Holding his hands over his ears, Jameel Syed stood in front of the congregation at a Farmington Hills mosque, calling the faithful to prayer.
“God is the greatest,” the Auburn Hills man recited in a melodious voice in Arabic that extended the vowels. “There is no god but God … Come to prayer.”
The scene inside the Tawheed Center mosque on Thursday night is similar to what happens five times a day at mosques around the world, a resonant voice that cries out to remind believers that it’s time to worship God. Called the “adhan,” the Muslim call to prayer is one of the more familiar parts of Islamic life, and one that Syed, 40, has become known for in metro Detroit. He’s been the main muezzin – the name for the man who gives the call to prayer – at three big mosques in Michigan, currently at the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit in Rochester Hills.
And now, Syed is aiming to become the first person to perform the adhan in all 50 U.S. states, using his voice across America to help educate the public about Islam, praise its prophet, and also honor the memory of his father. He kicked off his spiritual journey Thursday at the Tawheed Center and performed his first call to prayer on Friday in Indiana at the national headquarters of the Islamic Society of North America, one of the biggest Muslim groups in the U.S…