So there's this TV commercial that has been running on MBC2 which I find quite interesting. For those of you not from the Middle East, MBC2 is a satellite channel part of the MBC TV Network which also runs Al Arabiya. MBC2 is an English language entertainment channel showing the latest movies, sitcoms, and TV series from the West (almost always American).
So now about this commercial which came on while I was watching Ally McBeal. It shows a young man (probably in his early twenties) dressed in Western clothing (jeans and a T-shirt), sporting a stylish hairstyle and a fashionable beard/stubble. He looks at his watch and realizes something. He starts running to get somewhere ignoring everything and everyone that comes in his way (even his Mum). Finally we see him raise his arms in takbeer as we hear the azan, and we realize that this fellow was in such a hurry to pray at one of the obligatory times. At the end of it all the catchprase is shown on the screen: qamu salatak, tasfu 7ayatak which translates to something like "Get up for your prayers, Purify your life".
Hmm... very interesting that it was shown on an English language entertainment channel and its hero was a trendy modern guy. I do wonder who is behind this and why. I don't really have anything against it. When done right, prayer can be quite introspective and healing to the individual. And I'm glad that the commercial tries to attract people to it in a positive manner, rather than threatening people with hellfire as is done by many mosque preachers. But somehow, I feel that in the current circumstances of the Muslim world, public announcements coming from the religious establishment need to do more than tell people to pray. How about a catchprase something along the lines of: "Don't behead innocent civilians, Purify your life", or maybe "Don't rape your housemaid, Purify your life". Those are messages that I would like to see. But I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime, I'll stick to Ally McBeal.