Thursday, January 22, 2015

" Adhan " across the campus of Duke University

 " Adhan  "across the campus of Duke University

Duke University is a private research university located in Durham , North Carolina .Duke was ranked among the world's best universities by both THE and QS reports while tying for 8th in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report . It was founded in 1838. Industrialist James Duke established  the Duke Endowment in 1924 and the Institution was renamed " Duke " in honor of him and his deceased father , Washington Duke .
The Muslim call to prayer " Adhan" echoed across Duke University’s campus on Friday the 16 th of jan 2015  the day after university officials canceled plans to have regular weekly service of Adhan from atop the chapel’s bell tower.

Duke University has a very large number of Muslim students attending various research programs . The Muslim students association had acquired permission for regular service of " Adhan " every Friday . The officials had approved it yet few recent incidents sparked an intense debate against it . The University officials reversed the decision on Thursday . But Friday’s call to prayer, held at the base of the chapel at Duke rather than on top of the tower was acknowledged by hundreds of students and faculty members who gathered in bright sunshine on the university ground to listen to Adhan and support the Muslim students . Students were seen hugging, clapping and holding signs such as, “Let us worship together,” with a cross, star and crescent, symbols of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
A speaker explained the importance of the "adhan"or call to prayer, and people passed around an English translation of the words. When the Arabic chant of "Allah O Akbar" :to call people to pray echoed in Durham ,the crowd seemed to hold its breath.

"The idea of amplifying the adhan from the chapel tower was made by the Office of Religious Life and the growing Muslim population at Duke"said Omid Safi, director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center.

Duke University has a total number of 700Muslim students .In 2008, it became one of the first U.S. universities which hired a Muslim chaplain. Soon it began offering Friday jumah prayers, in the basement of the chapel. Duke also houses a Center for Muslim Life  on campus.