Photographer Mohamed Somji is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From the project ‘Highway Prayers’To see Mohamed’s body of work, click on any image.






For Muslims, the act of performing prayers is a fundamental observance and the primary pillar of faith. According to the Quran, prayer forms the foundation of all worship and is a response to the divine summoning: “And maintain prayer for my remembrance.”

Salat, (the Arabic word for prayer) allows Muslims the opportunity to attest to the grandeur and majesty of Allah, to bestow gratitude and to remember Allah and to reflect on their actions throughout the day. The 5 prayers spread throughout the day are a constant renewal of Muslims’ link with Allah in which they establish a connection with their master.

In the words of an Islamic scholar, Ali ibn Jafar, Salat “implies standing before Allah, the Powerful, with a feeling of lowliness, poverty, confessing and seeking forgiveness for the past sins. A worshipper places his forehead five times a day on earth in front of his Lord to express his respect for his Lord so that he does not forget his Master and his Creator lest he becomes ungrateful and unmindful.”



It is this constant renewal of dialog with Allah that underscores the emphasis of praying at the prescribed times. Many adherents abandon their worldly tasks for a few minutes to pray and remember Allah.

In Dubai, it is not uncommon to witness Muslims who stop their cars, buses and trucks to pray on the side of the roads. Often, others will follow and join their fellow Muslims in prayer and then after a warm salutation, be on their way.

The spiritual ritual of prayer and intimate devotion in contrast to the cacophony of the swarming traffic on the sweeping highways in that gorgeous blue hour of twilight is what drew me to photograph this series. It is admirable to see the unconditional devotion of the adherents who, for those few moments cease to be part of the daily grind to supplicate to God.




All images and text © Mohamed Somji



See also:

To Be Fair

By Mohamed Somji





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