Michigan: To promote peace and educate people about the virtues of Islam and Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him), an American Muslim from Michigan has set on a unique tour to recite Adhan - call to prayers, and the last sermon of the Prophet (PBUH) in 50 US states.
Jameel Syed (40), who is aiming to become the first person to perform the Adhan in all 50 U.S. states, 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 US, according to Detroit Free Press.
"We're living in a world where Muslims are being demonized," Syed told the worshipers in Farmington Hills. "We have a pretty bad rap around the entire global community."
Syed said there are already several Muslim-American groups who are "putting efforts into saying who say they're not: We're not ISIS. We're not terrorists. We're not radical. We're not extremists. You're always playing defense. You're always on your heels. I would rather spend my time telling people who I am."
"I want to show Muslims can be beautiful people", he added.
After reciting the call to prayer at each mosque in 50 states, Syed will deliver the last sermon delivered by Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), a talk that Syed said promoted gender equity, racial equality, trust, and peace.
"It is the most eloquent speech every delivered in the history of humanity," Syed told the worshipers.
"I want for us to be able to hear those words and take it to our family members, take it to our co-workers, take it to our neighbors and live by them", he added.
Syed was born in the US to immigrants from Pakistan and grew up in Ann Arbor, where his father was a professor at the University of Michigan. His first teacher of Adhan - the Muslim call to prayer, was Isa Abdul Baseer, an African-American convert to Islam. At the age of 11, he started reciting it for the first time at the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor and Vicinity.
Muezzins, also spelled as Muaddhins, are an important part of the rituals of the prayers, which are recited five times a day by observant Muslims. Being one requires a voice that can capture attention and also be pleasing at the same time.
Syed hopes his trip can help younger Muslims connect with their faith. "I'd like to leave a legacy for my children, my children's children," he said. "This is what it's about."