Listen AND Learn the Adhan
What is Adhan?
Lexically, adhan means to declare, to announce, to inform. As a religious term, adhan means holy words uttered in order to inform Muslims about the times of prayers. A person who calls adhan is called a muezzin.
What is the Decree about Adhan?
To call adhan for five daily fard prayers is definite based on the Quran (al-Maida, 58; al-Jumu’a, 9) and the Sunnah. The decree about it is sunnah al-muakkadah and kifayah. That is, if a person living in a place fulfills this duty, the other people living there will be relieved of the responsibility. However, if calling adhan is abandoned completely, all of the people living there will be held responsible.
Adhan is one of the greatest signs of Islam; so, it is a sunnah at the level of wajib.
Adhan was rendered legitimate in the 1st year the Migration in Madinah.
The Importance and Virtues of Adhan:
Muslims are informed about the times for prayers through adhan; they are also reminded that prayer leads man to salvation; thus, they are encouraged to perform prayers. More importantly, the holiest principles of the religion of Islam like oneness and prophethood are declared to the whole world through adhan.
Therefore, to call adhan gives man a lot of virtues and thawabs.
Some of the hadiths regarding the issue are as follows:
“If people knew about the virtue of adhan and performing prayers in the first line in the mosque, they would draw lots for them.”
“On the Day of Judgment, muezzins are the tallest people (in terms of thawabs).”
“Everybody, whether a human or a jinn, hearing the voice of adhan will witness in favor of that muezzin on the Day of Judgment.”
Hz. Umar stated the following expressing the virtue of calling adhan: “If I did not have the duty of the caliphate, I would like to be a muezzin.” (*) Adhan and iqamah are among the properties of this ummah. It is narrated that Hz. Jibril called adhan when Hz. Adam was sent down to the earth and in order to soothe him when he witnessed the savagery on the earth; however, it does not change the fact that adhan is a property peculiar to this ummah.
What are the Words of Adhan?
The words of adhan and their meanings are as follows:
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar.
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar.
Ashhadu an la ilaha illallah
Ashhadu an la ilaha illallah
Ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasulullah
Ashhadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasulullah
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
La ilaha illallah.
“Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest.
I witness that there is no god but Allah. I witness that there is no god but Allah.
I witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. I witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.
Come to the prayer! Come to the prayer!
Come to the salvation! Come to the salvation!
Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest.
There is no god but Allah.”
Adhan is called like that at the times of noon, afternoon, evening and night. For the morning prayer, “as-salatu khayrun mina’n-nawm (prayer is better than sleep)” is uttered twice after “hayya ala’l-falah”. Sleep brings comfort in the world and prayer brings comfort in the hereafter; the phrase above is uttered in adhan because the comfort in the hereafter is better than the comfort in the world. It is disputable whether this phrase needs to be added for the adhan of a missed morning prayer.
What is Iqamah?
Iqamah consists of the words of adhan uttered just before starting a fard prayer.
Adhan is called when the time period of a prayer starts; iqamah is uttered when the fard is about to start.
What are the Words of Iqamah?
The words of iqamah are the same as the words of adhan but the phrase “qad qamatis-salah” is uttered twice afterhayya ala’l-falah “. It means “prayer has started”.
What are the Properties that a Muezzin Needs to Have?
The properties that a muezzin needs to have can be listed as follows:
1- The muezzin must be male. It is makruh for a woman to call adhan.
2- The muezzin needs to be sane, to have knowledge and taqwa. It is makruh for fasiqs (sinners) and ignorant people to call adhan. If an insane person calls adhan, it needs to be called again. It is permissible for a child who is sane and mumayyiz (able to discriminate/discern) to call adhan.
3- The muezzin needs to have wudu when he calls adhan and he needs to call it by standing. There is no drawback to calling adhan without wudu. It is makruh to call iqamah without wudu. However, it does not have to be called again.
It is makruh for a junub person to call iqamah. If he does, it needs to be called again.
There is no drawback to calling adhan by sitting for a person who calls adhan for himself. It is necessary to call iqamah by standing.
4- The muezzin needs to call adhan in a high place by turning toward the qiblah. He needs to turn to the right while uttering “Hayya ala’s-Salah” and to the left while uttering “Hayya ala’l-Falah”. If he calls it from a minaret, he needs to turn to the qiblah and then move from right to the left around the minaret balcony.
5- When the muezzin calls adhan and iqamah, he must not talk. Even if he is greeted while calling adhan, he cannot reply at that time or later. It is makruh to speak a little and it is necessary to call it again if he speaks a lot.
What are the Properties that Adhan and Iqamah Need to Have?
1- Adhan needs to be called aloud. For, what is meant by adhan is to inform people about the time of prayer. However, it is not necessary to force oneself in order to increase one’s voice.
2- It is necessary to pause between sentences while calling adhan. It is called tarassul. After uttering Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar, it is necessary to pause a bit and keep silent. Tarassul is not done in iqamah. The words are uttered one after another with a medium voice.
3- It is necessary to utter the words of adhan in order. The place of the words must not be changed. Adhan needs to be called before iqamah.
4- One must not do anything else while calling adhan and iqamah.
5- Iqamah must not be uttered immediately after adhan. It is necessary to wait a bit between adhan and iqamah. One can utter dua, read the Quran or perform a sunnah prayer between adhan and iqamah. However, a time period long enough to read three verses is enough between adhan and iqamah for the evening prayer.
What are the Good Manners about Adhan?
The main good manners about adhan are as follows:
1- To show respect to adhan, to listen to it until it ends and to stop doing anything one is busy with.
2- To accept the invitation made by adhan and go to the mosque; to repeat the words of the muezzin while listening to adhan.
The Prophet stated the following in a hadith:
“When you hear adhan, repeat what the muezzin says.”
Therefore, when one hears,
“Ashadu an la ilaha illallah (I witness that there is no god but Allah )”,
he needs to say, “Wa anna ashhadu an la ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lah, wa anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu. Radiytu billahi Rabban wa bi-Muhammedin Rasulan wa bi’l-Islami dinan… (I witness that there is no god but Allah,alone, without partner and Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I have accepted Allah as my Lord, and Islam as my religion…) (*)
When Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah (I witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger) is uttered for the first time, one should say, “Sallallahu Alayka ya Rasulallah (Peace be upon you, O, Messenger of Allah).”
When it is uttered for the second time, one should say, “Qarrat bika ayni ya Rasulallah (May my eyes rejoice with you, O Messenger of Allah)” and kiss the nails of his thumbs or the tips of his index fingers and wipe his eyes with them. It is mustahab and a nice act for adhan. It is not done in iqamah.
When the muezzin says, “Hayya ala’s-Salah and Hayya ala’l-Falah (Come to the prayer! Come to the salvation!)”, it is necessary to say, “La hawla wa la quwwata illa billahi’l-aliyyi’l-azim (There is no power and strength except with Allah, who is the highest, the most magnificent).” (**)
When the muezzin utters, “As-Salatu khayrun mina’n-nawm (prayer is better than sleep)”, it is necessary to say, “Sadaqta wa barirta wa bi’l-haqqi nataqta (You have confirmed the truth and you did well – and you have spoken a fact).”
* Even if the Quran is recited, it is mandub to listen to adhan and to go to the mosque. If it is recited in the mosque, the recital needs to be continued.
* In the places where more than one adhan is called, the first one is taken into consideration.
* A junub person needs to repeat the words of the muezzin. A woman who is in the menstruation period or puerperum does not have to repeat the words of the muezzin. One needs to repeat the words of the muezzin after each phrase and should not say the phrases before the muezzin.
When adhan ends, the following dua needs to be read:
اَللّهُمَّ رَبَّ هذِهِ الدَّعْوَةِ التَّامَّةِ وَ الصَّلاةِ الْقَائِمَةِ اتِ مُحَمَّدًا الْوَسيلَةَ وَ الْفَضِيلَةَ وَ ابْعَثْهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا الَّذى وَعَدْتَهُ
Allahumma rabba hadhihi’d-da’wati’t-tammati wa’s-salati’l-qaimati ati Muhammadani’l-wasilata wa’l-fadilata wab’athu maqaman Mahmudanilladhi waadtahu. (O Allah! Owner of this perfect call and owner of this prayer to be performed. Bestow upon Muhammad a station in Paradise and a rank above the rest of creation, and raise him to the rank you have promised him.(*)
It is reported through a sound hadith that those who read the dua above will attain the intercession (shafa’ah) of the Prophet.
3- To ask for forgiveness and utter duas between adhan and iqamah.
It is stated in a hadith that duas uttered between adhan and iqamah will not be rejected.
4- To know that adhan is invitation to Allah’s forgiveness and to benefit from it.
Issues about Adhan:
* Can more than one adhan and iqamah be recited for one prayer?
More than one adhan and iqamah can be recited for no prayers except the Friday prayer.
Therefore, after a prayer is performed with adhan and iqamah in a mosque, the people who perform the same prayer there in congregation or individually do not recite either adhan or iqamah. In Friday prayer, two adhans are called. One of them is the outer adhan and the other is the inner adhan. The inner adhan is taken into consideration. For, during the time of the Prophet, only the inner adhan existed. When the number of the people started to increase, the second adhan started to be called.
* Are there any prayers that are performed without adhans and iqamahs?
There is no adhan and iqamah for wajib and sunnah prayers like the witr, eid and tarawih prayers. It is sunnah to call adhan and iqamah for missed fard prayers. For, adhan and iqamah are among the sunnahs prayers. They are not sunnahs of time. (*) There is no adhan and iqamah for janazah prayer.
* Can a prayer be performed if either iqamah or adhan is abandoned?
It is better to call adhan and iqamah for fard prayers to be performed at home or in the countryside individually. (**) However, adhan can be abandoned; only iqamah is enough. Yet, it is makruh to abandon iqamah and to call adhan only.
* Is it necessary to call as many iqamahs and adhans while performing more than one missed fard prayer?
If more than one missed fard prayer is performed in different places, adhan and iqamah are necessary for each of them. If they are performed in the same place, it is better to call adhan and iqamah for each of them but adhan and iqamah are called for the first missed prayer but only iqamah is enough for the others.
* Is it permissible to call adhan for a prayer before its time is due?
It is not permissible to call adhan for a prayer before its time is due. It is necessary to call such an adhan again. For, what is expected from adhan is to inform people about the time. When adhan is called before the due time, this expectation is not met. However, according to Abu Yusuf and the imams of three madhabs, it is permissible to call the morning (fajr) prayer before its time is due.
* The term “time for the prayer” used after adhan aims to tell people that the time for that prayer started. The scholars of later periods regard reminding people about the prayer as nice when people act lazily.
* A person who has not performed the Friday prayer needs to perform the noon prayer in return for it, without adhan and iqamah. For, adhan and iqamah are for fard prayers that are mustahab to perform in congregation. It is makruh for the noon prayer to be performed in congregation on Friday. Therefore, adhan and iqamah are not performed for the noon prayer on Friday.
Can Adhan be Called in Another Language?
“Another name for adhan is Adhan Muhammadi. If a person says that he belongs to the ummah of Muhammad and he does not call adhan in the same way as the Prophet wants, it means he wants to offend the Prophet and to side against him. There is no need to call it in another language. Including the converts in Europe and America, there are more than 700 million (now1.5 billion) Muslims of 18 different races speaking different languages.
Adhan Muhammadi is called five times a day in its original form in the Islamic world. Our ancestors, who made us dominant over three continents and gave us this exceptional country, called adhan in its original form for more than one thousand years after they became Muslims.
The words expressing adhan mention so many holy reminiscences. The ears and hearts of all Muslims, from the baby in the cradle to the warrior at the battlefront, are familiar with these lofty words. It is the meanest way of expressing the efforts aiming to dare to divide our national unity to try to deprive our noble nation of this historical and divine sound and memory, to destroy our religion and to offend our Prophet under the pretext of calling adhan in Turkish.” (Ali Kemal Belviranlı, İslam Prensipleri).
Prof. Ali Fuad Başgil explains the legal aspect of forcing people to call adhan in another language as follows:
“Religions have creeds and ways of worship peculiar to them and appropriate for the logic of their structures; similarly, they have a language of worshipping and praying. This language settles in a way peculiar to that religion with the dogmas of that religion and the applications throughout centuries. For instance, the language of worship in the Catholic Church of Christianity is Latin. The language of Islam is Arabic because the language of the holy book of Muslims is Arabic. The worship right of a Muslim individual enables him to perform worship through the methods, manners and language that have settled in the religion of Islam. It is brutal infringement on both the religion and the right of Muslims’ worship and praying to try to change the worship, methods, manners and language peculiar to the religion of Islam, for instance, to force people to call adhan in a different language than it has been called five times a day for centuries all over the world.” (Din ve Laiklik).