لَآ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ مُحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ ال
December 5, 2012 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Where in the world has the most unique calls to prayer?

I spent about a month in Mali at the start of 2012. As someone who travels to a lot of Muslim countries, I've always been mesmerized by the adhan (call to prayer), but the kinds I heard in Mali were really extraordinary. The cantillation was totally different from the usual ornamented kind I've heard in predominantly Arabic countries. It was a flatter, more modal kind, sounding more like a long wail and less like a carefully-enunciated call. (This blog post offers some insight on the distinctions between different adhan.)

As I'm lucky enough to go abroad at least once a year, I'd like to know where you've heard the most unusual adhan. I've YouTubed hundreds of different recordings for my own reference, but I'd appreciate any firsthand suggestions as well. Thanks!
posted by mykescipark to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
[Folks, fairly specific question, please try to stick to it.]
posted by cortex at 12:54 PM on December 5, 2012

only second hand knowledge but friends of mine said Isfahan had the most melodic adhan they could recall. This may be nostaligia talking as they had to leave Iran post-Shah (they were Ba'hai)

I also recently saw a programme about Skopje in Macedonia which has a Sufi tradition that night be worth looking at?
posted by Wilder at 2:57 PM on December 5, 2012

Most unique? Bamian, a city in the central mountainous highland region of Afghanistan is mostly populated by the Shiite Hazara ethnic group. Many speak Hazaragi, which is a dialect of Dari, itself a greater Persian language. Arabic is not very widely spoken there at all, even the mullahs stick to Dari/Hazaragi for day to day things. Assuming one was intrepid enough to travel there, and there is a tourism market believe it or not, the Azan is rather unique.

Any remote area in Tajikistan or the Tajik northern mountain parts of Afghanistan will also have a regionally unique Azan.
posted by thewalrus at 4:48 PM on December 5, 2012

As an aside, your title reads "There is no God but God, (and) Mohammed is the Messenger of Al"
posted by dougrayrankin at 12:30 PM on December 10, 2012

(Thanks Doug.)
posted by mykescipark at 2:45 PM on December 12, 2012

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