If you have never lived or visited a Muslim country then the call for prayer will definitely be something you are not used to hearing.

 In Muslims countries you will find Mosques scattered everywhere. They come in all shapes, heights and sizes. They are beautiful architectural structures and each one is unique in its design. My favorites are Ibn Tulun and El Hussein that are located in old Cairo.

 Muslims pray five times a day, starting with early dawn prayer, known as Fajr. Yes, that means that as soon as day break is visible then the call for prayer will be heard throughout the city waking and calling the faithful to pray. If you are not accustomed to this and have never heard it before and you are unfortunate to have you bedroom very close to a Mosque, the call will definitely wake you up with a jolt. The Imam years and years ago would have to climb to the inside of the minaret to do the call for prayer but now thanks to modern technology he says the call in to a microphone which is then projected in to mega phones that are attached on to the minarets. So, if you sleep like the dead you have nothing to worry about, if you are a light sleeper you won’t miss it! It will take you a few days to get used to it and then you will sleep through it soundly.

The reason I thought of mentioning this is because when my relatives from England came to visit, I never thought of warning them, because it was apart of my every day life. My youngest cousin Emma, who had just turned eight at the time, woke up terrified when she heard the Imaam chanting the call for prayer her first night here. She sprung out of bed, pulled open the bedroom door, banging it loudly and ran down the corridor screaming ‘The man is coming to get me’. When we were able to catch her and calm her down to explain what the Imaam was saying and that his intention was not to scare her or chase her, she was more at ease and soon slept through the call for prayers after that.

The next three call for prayers won’t be as alarming to you as the first. The call will be slightly drowned out by the sound of ‘The City’. It’s the final prayer of the day that you will undoubtedly hear fairly clearly.

 The second call for prayer is the “Du’hur Prayer”, best translated as afternoon, which is presently at 1pm Cairo local time.

The third is the “Aasr Prayer”, best translated as late afternoon, which starts at approximately 4:36pm Cairo local time.

The fourth is the ‘Maghrib Prayer’, best translated as evening, which starts at approximately 8pm Cairo local time.

The Final prayer of the day is the ‘Isha Prayer’, best translated as night, which starts at approximately 9:33pm Cairo local time.

* The times above will change once day light saving time is applied. The times mentioned are during the summer.

When the call for prayer sounds don’t be surprised if you find people turning down the volume on their TV sets or radios. Some people go as far as remaining silent during the call as a sign of respect. People will often schedule their appointments around prayer times, so that it doesn’t interfere with their time of worship. 

Below is a link that tells you the exact times of the call to prayer in Egypt.