The Personal Wake-Up Call to Prayers, a Ramadan Tradition, Is Endangered

Source: The New York Times

NEW DELHI — For nearly 60 years, Mohammed Shafiq has braved New Delhi’s hot temperatures, a bad knee and evil spirits to wake up his neighbors for morning prayers and a final meal before sunrise during the holy month of Ramadan.

But nothing prepared him for the rise of New Delhi’s electricity grid and its many cellphones.

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The 68-year-old Mr. Shafiq is known here as a town crier. The job has been made gradually obsolete by the arrival decades ago of the city’s electricity supply and recent improvements to the grid, powering up smartphones throughout the night and the alarm clocks that wake people up for prayer.

Mr. Shafiq’s sense of religious duty compels him to soldier on, adding his special, personalized touch, he said. He prefers to wake up neighbors by shouting out their names, rather than leave them to the clanging of alarm clocks.

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