Several days ago we had the opportunity to listen to the Call to Prayer on a hilltop overlooking Sarajevo. The Call to Prayer happens five times throughout the day and signifies a time of worship. A man recites the prayer from the top of the tower of a Mosque. Multiple Mosques are spread throughout the city.
After a twenty minute walk up the hill we arrived at the spot where we would listen to the Call to Prayer. The spot we chose had a beautiful view of the city. A gorgeous pink sunset painted the night sky, hanging above the many orange roofs dotting the hillsides below. From the hill we could see many of the Mosques and could hear the men (or speakers in some cases) singing in them. Hearing the prayer while looking at the idyllic view was an almost spiritual experience. I’m not a very religious or spiritual person, but I appreciated the opportunity to experience an important religious practice of the Muslim religion.
However, it was an interesting contrast with the bar in the background and picnic tables of tourists chatting. There was music from the bar playing as well and it almost seemed to undermine the Call to Prayer. Sometimes the pace of life interferes with the sacredness of religion. However after some reflection, I realized that rather than the background clatter undermining the Call to Prayer, the Call perhaps serves as a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I don’t know if individuals who worship during the Call to Prayer experience it this way but for me it was a moment to be thankful, to pause and respect the world around me and the higher power or being that allows for life.