20th of Ramadan

Many of us take things for granted in life. Sometimes it takes extraordinary situations for us to realise how true that is, especially when we lose something dear to us. Sometimes it takes a trip to another country to make us realise how different the atmosphere is.

For me, it was the realisation at Maghrib (sunset) time today. The neighbourhood mosque started their azan (call to prayer) and very soon I could hear the call from other mosques as well. It wasn’t exactly like an echo, as there are different voices calling for people. It is more like a choir where more and more voices join so that the sound and message carries on and on, throughout the gathering dusk.

It made me stop at my tracks, because I just wanted to listen, to enjoy the quite magical moment. My friends and relatives wondered what became over me and didn’t realise how different and moving the whole situation was for me – because for them, as native Malaysians, it is nothing out of the ordinary.

Many people, especially from the western world, travel for their holidays in places like Thailand. Once there they complain about the noise coming from the nearby mosque. Often these people, I dare say, are the ones who are disturbed to hear the church bells rolling on Sundays as well. They don’t appreciate the beauty of it.

Perhaps we all should be more accommodating and accepting?



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