's devotion

For the past years, my day has begun with an Arabic "call to prayer." Long before Sept. 11, 2001, this morning intrusion started me thinking about the Muslim faith.

Daily prayer is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, the framework that shapes Muslim life. Praying is obligatory, and missing prayer times is considered a grave offense against God and a punishable sin.

The mosques in Malaysia where I lived from 1998 through June are outfitted with the most remarkable public address systems I've ever heard. Prior to each prayer time, the surrounding community is treated to a maximum-decibel summons. The early-morning prayers must be completed between dawn and sunrise, ensuring that believers and nonbelievers alike are notified right out of their

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February issue


Embracing diversity