Adhān at Guantanamo Bay
Lest we forget
“Sometimes people get lazy on the issue of the Salaah and the prayer, and they think ‘well, you know I’ll just leave it.’ We all do it, I myself am guilty of this..
But I just wanted to tell you one incident that still even relating this makes the hairs on my back stand up.
We were held, I was taken into US military custody and taken into a C130 transport plane. There were flashes of cameras, American soldiers were punching and kicking us, we had bags over our heads and we were shackled with our hands behind our backs. Onto the airplane we were seated and straps put across our legs and our legs were also shackled.
At this point, and all the roar of the engines and the screams of the soldiers cursing us with every new Arabic word that they’d learnt, there was a sound to the left of me, he said: “Akhi, Assalamu’alaikum.”
I said: “Wa’alaikum Assalam.”
He said: “Have you prayed Salaat-ul Maghrib? Because I think the Salaah time has come.”
And I have to tell you, at this time, I had forgotten about the Salaah, the last thing on my mind was Salaah, the thing on my mind was- am I gonna live or am I gonna die?..
But there was this Angel, in human form, sent right next to me to remind me that prayer time has been fixed at its specific times. And so in this way, with my hands behind my back, my legs forward, and my head hooded and guns and knives pointed at our necks.. This brother began, ‘Allaahu Akbar..“
So you see, people ask this question ‘did the Americans ever LET you pray?’
And I laugh and say.. They could never have stopped us.”
— Moazzam Begg