Monday, 22 June 2009

Hidden Facts of The Azan

In general, when it is time to perform prayer, one can hear the azan echoing in the air. No matter where you are; Makkah, Kuala Lumpur, Delhi, London, Chicago, when the time comes, a local mu'azzin will perform the azan.

Many assume that an azan can only be heard between two to eight hours, depending on the time, location, and season. But, what many do not know is, the azan actually echoes throughout the globe 24 hours non-stop!

If an astronaut is positioned stationarily facing the earth, if sound does exist in space, and if the echo of the azan is able to penetrate miles spacewards, the astronaut is then able to hear the azan non-stop, eventhough it is not recited by the same mu'azzins.

How is this possible? Well, just to remind ourselves, the earth rotates on its axis at a constant velocity of 1674 km/h.

Now, let us position ourselves at a reference location where Fajr/Subh (dawn) is about to emerge. Consider Eastern Java (Indonesia) being at that location. Consider the marginal error for the exact time of dawn is plus-minus 30 minutes, depending on the exact location.

The time is 5.30 a.m.. Dawn has emerged in Eastern Java, and thus the azan is recited. Dawn creeps westwards, and the time distance between the eastern and western tip of the island is approximately 90 minutes. By the time dawn reaches West Java, it is around 7 a.m., Indonesian time. In neighbouring Malaysia, where the time zone lags Indonesia's by one hour, the azan has been echoing in the skies for the last 15 minutes (5.45 a.m., Malaysian time).

From Malaysia, it creeps into Thailand, and Myanmar. From there, dawn creeps through the skies of Dhaka (Bangladesh), all the way to Calcutta (India). The time distance between Calcutta and Afghanistan is one hour. Within that hour, the azan is sequentially heard from the skies of Calcutta, followed by Delhi, Mumbai, Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan, finally arriving in Kabul (Afghanistan).

As the azan is about to wrap up in Kabul, dawn creeps into neighbouring Iran, and the Iranian sky is echoed with the call to prayer. Before Tehran finishes its azan, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, and Manama (Bahrain) has already begun to initiate the azan, followed by Muscat (Oman), Riyadh, Sana'a (Yemen), and finally arriving at the Holy City of Makkah.

As the azan is heard within the vicinity and surroundings of the Great Mosque, dawn reaches Jeddah, and the mosques of Jeddah too initiate the azan. Dawn then creeps into, Cairo (Egypt), and continues westwards across Africa via Tripoli (Libya), Algiers (Algeria), Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakesh in Morocco, and finally into Western Sahara. From there, dawn travels further westwards.

However, prior to entering the Western Sahara territory, while the azan is still clearly heard throughout the skies of Morocco, back in Eastern Java, Zuhr has emerged, and it is time to recite the azan once again. The azan sequence then repeats itself westwards. By the time the Zuhr azan reaches Calcutta, it is time to recite the azan for 'Asr prayers back in Eastern Java, and by the time this azan reaches Calcutta, Maghrib (sunset) has emerged in Eastern Java, and it is time to recite the azan once again.

By the time Maghrib reaches Malaysia, it is time for 'Isya prayers in Eastern Java. And thus, it is time for this azan to travel westwards. As the azan for 'Isya nears Western Sahara, dawn is approaching in Eastern Java. And so, the azan begins a new journey on a new day, eventhough the azan from the previous day has yet to complete its journey across the globe.

Truly, the skies of the earth does not cease to transmit the echo of the azan, glorifying Allah, and calling upon the Muslims to gather and face into one direction worshipping Him.

Eventhough mosques are scattered throughout the land, some mosques have ceased or began ceasing to recite the azan. While mosques were constructed as a symbol of faith, and to withstand the number of worshippers, there are others that were merely built as monuments, tourist attractions, and as symbols of pride.

A small mosque at the edge of a village that is always full of worshippers is better than a monumental mosque by some lake but has an amount of pillars that exceed the amount of worshippers (very little people).

Thursday, 4 June 2009

At long last...


After a long wait,
It has come.

After a series of strives,
After a series of tests,
After a series of depressions,
It has finally come.

After being faced with periodic extensions,
After having witnessed my colleagues leaving before me,
After striving to have patience,
After striving to accept His will,
After striving to have faith,
ALLAH has finally willed this day to come,
The day when one bears the fruits of his toil and sweat.

May ALLAH bless what has been awarded to me,
And may I have the strength to keep on struggling,
As I prepare to further my studies,