Which Sounds More Creepy? Muslim Call To Prayer Vs Catholic Rosary Chanting

The first time I heard the Muslim call to prayer was in Iraq in 2003 when my unit was set up near a mosque in the outskirts of Baghdad.  It was strange, but it didn’t sound necessarily bad.  In fact, there’s a very musical quality to it that’s easy to appreciate when you’re not letting prejudice and/or fear get in the way.

I thought Muslims were the only ones in the business of broadcasting prayers to the neighborhood over loudspeakers, but I was wrong.  Walking through a neighborhood in the Philippines one afternoon I heard this creepy chanting sound and I asked my wife what it is.  We were a bit far away from the source, so I couldn’t quite make out what was being said.  She told me that it’s the Rosary being chanted over loudspeakers from the Catholic church in the neighborhood.  It’s done every day around 2 or 3 PM, and if that weren’t enough, there are also announcements and other prayers broadcast to the neighborhood in the morning at around 6 AM I think.

While I don’t think I could quite appreciate living close to either one, having to listen to them repeatedly every single day, I would opt for listening to the Muslim call to prayer if I had a choice.  Maybe it’s that I don’t understand the words, but there’s just something oddly disturbing to me about the Rosary being chanted and the entire neighborhood being forced to listen to it, whether they want to or not.  What adds to the whole creepy factor is that more often than not, it’s children that are being made to recite the Rosary over the loudspeakers.  They’re supplied with an afternoon snack as a lure or compensation to get them to do it.

In the video below, I’ve mashed together clips of the Muslim call to prayer that I recorded in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and a clip of the Rosary chanting here in the Philippines.  Unfortunately, there weren’t children doing the chanting this time, which would have given you more of an idea of how weird it sounds on a normal day, but it’s creepy nonetheless.

Judge for yourself.

Feel free to comment, but don’t use the comment section as a Christians Vs Muslims bashing forum.  Comment only on this particular practice please.

Update: The full text in English of the meaning of the Adhan, or Islamic call to prayer, is included below, from About.com:

Allahu Akbar
God is Great
(said four times)

Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah
I bear witness that there is no god except the One God.
(said two times)

Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
(said two times)

Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah
Hurry to the prayer (Rise up for prayer)
(said two times)

Hayya ‘ala-l-Falah
Hurry to success (Rise up for Salvation)
(said two times)

Allahu Akbar
God is Great
[said two times]

La ilaha illa Allah
There is no god except the One God

For the pre-dawn (fajr) prayer, the following phrase is inserted after the fifth part above, towards the end:

As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm
Prayer is better than sleep
(said two times)

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12 Comments on "Which Sounds More Creepy? Muslim Call To Prayer Vs Catholic Rosary Chanting"

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If a person goes to toilet every morning…he is not god or son of god or mother of god. God do not
go to toilet…its sting…

I'm Christian but not Catholic. I'm a non-denominatonal Christian and to me, the Catholic Rosary chanting is more creepy sounding. Some lady at the church I was going to said that rosaries are like weird idols too or something and the rosary beads are weird looking. I went to Catholic church service once before and for mostly the whole church service, the father priest was chanting in a weird dialect and I didn't hear or understand anything he said. The church was insanely huge and creepy with idol statues everywhere looking sad and seemed to be looking right at me;… Read more »

The Philippine people were not chanting the rosary but praying the words in unison in English. Their accents were noticeable but not creepy. The muezzin was chanting from the minaret and this is music not speaking prayers in unison. All faiths do this type of prayer.


well, i grew up in kl [not muslim though]. you eventually get used to the noise and it actually never really bothered me…..

Brad F.

Nice comparison!


Reminds me of Linda Blair blabbing in Exorcist. Scary!

Brad F.

Yup. The Muslims, gays, Protestants, and really anyone looking to draw attention to their personal crusade would foam at the mouth to give their story of 'heartfelt outrage' to the press. Not to mention someone would file a lawsuit for emotional damages and probably win.

Serene Farless

I'm thinking it's a blessing to some, if they're Cath haha! Could you imagine if they did that here!?! Holy cow!!! People would be having fits, then you'd here stuff about Christians being under attack, yada, yada, yada. What a can of worms that would open.

Brad F.

Yup. It's just weird to hear chanting echoing across the neighborhood multiple times a day. I was thinking about it some more and I think what bothers me the most about it is that it feels like they're trying to cram it down your throat. Even if you're not Catholic and don't want to hear the Rosary, you have no choice.

Serene Farless

For me, any kind of chanting gives me the creeps. I get the feeling of like…brainwashing….something along those lines. Repetition is good when trying to learn something & can be done silently, to oneself. I suppose it would work my nerves after awhile, but like anything & everything, you tune it out.