Man on a mission: Muslim man recites azaan in all US states to deliver message of peace

Published: May 9, 2015


Meet Jameel Syed of Auburn Hills, Michigan, who completed a mission of delivering the azaan or call to prayer in 50 states of the United States from a beach in Hawaii to Disneyland in California.

On Friday night, the 40-year-old father-of-two concluded his journey at the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in Rochester Hills, where he is the designated caller of prayers, termed ‘muezzin’ in Islam, five times a day.

Syed is believed to be the first person to have recited the prayer in all 50 states.

Speaking of his experience during the 35-day trip across the US, he said, “It was an epic journey on so many levels.”

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He also used the opportunity to interact with Muslims belonging to different races and ethnicity as well as non-Muslims, engage them at airports, mosques and even in taxis.

A jubilant Syed said, “I was in awe of the generosity and hospitality and love from people I never knew before”.

During his trip, in Hawaii, he recited the prayer after meeting non-Muslims on the beach. As he arrived in California, he recited it inside a prayer room at Disneyland with Mickey Mouse.

He also visited a Chapel Hill mosque to pay his respects to three Muslim students who were shot dead in January.

The beginning of the trip covered the place close to where the verdict of the Boston Marathon bomber was given, and it concluded near the spot where the shooting in reaction to an anti-Islam cartoon event had taken place.

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Muslims hold Friday prayers in Foley Square in New York City. PHOTO AFP

Anti-Islam bloggers circulated a blog in an attempt to bash the trip, sparking concern that Syed could be attacked.

In January, protests were held to pressurise Duke University officials cancel a broadcast of Muslim call to prayers from a chapel bell tower on campus. Similarly, in Hamtramck, complaints were received at times over the call to prayer being broadcast outside mosques.

But Syed is not dismayed at this as he hopes to further the cause and write a book as well as produce a documentary about his journey.

“I don’t like throwing religion in people’s faces,” said Syed.

Elaborating on his visit, he urged Muslims to set a good example by helping people, not by pushing their faith onto others.

Syed also delivered the last speech of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), highlighting points such as racial and gender equality, peace and fairness. He stressed that the message is needed more than ever, adding that the affectionate sermon made many cry.

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Speaking about the recent Texas shooting incident at an anti-Islam event, he said, “Anti-Islam cartoonists are hatemongers, and the people who reacted to it are hatemongers. It’s just sad this is the world we live in. Faith is supposed to bring people together.”

He also made it clear that the act of the two men attacking the center was against the tenets of Islam.

“Our position is a call to peace,” Syed said. “You’re not supposed to hurt anyone.”

Concluding his trip in a phrase, Syed said: “It was not easy, but … God always comes on time.”

The article first appeared on Detroit Free Press

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Reader Comments (24)

  • ahmed wani
    May 9, 2015 - 9:43PM

    wow…what a proud moment..congratualtions to all pakistan…I think this man has invented some new thing…keep inventing things like these….Recommend

  • Hammad Mian
    May 10, 2015 - 12:20AM

    Very good gesture. Really appreciates it.Recommend

  • Ibby
    May 10, 2015 - 1:15AM

    Very nice. May Allah (SWT) accept his efforts. I live in Farmington Hills, Michigan. In America we are free to practice Islam. I wish same could happen in Pakistan, where people of other religions and even Muslims of different sects (particularly) Shias are not intimidated and threatened by illiterate and hostile crowds so routinely. Live and let live. Recommend

  • AA
    May 10, 2015 - 1:32AM

    Why can’t he do something more productive?Recommend

  • Chachoo
    May 10, 2015 - 1:40AM

    Meanwhile if any Christian or a Non Muslim will try to do that in Pakistan then he could be tried under blasphemy. Interestingly we are chanting for the rights in the West but in Pakistan we have banned Non Muslims from preaching. So what type of peace we are preaching when we are discriminating in those countries where we are in the majority.Recommend

  • May 10, 2015 - 1:47AM

    The guy must be having a lot of spare time at his disposal ! There are better ways to show the good side of Islam and that is by setting good example and doing generous deeds where ever you may be . Recommend

  • Bharat
    May 10, 2015 - 3:02AM

    Who is he delivering the message of From?
    The Pakistani Government?
    The Sunni Muslim community?
    Or just himself ?

    And to whom is he delivering the message to ?
    The American community? In which case he needs much more publicity
    Or to the Pakistanis?
    Or to ISIS/Taliban?
    Or just to himself? Recommend

  • Asif
    May 10, 2015 - 3:34AM

    Great… now your next step should be to implement Sharia Law in USA and you will make us all proud.Recommend

  • Jameel Bin Muzubee
    May 10, 2015 - 5:46AM

    Seriously, what a pointless exercise.
    Blew hard-earned money, neglected his two children, and scared people in 50 states.Recommend

  • harkol
    May 10, 2015 - 6:26AM

    Spread message of peace in a land that is by and large peaceful?

    Hmm… How about spreading the message of peace across the islamic world that is troubled?Recommend

  • Virkaul
    May 10, 2015 - 8:11AM

    Is he trying to get into Guiness Book of records? What is the purpose?Recommend

  • Sajjad Ali
    May 10, 2015 - 10:11AM

    Masha AllahRecommend

  • Point
    May 10, 2015 - 10:43AM

    That awkward moment of whites, freedom of speech when it comes to cartoon, but when it comes to dressing they put laws to ban certain dresses in France, or when it comes to Call for Azaan ,its also a problem for them. Why he is a freedom of speech, he can say whatever he likes and its his money, its his life and if his family is happy then useless people has no right to pass a useless comment from their comfortable bed Recommend

  • Point
    May 10, 2015 - 10:46AM

    Please stop when you have extremely limited knowledge, in Peshawar they beat the drums and stuff and no Muslims has any problem here with them nor as a student we have ever protested against their call. Thankfully that makes us more of people who accept other religions. Recommend

  • ahmed wani
    May 10, 2015 - 11:30AM

    @point..yousouf youhanan did a lot of disservice to christians…Recommend

  • May 10, 2015 - 12:49PM

    Wow what a brainless fellow . Recommend

  • Point
    May 10, 2015 - 4:37PM

    @ahmed wani:
    Its Muhammad Yousuf. It was his personal decision and his personal life. Freedom of living Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 10, 2015 - 7:03PM

    Did he do this for peace / religion ……..or did he do it for himself ? Recommend

  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    May 10, 2015 - 11:11PM

    Can we imagine an American catholic or for that matter a Christian doing such a thing in Pakistan. He would immediately be lynched. And we call ourselves tolerant and the Americans as intolerant. Think and ponder. Maybe that is the message.Recommend

  • rkfromny
    May 11, 2015 - 2:03AM

    what this guy… one who goes around with his book.. ?? Let him first get off welfare and get a real job.. !!Recommend

  • rkfromny
    May 11, 2015 - 2:05AM

    @muzammil ullah khan:
    Clearly he had no job.. was on welfare.. and all he did was speak at mosques and airport lounges .. yeah.. that will do it… how about he preach in Pakistan..?? Can he dare to do that???Recommend

  • Whiskey Khan
    May 11, 2015 - 3:13PM

    Such gesture are really not necessary or something to write home about. His delivering message of Peace is insignificant and I would consider a personal gesture which could be interpereted as invasive religious practise.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Jul 5, 2015 - 1:34PM

    What is wrong with working for a living? Looks like anything but that is okay with Muslims.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Jul 5, 2015 - 2:21PM

    Do a hard day’s work instead. That will please Allah more than neglecting your duties and praying instead of working.Recommend

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