Friday Prayer (excerpt)

Germany/UK/Turkey 2015
Two-channel moving image installation

17 min 02 sec, loop
Colour, sound
Shot on Full HD w/ 180 fps
Aspect ratio 16:9

Synopsis:
A traditional Turkish wedding and an oil wrestling tournament accompanied by the sound of the Islamic Friday Prayer.
This two-channel moving image installation demonstrates the indivisible connection of religion, tradition and patriotism in Turkey by documenting three events from everyday life. It also raises questions about strict gender roles and masculinity as a construction tied to cultural and traditional values.


Documentation from LCFMA16 Exhibition at Victoria House, London, UK

 

LEFT SCREEN A traditional Turkish wedding shot in a saloon in Kayseri, Turkey, including musicians playing the clarion and Turkish drums, a male guest having a traditional dance performance and a group of other guests doing the halay, a folk dance performed by holding hands and forming a circle.  

LEFT SCREEN

A traditional Turkish wedding shot in a saloon in Kayseri, Turkey, including musicians playing the clarion and Turkish drums, a male guest having a traditional dance performance and a group of other guests doing the halay, a folk dance performed by holding hands and forming a circle.

 

SOUND A Friday prayer recorded in Kıranardı, a suburb of the city of Kayseri, including the call to prayer in Arabic and a sermon of the Imam in Turkish. Excerpt: [...] Dear listeners, our country, our flag, our freedom, our belongings, we have all achieved this thanks to the selflessness of our prophets. [...]

SOUND

A Friday prayer recorded in Kıranardı, a suburb of the city of Kayseri, including the call to prayer in Arabic and a sermon of the Imam in Turkish.
Excerpt: [...] Dear listeners, our country, our flag, our freedom, our belongings, we have all achieved this thanks to the selflessness of our prophets. [...]

RIGHT SCREEN Turkish oil wrestling tournament shot in the small town of Çatalca, located in the North-Western part of Turkey. Oil wrestling is a Turkish national sport in which the wrestler, known as Pehlivan, douses himself with olive oil in order make it difficult for the opponent to make an effective hold.

RIGHT SCREEN

Turkish oil wrestling tournament shot in the small town of Çatalca, located in the North-Western part of Turkey.
Oil wrestling is a Turkish national sport in which the wrestler, known as Pehlivan, douses himself with olive oil in order make it difficult for the opponent to make an effective hold.

Translation of the Friday Prayer:

[Prayer...]
My beloved and precious brothers, in the 9th verse of the Al-Hashr sura I have just recited, our mighty lord commands the following about the people that take care of our refugee brothers:
They will not feel any resentment about what has been given to the refugees. Even if they are in greater need than the refugees, they will still favour the refugees over themselves. He who can save himself from selfishness, greed, and spitefulness is he who will really reach salvation.

Esteemed believers, our noble Prophet has on multiple occasions shown exemplary behaviour in terms of selflessness, has opened his heart to refugees and shared his goods and chattels, all in the name of humanity. The noble companions Abu Bakr and Uthman Ibn Affan have unfalteringly sacrificed all their goods and chattels to Allah and thus become the symbol of selflessness. Hamza ibn Abul-Muttalib and many more of our heroes have given up everything for their beliefs, their flag, and their fatherland, for their belief in a humane way of living in this world together with others. They even sacrificed their own lives for this cause. My precious brothers, everything that we have come to own today, such as our religious virtues, our fatherland, our flag, our freedom, our possessions, and our position in society, we have obtained because others have sacrificed their lives so we could have them.

Sacrifice is another name for sharing.
Sacrifice is neither a task, nor a responsibility, nor an obligation. It is a voluntary action that comes from the heart.
Sacrifice is when a person, for a higher purpose, renounces his possessions, his sleep, his comfort, and even his life.

Beloved Believers, there are people and causes for which every one of us must make sacrifices.
The first such people in everyone’s lives are, no doubt, our beloved mothers and fathers. They have raised us to be the human beings we are today, so we have to make sacrifices for them, alongside our duties and responsibilities as their children. Sacrifices to keep their hearts happy, and try to obtain their blessings for everything we do.
Making sacrifices in our family life does not only consist of responding to material or spiritual needs, the real sacrifice is to seek opportunities to increase mutual love, trust and affection. We all have to make a constant effort to raise our children as useful members of society. We have to be a shield to our families, a shield that fends off bad developments and habits that endanger our future lives.

 

 


Sacrifice is also the capability to endure pain, poverty and difficult times together. If circumstances so require, sacrifice towards our national and spiritual cause means to renounce one’s life, religion, nation, flag, call to prayer, honour, and future.

And so, my beloved brothers, is it not sad how mankind is under the yoke of drug addiction, egoism, and of a mindset that belittles and ignores your fellow brother?
In such circumstances mankind is eroding our virtues, virtues like sacrifice which should be a natural manifestation of our brotherhood. In this day and age, unfortunately, many of us are standing far from showing sacrifice towards our children, mothers, fathers, siblings, neighbours and our sacred beliefs. We deprive ourselves of the peace of mind and the blessings that selfless behaviour brings, succumbing to our egos and their bodily cravings. Brothers, life is a trial, with its good and bad moments. Life is a struggle. We can alleviate our pain and suffering by showing selfless behaviour to each other. We can multiply our joy and happiness by sharing it with others.
Let’s not forget that humanity means living together, and living together means showing selflessness to each other.

My precious brothers, today our esteemed hodja from Istanbul, Mustafa Akgul, has shared his precious sermon with us.
As he has pointed out during his sermon, today’s Friday alms will go towards the construction of a new mosque in Melikgazi, Kastamonu and Gümüşhane. May Allah accept your charitable efforts and may our Friday prayer be blessed.

[Prayer...]

Allah please support the Islamic cause, and all Muslims. Amen.
Protect our nation and people from every type of danger. Amen.
Bestow upon us material and spiritual excellence. Amen.
Forgive us, our mothers, our fathers and all believers. Amen.
Accept our prayers as honest and worthy of you. Amen.

[Prayer…]
Allah, no doubt, also commands us to be just and to do good deeds towards close relatives and to help them. And he forbids tyranny, cruelty and heartlessness towards other creatures.
God is The Greatest…

[Prayer...]

Translation by Secil Islek