Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s oldest muezzin (who recites call to prayer) passed away on Monday at the age of 118, local media reported.
Sheikh Nasser bin Abdullah Al Hillel, he had been employed as a muezzin in the Al- Butine mosque in the Badi district in the Al-Aflaj governorate, giving the call to the daily prayer five times a day, at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nightfall.
He submitted his resignation about four years ago due to his illness and his old age, after he worked as a muezzin for 80 years, of which 42 years, during which he was officially registered in the statements of the endowment administration in the aflaj.
A relative of Sheikh Nasser stated, “He passed away today, raising his index finger, as martyrdom, after an illness that afflicted him and his absence from his mosque for years.”
According to the relative, he (Sheikh Nasser) had not missed any call for prayers over the course of his service unless he was sick.
In Islam, muezzin is an official who proclaims the call to prayer and works in the mosque. The professional muezzin is chosen for his good character, voice and skills to serve at the mosque.
The very first muezzin in Islam was Bilal Ibn Rabah, the son of an Arab father and Ethiopian mother, who was born in Makkah in the late sixth century.