Conquered: Christchurch Islamic call to prayer broadcast nationwide

An Islamic call to prayer will be broadcast across New Zealand on Friday, but what is it, and what should people do while it plays?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the call to prayer will be played on state broadcasters TVNZ and RNZ on Friday to mark one week since 50 people were gunned down at two Christchurch mosques.

The call to prayer will also be simulcast on Three and Magic Talk.

The time of the call is yet to be confirmed.

A representative for the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand told Newshub the call invites Muslims to come to prayer for one of the five prayers of the day.

“Friday prayer is special as it is a day of congregational prayer in the afternoon,” the spokesperson said.

University of Auckland lecturer Zain Ali told Newshub the words of the prayer are fairly basic.

“It celebrates the greatness of God, affirms Muhammad as a messenger of God, and then the next few lines are you know come to prayer, the line after that come to success…

“Then it finishes in the same way that it starts. Celebrate the greatness of God and affirms Muhammad is the messenger of God.”

The prayer is not said in English, but Arabic. An English translation is below. Some lines are repeated during the call to prayer.

“Allah is Most Great.

“I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.

“I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.

“Come to prayer.

“Come to success.

“Allah is most great.

“There is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.”

Dr Ali said people should be quiet and listen to the prayer while it plays as it is a time for quiet reflection.

“[Joining in] is not the usual practice. So it’s not [normal] that people will start singing along with the call to prayer.

“You can say it in your mind, you can follow it in your mind… but most of it is listening.”

He said if people want to do something else on Friday alongside the prayer they can say one of their own, or follow some other Muslim traditions.

“[Friday is] also a day to give charity and for that maybe something else people could think about giving charity to whomever you think is appropriate…

“The other thing that happens on a Friday is after the Friday prayers people buy food and take food home for the families as well.

“Maybe something… like sharing the food and so on.”