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Muslims have five regular daily prayers

During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims, there’s a special night prayer called taraweeh

Worshipers are called to pray with the adhan

“The call to prayer is exactly what it sounds like… It’s not a song, it’s not a chant… it’s this beautiful Arabic script, essentially, that is intended to tell Muslims that the prayer is starting, we’re about to gather, come and join in,” said Amina Elahi, WFPL’s city editor. 

This week, WFPL News explores the sounds and melodic traditions of the spring holiday season. For Ramadan, Elahi spoke about what the Islamic call to prayer means to her.

Elahi said the call is moving, regardless whether you understand each word of the Arabic verse.

“It’s presented in a way that kind of carries you, like you get sort of absorbed into the way that the person is reciting [it],” she said.

Elahi said even when people pray at home, they recite the adhan quietly to themselves.

In some Muslim-majority countries, the adhan is broadcasted publicly.   

Hearing the call outside the Muslim Community Center of Louisville this week reminded Elahi of her grandfather, who lived in Karachi, Pakistan. She said, in his later years, her grandfather would walk to the mosque near his home. 

“He passed away a few years ago, and the image I have of him is hearing the adhan, and then putting on his sandals and walking down the street,” Elahi said.

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.