All five daily prayers are performed in congregation (jama’ah). Campers are awakened by the adhan for fajr around 5:00 AM, and retire to their cabins after ‘isha prayer around 9:30 PM. (Several opportunities for daytime naps are included in the daily schedule.) After the call to prayer (adhan), campers join together in quiet praise of God (tasbeeh) and typically take a few minutes to read the Qur’an or perform sunnah prayers. After each prayer, one of the campers leads the entire camp in the recitation of parts of a du’a (invocational prayer) which the camp together memorizes in full by the by the end of the week, through this daily repetition. On Friday, campers are given extra time to prepare for a formal jum’a program that includes a full khutba (sermon) before the prayer.
Other religious practices take place as well. For example, a volunteer is selected to lead the group in a traditional du’a prior to each meal. Hikes, classes, counseling sessions, and campfire are often punctuated with recitation of topically-appropriate Qur’anic surahs and hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) to help shape the nature of learning and ideas during the camp week.
Some religious practices conducted at home during the year between camps are specially recognized with colorful awards on the last day of the camp. MYC has a long-standing tradition of awarding specially-designed, Qur’anic-calligraphed banners featuring the shahada to campers who can demonstrate their knowledge of the Qur’an, memorization of surahs, performance of salat, fasting during Ramadan, and other personal achievements in ibadat (worship).
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