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Muslim Prayers in Gambia

For Muslim Gambians, prayer is a daily ritual, being one of the Pillars of Islam. Good Muslims will pray five times a day, with washed hands and bare feet and heads, kneeling on mats facing Mecca.

Calls to prayers are transmitted from mosques via loudspeaker. The five prayers are as followed, with the Wolof name in parenthesis:

• Morning prayer (suba): Between dawn and 2:00 pm.

• Afternoon prayer (tisbaar): Between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

• Evening prayer (taakusaan): Between 5:00 pm and dusk.

• Dusk prayer (timis): One hour range during sunset.

• Night prayer (gee): Between dusk and dawn.

An optional dawn prayer (fujar) is said as the sun rises. In addition to these regular prayers, blessings are said on special occasions (e.g. before a meal, at ceremonies, etc.) These group prayers are usually in Arabic, and you should hold your hands in front of you differently than you would for a Christian prayer, with palms up and the pinkie finger sides touching. “Amin” is the appropriate response during breaks in the speech and after the prayer concludes.


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