While we are busy in the hustle and bustle of everyday life; piles of paperwork, messy kitchens, tantrum-ing toddlers, traveling and errands; a crisp and serene Adhan fills the horizon with its sweetness. The voice of a Muedhin echoes five times a day to remind us of Allah. We tend to forget Him as He is not visible to our eyes but the Adhan acts as a wonderful reminder. Do not forget your creator; Allah is Ever – Present. Allah says in the Quran: “Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.” (Surah Taha, 20:14)
Listen Attentively to the Call
How would you feel if you call someone and they do not respond? They ignore you and go about as if they haven’t heard or care. What if it is someone who is indebted to your favors and love?
Someone is taking care of you 24/7 and all that you have and are is because of Him. Do you pay attention when He summons you? Won’t you go blushing and rushing forward if a representative of a president or a minister comes for you? Allah is the greatest of all kings. We should pay attention, and listen carefully to His call – the Adhan.
Although it is not obligatory, the scholars agree that it is recommended 1 to listen attentively to the Adhan and answer it in the way taught by Prophet Muhammad . It is a virtuous act that carries great rewards – Paradise, forgiveness and the intercession of the Prophet .
Allah’s Messenger said, “Whoever after listening to the Adhan says, ‘Allahumma Rabba hadhihi-dda` watit-tammah, was-salatil qa’imah, ati Muhammadan al-wasilata wal-fadilah, wa b`ath-hu maqaman mahmudan-il-ladhi wa`adtahu’ [O Allah! Lord of this perfect call (perfect by not ascribing partners to You) and of the regular prayer which is going to be established, give Muhammad the right of intercession and illustriousness, and resurrect him to the best and the highest place in Paradise that You promised him (of)], then my intercession for him will be allowed on the Day of Resurrection”. 2
The Messenger of Allah also informed us: “When the Mu’adhin says: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, then one of you should make this response: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest; (and when the Mu’adhin) says: I testify that there is no god but Allah, one should respond: I testify that there is no god but Allah, and when he says: I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, one should make a response: I testify that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. When he (the Mu’adhin) says: Come to prayer, one should make a response: There is no might and no power except with Allah. When he (the Mu’adhin) says: Come to salvation, one should respond: There is no might and no power except with Allah, and when he (the Mu’adhin) says: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, then make a response: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest. When he (the Mu’adhin) says: There is no god but Allah, and he who makes a response from the heart: There is no god but Allah, he will enter Paradise. 3
It is stated in another hadith, ‘If anyone says on hearing the Mu’adhin:
(أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ رَضِيتُ بِاللَّهِ رَبًّا وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولاً وَبِالإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا) I testify that there is no god but Allah alone. Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger, (and that) I am satisfied with Allah as my Lord, with Muhammad as Messenger. and with Islam as din (code of life), his sins would be forgiven.’ 4
The benefit of paying attention to the call is that we will hasten to answer it in the best way.
Now let’s take a look at the phrases that are repeated in the Adhan and their significance in our lives.
Allah u Akbar – Allah is the Greatest
“Allahu Akbar” is the most repeated phrase in the Adhan and Salah. We affirm that Allah is the greatest more than thirty times in each Salah. He is greater than our desires, our activities, our family, our friends and all.
If I, despite hearing the adhan, keep chatting on my laptop or stay sleeping I should reconsider my position; do I really believe Allah is the greatest? I know it is time for Salah but I forsake it in order to complete my office work or some college assignment. Is my work greater and more important than Allah?
When we believe that someone is great, we turn to them in awe. we rush to fulfill their requests and don’t miss any opportunity to meet and talk to them. We ask for their advice and care for their pleasure. Similarly, the one who truly accepts Allah as the greatest will place Allah above all and will worry for what His pleasure lies in. Allah is the greatest and no person, no power or entity is near to being equal to Him. Our actions must reflect this strong belief in Allah. The adhan is not just anybody calling, it is the call of Allah for you.
This phrase reinforces the Shahadah in our hearts and minds. We affirm that no one is worthy of my worship, complete obedience and submission other than Allah. Whenever I am faced with the demands of my heart, parents, siblings, spouse, family and society I first need to check with Allah; does this comply with His pleasure? It is only Him that I turn to, only Him that I supplicate for help and assistance and only His laws and Shariah that I follow. By saying ‘La’ we negate all deities beside Allah.
Whenever a Messenger was sent to people, he was not sent just so that people would write about him, praise him, mention his noble acts in conferences and seminars and sing nasheeds about him. Rather, the purpose of sending messengers is that people obey them and follow their guidance. Allah says in the Quran:
“And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah.” (Surah Nisa, 4: 64)
Five times a day the Adhan reminds us of our relationship with the final messenger – Muhammad . We affirm; yes I have accepted you as my guide and will follow your footsteps throughout my life. I affirm that going against your teachings doesn’t befit me. The Adhan motivates us to get to know him, strengthen our relationship with him, understand his mission and strive to follow him.
Come towards success
The Muedhin proclaims, ‘Hayya alas Salah; come towards prayer, Hayya alal Falah; come towards success.’ Do we believe that our success and salvation lies in Salah? When we believe that our success lies in a degree or a business opportunity we exhaust ourselves for its sake. We keep thinking about it, talking about it, planning for it and our whole life revolves around it. If a child gets a ‘C’ grade, the whole family will worry, but what about prayers? Do our efforts, thoughts, worries and plans reach the same degree? Shouldn’t we eagerly rush towards Salah to succeed in both the worlds?
Moreover, Adhan is a call to duty. Imagine a boss calling for someone, yet the employee does not answer for a whole week or a whole month. Won’t he be fired? Meanwhile, the slaves of Allah are being called upon five times every day and they don’t budge. Or if they do, they stand up with heavy hearts. Will these soldiers of Allah be considered as loyal and faithful? A faithful servant will rush to respond to the call of his Master, whether he is sleeping, busy in a party, enjoying shopping or in a business meeting.
From now onwards, let us listen closely to everything being said in the Adhan and respond to it with our hearts. May Allah aid us in praying the prayer He loves. Ameen!