The Islamic call to prayer is a sound that is often heard in cities throughout the Middle East. However, it is also now a feature in one major American city as well.
According to the Associated Press, Minneapolis just became first major city to the broadcast of Muslim prayer calls.
Mosques in Minneapolis are preparing to publicly broadcast the Islamic call to prayer over loudspeakers after the community became the first large U.S city to allow it. https://t.co/FotipRFRJx pic.twitter.com/Ox3qcGlxax
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 2, 2022
Yusuf Abdulle leads a network of three dozen mostly East African mosques called the Islamic Association of North America, and he was quoted as welcoming the decision, saying, “It’s a sign that we are here.”
Abdulle added that such calls, known as the adhan, was “the first thing I missed” upon coming to the United States two decades ago. He added, “We drop everything and answer the call of God.”
Local resident Abdisalam Adam regularly attends Minneapolis’ Dar Al-Hijrah mosque, and he expressed enthusiasm as well.
“Hearing that voice, it’s a connection to God even if at work or in the fields or a classroom,” he said. “It’s a balance of this world and the hereafter.”
The Associated Press noted that Dar Al-Hijrah was first given a special permit by the city to broadcast its prayer calls in 2020 over a loudspeaker. It now allowed to broadcast three prayer calls over the course of each day.
A signal of superiority
The Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center is also broadcasting its prayer calls and the center’s director, Abdullahi Farah, told the Associated Press that he has spoken to the center’s neighbors about the practice.
However, not everyone is happy about the new development, including FrontPage Magazine contributor Robert Spencer. In a piece published earlier this month, Spencer asked,
Is Minneapolis really wise to broadcast repeatedly a declaration of the superiority of Islam, a faith that directs its adherents to make war against Christians and other non-Muslims and subjugate them as inferiors under the hegemony of believers (cf. Qur’an 9:29)?
Encyclopedia Britannica translates the adhan as stating, “Allāh is most great. I testify that there is no god but Allāh. I testify that Muhammad is the prophet of Allāh. Come to prayer. Come to salvation. Allāh is most great. There is no god but Allāh.”