30 MORE | VIDEO – “The call to prayer, beautiful and haunting” – Anna Jarvis – The Windsor Star

“The sun set Thursday, and a deep, melodious voice began from a loudspeaker at Windsor Mosque.

“God is great,”

Imam Mohamed Al-Jammali sang in Arabic.

It was the athan, the Islamic call to prayer.

The same words have summoned faithful Muslims around the world daily for centuries.

It was beautiful and haunting.

It was over in less than three minutes.

But it stays with you.

It’s only symbolic.

The mosque’s hundreds of members can’t gather there or anywhere because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But it’s providing much-missed connection during the holy month of Ramadan and comfort during the pandemic.

In a time of anxiety and isolation, it’s a moving example of the power of community and belonging.

Waiving the noise bylaw for a few minutes a night for a few weeks until May 23 to allow the athan is a small act that means a great deal to Windsor’s 25,000 Muslims.

It’s a gift for the rest of us, too.

Most of us have probably never heard it.

We’ve been enriched.

Among the remarkable displays of thoughtfulness and kindness during the pandemic, this is one of the simplest and finest.

So let me tell you a bit about Windsor Mosque.

Among its members are 20 or 30 doctors and many more nurses who work at Windsor Regional Hospital, the designated COVID-19 hospital.

Some used to rush to prayer still in their scrubs.

They work alongside healthcare workers from all religions, risking their health and that of their families to care for all of us during the pandemic.

For a month now, the mosque has been delivering baskets of food and household supplies to seniors and others who can’t go out to shop.

They have a dedicated phone line to call and request a basket.

Anyone can call, regardless of faith.

The mosque has also donated food to frontline workers at both hospitals.

It donates tens of thousands of dollars a year in food to food banks and The Downtown Mission.

It collaborates with all faiths to do this, from Jewish synagogues to Catholic churches.

This pandemic has taught us we must work together.

It has shown us what we can achieve when we do.”

Anna Jarvis, The Windsor Star

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