Adhan, call to prayer:
The adhan is a call to inform others in specific words that the time for a prayer has begun. It is a call to the congregation, and is an expression of the Islamic practices. It is obligatory or highly preferred. Al-Qurtubi and others have said that the adhan, although it has very few words, covers all essentials of the faith. It begins by proclaiming the greatness of Allah, pointing to His existence and perfection. It mentions His oneness and the denial of polytheism, and it confers the messengership of Muhammad, upon whom be peace. It calls to specific acts of obedience after testifying to Muhammad's messengership, and it calls to a prosperity which is everlasting, pointing to the return to Allah. Then, in a manner of emphasis, it repeats some of what was already mentioned.
Adhan, its Virtues and Excellence:
Many hadith describe the virtues of the adhan and the one who calls it. Such hadith include the following:
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said, "If the people knew what was in the adhan and the first row (of the prayer in virtue), and that they could not get it save by drawing lots, they would draw lots. If they knew the reward for praying the noon prayer early in its time, they would race to it. And if they knew the reward for the night and the morning prayers in congregation, they would come to them even if they had to crawl . " (Related by al-Bukhari and others. )
Mu'awiyyah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "The callers to prayer will have the longest necks of all people on the Day of Resurrection." (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, and Ibn Majah.) Al-Barra' ibn 'Aazib reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Allah and His angels pray upon those in the first rows. And the caller to prayer is forgiven, for as far as his voice reaches and whoever hears him will confirm what he says. He will get a reward similar to those who pray with him." This hadith is related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i. Al-Mundhiri says its chain is good.
Abu ad-Darda' reported that he heard the Prophet, upon whom be peace, say, "If three people do not make the adhan and establish the prayer among themselves, Satan gains mastery over them." (Related by Ahmad.)
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "The imam is a guarantor, and the caller to prayer is one who is given the trust. O Allah, guide the imam and forgive the caller to prayer." 'Uqbah ibn 'Aamar said he heard the Prophet, upon whom be peace, say, "Your Lord, the Exalted, is amazed (and pleased) by one who is watching sheep in his pasture, then goes to the mountain to make the call to prayer and pray. Allah, the Exalted, says, 'Look at my slave there who makes the call to prayer and establishes the prayer out of fear of Me. I have forgiven my slave and have allowed him to enter Paradise."' (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and anNasa'i.)
Adhan, The Event Behind Its Legislation:
The adhan was made part of the shari'ah during the first year after the migration to Madinah. The hadith clarify what led up to its institution.
Nafa' related that Ibn 'Umar said, "The Muslims would gather and calculate the time of prayer, and no one would call them. They spoke about that one day. Some said, 'We should have a bell like the Christians.' Others said, 'We should have a horn like the Jews.' Suggested 'Umar, 'Why don't we have one person call the others to prayer?' The Messenger of Allah said, 'Stand, Bilal, and make the call to prayer." (Related by Ahmad and al-Bukhari.)
Reported 'Abdullah ibn (Zaid ibn) 'Abd Rabbih, "When the Prophet was to order the use of a bell to call the people to prayer, he disliked it because it resembled the Christian practice. While I was sleeping, a man came to me carraying a bell. I said to him, 'O slave of Allah, will you sell me that bell?' Said he, 'What would you do with it?' I replied, 'I would call the people to prayer with it.' Said he, 'Shall I not guide you to something better than that?' I said, 'Certainly.' Said he, 'You should say, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. Ashhadu alla ilaha illal-lah, ashhadu alla ilaha illallah, Ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasool-lal-lah, ashhadu anna Muhammadar-Rasool-lal-lah. Hayya 'alas-salah, hayyah 'alassalah. Hayya 'alal-falah, hayya 'alal-falah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. La ilaha illal-lah.' Then he went a short distance away and said, 'When you stand for the prayer, say, 'Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. Ashhadu alla ilaha illal-lah, Ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasool-lal-lah Hayya 'alas-salah, hayya 'alal-falah. Qad qaamatis-salah, qad qaamatis-salah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. La ilaha illal-lah.'When the morning came, I went to the Messenger of Allah to tell him what I had seen. He said, 'Your dream is true, Allah willing. Go to Bilal, tell him what you have seen, and tell him to make the call to prayer, for he has the best voice among you.' I went to Bilal and told him what to do, and he made the call to prayer. 'Umar was in his house when he heard it. He came out with his cloak, saying 'By the One who has raised you with the truth, I saw similar to what he saw.' The Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, 'To Allah is the praise." The hadith is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah and at-Tirmidhi, who called it hassan sahih.
Adhan, How It Is Made:
There are three ways to make the adhan:
1. Make four takbir at the beginning and say the rest of the phrases twice, without any repetition, except for the last statement of la illaha illa-lah. So, the adhan would be made up of fifteen phrases, as in the preceding hadith of 'Abdullah.
2. Make four takbir and then repeat ashhadu an la ilaha illal-lah, twice, and ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasool-lal-lah twice, in a low voice, then repeat them again in a louder voice. Abu Mahdhura reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, taught him an adhan consisting of nineteen phrases. This hadith is related by "the five." At-Tirmidhi called it hassan sahih.
3. Make two takbir and repeat the "statements of witness," making the number of phrases seventeen. Muslim records that Abu Mahdhurah related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, taught him the following adhan: Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. Ashhadu alla ilaha illal-lah, ashhadu alla ilaha illal-lah. Ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasool-lal-lah, ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasool-lal-lah. Then repeat ashhadu alla ilaha illal-lah (twice), ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasool-lal-lah (twice), hayya 'alas-salah (twice), hayya 'alal-falah (twice). Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. La ilaha illal-lah. "
Adhan, At-Tathweeb: (Saying "Prayer is better than sleep" in the Morning Adhan).:
It is part of the shari'ah that the caller to prayer say, "as-salaatu khairun min an-naum (prayer is better than sleep) in the morning adhan. Abu Mahdhurah asked the Prophet, upon whom be peace, to teach him the adhan, and he told him, "If it is the morning adhan, say, as-salaatu khairun min an-naum, as-salaatu khariun min annaum. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. La illaha illal-lah." (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. ) It is to be said only in the morning adhan.
There are three ways to perform the iqamah:
1. Saying the first takbir four times and everything else twice, with the exception of the last statement of la ilaha illal-lah. Abu Mahdhura said that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, taught him the iqamah consisting of seventeen phrases: Allahu akbar (4 times), ashhadu alla ilaha illal-lah (twice), ashhadu anna Muhammad arRasool-lal-lah (twice), hayya 'alas-salah (twice), hayya 'alal-falah (twice), qad qaamatis-salah (twice), Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. La ilaha illal-lah. This is related by "the five." At-Tirmidhi grades it
2. To say the beginning and ending takbir, and the phrase qad qaamatus-salah twice. Everything else is to be said once, making eleven phrases. This is based on the preceding hadith of 'Abdullah ibn Zaid: "When you stand for the prayer, say "Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. Ashhadu alla illaha illal-lah, ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-RasoolAllah. Hayya 'alas-salah, hayya 'alal-falah. Qadqaamatissalah, qad qaamatis-salah. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar. La illaha illal-lah.
3. The same as in the preceding, but Qad qaamatus-salah is said only once, making a total of ten phrases. Imam Malik chose this way, because he found the people of Madinah performing it thus. But says Ibn al-Qayyim, "It is not proven that the Messenger of Allah ever said 'Qad qaamatus-salah' only once." Ibn 'Abdul-Barr is of the view, "In every case, it is said twice."
What Is Said During the Adhan:
It is preferred that whoever is listening to the adhan repeat it with the caller, except for the two hayya 'alas-salah, hayya 'alal-falah phrases, after which he should say La haula wa la quwatah illa billah (there is no power or might save Allah).
Says an-Nawawi, "Our companions hold that it is preferable for the listener to repeat after the caller (to prayer), except when he comes to the two preceding phrases, for this shows that he approves of what the caller is saying. Those two statements are calls to the prayer, and it is only proper for the caller to prayer to say them. It is preferable for the listener to say something, such as La haula wa la quwatah illa billah. It is confirmed in the two Sahihs from Abu Musa al-Ash'ari that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, 'La haula wa la quwatah illa billah is a treasure from the treasures of Paradise.' Our companions say that to repeat the call to prayer is preferred for everyone who hears the call, whether clean or unclean, in a state of post-sexual uncleanliness or menstruating, and so on, as it is a remembrance and all of those people who can should make it. Those who can not do so are the ones who are praying, who are relieving themselves, or are having sexual intercourse. If one is reciting the Qur'an, or making remembrance of Allah (dhikr) or studying and so on, he should stop what he is doing and repeat after the caller to prayer. He may then return to what he was doing, if he wishes, or he can pray a voluntary or obligatory prayer." Says ash-Shaf'i, "One should not repeat after the call to prayer, but when he finishes he should repeat what he has said." In al-Mughni, it says, "If one enters the mosque and hears the adhan, it is best that he wait until the caller finishes it before he begins to repeat it. This way he will catch both good deeds. If he does not repeat after the call but starts praying, there is no problem. This is what Ahmad says on the subject."
The Muslim should pray for the Prophet, peace be upon him, after the call is over in any of the manners that have been related, and ask Allah to give him the place of wasilah. 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr related that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, "If you hear the call to prayer, repeat after it. Then supplicate for me, for whoever makes one supplication for me, Allah makes ten for him. Then ask Allah to grant me the place of wasilah. It is a place in Paradise reserved for a slave from among the slaves of Allah. I hope to be him, and whoever asks Allah to grant me the place of wasilah, my intercession becomes permissible for him." (Related by Muslim.) Jabir reported that the Prophet said, "Whoever says (after) hearing the call to prayer, 'O Allah, Lord of this complete call and of the estabished prayers, grant Muhammad the place of wasilah, the most virtuous place and raise him to a praiseworthy position that you have promised him,' will have my intercession made permissible for him on the Day of Judgement. (Related by al-Bukhari.)
Supplication during the Iqamah:
It is preferred that one who hears the iqamah repeat the words, except when Qad qaamatus-salah is said, he should say, "Allah establishes it and makes it everlasting." Some of the companions reported that when Bilal said this phrase, the Prophet would say "Allah establishes it and makes it everlasting."
Conditions To Be Met By The Caller to Prayer:
It is preferred that he meet the following conditions:
1. It is a must that he make the adhan for Allah's sake and not for wages. 'Uthman ibn Abu al-'Aas asked the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, to appoint him as the imam of his people. He replied, "You are their imam. Be careful about the weak amongst them, and appoint a caller to prayer who does not accept wages for his adhan.
This hadith is related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi, with a slightly different wording, who called it hasan. He also said that the scholars agree with this, and that they hate to see the caller receive wages for the adhan.
2. He should be clean from major or minor impurities. Al-Muhajir ibn Qanfadh reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said to him, "Nothing prevented me from returning (your salutations) except that I dislike to mention the name of Allah when I am not clean. This report has come from Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and Ibn Khuzaimah. The latter grades it sahih.
According to the Shafiyyah, making the call while one is not in a state of cleanliness is permissible although disliked. According to Ahmad, the Hanafiyyah and others, it is permissible and is not disliked.
3. He should be standing and facing the qiblah (the direction of the Ka'bah). Said Ibn al-Mundhir, "There is agreement that it is sunnah for the caller to be standing, for then he can be heard far away. It is also sunnah that he face the qiblah while making the adhan. If he turns away from the qiblah, his adhan will be sound, but the act will be disliked.
4. He should turn with his head, neck and chest to the right upon saying "Hayya 'alas-salah" and to the left upon saying Hayya 'alalfalah." Says an-Nawawi, "It is the most authentic form." Reported Abu Juhaifah, "Bilal made the adhan, and I saw the movement of his mouth from this side to that side upon saying "Hayya 'alas-salah" and "Hayya 'alal-falah." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
According to al-Baihaqi, this turning is not documented through sound chains. In al-Mughni, it states from Ahmad that the caller should not turn to the left or to the right unless he is at the top of a minaret, so that the people on both sides can hear him.
5. He should insert his index fingers into his ears. Talking of his practice, Bilal said, "I put my index fingers into my ears and made the adhan. (Related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban.) Says at-Tirmidhi, "The scholars prefer the callers to put their index fingers into their ears while making the adhan."
6. He should raise his voice for the call, even if he is alone in the desert. 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdurahman related from his father that Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri said to him, "I see that you love the sheep and the desert. If you are with your sheep or in the desert, then raise your voice while making the call to prayer, for any jinn, human or thing within hearing distance of your voice will be a witness for you on the Day of Resurrection...I heard the Messenger of Allah say that." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.)
7. He should pause between each phrase during the adhan and be quick in making the iqamah. Many narrations have reported that this act is preferred.
8. He should not speak during the iqamah. Some scholars dislike that he should even speak during the adhan, although al-Hasan, 'Ata and Qatadah permit it. Says Abu Dawud, "I asked Ahmad, 'May a man speak during his adhan?' He said, 'Yes.' 'May he speak during the iqamah?' He said, 'No,' and that is because it is preferred that he make it quickly."
The Adhan Before and at the Beginning of the Prayer Time:
The adhan is to be made exactly at the beginning of the prayer time, except for the morning prayer, when it may be said before dawn (provided that the people are able to distinguish between the early adhan and that of the proper time). 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Bilal makes the adhan during the night, so eat and drink until you hear the adhan of Ibn Umm Maktum." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) The wisdom behind allowing the morning adhan a little earlier is made clear in a hadith recorded by Ahmad and others from Ibn Mas'ud: "None of you should let Bilal's adhan prevent you from the pre-dawn meal, as he is making the adhan for those who are praying to stop and for those who are sleeping to get up." But Bilal made his adhan in exactly the same way as the regular adhan. At-Tahawi and an-Nasa'i relate that the time difference between Bilal's adhan and that of Ibn Umm Maktum was the time it took for one to come down from the minaret and for the others to get up to it.
Enough time should be left between the adhan and iqamah for people to prepare themselves for prayer and get to the mosque. The hadith that state the time difference are weak. Al-Bukhari has a section entitled How Much Time Is There Between the Adhan and Iqamah?, but no specific length of time has been confirmed therein. Ibn Batal said, "There is no time limit set, except that of the time beginning and the people gathering for the prayer." Jabir ibn Sumra said, "The callers to prayer of the Prophet would make the adhan and then leave some time, making the iqamah only when they saw the Prophet, upon whom be peace, coming (to the place of prayer). (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmidhi.)
Whoever Makes the Adhan May Make the Iqamah:
This is so because the caller to prayer takes precedence in making the iqamah. Says Ash-Shaifi, "If a man made the adhan, he should follow it up with the iqamah." Of this, at-Tirmidhi says, "Most of the scholars agree with this opinion."
When One Should Stand for the Prayer:
Malik states in al-Muwatta, "I have not heard anything concerning the specific time to stand for prayer. I have seen some peope lagging and others being quick." Ibn al-Mundhir recorded that Anas would stand when Qad qaamtus-salah was said.
Leaving the Mosque After the Adhan (and Before the Prayer):
It is not allowed to leave the call unanswered or to leave the mosque after it has been made, unless there is some excuse or one has the intention to return for the prayer. Abu Hurairah related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, told them, "If one of you is in the mosque and the call is made, he should not leave the mosque until he prays." (Related by Ahmad with a sahih chain.) It is also related that Abu Hurairah said about a man who left the mosque after the call had been made, "That man has disobeyed Abu al-Qasim (the Prophet, upon whom be peace)." This is related by Muslim and others. Mu'adh at-Jahni related that the Prophet said, "It is the utmost apathy and sign of disbelief and hypocrisy that one who hears the call of Allah to salvation does not respond." (Related by Ahmad and at-Tabarani.)
Commenting upon this, at-Tirmidhi says, "It has been related from more than one of the companions that one who hears the call and does not respond will have no prayer. Some said that this is the maximum imposition, which shows that there is no excuse for one who does not attend the congregational prayer without a valid reason."
The Adhan and Iqamah for Those Who Missed the Proper Time of Prayer:
One who sleeps through the time of a prayer or who forgets a prayer may make adhan and iqamah when he desires to pray. In a story recorded by Abu Dawud, when the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and his companions slept through the time of the morning prayer, he ordered Bilal to make the adhan and iqamah for the prayer. If one has missed many prayers, it is preferred to make one adhan at the beginning followed by an iqamah for each prayer. Says al-'Athram, "I heard Abu 'Abdullah (Ahmad) being asked what a man who had missed a prayer should do about the adhan. He mentioned the hadith of Hushaim from Abu az-Zubair...that the idol-worshippers kept the Prophet busy during four of his prayers during the Battle of the Clans. When part of the night had passed, he ordered Bilal to make the adhan and the iqamah and they prayed the afternoon, sunset, and night prayers in succession, each time followed by the iqamah.
The Adhan and Iqamah for Women:
Said Ibn 'Umar, "There is no adhan or iqamah for women." (Related by al-Baihaqi with a sahih chain.) This was the opinion of Anas, al-Hassan, Ibn Sireen, an-Nakha'i, al-Thauri, Malik, Abu Thaur and the people of "juristic reasoning." Ash-Shaifi, Ishaq and Ahmad said if they make the iqamah and adhan, there is no problem. It is related from 'Aishah that she would make the adhan and iqamah and lead the women in prayer, standing in the middle of the row. (Related by al-Baihaqi.)
Entering the Mosque After the Prayer Is Finished:
The author of al-Mughni states, "If one enters the mosque after the prayer is finished, he may make the adhan and iqamah. Ahmad's practice, based on what al-'Athram and Sa'eed ibn Mansur recorded from Anas, was to ask a person to make the adhan and iqamah, after which he would pray with (some people) in congregation. If a person wishes, he may pray without making the adhan and iqamah. Says 'Urwa, "If you reach a mosque wherein the people have already prayed, you may base your prayer on their adhan and iqamah, as theirs are sufficient for those who come after them." This was the opinion of al-Hassan, ash-Sha'bi and an-Nakha'i. Al-Hassan, however, said, "I prefer that he makes the iqamah. If he makes the adhan, he should do so in a low voice and not aloud, for some people may consider it out of place."
The Time Between the Iqamah and the Prayer:
It is permitted to talk between the iqamah and the prayer. One need not repeat the iqamah, even if the interval is long. Reported Anas ibn Malik, "The iqamah was made while the Messenger of Allah was talking to a man in the corner of the mosque. He did not come to the prayer until the people had fallen asleep." (Related by al-Bukhari) One time, the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, remembered that he was in post-sex impurity after the iqamah had been made, so he went to make ghusl and came back to lead the prayer without (a new) iqamah.
The Iqamah of One Who Is Not the Designated Caller:
If someone other than the appointed caller wants to make the adhan, he must obtain the latter's permission. If the appointed or regular caller is late and they fear that they will miss the time of the adhan, another person may make the call.
Extraneous Additions to the adhan:
The adhan is a form of worship. Muslims are not allowed to add or subtract anything from it. There is an authetic hadith which states, "Whoever introduces something to this affair of ours will have it rejected." We will discuss some of these acts here:
The caller saying, "I bear witness that our leader (Muhammad) is the Messenger of Allah." Ibn Hajr is of the opinion that the word 'leader' may not be added, although it is permissible on other occasions.
Shaikh Isma'il al-'Ajluni records in Kashfal-Khafa', "Wiping the eyes with the index fingers and then kissing them after hearing the caller say 'I bear withess that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,' and with the listener saying, 'I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. I am pleased with Allah as Lord, with Islam as religion, and with Muhammad as the Prophet," is based on ad-Dailami's report from Abu Bakr that when he heard the caller say, "I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah," he would say the same, kiss the inside of his index fingers and wipe his eyes. The Prophet then said, "Whoever does what my friend (Abu Bakr) did, then my intercession will be permissible for him." In al-Maqasid it says, "This is not true. And what Abu Bakr ar-Raddad al-Yamani al-Mutasawaf recorded in Mujibat ar-Rahmah wa Aza'im al-Maghfirah is not true. Its chain is of unknown narrators and, moreover, the chain is broken." There is another report of equally dubious import from al-Khidrs and mentioned in the preceding book: "Whoever says, upon hearing the caller say, 'I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,' 'Welcome O my love and the coolness of my eyes, Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah, upon whom be peace,' and then kisses his index fingers and wipes his eye with them, he well never go blind; nor will he never be afflicted with an eye infection."' None of these practices can be attributed to the Prophet or his companions.
Singing the Adhan:
To "sing" the adhan or to state it in improper Arabic by adding a letter or lengthening the sound of a vowel, and so on, is disliked. If it changes or obscures the meaning of what is said, it becomes forbidden.
Reported Yahya al-Baka', "I saw Ibn 'Umar say to a man, 'I am mad at you for the sake of Allah.' Then he said to his companions, 'He sings in making his adhan, and he takes wages for it."'
Dhikr and adhan:
Making dhikr, supplications, and practices of a similar nature before the morning adhan are innovations to the sunnah. In al-Iqna and its commentary, a book of Hanbali fiqh, it is stated, "What some callers do before the morning adhan (i.e. dhikr, chanting, loud supplications and so on) are not part of the sunnah. No scholar has said that it is preferred to do such acts. In fact, they are hateful innovations introduced after the time of the Prophet and his companions. No one is to order such acts, and no one is to blame one who avoids such acts. If one has left money for such acts, it is not permissible to use it for those acts, as they contradict the sunnah. In Talbis Iblis by Ibn al-Jauzi, it states, "I have seen people staying up a part of the night on the minaret admonishing the people, making dhikr and reciting the Qur'an in a loud voice. They keep people from sleeping and disturb those who are making late-night prayers. These are rejected and evil actions." Ibn Hajr says in Fath al-Bari, "What is done in the way of dhikr before the morning adhan, the Friday prayers and the prayers for the Prophet is derived neither from the adhan nor from the Islamic law.
To say aloud "Peace and blessings upon the Messenger" after the adhan:
This is a hated innovation. Ibn Hajr says in al-Fatawa al-Kubra, "Our shaikhs and others have given a legal verdict about the prayers and salutations for the Prophet after the adhan and how the callers to prayer do it. Their verdict is that (the prayers for the Prophet) has its root in the sunnah, but the manner in which they perform it is an innovation." Muhammad 'Abduh was asked about saying the prayers and salutation for the Prophet subsequent to the adhan and he said, "The adhan, as mentioned in al-Khaniyyah, is only for the prescribed prayers. It consists of fifteen phrases, the last being La ilaha illal-lah. Whatever is mentioned before or after it is an innovation. It has been introduced for rhythm, and nothing else. There is hardly a scholar who has allowed it, nor does it make any sense to say that it is a good innovation, for every innovation in matters of worship is evil. Whoever claims that it is not for melody is lying."
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