Saturday, February 16, 2013

"I admire the Muslim custom of praying 5 times a day..."

Every time I see or hear something like this, I want to raise my eyebrows and say in my best Dowager Countess voice:

"Really, my dear, I'm astonished that you didn't know--the Catholics have had the same custom from the very beginning. It's called the Divine Office. For all we know, the Muslims may have gotten the idea from them."



  1. And we can pray seven times a day!

    Office of Readings
    Morning Prayer
    Mid Morning
    Mid Afternoon

    Not to mention, Mass.


    1. Very true! But since the expectation of the church for diocesan clergy is five (using a single daytime hour), and most laity don't manage all seven, I thought I"d let the comparison to what Muslims do stand at every five.

      The more ancient monastic practice was once eight: every three hours around the clock. Makes me glad to live in these soft, modern times. Although I guess there are still some orders who rise at midnight to pray.

  2. As someone who is currently living and working in a majority muslim country; it is an eye opening experience to see the interaction of faith and daily life - or at least the external manifistation of it. You walk down the street and you will often see men on the pavement joined in prayer at various times of the day. Working in an office you have to have patience as you can turn around and everyone around you has disappeared as they will have gone to pray. You can turn around the corner of the stairs and nearly trip over a person saying their prayers on their prayer mat. It is also puts it up to you on a personal level to maintain your own prayer life as a christian, I aim for 3 hours of the day (MP, EP, Compline) but dont always manage it so it keeps me on my toes - figuratively speaking. But you also do miss things, I attended a Coptic Christmas Divine Liturgy and nearly broke into tears when the bells rang out; I hadnt even realised I had missed them. The Latin/RCC parish that I attend is actually built on the next door plot to the local mosque so(a) no bells (b) there is a lot of muslim traffic to the Lourdes grotto (c) on a Sunday evening you could be in the middle of Mass and the call to prayer will ring out from the minaret; it has happened at the strangest of moments including at the Elevations, the middle of the Creed and the proclamation of the gospel reminding you of the differences in our two faiths.

    1. My son is stationed in Bahrain right now and experiences some of this as well. If you carry a breviary with you at work (or a mobile device with a breviary app) you might train yourself to see all these praying Muslims and prayer calls as little reminders, and as you notice each one, ask yourself--do I have time to do daytime prayer right now? (I'm assuming its not a crime to be seen holding a breviary in public where you are!) Daytime MP/EP/Compline.

  3. I also admire the Muslims pray five times a day and more. So see, there is a lot of sunnahprayer and night prayers to pray too. And to hear Alduhan five times a day keeps the Muslims, at least those who want to be reminded of God, reminded of the next life, where every Muslim, Jew And Christian will meet.

    This is from the noble Qur'ân.

    "Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians -- whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord. And there will be no fear for them, nor shall they grieve" (2:62, 5:69, and many other verses).