Monday, May 9, 2011

Dawn in Doha

Dawn. I was somewhat surprised to see the sun up so early here. But perhaps even more surprising was the activity as I observed the Muslim first call to prayer at 4:52 AM.  Almost in unison, people stopped what they were doing, produced their prayer rug, and began their prayers, which lasted about 10 minutes. Then back to their daily activity.

Muslims pray at least five times a day.
  • Fajr (pre-dawn): This prayer starts off the day with the remembrance of God; it is performed before sunrise.
  • Dhuhr (noon): After the day's work has begun, one breaks shortly after noon to again remember God and seek His guidance.
  • 'Asr (afternoon): In the late afternoon, people are usually busy wrapping up the day's work, getting kids home from school, etc. It is an important time to take a few minutes to remember God and the greater meaning of our lives.
  • Maghrib (sunset): Just after the sun goes down, Muslims remember God again as the day begins to come to a close.
  • 'Isha (evening): Before retiring for the night, Muslims again take time to remember God's presence, guidance, mercy, and forgiveness.
Muslims are reminded of the daily prayer times through the calling of the adhan broadcast through many mosques in the city.

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