Ablution
Time of Prayers
Athan and Iqama
Conduct of Prayers
Occasional Prayers

ATHAN AND IQAMAH

A guide to SALAT (Prayer)
Muhammad Abdul Karim Saqib
Darussalam: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

As you know, in all Muslim countries athan is called aloud five times a day and you must have heard it. Have you ever wondered how it started?

THE STORY OF ATHAN

"A long time ago when the Muslims migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah they used to agree about a fixed time for the congregational prayer. But they found it difficult to remember the time fixed for the Salat sometimes, especially when they were busy doing their work. Once day Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Muslims discussed the matter of calling the people for the congregational prayer at the exact time. Some of the believers suggested the use of something like the bell of the Christians, others suggested the use of a horn like that of the Jews, but Umar suggested sending someone to announce the prayer. Then Allah's Messenger (pbuh) agreed to use a Naqoose (a conch), something like the bell of Christians, but he was not happy to use it because of its similarity with the Christians.

After Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had ordered a bell to be made so that it could be struck to gather the people to Salat; on that same day a companion, Abdullah bin Zaid bin Abd Rabbihi, said, " I was sleeping when I saw a man carrying a Naqoose 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 call the people to Salat. He said " Shall I not guide you to something better than that?" I replied, "Certainly", he told me to say the athan.

When I told Allah's Messenger (pbuh) in the morning what I had seen, he said, "It is a true vision, Inshallah so get up along with Bilal, and when you have taught him what you have seen, let him use it in making the call to Salat, for he has stronger voice than you have.".

So, I got up along with Bilal and began to teach it to him, and he used it in making the call to Salat.

Umar bin Al-Khattab heard this when he was in his house, and he came out trailing his cloak and said, "Allah's messenger (pbuh), by Him, Who has sent you with the truth, I have seen the same kind of thing as has been revealed." To this Allah's Messenger (pbuh) replied, "Praise be to Allah!" (Darmi, Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaimah and Tirmidhi).

So from that day on to the present day, athan is said to gather people for the congregational prayer.

THE MUADHIN

A person who calls people for the congregational prayer is called a Muadhin. Before saying the athan, he should stand facing Kabah in Makkah. He should raise his hands to his ears putting the tips of forefingers into his ears and call in a loud voice. When he says Hayya alas salah he should turn his face to the right and when he says Hayya alal falah he should turn his face to the left.

TEXT OF THE ATHAN

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah.
I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad (pbuh) is Allah's Messenger.
I bear witness that Muhammad (pbuh) is Allah's Messenger.
Come to the prayer, Come to the prayer.
Come to your good, Come to your good.
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
There is no deity but Allah.

ATHAN FOR FAJR

An additional phrase is included in the athan for the Fajr prayer after the second Hayya alal Falah Prayer is better than sleep, Prayer is better than sleep.

LISTENING TO THE ATHAN

1- When the believers hear the ATHAN they should listen to it in silence and repeat each phrase of the ATHAN in silence immediately after the Muadhin has finished saying the phrase.

2-When the Muadhin says, Hayya alas salah and Hayya alal falah the listener should say in reply, La hawla wala quwaata illa bil lah

3-When the athan has been completed, the listener and the Muadhin recite Darud unto Muhammad (pbuh) followed by the Du'a.

DARUD AFTER THE ATHAN

"Oh Allah, let your peace come upon Muhammad (pbuh) and the family of Muhammad (pbuh) as you have sent peace upon Ibrahim and his family . Truly You are Praiseworthy and Glorious. "

"Oh, Allah, bless Muhammed (pbuh) and the family of Muhammad (pbuh) as You have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly You are Praiseworthy and Glorious"

DU'A AFTER THE ATHAN

"Oh, Allah! Lord of this complete prayer of ours. By the blessing of it, give Muhammad (pbuh) his eternal rights of intercession, distinction and highest class (in Paradise). And raise him to the promised rank You have promised him.

Jabir reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying, "If anyone says when he hears the athan, "O God, Lord of this perfect call and of the prayer which is established for all time, grant Muhammad (pbuh) the Wasila and excellency, and raise him up in a praiseworthy position which You have promised", he will be assured of my intercession," (Bukhairi)

IQAMAH

Iqamah is the second call to Salat and is uttered immediately before the beginning of the obligatory prayer offered with congregation.

TEXT OF IQAMAH

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah
I bear witness that Muhammad (pbuh) is Allah's Messenger.
Come to the prayer, come to your good.
Jamaat is ready, Jamaat is ready.
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.
there is no deity but Allah.

This text of Iqamah is the same as that mentioned in the Hadith of Abdullah bin Zaid bin Abd Rabiihi who was the first to have a vision about athan.