Extraneous Additions to the Azhan

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Azhan is a form of worship. Muslims are not allowed to add or subtract anything from it. There is an authentic 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 witness 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 will 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 Azhan

To “sing” the azhan 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 azhan, and he takes wages for it.”’


A: Zhikr and Azhan

Making zhikr, supplications, and practices of a similar nature before the morning azhan 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 azhan (i.e. zhikr, 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 zhikr 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 zhikr before the morning azhan, the Friday prayers and the prayers for the Prophet is derived neither from the azhan nor from the Islamic law.


B: To say aloud “Peace and blessings upon the Messenger” after the Azhan

This is a hated innovation. Ibn Hajr says in al-Fatawa al-Kubra, “Our sheikhs and others have given a legal verdict about the prayers and salutations for the Prophet after the azhan 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 Azhan and he said, “The Azhan, 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.”


Knowledge that the time for prayer has begun

If one is certain or fairly certain that the time has begun, he may pray. How he reached his decision is not important.


A: Purity From Major and Minor Impurities

Says Allah in the Qur’an, “O you who believe, when you rise for the prayer, wash your faces, your hands up to the elbows, and lightly rub your hands and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. If you are unclean, purify yourselves.” Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet said, “Allah does not accept any prayer that was not performed while in a state of purity, nor does he accept charity from what has been stolen from booty.” (Related by “the group.”)


B: Purity of the Body, Clothes and Place

Such objects should be clean of physical impurities as much as possible. If one cannot remove them, he may pray with the impurities present and does not have to repeat the prayer later. Concerning bodily purity, Anas related that the Prophet upon whom be peace, said, “Stay clean of urine, as the majority of punishment in the grave is due to it.” This is related by ad-Daraqutni, who said it is Hassan. Reported ‘Ali, I used to have a great deal of prostatic fluid flowing, so I asked a man to ask the Prophet about it (as I was shy to ask him, due to my relationship with him through his daughter). He asked him and the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “Make ablution and wash your penis.” (Related by alBukhari and others.)

‘Aishah also related that the Messenger of Allah said to women with a prolonged flow of blood, “Wash the blood from yourself and pray . “

Concerning purity of clothing, we have the following: Says Allah, “And purify your raiment” (alMuddathir 4). Jabir ibn Sumrah reported that he heard a man ask the Prophet “May I pray in the same clothes that I had on during intercourse with my wife?” He said, “Yes, but if you see some stains on it, you must wash it.” This hadith is related by Ahmad and Ibn Majah. Its narrators are trustworthy. Reported Mu’awiyyah, “I asked Umm Habibah, ‘Did the Prophet pray in the same clothes that he wore when he had intercourse?’ She said, ‘Yes, if there were no stains on it.”’(Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.) Abu Sa’eed reported that the Prophet removed his shoes and the people behind him did likewise. When he finished the prayer, he asked, “Why did you remove your shoes?” They said, “We saw you remove yours.” He said, “Gabriel came to me and informed me that there was some filth on them. Therefore, when one of you comes to the mosque, he should turn his shoes over and examine them. If one finds any dirt on them, he should rub them against the ground and pray with them on.” The hadith is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Hakim, Ibn Hibban and Ibn Khuzaimah. The latter grades it as Sahih. This hadith shows that if one enters the mosque (with his shoes on) and is unaware of some impurity or has forgotten it, and he suddenly remembers it during the prayer, he must try to remove it and proceed with the prayer. He does not have to repeat it later on.

Concerning the purity of the place where one is praying, Abu Hurairah said, “A Bedouin stood and urinated in the mosque. The people got up to grab him. The Prophet said, ‘Leave him and pour a container full of water over his urine. You have been raised to be easy on the people, not to be hard on them.” (Related by “the group,” except for Muslim.) Commenting on this subject, ash-Shaukani says, “If what has been produced of proof is firmly established, then one would know that it is obligatory to have one’s clothes free of impurities.

 Whoever prays and has impurities on his clothing has left one of the obligations of the prayer. But his prayer would not be voided.” In ar-Rauzhat an-Nabiyyah it states, “The majority of scholars are of the opinion that it is obligatory to purify three things: the body, the clothes, and the place of prayer. Some are of the opinion that this is a condition for the soundness of the prayer, and others say that it is just a Sunnah. The truth of the matter is that it is obligatory. Whoever intentionally prays with impurities on his clothing has left one of the obligations (of the prayer), but the prayer is still valid.”

To be continued