Prayer Times

The initial prayer session is in the first hour before sunrise, the second around noon, the third in midafternoon around 3.30pm, the fourth at sunset and the final session in the early evening.

The call to prayer is delivered by the mudhim (muezzin). In former days, he climbed to the top of the minaret and shouted it out. Now the call is relayed by loudspeakers on the minaret and the mudhim even appears on TV. All TV stations cut out at prayer time, although only MTV (the national channel) cuts out for the entire duration - satellite channels just have their broadcasts interrupted to remind Muslims to go to the mosque.

Shops and offices close for 15 minutes after each call. Some people go to the mosque, some kneel where they are and others do not visibly participate. Mosques are busiest for the sunset prayers and at noon on Fridays.

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