Sound Map of the Call to Prayer


This sound map of the call to prayer (adhan) is an ongoing project of live recordings of the adhan from mosques around the world that focusses on the nuance and variety of the adhan from different mosques around the world.

The Islamic call to prayer is recited five times daily as a way of calling people to the mosque to pray. Depending on the individual interpretation, the prayer times can signify when one should pray, or the time between each call serves as a window when one should pray. The five prayer times span from before the sun rises to after the sun sets, and are dictated by the sun, making the timings different daily, and based on geographic location. The five prayer times are known as Fajr, the early morning prayer (before sun rise); Dhuhr, the noon time prayer; Asr, the late afternoon prayer; Maghrib, the sunset prayer; and Isha, the late evening prayer. Traditionally the call to prayer served as a “soundmark” (Lee, 1999:87), which identified the boundary of a given Islamic community, based on the area over which the muezzin’s voice could be heard. Whereas traditionally the muezzin, or reciter of the adhan, would recite the call from the top of the minaret, in modern day the adhan is most commonly recited into a microphone that is broadcast over loudspeakers that are affixed to the minarets of the mosque that are outward facing, toward the community.

You can listen to any of the recorded adhans by clicking on the marker on the map. If you have a recording of a live adhan you would like to contribute to this sound map please e-mail it along with a photograph of the mosque to me at diana.chester@gmail.com.