Part II: Prayer (As-Salat)

Chapter 09

Adhaan and Iqaamah

         Adhaan (or Azaan) means call prayer and Iqaamah is second call to inform the believers in the mosque to get up as the congregation for prayer is ready. Let us reproduce some Verses of the Qur’an and Traditions of Prophet Muhammad before discussing the subject in detail.

Verses of the Qur’an

1-            And when you call for prayer they (the non-believers) take it for a jest and sport. That is because they are a folk who understand not. – (5:58)

2-            O you who believe! When the call is heard for the prayer of the day of congregation, haste unto remembrance of Allah and leave your trading. That is better for you if you did but know.  – (62:9)

Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

1.             Ibn Umar reported that when the Muslims came to Madinah, they used to muster strong and had fixed times for prayer, but none used to call (Azan) therefor. So one day they held talk about that. Some of them said: Adopt like the ringing of the bell of the Christians. Some of them said: Blow horn like the horn-blowing of the Jews. Umar said: Will you not send a man who will proclaim Azan for prayer? Then the Apostle of Allah said: O Bilal! get up and proclaim Azan for prayer. – (Bukhari, Muslim)

2.             Abdullah bin Zaid bin Abd-Rabbihi reported that when the Prophet had ordered a bell to be made to call the people to Salat (Prayer), on the following night I was sleeping when I saw a man carrying a naqoos (a conch or bell) in his hands, and I said: Servant of Allah, will you sell this to me? When he asked what I would do with it, I replied that we would use it to inform the people to Salat. He said: shall I not guide you to something better than that? I replied: Certainly. So he taught me to say:

         After the Adhaan, the stranger kept quiet for a while and then said: When the congregation is ready, you should say:…….

         When I told Allah’s messenger next morning what I had seen, he said: It is true vision, so get up along with Bilal and tell him the words so that he should make the call to prayer, because his voice is stronger than your’s. So I got up along with Bilal and began to teach him the words I had learnt in my dream and he made call to prayer.

         Umar bin Khattab heard this when he was in his house and he hastened trailing his cloak and said: Allah’s Messenger, by Him Who has sent you with the truth, I have seen the same kind of thing as has been revealed. At this Allah’s Messenger said: Praise be to Allah. (Darimi, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Tirmizi)

3.             Ziyad-b-Hares as-Sodayi reported: The Apostle of Allah ordered me to call for morning prayer. So I proclaimed. Then Bilal wished to read Iqamat. The Messenger of Allah said: Verily the brother as-Sodayi has called for prayer, and verily whoso called for prayer shall recite Iqamat. – (Tirmizi, Abu Daud, Ibn Majah)

4.             Abu Mahzurah reported: The messenger of Allah taught me Azan exactly in this form. He said: Say: Allah is greatest, Allah is greatest, Allah is greatest, Allah is greatest; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; then he repeated and said: I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; come to prayer, come to prayer; come to salvation, come to salvation; Allah is greatest, Allah is greatest; there is no god but Allah. –  (Muslim)

         Now we would discuss Adhaan and Iqaamah and their rules and regulations which are as under:


         The words of Adhaan (call to prayer) are as under:


         Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.

Allah is the greatest (four times)


         Ash-hadu Al-laa Ilaaha ill-Allah (twice)

         I bear witness that there is no god but Allah (twice)


         Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasool-ullah (twice)

         I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah (twice).


         Hayya alas-Salaah (twice)

         Come to the prayer (Twice)


         Hayya alal-Falaah (twice)

         Come to success (twice)


         Allahu Akbar (twice)

         Allah is the Greatest (twice)


         Laa Ilaaha ill-Allah

         There is no God but Allah

         In the Adhaan for Fajr Prayer, the following words are added after serial No. (5)   but before No. (6)


         As-Salaatu-Khairum-Minan-nawm (twice)

         The prayer is better than sleep (twice)

The Muadhin and how to call Adhaan?

         The best way to call or announce Adhaan is: The Muadhin (the caller) should perform Wudu and then stand on the elevated place (say roof of the Mosque or its minaret, etc.) facing the direction of Qiblah. He should raise his hands and put the tips of his forefingers into his ears and pronounce the words of Adhaan in loud voice. When he says Hayya alas-Salaah, he should turn his face to the right, and when he says Hayya-alal-Falah he should turn his face to the left.

         The Muadhin should pronounce the words of Adhaan slowly with peace and calm so that the listeners could hear them properly and answer. Adhaan is recommended to be pronounced for every prayer even in a desert, valley or on a journey when believers intend to offer prayer.

         In Ahadith of the Prophet, merits and rewards for the Muadhin (caller) have been described. It is said that the Muadhins would enter the Paradise just after the Prophets and Martyrs. On the Day of Resurrection, the necks of the callers would rise high. All those people to whom the words of Adhaan reach, would bear witness to the (truth of) belief of the Muadhin on the Day of Judgment.

         The Muadhin must be an adult and sane male Muslim who should know the teachings of Islam regarding prayer in congregation, Adhaan, Iqaamah and etiquettes regarding mosque. His voice should be melodious and loud.

Answer to Adhaan and Du’a

         When the believers hear the Adhaan, they should listen to it in silence and repeat each phrase of the Adhaan in silence immediately after the Muadhin has finished saying that. But when the Maudhin has finished saying: Hayya alas-Salaah and Hayya-alal-Falah, the listener should say:

Laa hawla wala quwwata illa billah.

There is no ability and no strength (to do good or evil but with Allah’s help).

            In the morning prayer, in answer to as-salatu Khairum-minan-nawm, he should say  Sadaqta wa bararta (you have spoken truth and done good).

         When the Adhaan has been completed, the Muadhin and the listeners should recite Darud (Darud Ibrahim which we recite in the prayer and which we would reproduce in the chapter No. 10). Then recite the following Du'a:

Allahumama rabba hadhi hid dawa tit tammti was ala til qaimati ati Muhammada nil waseelata walfadeelata wab ath-hu maqamam mahmuda nil ladhi wa ad tahu.

O Allah the Lord of this complete call and the prayer of always! By the blessings of it, give Muhammad waseelah (highest place in Paradise) and merit and raise him to the praised place of which You have promised.


         The Iqaamah is call to prayer which is given to allert the believers in the mosque that the prayer is about to be performed, so they should line up in rows behind the Imam (prayer leader). Upon its announcement, the Imam commences with the prescribed prayer.

         The words of Iqaamah are as follows:


         Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, (Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest)


         Ash-hadu Al-laa Ilaaha ill-Allah (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah).


         Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasool-ullah (I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah).


         Hayya alas-Salaah (Come to the prayer)


         Hayya alal-Falaah (Come to success)


         Qad qaama-tis-Salaah (the prayer has begun) (say it twice)


         Allahu Akbar, (Allah is the Greatest) (Twice)


         Laa Ilaaha ill-Allah

None has the right to be worshipped but Allah or There is no God but Allah.

         The above mentioned Iqaamah comprises eleven phrases. However, in Pakistan mostly Iqaamah comprising seventeen phrases is said in which phrases at serial No. (1) above are repeated four times instead of twice, and phrases at serial No. (2), (3), (4) and (5) are repeated twice instead of only once.

         Answer to Iqaamah is not Wajib but Mustahib. In answer to phrases at serial No. 4 and 5 say  and in answer to phrases at serial No. 6 say . Phrases at all the other serial Nos may be repeated in answer.

How to call Iqaamah?

         One who calls Iqaamah must be a male Muslim. Preferably he should be the same person who has called Adhaan. The person calling it should stand in the line of congregation preferably behind the Imam. He should call it in low voice but fastly as compared with Adhaan. He should neither put his fingers in his ears nor he should turn his face to right or left while saying Hayya Alas Salaah and Hayya Alal Falaah.

         The Iqaamah should be given for each of the daily obligatory prayers even if one is not praying in mosque or one is praying alone. A woman is allowed to call Iqaamah if she is praying alone or in a congregation comprising only women.


Copyright (c) Dr. Muhammad Sharif Chaudhry. All rights reserved. For more information, please contact at alshaufi(at)yahoo(dot)com