The word ‘Athan’ literally means ‘announcement.’ In Shari’ah, it translates to ‘call to prayer’ – a special announcement in specific words signaling the time of Salah.
The Athan, also spelled Azaan, was introduced in the first year after Hijrat and is an invitation to connect with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) via prayer. It regularly reminds believers that this world is temporary and that they must strive for the Hereafter. Similarly, prayer helps us seek forgiveness for our wrongdoings and attain the mercy and blessing of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى).
Just as prayer holds immense importance, the Azan is equally significant and must be respected. In this article, we will discuss what to do and avoid during the call to prayer.
Who Can Call Athan?
All Muslim scholars agree that certain conditions must be followed by anyone giving the Athan.
These are as follows:
- Sanity and perceptiveness of the Mu’adhdhin (the person who calls for prayer)
- Maintaining continuity in recitation and following the sequence of the Athan
- Taharah, or purity of the Mu’adhdhin, is desirable but not obligatory
- Niyyat or intention; it is desirable but not obligatory
3 Things to Do During Athan
These are three simple things to do as the call to prayer sounds.
1. Repeat the Athan and Recite Darood
Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) bestows countless rewards on the believers who repeat the words of the call to prayer after the Mu’adhdhin and sends blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Therefore, we should listen carefully and silently repeat every line of the Azan after the Mu’adhdhin.
Abdullah b. Amr b. al-Aas (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
“When you hear the Mu’adhdhin, repeat what he says, then invoke a blessing on me, for everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah; then beg from Allah al-Wasila for me, which is a rank in Paradise fitting for only one of Allah’s servants, and I hope that I may be that one. If anyone asks that I be given the Wasila, he will be assured of my intercession”. (Sahih Muslim 384)
However, Sunnah suggests that when the Mu’adhdhin says “Hayya alas Salah” (come to prayer) and “Hayya ‘ala-l-Falah” (come to success), we should say:
لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِٱللَّٰهِ
“There is no power or power except with Allah.”
2. Recite Dua after Athan
Reciting this Dua after the call to prayer holds great significance:
اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ هَذِهِ الدَّعْوَةِ التَّامَّةِ، وَالصَّلَاةِ الْقَائِمَةِ، آتِ مُحَمَّداً الْوَسِيلَةَ وَالْفَضِيلَةَ، وَابْعَثْهُ مَقَاماً مَحْمُوداً الَّذِي وَعَدْتَهُ، إَنَّكَ لَا تُخْلِفُ الْمِيعَادَ.
“O Allah, Lord of this perfect call and established prayer. Grant Muhammad the intercession and favor, and raise him to the honored station You have promised him, [verily You do not neglect promises].” (Hisn al-Muslim 25)
Hazrat Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqās (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said:
أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأنَّ محمداً عبده ورسولُه، رضيتُ بالله رباً وبمحمدٍ رسولاً وبالإسلام دِينا، غُفِرَ له ذَنْبُه”
“Whoever says when he hears the Muezzin: ‘I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, alone without any partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. Therefore, I am pleased with Allah as a Lord, with Muhammad as a Messenger, and with Islam as a religion,’ his sins shall be forgiven.”
3. Say Dua between Athan and Iqamah
It is narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘Aas:
“A man said: Messenger of Allah, the mu’adhdhins excel us. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Say (the same words) as they say, and when you come to the end, make a petition, and that will be granted to you”. (Sunan Abi Dawud 524)
3 Things You Need to Avoid During Athan
Here are three simple things to avoid during the call to prayer.
Nothing in the Shari’ah states that eating or drinking is prohibited during the Athan. However, it is prohibited that the mu’adhdhin should eat or drink or speak while giving the call to prayer.
2. Laying Down
The mu’adhdhin should be aware of calling the Adhan while standing.
It is narrated by Abu Umayr ibn Anas (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
“When the Muslims arrived in Al-Madinah, they used to gather and try to figure out the time for prayer, and no one gave the call to prayer. One day they spoke about that; some of them said: ‘Let us use a bell as the Christians do;’ others said, ‘No, a horn like the Jews have.’ ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) said: ‘Why don’t you send a man to announce the time of prayer?’ The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘O Bilal, stand up and give the call to prayer.'” Sunan Abi Dawud 498
According to this command of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) to Hazrat Bilal (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) it is understandable that the Azan must be made while standing. Calling out the Azan while lying down is ruled as makruh (undesirable); however, the Azan is valid.
3. Talking, or Watching/Listening to Something Else (news, movie, music, etc.)
Believers are advised not to talk among themselves and switch off any other sources of sound during the call to prayer. This is a means of emphasizing the respect and importance of Azan. As mentioned earlier, believers must attentively listen to the Azan and respond to it.
Where To Find Accurate Athan (Azaan) Timings?
You can find accurate Athan times and download Athan from reliable Islamic mobile apps like Muslim and Quran. These apps are regularly updated and feature the Azan timings of different regions and countries. You can also find prayer timings, Qibla direction, and educational blogs.
Simple Steps to Enhance Your Athan Experience
In conclusion, incorporating small changes into your daily Athan routine can greatly enhance your overall experience and spiritual connection. Some easy things to do during Athan include focusing on the meaning of the words being recited, saying dua after and during the Athan, and reciting Darood.
On the other hand, it is important to avoid distractions such as checking your phone or engaging in idle conversation during Athan. By following these simple steps, you can make the most of this special time and strengthen your relationship with Allah.
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