The Islamic Call to Prayer (Al-Adhan)

What do the words “ Adhan” and “Mu’adhdhin” mean?

Al-Adhan is a call to inform Muslims that the prayer time has arrived. The person who calls al-Adhan is called mu’adhdhin.

When and how is Al-Adhan called?

Al-Adhan is called after the arrival of the prayer time with a loud voice and on a minaret. Muslims are called to pray five times a day with adhan.

How should one act while adhan is being called?

When we hear al-Adhan, we become silent and listen to it. We repeat what the Mu’adhdhin says. Upon the completion of the al-Adhan, one recites “the prayer formula of al-Adhan” that our Prophet taught us.

The same verses are repeated in all calls to prayers. However, in the Adhan of the Morning Prayer, the sentence of “Assalatu Khayrun minannawm” (Prayer is better than sleep) is added and repeated two times after the recitation of “Hayya ‘ala-al-Falah”.

Our beloved Prophet says: “The moment that one gets closest to God is the moment of prostration (al-Sajdah).” (Muslim, Salat 215)

Our beloved Prophet says: “ If people knew how virtuous calling al-Adhan and praying in the first row was, and then if they had to draw lots in order to determine who would be there, they would draw lots.” (Bukhari, al-Adhan 9)

The words of al-Adhan and their meanings

  • اَللَهُ اَكْبَرُ- اَللَهُ اَكْبَرُ
  • اَللَهُ اَكْبَرُ- اَللَهُ اَكْبَرُ
  • اَشْهَدُ اَنْ لَا اِلَاهَ اِلَّا اللهُ – اَشْهَدُ اَنْ لَا اِلَاهَ اِلَّا اللهُ
  • اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمّدًا رَسُولُ اللهِ – اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمّدًا رَسُولُ اللهِ
  • حَىَّ عَلَى الصَّلَاةِ – حَىَّ عَلَى الصَّلَاةِ
  • حَىَّ عَلَى الْفَلَاحِ – حَىَّ عَلَى الْفَلَاحِ
  • اَللَهُ اَكْبَرُ- اَللَهُ اَكْبَرُ
  • لَا اِلَاهَ اِلَّا اللهُ

Allahu Akbar (4 times)

Ashhadu an-la-ilaha illa Allah (2 times)

Ashhadu anna Muhammadan

-Rasulu Allah (2 times)

Hayya ’ala-as-Salah (2 times)

Hayya ’ala-al-Falah (2 times)

Allahu Akbar (2 times)

La ilaha illa Allah (1 time)

God is greatest

I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah.

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Hasten to prayer!

Hasten to prosperity!

God is greatest.

There is no deity except Allah!

What does al-Adhan tell us?

Al-Adhan announces to us that the time for prayer has come. Since performing a Salah is a form of worship specific to Muslims, hearing al-Adhan indicates that there are Muslims in that community. Al-Adhan which is called five times a day reminds us of the basic faith in the Oneness of God (Tawheed). It impresses upon our hearts and soul the existence and oneness of Allah and that His Excellency Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) is his messenger. It reminds us of the purpose of creation and that the only way for our prosperity is through worshipping God.

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