The Voice from the Mosque
Over six years, I was drawn to a beautiful song in the streets of Brooklyn. What I finally found changed something deep inside me.
In 2008, during a desperate search for an apartment, a realtor showed me an open loft on Bedford Avenue, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. As we stood in this empty apartment, a voice which I now know belongs to Muhammad Bari called out the prayer from the local mosque, and I turned to the realtor and said, “I feel like I'm in Cairo.” I immediately signed the lease.
That voice has cut through the darkest and most difficult moments in my life and awakened something inside of me. It has caused me to stop worrying and finally weep and move on. It has transported me around the world during times when I was too sick to leave my bed. It has inspired me.
Throughout the years, I would occasionally ask around the neighborhood: “Who sings the call to prayer?” People told me, "Muhammad,” but with no further explanation. We finally met when our paths converged in a local halal grocery, on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Fulton Street, where he works as a part-time butcher and shopkeep…