Visiting a muslim country

I’m going to Turkey for summer and I’ll be staying for 2 months. I go mostly every summer to visit my mom’s side of the family that lives there. It’s a civilized country and it’s nice but, as a Christian, there’s one problem for me: the ‘call to prayer.’

Basically it’s muslim worship music and it’s played (I think 5 times) throughout the day to remind muslims to pray. There are speakers all throughout the country (believe it or not) and the music is played really loudly so your forced to listen to it even if you’re in your own home.

I may be overthinking this but I’m worried about it. I don’t want to accidentally worship a false god. It sounds stupid but as someone who has OCD, thoughts just pop into your head at the worst possible times, and I don’t want to be thinking of anything other than God. Especially a false god.

I can’t just ‘not go’ to Turkey because I’m not an adult so I can’t stay on my own. Since I’ll have no choice but to listen to the call to prayer, aka the adhan, what can I do to… minimize the experience? Should I cover my ears or something?

Muslims worship the same God, they worship him imperfectly, but they still worship the same God.

If you are worried, during those prayers, you could always pray a prayer of protection or even the rosary in your mind. I know you can purchase those ring rosaries online which are easily hidden in your clothing.

I’m pretty sure you can’t “accidentally worship a false god”.

As stated, the God muslims worship is the same God anyway, they just worship Him imperfectly.

And if their call to prayer stirs something inside of you to pray, so what? Your prayers will still be directed to God as you understand Him. And since we ought to “pray constantly”, any reminder to pray is helpful.

Don’t worry about this. Instead, be thankful that in our world today there are still many people who sincerely seek to know God better and do His will.

You have a mistaken understanding of Islam. Allah is by no measure God. Allah was a pagan idol of Muhammad’s era whom he dusted off and placed at the top of the Islamic food chain. Please don’t ever confuse him as God. Look at the things he says in their scriptures, and compare & contrast them with what God says in His Word. They worship him “imperfectly” because he is imperfect. He gets all his qualities from Muhammad, after all.

Allah is the Arabic word for God…

The God of Islam is the same God of Christianity and the same God of Judaism. The only way to come to the conclusion that the God of Islam isn’t God is to ignore the Church.

OP- Those calls are calls to prayer, really no different in function than our usage of bells. When you hear them, just reflect on all that God has done for you, thank Him, and say a silent prayer (I got in the habit of saying a Glory Be)

From wiki- The Sunni call to prayer translation

2x الله أكبر,الله أكبر Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar God is greatest, God is greatest.
2x أشهد أن لا اله إلا الله Ash-hadu an-lā ilāha illā allāh I bear witness that there is no deity but God.
2x أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله Ash-hadu anna Muḥhammadan-Rasulullāh I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.
2x حي على الصلاة Hayya ʿala ṣ-ṣsalāt Hasten to worship (salat).
2x حي على الفلاح Hayya ʿala 'l-falāḥ Hasten to success.
2x الله أكبر Allāhu akbar God is greatest.
1x لا إله إلا الله Lā ilāha illā-Allāh There is no deity but God. 3

The only thing in there that conflicts with our faith is Muhammad being a Messenger of God.

I lived in the Middle East for a couple of years. Initially I didn’t like it too, but then I realized its nice to be reminded to pray. I figured I could use that as a reminder for me to pray. Of course what was said on that loud speaker meant nothing to me, it was noise, but I would stop what I was doing, go into my room kneel and say the angelus, I used the reminder three times a day, just like we’d say the Angelus when the church bells would ring. I did this only in the privacy of my home.

Turn it into a positive and it won’t bother you so much. You will only improve spiritually. Don’t shun the experience learn from. Stay strong in your faith & btw enjoy your vacation!

Do you pray the Liturgy of the Hours? Here’s what you can do when you hear the prayer calls (descriptions courtesy of Wikipedia):

Fajr (pre-dawn)

Fajr begins at subh saadiq - true dawn or morning twilight when the morning light appears across the full width of the sky and ends at sunrise

Just after you hear this call, pray Vigils (the Office of Readings in the LOTH) when it is still dark; when finished praying Vigils, pray Lauds (Morning Prayer) when dawn is breaking.

Dhuhr (midday)

The Dhuhr prayer starts after the sun passes its zenith, and lasts until Asr

Pray Sext (Mid-day prayer)

Asr (afternoon)

The Asr prayer starts when the shadow of an object is the same length as the object itself (or, according to Hanafi fiqh, twice its length) and lasts till sunset. Asr can be split into two sections; the preferred time is before the sun starts to turn orange, while the time of necessity is from when the sun turns orange until sunset.

Pray None (from the complementary psalter) or since in the LOTH this hour is optional, pray a Rosary.

Maghrib (sunset)

The Maghrib prayer begins when the sun sets, and lasts till the red light has left the sky in the west.

Pray Vespers (Evening Prayer)

Isha’a (night)

The Isha’a prayer starts when the red light is gone from the western sky, and lasts until the rise of the “white light” (fajar sadiq) in the east. The preferred time for Isha’a is before midnight, meaning halfway between sunset and sunrise.

Pray Compline (Night prayer)

I find the calls haunting myself. Isn’t it interesting to discover that the prayer hours of Muslims are very similar to those of the Liturgy of the Hours? We are all sons of Abraham (Jews, Christians, Muslims). It comes to surface in so many ways. Use the prayer calls as a substitute for the bells of a monastery that call monks to pray the Canonical hours, appreciate the haunting beauty of those calls, and join your prayers in your heart with those of our Muslim brothers that we may be one day we all united with God through the sacrifice of our Lord, and his Son, Jesus Christ.

As opposed to our God (Yahweh?), who was* never *part of a polytheistic pantheon? :confused:

I will respond to the thoughts question in general.

Simply because some thought passes through ones mind - or “happens” to one does not mean that one consents to that thought. For a person without OCD or with OCD.

Sin involves the will - not involuntary thoughts that happen to one.

Such would be the case if the thought was even regarding Muslim call (about God -not a different God-as others have noted) and the mention of one we do not recognize as a prophet.

Jimmy Akin the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers notes:

“However, be assured that the thoughts OCD generates are not sins. We do not have much control over the thoughts that occur to us, and people who have OCD have a quirk in their brain chemistry that makes them more susceptible to such thoughts than others. As you point out, these are not things that you would actually do. They are therefore what psychologists term ego dystonic thoughts, contrary to one’s beliefs and values. As a result, there is not the kind of cooperation of the will needed to make them sinful. In fact, you should not confess these thoughts in the confessional, as focusing on them will tend to reinforce them and exacerbate the condition. You should simply do your best to ignore them. The more you can relax and ignore them, the better you will get. I don’t know if you have yet engaged in a course of treatment for the condition, but I should mention that OCD is very treatable.”

Hope that helps.

Also “short prayers” to pray silently (not obsessively though are a good practice- such as “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you” …etc.

We were on a cruise and visited Istanbul. While waiting in a very long line to visit the famous Blue Mosque, a group of older teenage boys ran down the line and grabbed my 26 year old daughter’s breasts. She was furious (she’s an attorney, was in law school then) and got absolutely no where when she tried to report it to a policeman nearby. Other than that experience, I enjoyed our visit. The best part of Turkey for us was visiting Mary’s House and Ephesus. The ruins at Ephesus are astounding.:wink:

those calls to prayer are just that, calls, you are no worshipping no one by hearing them, just like you are no worshipping anyone if you hear any Church hymn, if it is not in your intention.

and yes, Muslims Christians and Jews worship Yahweh.

I think you are over thinking this. I have been to Egypt and Turkey and have seen exactly what you mentioned. Sincerely when I saw that my thinking was of all catholics would respondto praying on the same way as muslims do, the world would be a much better place. Why don’t you do your own catholic praying when is the official time for Muslims to pray? That was exactly what I used to do on Egypt. Also as others have mentioned Allah is just thevarabic word for God. I think that instead of over worrying about this what you should do is learn about the positive aspects of the culture and join them in your own catholic prayer.

Allah being the Arabic word for God does not mean that Allah is God. We know that Muslims worship the same God we do (though not as perfectly given the errors in Islam) because of Church teachings, not because of the word they use for God.

Very true. However, it is worth remembering that Christians across an 8000 mile belt (Morocco to Malaysia) use the word Allah when they refer to the our God. ‘Allah’ is simply the word for god.

Ummm…no. If you think that, I suggest you try reading the Koran.

You beat me to it.

If the OP wants to explore LOTH, they might start with Shorter Christian Prayer, available on Amazon or through other sources. It won’
t have all of the hours, but for someone who has not been saying the LOTH, it might be a bit less confusing.

That, and it sufficed when I was in college seminary. Other prayers can be substituted at the other calls to prayer.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.