Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
So bearing in mind that I have now jumped from the west coast of Saudi Arabia to the east, while Ibn Battuta had just come from Bahrain........
“We then traveled to the city of Qutaif, a fine large city with many date palms, inhabited by different clans of Arabs who are extremist Rafidis, and display their recusant heresy openly, without fear of anyone. Their muadhdhin says in his call to prayer, after the two words of witness, ‘I witness that Ali is the friend of God’, and after the two bidding formulas, (‘Come to prayer, come to salvation’) he adds, ‘Come to the best of works’. He also adds after the final tabkir (‘God is most great’), ‘Muhammed and Ali are the best of mankind; whoso opposes them has become an infidel."
Poor old Ibn B, warming once again to his theme of contempt for the Shia - 'Rafidi' being a derogatory term. Qatif is still a Shi’ite town as is much of the Eastern part of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman, although the Omanis are Ibadis while Bahrain and Saudi Arabia practice ‘Twelver’ Shi’ism as in Iran. (More on the Ibadis later.) The additional phrases in the call to prayer (adhan) that Ibn B is so contemptuous of are standard Shi’ite formulas for the call to prayer. The Sunni call to prayer is;
Allahu Akbar (God is most great) 4 times
Ashadu an la ilaha illa Allah (I testify there is no god but God) 2 times
Ashadu an na Mohammedan Rasul Allah (I testify Mohammed is his Prophet) 2 times
Hayya ‘al as-salah (come to prayer) 2 times
Hayya ‘al al-Falah (come to salvation) 2 times
Allahu Akbar (God is most great) 2 times
La ilaha illa Allah (There is no god but God)
The dawn prayer adds, “As salatu khayrun min an-nawm”, (It is better to pray than to sleep) after ‘come to salvation’. The five daily prayers are fijr (dawn), dohr (midday), ‘asr (mid-afternoon), maghreb (sunset), ‘asha (late evening). Prayer times were set by traveling times; the dawn prayer (1) was when the camel caravans would set out before the extreme heat of the day forced them to rest when the sun was at its height (2), farmers and fishermen would return home for the day mid-afternoon (3), maghreb prayer (4) when a shadow is the same length as an object, and the last prayer of the day at 'asha (5) when cameleers would stop to eat for the evening. Having said this, the Islamic 'day' (as in Judaism) starts in the evening, thus the Maghreb prayer is in fact the 'first' prayer.
Juwatha Mosque - third holiest site in the country where the Prophet Mohammed is said to have prayed.