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Adhan or the Muslim call to Prayer

In the early days of Islam, there was no prescribed way of telling people that the time for Prayer had commenced nor was there any means to call the Muslims to the mosque for congregational Prayers. The Holy Prophet(sa) was however, aware of the Jewish, Christian and pagan practices in this regard. He sought counsel and asked his Companions as to what should be done to call Muslims to the mosque for congregational Prayers. One morning, Hadrat ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Aziz(ra) approached the Holy Prophet(sa) and related to him a dream which he had had the night before. He had seen someone announcing the Prayer time and calling people to the mosque for the congregational Prayer in a loud voice. Hadrat ‘Abdullah then related the words of the Adhan which he had heard in the dream. They were as follows:

Transliteration:

Allahu Akbar (four times)

Translation:

Allah is the Greatest. (Recited four times)

Transliteration:

Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah (twice)

Translation:

I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. (Recited twice)

Transliteration:

Ashhadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah (twice)

Translation:

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. (Recited twice)

Transliteration:

Hayya ‘alas-Salah (twice)

Translation:

Come to Prayer. (Recited twice)

Transliteration:

Hayya ‘alal-Falah (twice)

Translation:

Come to success.(Recited twice)

Transliteration:

Allahu Akbar (twice)

Translation:

Allah is the Greatest.(Recited twice)

Transliteration:

La ilaha illallah

Translation:

There is none worthy of worship except Allah.

Hadrat ‘Umar(ra), who later became the second Khalifah was also sitting in the company of the Holy Prophet(sa). He said that he had also had a dream and had heard the same words. The Holy Prophet(sa) was therefore in no doubt that this was a message from Allah, so he adopted the method of Adhan to call worshippers to the mosque. Adhan is thus widely recognised as the call to Prayer all over the world.

The Method of Saying the Adhan

The Mu’adhdhin, the person who says the Adhan, should stand in a prominent position with his face turned towards the Qiblah. These days a loudspeaker system is also used to say the Adhan. The Mu’adhdhin should touch his ears with his index fingers, right finger touching the right ear and the left finger touching the left, and recite the Adhan in a loud voice. He should turn his face towards the right when saying the words, Hayya ‘alas-Salah and turn his face to the left while reciting the words Hayya ‘alal-Falah.

During the Adhan for Fajr Prayer, the Mu’adhdhin should also recite the words given below twice after saying, Hayya ‘alal-Falah:

Transliteration:

Assalatu khairum-minan-naum (twice)

Translation:

Prayer is better than sleep.(Recited twice)

The Holy Prophet(sa) has said:

Transliteration:

Idha sami‘tumun-nida’a Faqulu mithla ma yaqulul- mu’adhdhin.(Bukhari Kitabul-Adhan)

Translation:

Whenever you hear the Adhan, say what the Mu’adhdhin is saying.

Hence, anyone who hears the Adhan should repeat the same, phrase by phrase, after the Mu’adhdhin has recited them but when the Mu’adhdhin says the words Hayya ‘alas-Salah and Hayya ‘alal-Falah, the person hearing the Adhan should say La haula wala quwwata illa billa-hil ‘aliyyul ‘Azim which means: There is neither might nor any power except with Allah.

If the congregational Prayer is offered in the open, i.e. outside the mosque, even then, Adhan should be recited before the Prayer. After completion of the Adhan, listeners should recite the following prayer:

Transliteration:

Allahumma Rabba hadhihidda‘watit-tammati wassalatil qa’imati, ati Muhammada-nil-wasilata wal-fadilata waddarajatar-rafi‘ata, wab‘ath-hu maqamam-mahmuda-nilladhi wa’attahu. Innaka la tukhliful mi‘ad. (Bukhari, Kitabul-Adhan)

Translation:

O Allah, Lord of this Perfect Call, and of the Congregational Prayer, make Muhammad a means of our access to You, and bless him with excellence and the lofty office, and grant him the most exalted station Thou hast promised him. Verily, Thou goest not back on Thy promise.