hadith describe the virtues of the Azhan 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 Azhan 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-Munzhiri 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 Azhan 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 an Nasa’i.)
Azhan, The Event Behind Its Legislation
The Azhan 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 carrying 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, Shady anna Muhammad ar-Rasool-lal-lah Hayya ‘alas-salah, hayya ‘alal-falah. Qad qaamatis-salah, qad qaamatis-salah. Allah Akbar, Allahu Akbar. La ilaha illallah.’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-Tirmizhi, who called it Hassan Sahih.
Azhan, How It Is Made
There are three ways to make the Azhan:
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 Azhan 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 Mahzhura reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, taught him an Azhan consisting of nineteen phrases. This hadith is related by “the five.” At-Tirmizhi called it Hassan Sahih.
3 Make two takbir and repeat the “statements of witness,” making the number of phrases seventeen. Muslim records that Abu Mahzhurah related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, taught him the following Azhan: 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 ‘alassalah (twice), hayya ‘alal-falah (twice). Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar. La ilaha illal-lah. “
Azhan, At-Tathweeb: (Saying “Prayer is better than sleep” in the Morning Azhan).
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 Azhan. Abu Mahzhurah asked the Prophet, upon whom be peace, to teach him the Azhan, and he told him, “If it is the morning Azhan, say, as-salaatu khairun min an-naum, Assalaatu 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 Azhan.
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 Mahzhura 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 ar Rasool-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-Tirmizhi 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. Qad qaamat-issalah, 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.”
To be Continued