So-called observations

Five weird people who recite the Azaan

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar …
If you are a Muslim, this will resonate with you. The azaan is one of the most beautiful sounds you will hear over your lifetime. As a kid, you aspire to sound as good as the muezzin as he effortlessly carries the notes and exhorts you to come and pray. There is a real skill to a good azaan. From my layman’s perspective, I would say a bit of a nasal tone is required for the high pitch, which is necessary for the azaan to be carried over a large area. You also need to have a good control over your breathing, so as to not change pitch midway. Needless to say, you need to know the correct pronunciation of the Arabic words. Enunciation is of utmost importance.

Most Imams and muezzins have these qualities. However, there are many aberrations too (or if the Imam or muezzin is on leave and someone unqualified steps up for the job). I will list only five of them as I don’t want to offend too many of these pious souls and earn myself an easier ticket to Hell.

1. Mr Reshammuezzin
This fellow takes the nasal thing a bit too seriously, so much so that, you begin to wonder whether his voice originates from his throat at all. He hits such high notes that birds start flying haphazardly. Cows start mooing incessantly. Bricks start falling off rooftops and glasses start breaking (Well, not exactly, but you know isn’t that how people exaggerate). Even the non-namazi Muslims start screaming, “Ya Allah, make it stop. I’m going to the Masjid.” As for my neighbour who is chanting shlokas from the Bhagavad Gita at the top of his voice, it only gives him an excuse to raise his decibel levels to the point where you don’t know who is winning the competition.

2. Mr Distraction Jackson

Every stupid thing distracts him when he is reciting the azaan. His eyes are never in the right place. He will check whether your kurta is half-sleeved and whether the ends of your pajamas are above the ankles or not as he is turning his head during the Hayya‘alas-salāh/Hayya‘alal-falāh part. And if he catches you talking, he will frown at you and make weird eyebrow signals to admonish you. He will also turn his head at other times, like when there is a person walking past the adjacent street, especially if it’s a woman. Now what he does with his eyes or head is his problem. However, the issue arises when he turns his head so much that his mouth shifts away from the microphone and the azaan becomes more of a fill in the gaps exercise than calling the faithful for prayer.

3. Mr Consti von Pation

He is all right in every aspect. He belts out great azaans and can do it consistently. The only problem is that you can never look at his face when he is on the microphone. Every muscle on his face is stretched to the limit. His eyes are closed shut and his brows are joined together furrowing deep into his forehead. Beads of sweat start rolling down his cheeks as he strives to strike that perfect note. If you take a picture of him and crop out the fingers and hands, while keeping just his face, you will find it extremely difficult to ascertain whether he is in the Masjid or somewhere less pure.  In fact, his apparent discomfort makes you very conscious of not approaching him from behind in case something smelly happens.

4. Mr Puff Shorty

He often sets the records for the shortest azaans in history. He then goes on to break them himself. The source of his power is his incredible ability to not be able to hold a note for more than two seconds. He has developed this ability over the years through numerous packets of bidis and their cooler cousins, the cigarettes. Of course, the years of shouting matches with his wife at the middle of the night have tuned his vocal chords to match his breathing abilities. There is one plus though. He is the one you can turn to on cold December mornings for the Fajr namaz.

5. Sir Croaksalot

This fellow has no clue whatsoever regarding the concept of qirat. He thinks reciting the azaan equals to shouting over the microphone like an orator. The word besura means zilch to him. He just lives in the moment, and like Mr Reshamuezzin, his specialisation in calling the faithful lies in his extraordinary ability to annoy the hell out of the listeners. If you listen carefully, you can literally hear frogs croaking in unison with him, and saying, “Croak! My ears! Croak! My ears!” The worst thing about him is that he never gets discouraged by the grimaces of the people who have suffered his torture. He mistakes them for grins and picks up the microphone before anyone else during the next namaz.

P.S. I think I belong to the last category. But the people in my society probably caught on to the impending danger during my childhood and made me understand, “Beta, tumse na ho payega.”



46 thoughts on “Five weird people who recite the Azaan

  1. Hahahaha OMG this was hilariously epic. And I knew it would be so I liked it before I even started reading.
    I can’t even choose a favourite line from the post because then I would be pasting your whole post here.
    I loooove love love the character names. So brilliantly funny and creative that I am jelly of you.
    Also the way you described the technicalities of the muezzin’s call to prayer in detail makes it seem like you are an azaan critic of some sorts. And don’t think I didn’t notice your favourite obsession with you know what creeping in.
    This post was worth the wait. Still can’t stop laughing 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lol thank you so much, Aaliyah!

      The character names even made me laugh haha. 😀 But it took me as long as the rest of the post to come up with the names.
      Arey nahi nahi. Main aur azaan critic. Tauba tauba. I’m more like an expression critic.
      Sometimes, when some famous ulema or maulavi visits our masjid and goes on a really boring diatribe about how the modern culture is ruining our values, I’d make the third character’s face and look at my brother. And he’ll look back at me with a poker face as if to say “Duuude!!!Will you stop doing that?”
      And you noticed that? Noo! I thought I hid it so well. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah I bet it would have killed a few brain cells of yours to come up with those names 😉
        Loool that was funny azz. Imagining you doing the third character’s face. How on earth did your brother manage to keep a poker face? And his duude!! Haha

        Yeah I noticed that. Well you know how I was reading the names and was puzzling out the puns. Reshaamuezzin took a while. But Mr Consti von Pation spoke loud and clear 😛 Funniest.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, I’ve tortured my brother for a long time with these pranks. So he is used to them by now. Besides, he also does them at the most inopportune moments.
        Oh? That is weird because Reshammuezzin was the first name that came to my mind and the third one took some “effort.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love to see your humour posts waiting to be read in my reader! Personally, I barely have any friends who’re followers of Islam but I’m sure your regular blog updates on myriad things about your rituals will at least introduce me to the vastness of your beautiful religion!
    Those names? They’re classic! I especially love “Mr Consti von Pation” not because it deals with your favourite subject but because every time I will now read a German name I’ll also think of this! It’s got recall value 😉
    And like Aaliyah said it was worth the wait!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, don’t base your impressions of Islam on my ramblings. haha. I’m just some silly punk who seeks mischief all the time.
      And thank you. I considered naming him Mr Pet van Kadard too, but that one won.
      Thanks again for the great comment Adi 🙂

      P.S. That is NOT my favourite subject -_-

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not basing my impressions of Islam based on your writings! I’d never do that terrifying mistake 😉
        Nah nah! This one doesn’t have the German elan 😉

        P.S. That is so your favorite subject!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Using big words won’t help! And by inner peace, do you mean inner peace of your bowels and gut?!
        I should soooo stop talking to you! You’re a corrupting influence 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s all fair! I’m just being Roman when in Rome 😉 I won’t allow you to splash your favorite subject all over my blog 😉
        I didn’t want to use splash but I did and now it’s kinda stuck and I can’t think of another word which is as unsuitable 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Loool it’s okay sulphurman / superman wannabe people can have the weirdest obsessions 😀 uff I’m laughing!
        Good job classifying the azaan valay. I mean when we hear the dozens of azaans we go oh he starts again lekan never gave them names 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Superman wannabe? LOL
        hahaha, the last Friday I had the misfortune of coming across such an azaan 😀 That’s when I thought I need to do something about it.

        And yaar I don’t have that obsession. My good sulphur name is being dragged through the crap…I mean… mud here.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. hahahaha, so true! especially those kids who give Azaan in loudspeakers standing on a chair !! 😀 😀 somewhere too fast ,shometimes too short and quick! I donot see them giving Azaan,only hear from my bed and do imagine their faces and expression!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No doubt the Athan is beautiful,specially at Fajr time.The night is peaceful, less/no traffic and you hear it so clearly.

    Even the non-namazi Muslims start screaming, “Ya Allah, make it stop. I’m going to the Masjid.”
    Haha XD serves them right.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Which sort of reminds me…. why do people shout at all? 😛
    I mean, for example, when I was in college. I had the terrible misfortune of having a solitary cell in the south of my house for a room, facing a mosque AND a temple on top of a hillock. I would barely sleep in those days and what sleep I got was precious to me, maybe a couple of hours or three in the early hours. And the Ramzaan period was the worst. People muttering things on the speaker all night, before the Imsak/Fajr… and holy cow, not to be outdone our saffron cretins decide to compete. Cretins!!! On top of a hillock too. Right into my bedroom on the south side. Impossible cacophony. And trust me… those bleating goats who were supposed to be bhajan singers, my god… it is a wonder they were not slaughtered at all. In fact, they are a bit grown up now and still prefer to offend their Lord’s rather large ears (Ganesh) with their completely besuraa renditions that I keep telling stony faced shopkeepers that God has not been seen in these parts ever since we last saw him holding his ears and running off to Kailasa..
    The worst part? I kept humming the correct versions all day long.. and I am not even bloody religious… A pox on these loudspeakers..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha, that must have been terrible.
      The competition is the worst part. I don’t get the use of loudspeakers anyway. Like during the season of Durga Puja or Bihu, these idiots in my locality who don’t even perform Puja rituals would organise some lame musical night where local artists are invited. Now that is fine. Promote the talent. Good of you and good for them. But damn, I don’t want to hear someone sing “Blue eyes hypnotise teri blah blah blah mainoo” at 2 am in the night. I mean even if I could stand that Honey piece of whatever, I would not want my sleep to be disturbed for anything. Turn the volume down and let the judges hear them, or the audience. I live one mile away.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I almost confessed to an “almost crime” in my previous comment. Almost caused communal riots here. One night I took my bike out and an air rifle and went right up to the top of the hill and shot at the speakers.. Kept shooting.. and then the local shits found out it was me.. and thus spared the label of being the cause of some silly riot.
        These days everyone is hyper-religious, maybe they would just slaughter me. In the old days, people would at least listen to reason. Now I am threatened by my own people for being obtuse, stubborn and rigid with my views.
        The trouble is, everyone seems to be entitled now and if one does it, the other has to do it too just to oppose it.. During the Uroos here, the mosque people put up green flags all along the road. Then come our cretins with the saffron flags placed right on top of the green ones.. why?? I mean, if you looked at it from a distance, it would look so churlish and childish.. but on ground-zero, it is battle time.. not a funny kids’ fight..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t understand people either. Why do we have to be so uber-sensitive all the time? (I don’t actually like the word uber. Wanted to puke when this thing started when everyone would put the prefix uber ugh)
        Like even in Muslim societies too, people are so stuck up to laugh at the funny stuff if it in some way relates to the religion. It’s like they are afraid of offending Allah ta’ala by laughing at things. (Oh people, laughing is not a sin. Sinning is a sin)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well said, Ershad. But tread carefully in these humourless times.. 🙂
        (I know what you mean about Uber.. “uber-cool, uber-happening”.. er… not uber, you untermenschen!!!)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hahaha, There are very few people in this world who can handle such topic in dignified humorous way- and you my friend, Nailed it- right on the top of it’s head !! This was brilliance at it’s best. LOVED IT !!!!! Can’t say it enough. I’m becoming a fan of your humor ~Standing Ovation~

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Having served four years as a muezzin in the university hostel mosque, i loved your expert critique on the whole enterprise of novice azaans. Understandably, I like to think i wouldn’t fit any of the five categories you mentioned. Mr. Consti von Pation was the best, though.
    Sir, you’re literally “haha funny”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I was hoping to escape the experts, but, shoot, I got caught lol
      And I’m sure you don’t fit in any of these 😀
      Haha, My Consti has been the reason for the umpteen times my brother and I have been frowned at by random people over the years.
      Thank you, Sir.

      Liked by 1 person

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