“Allahu Akbar”, once you live in a predominantly Muslim dominated community you hear this a lot ahead of every call to prayer. Islamic prayer (Salat) is traditionally said 5 times a day, which is spread throughout various time points during the day. Islamic prayer has had an impact on the way i live my life since i moved to Upper west of Ghana especially the capital Wa which has quite a substantial number of Muslims. Why? Because the “call to prayer” helps me see my life unrolling right in front of my eyes thus making me get a better sense of how i’m spending my days.
Living in predominantly Islamic neighborhood you hear all the five calls to prayer. “Allahu Akbar” literally translates as “Allah (God) is Great” and precedes most of the calls to prayer.
First of the prayers is the “Fajir” i often hear the call at 5 am whiles the prayer is said around 5.15-5:30 am this is a call for me to wake up myself and pray, meditate and have a moment of self-reflection after which i plan my day. I have read so many times on how 'early risers' are more efficient and very effective. This has somehow proven to be true for me I usually plan the day mentally to have a fair idea of the things i want to achieve throughout the day. Because knowing the kind of person i am, “your typical type-A, has too many ideas, excited about everything and ends up doing nothing” it’s really helpful to have focus and a goal.
Then there is the afternoon prayer called “Zuhr”, the prayer is said around 1.15 -2 pm but I personally call it “go get lunch” prayer. Whiles eating my lunch which is 'fufu' most of the time (a type of Ghanaian dish which is made by pounding tubers such as yam or cassava to pulp and eaten with vegetable soup usually with meat or boiled fish to taste) i check up on my mental to-do list to see what i have been able to get done in the past 6 hours and gear myself up for what is left to be done.
The third prayer is known as “Asr” said around 3.15 -3.30 in the late afternoon, at this point i label my to-do list a going down the drain chore because technically my “working day” is grinding to an end. At this prayer point, my eyes and my body are just begging me for a nap since i woke up early. This is the point where I cancel “go to the bank” off my to do list and push it to the next day. Meanwhile, i’m texting my friends asking where are we 'hanging out' in the evening.
6.10 pm call to prayer known as ”Majud” this is where the technical part of my brain is gradually making a beeline for the finish whiles my right brain comes alive. HAPPY HOUR? YES!!!
6.15-11.30 pm prayer is the final prayer called “Isha” this is such an important prayer call for me because it just reminds me to take stock of my life and reflect over the success and the missed opportunities, the defeats and how i can live a better life. And the fact that it is in a wide range just signifies that there is still time to do what you really want to do nothing is ever too late.
So next time when you hear “Allahu Akbar” from a distance, Muslim or not it’s a clarion call for proper time management…
Thanks to Zainab for helping me out with this one…