Go to any Muslim country and you will be sure to hear the adhan right before it is time to pray, 5 times a day, everyday. It is something you can almost expect in a location densely populated by Muslims. However, as we learned during the first week of class, the adhan is recited in a different manner depending on which country you are in and, at times, even where you are within that country. The way the words are pronounced differ a little from, say, Egypt to Saudia Arabia to Pakistan. Additionally, given the sect of Islam that is prevalent in the area, sometimes the adhan may contain extra lines. Here I am referring especially to the Shiite adhan in which lines praising the family of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, are added.
Here I have depicted mosques from different places around the world. The pictures are accompanied by a clip of the adhan from that area. For example, a mosque in Pakistan appears when part of an adhan clip from Pakistan is played. As we try to focus on Islam from a cultural studies perspective in this class, I thought this would make an interesting project since it shows the diversity within the religion. But at the same time, it is the concept, the purpose and the main wording of the adhan that stay the same no matter where you are. All are ways of calling people to prayer. All are made in the name of God. The mosques show the same pattern: they may look different from one part of the world to another, yet they are all places where Muslims go to pray and to bond with community. Each part of the adhan is from the country where the mosque depicted is located. The end result is one adhan recited by many Muslims around the world: one voice flowing into the next, the remembrance of Allah linked in a continuous chain.