Mosques broadcast call to prayer over loudspeakers to boost morale during Ramadan
City approved move that mosques hope will raise spirits during Ramadan despite COVID-19 distancing
Some Calgary mosques have begun broadcasting a call to prayer over loudspeakers for the first time, to boost morale over Ramadan since large gatherings have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
The Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly was the first to do so from its Green Dome location mosque in the northeast last Thursday, soon followed by the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre, the Calgary Southwest Masjid and the Al-Hedaya Islamic Centre of Northeast Calgary.
"May Allah bless the entire city council, bylaw officers, Coun. George Chahal, [Alberta Community and Social Services Minister Rajan] Sawhney and the community. May this COVID-19 disappear and everyone safe again. Thank you for the kindness and consideration. God bless Calgary. Love Calgary. Ramadan Mubarak," the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly tweeted Thursday.
It was a great honour for the Green Dome Mosque, Calgary to proclaim publicly the first ever Call for Muslim prayer (Adhan) in the history of Calgary on the loudspeaker on May 7th, 2020 at Sunset in Calgary. Thank you the City of Calgary. May everyone be safe from COVID19. <a href="https://t.co/HyZaN1Kt0g">pic.twitter.com/HyZaN1Kt0g</a>—@syedsoharwardy
The organizations received permission from the City of Calgary to broadcast the Adhan until the end of Ramadan later this month.
The Muslim holy month is centred around communal prayers and gatherings, which have been mostly cancelled due to physical distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Omar El-Hajjar, president of the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre, said bringing back the religious practice will help raise people's spirits during Ramadan.
"Ramadan is very important to us. It's the month of gathering ... unity [and] giving," he said.
"Because of the pandemic, we're seeing a lot of people losing morale ... so, we decided to go ahead and do the Adhan because it gives that boost ... we're still here, our community is still here."
The Adhan is normally played about five times a day for prayer congregations.
The mosques are broadcasting the call to prayer corresponding with Maghrib, or sunset prayer, signifying to Muslims the time to break their fast.
"It makes people have some dignity, have special comfort, special happiness. It takes them back home," said Imam Jamal Hammoud of the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre, noting that it's common for the Adhan to be broadcast in Muslim-majority countries.
Some people drove in to the mosques to listen from the parking lot, while others listened from their homes or online.
- An earlier version of this story may have given the misleading impression that the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre was the first in Calgary to broadcast a call to prayer through loudspeakers from a mosque. To clarify, it is among several Calgary mosques that have begun doing so in the past week as the city allowed the move for the first time to keep spirits up during Ramadan.May 12, 2020 11:25 AM MT