Or Muslim Call-To-Prayer
By Haji Tahseen-Ur-Rahman
- Allaahu-Akbar; Allaahu-Akbar; Allaahu-Akbar; Allaahu-Akbar;
- Ash-hadu-an-laa-Illaaha Illallaah
- Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-rasool-Ullaah
Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-rasool-Ullaah
- Haiyya 'alas-salaat
- Haiyya 'alal falaah
Haiyya 'alal falaah
The above is well-known by Muslims the world over to be the Muslim Call-to-Prayer
'THE AZAAN. The meaning of which is as follows:
- God is the Greatest (four times)
- I bear witness that there is no deity but One God (twice)
- I bear witness that Muhammad (upon whom be peace) is the Messenger of God (twice)
- Come to Prayer (twice)
- Come to Success (twice)
- God is the Greatest (twice)
- There is no deity but One God (once).
is sounded five times daily: from the minarets of hundred of thousands of
Mosques all over the Muslim World, and in the words of a famous writer:
"This simple, melodious and charming Call sums up Islam in a few sweet sentences and is the Spiritual Food of all Muslims in all the four corners of the earth."
Islamic history tells us that the five times daily prayers became obligatory on Muslims from the time of the Glorious
(Ascension) of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) which took place at Makka Shareef shortly before the
(Migration of the Holy Prophet Muhammad u.w.b.p. from Makka Shareef to Madina Shareef in the year 622 A.C.).
Due to the constant persecutions of the unbelieving Makkans upon the Muslims at Makka Shareef it was not practicable to introduce any form of public Prayer-Call there. However, after the Hijra, the number of Muslims at Madina Shareef began to increase daily, and it became necessary to formulate some form of Prayer-Call for the five times daily prayers which were offered in congregation in the mosque of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace), which Mosque is known today as Masjid Nabuwi.
By Divine Guidance the Sacred Azaan was brought into existence in this world, and the Blessed Apostle of Allaah selected none other than the saintly Ethiopian (Negro) freedman - Hazrat Bilaal bin Raabah (R.A.) to become the first Muazzin (Public Informant) in Islam, who was also one of the chosen companions of the Blessed Apostle of Allaah.
Next to the Sacred Mosque at Madina Shareef there was a house belonging to a lady of the Banu Najjar tribe and Hazrat Bilaal, during the early days, used to ascend the top of this house before each canonical prayer and call the Sacred
at the top of his sweet and melodious voice, after which the Muslims gathered in increasing numbers for the congregational prayers under the august leadership of the blessed Apostle of Allaah.
Since those early days of Islamic history till now and forever more, this Sacred Azaan has been and will be called by the Muazzins of all the countless Mosques of the Muslim World, Insha-Allaah, with the Muazzins facing the direction of the Holy Kaba at Makkah Shareef and with both hands raised up to the ears.
As it is not generally known what position of honour the Muazzin enjoys in the Sight of Almighty Allaah, it may be appropriate to quote the following from the pen of a famous writer:
"The Muazzin will have great rewards on the Resurrection Day, so much so that all the hearers of the Invitation (to Prayer) will intercede for him on that Day."
The Hadith Shareef (authentic Tradition of the Holy Prophet Muhammad u.w.b.p.) also affirms that:
"When a Muazzin calls the Azaan out of his (sincere) heart, he will enter Paradise." Muslim.
"Whose calls for Prayer for seven years out of hope of reward is enrolled free
from the fire." (Tirmizi, Ibn Majab).
It is also recorded in authentic writings that Shaitaan (Satan) runs away when he hears the Azaan being sounded (but comes back after the Azaan is sounded to disturb the worshippers of Allaah), hence the worshippers of Allaah are enjoined to exert utmost concentration during their Salaat (Prayer) in order to ward off evil forces.
We have been taught by the Sunnah (example of the blessed Apostle of Allaah) to sound the Sacred Azaan in the right car of the new-born babe, and to sound the Aqamat (similar Prayer-Call) in its left ear.
It should be noted that in the Azaan of the Fajr Prayer (pre-sunrise Prayer) the following words are included just after Item (5):-
"As-salaatu khairum-minan-naum" (twice)
Meaning Prayer is better than sleep.
In order to give a vivid picture of the Significance of the Sacred Azaan I quote the following from the pen of a famous scholar:
"Azaan in Islam has got great significance. It is not the mere ringing of the bell or the meaningless blowing of horns. This is an appeal from an individual soul of humanity to turn to Almighty Allaah, to follow the lead of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) as His Messenger, and to come to take spiritual feast for progress and nourishment of soul appealing in a greater degree than the ringing of the deepest-toned bell or the most costly and elaborate system of chimes. From thousands of thousands of minarets in the world come out spontaneously in a loud and sweet melodious voice in the morning and evening, at the declining of the sun and when the sun is in the mid-west and in the grim silence of night, the Message of Islam, the Message of the desert World Prophet (peace be on him):-
'Allaah is the Greatest; Muhammad (peace be on him) is his Messenger; Come to Prayer; Come to Success; There is no deity but Allaah; Prayer is better than sleep.'
What a more Grand Message to the world can there be? This is the Message of Islam to the people of the world. To respond to it on the part of the hearer is Wajib (binding). Who is the devil who can remain silent from responding to the Mighty Message of Islam, the Message that Allaah is Greatest? Who is the most unfortunate man who does not respond to the Invitation for food of soul? Who is there to deny that Prayer is not the Means of Success. Nobody is required to read any book to know the Message of Islam. Nobody is required to make a search for the True Religion of mankind. It is that which declares Allaah to be the Greatest and the Only Being to be worshipped. It is that which makes no distinction in the Invitation to Prayer and throws open the door of Mosque to every son of Adam (peace be on him) irrespective of (colour), (race) and country."
It would be noteworthy to further explain here, that the hearers of the Azaan< are enjoined (as it is Wajib), to repeat silently, the Arabic sentences of the Azaan immediately after the Muazzin, item after item, except in the case of items (4) and (5) after which the hearer utters silently the words:
Laa-haula walaa quwwata Illaa-billaa-hil 'aleeyil-Azeem (twice) after Items (4) . and (5).
Meaning: There is no power nor might but from Allaah the Most High the Great.
It should also be noteworthy to give hereunder for the benefit of junior Muslims the Du'aa (prescribed supplication) which is to be offered immediately after the Muazzin completes the calling of the Sacred Azaan as follows:
Allaahumma Rabba haazihid-d' awatit-taa-ammati was salaatil Qaa-imati aati Muhammadanil wa seelata wal fadeelata wad-dara jatar-ra fee 'ata wab asu maqaamam - Mahmoodanil-lazee wa 'adtahoo warzuqnaa shafaa a'tahoo yauma qiyaamati innaka laa tukhliful mee'aad.
O Allaah! O Lord of this complete (supplication) and Prayer of ours, by the blessing of it, give to Muhammad (upon whom be peace) his eternal rights of intercession, distinction (over other prophets), and highest class in Paradise. O Allaah! Also stand him at the dignified stead 'Mahmood' (the praised one) that Thou has promised him, and bestow his intercession on us on the Day of judgement. Thou never goest back on Thy Word!
The Aqamat is a similar Prayer-Call which is rendered by the Muazzins immediately before the congregational prayer begins. It is called in a much softer tone of voice and with the identical words of the Azaan except with the difference that the following words are added just after Item (5):
Qad-qaa matis-salaat (twice) Meaning: Prayer is ready.
There is a Hadith which enjoins that the AQAMAT should be called by the same person who calls the AZAAN.
There is another Hadith which tells us that a valuable moment for offering Du'aa (private supplication in this case) is the period between the Muazzin calling of the Azaan and the Aqamat. It is stated that such Du'aa carries a special value, depending of course upon the sincerity and piety of the devotee.
My dear reader, to close our discourse on the subject of the Sacred Azaan>, I find it appropriate to quote the following Hadith explanation, which may add a good note:
'The Messenger of Allaah (peace be on him) has said: "The Imam is a security and the Muazzin is an object of trust. O Allaah! Grant Guidance to the Imams and forgive the Muazzins.' (Ahmad, Abu Daud, Tirmizi).
A famous scholar explains the above Hadith to mean that the Imam
"take upon himself the responsibility of his followers in bending, prostrating and other rites of prayer"
(whereas the Muazzins)
'are objects of trust as by their Azaan, the time for Prayer and Fasting can be ascertained."
May Almighty Allaah bless us with more and more worthy and pious Imams and Muazzins who are the ("object of security and trust") in our Islamic Society. Ameen.