Volunteers in Gaza City call people to wake up for the dawn prayer. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
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Lately, Gaza residents have been jolted awake in the dead of night to a raucous mixture of Quranic phrases, Islamic supplications and prayers delivered by loudspeakers to their doorsteps.After beginning in several Gaza City neighborhoods, the campaign has spread across the Gaza Strip.The organizers, mostly mosque committees reporting to the Hamas-controlled Religious Affairs Ministry, say they want to see the mosques as full at dawn as at the noon prayer Friday, the highlight of the Islamic week.Ahmad Hammad, a volunteer in Gaza City's Tal al-Hawa neighborhood, said it is paying off, increasing the "rows" of worshippers at the local mosque.Dozens of mosques now take part in the daily pre-dawn displays.Abdel-Bari Khela, an influential Islamic scholar and a Mufti, issued a ruling highlighting the importance of prayer and going to the mosque at dawn. However, he said it is against Islam's instructions to "annoy" people.He issued a statement saying that the two traditional calls of prayer issued from the mosque, known as "azans," is the instruction of Islam.
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