#Muslims Hands

Conditions To Be Met By The Caller To Prayer  

Feb 25, 2022, 2:00 PM


It is preferred that he meet the following conditions: 

  1. It is a must that he makes the azhan 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 azhan. 

This hadith is related by Abu Dawud, an-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmizhi, 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 azhan. 

  1. He should be clean from major or minor impurities. Al-Muhajir ibn Qanfazh 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. 

  1. He should be standing and facing the qiblah (the direction of the Ka’bah). Said Ibn al-Munzhir, “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 faces the qiblah while making the azhan. If he turns away from the qiblah, his azhan will be sound, but the act will be disliked. 
  2. 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 azhan, 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. 

  1. 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 azhan. (Related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban.) 

Says at-Tirmizhi, “The scholars prefer the callers to put their index fingers into their ears while making the azhan.” 

  1. 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.) 
  2. He should pause between each phrase during the azhan and be quick in making the iqamah. Many narrations have reported that this act is preferred. 
  3. He should not speak during the iqamah. Some scholars dislike that he should even speak during the azhan, although al-Hasan, ‘Ata and Qatadah permit it. Says Abu Dawud, “I asked Ahmad, ‘May a man speak during his azhan?’ 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 Azhan Before and at the Beginning of the Prayer Time 

The azhan 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 azhan and that of the proper time). ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, “Bilal makes the azhan during the night, so eat and drink until you hear the azhan of Ibn Umm Maktum.” (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) The wisdom behind allowing the morning azhan 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 azhan prevent you from the pre-dawn meal, as he is making the azhan for those who are praying to stop and for those who are sleeping to get up.” But Bilal made his azhan in exactly the same way as the regular azhan. At-Tahawi and an-Nasa’i relate that the time difference between Bilal’s azhan 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 azhan 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 Azhan 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 azhan 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-Tirmizhi.) 

Whoever Makes the Azhan 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 azhan, he should follow it up with the iqamah.” Of this, at-Tirmizhi says, “Most of the scholars agree with this opinion.” 

a: 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-Munzhir recorded that Anas would stand when Qad qaamtus-salah was said. 

b: Leaving the Mosque After the Azhan (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’azh 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-Tirmizhi 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.”