Adhān: A Call for Prayer

The adhan (Arabic: أَذَان‎‎) (also called in Turkish: Ezan) is the Islamic call to worship, recited by the muezzin (the person appointed at a mosque to lead and recite the call and worship in the mosque) at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is ʾadhina أَذِنَ meaning “to listen, to hear, be informed about”. Another derivative of this word is ʾudhun (أُذُن), meaning “ear”.

Adhan is called out by a muezzin from the minaret (the mosque’s tower) five times a day, summoning Muslims for mandatory (fard) worship (salat). A second call, known as iqama, (set up) then summons Muslims to line up for the beginning of the prayers. The main purpose behind the multiple loud pronouncements of adhan in every mosque is to make available to everyone an easily intelligible summary of Islamic belief. In modern times, loudspeakers have been installed on minarets for this purpose.

The adhan recites the Takbir (GOD is great) followed by the Shahada (There is no god but GOD, Muhammad is the Messenger of GOD). This statement of faith, called the Kalimah, is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Sunni

Recital Arabic Transliteration Translation
4x ٱللهُ أَكْبَر ALLAHu ʾakbar GOD is the most Great.
2x أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله ʾašhadu ʾan lā ʾilāha ʾillā LLAH I acknowledge that there is no god but GOD.
2x أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱلله ʾašhadu ʾanna Muḥammadun rasūlu LLAH I acknowledge that Muhammad is the Messenger of GOD.
2x lang=”ar” dir=”rtl” هيا عَلَى ٱلصَّلَاة Ḥayya ʿalā ṣ-ṣalāh Hasten to prayer (Salah).
2x هيا عَلَى ٱلْفَلَاح Ḥayya ʿalā l-falāḥ Hasten to success.
2x 2
*(Only for Fajr prayer)
ٱلصَّلَاةُ خَيْرٌ مِن النَّوم Aṣ-ṣalātu ḫayrun min an-nawm Prayer is better than sleep (Recited only for Fajr prayer’s Adhan)
2x ٱللهُ أَكْبَر ALLAHu ʾakbar GOD is most Great.
1x لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله Lā ʾilāha ʾillā LLAH There is no god but GOD.
  • ^1 ALLAH is a contraction of al-ILAH (الإِلٰه), a compound word of the definite article al and the Arabic word ʾilāh for “god, or deity” (ilah), meaning “The (One) GOD”.
  • ^3 The line “Prayer is better than sleep” is used only for the first prayers of the day at dawn (fajr prayer; Salat al-fajr).

 

Minaret at Blue Mosque in Istanbul

 

Dua (invocation)

What to recite during Adhan (call to prayer)

While listening to the adhan, Muslims repeat the same words silently, except when the muezzin says:” حي على الصلاة or حي على الفلاح ” (ḥayya ʿalā ṣ-ṣalāh or ḥayya ʿala l-falāḥ) they silently say:” لا حولا و لا قوة إلا بالله ” (lā ḥawla wa lā quwata ʾillā bi-LLAH) (there is no strength or power except from GOD).

What to recite after Adhan

Immediately following the Adhan, Muslims recite the following dua (supplications):

1. ﻭَﺃَﻧَﺎ ﺃَﺷْﻬَﺪُ ﺃَﻥْ ﻟَﺎ ﺇِﻟَﻪَ ﺇِﻟَّﺎ ﺍﻟﻠﻪُ ﻭَﺣْﺪَﻩُ ﻟَﺎ ﺷَﺮِﻳﻚَ ﻟَﻪُ ﻭَﺃَﻥَّ ﻣُﺤَﻤَّﺪﺍً ﻋَﺒْﺪُﻩُ ﻭَﺭَﺳُﻮﻟُﻪُ، ﺭَﺿِﻴﺖُ ﺑِﺎﻟﻠﻪِ ﺭَﺑَّﺎً ﻭَﺑِﻤُﺤَﻤَّﺪٍ ﺭِﺳُﻮﻻً ﻭَﺑِﺎﻹِْﺳﻼَﻡِ ﺩِﻳﻨﺎً “.

Wa ʾanaa ʾašhadu ʾan lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāhu waḥdahu lā šarīka lahu wa-ʾanna muḥammadan ʿabduhu wa-rasūluhu, raḍītu bi-llāhi rabban wa-bi-muḥammadin rasūlan wa-bi-lʾislāmi dīnan.

English: I bear witness that there is no god but GOD alone with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and the LORD GOD’s chosen messenger is Muhammad and Islam is his religion.

2. An invocation of blessings on Muhammad:

ﺍﻟﻠﻬﻢ ﺻــﻞ ﻋﻠٰﯽ ﻣﺤﻤﺪ ﻭ ﻋﻠٰﯽ ﺁﻝ ﻣﺤﻤﺪ، ﻛﻤﺎ ﺻﻠﻴﺖ ﻋﻠٰﯽ ﺇﺑﺮﺍﻫﻴﻢ ﻭ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺁﻝ ﺇﺑﺮﺍﻫﻴﻢ ﺍﻧﻚ ﺣَﻤِﻴﺪٌ ﻣَجيد. ﺍﻟﻠﻬﻢ ﺑﺎﺭﻙ ﻋﻠٰﯽ ﻣﺤﻤﺪ ﻭ ﻋﻠٰﯽ ﺁﻝ ﻣﺤﻤﺪ ﻛﻤﺎ ﺑﺎﺭﻛﺖ ﻋﻠٰﯽ ﺇﺑﺮﺍﻫﻴﻢ ﻭ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺁﻝ ﺇﺑﺮﺍﻫﻴﻢ ﺍﻧﻚ ﺣﻤﻴﺪ ﻣﺠﻴﺪ

Allāhumma ṣalli ʿalā muḥammadin wa ʿalā ʾaali muḥammadin, kamā ṣallayta ʿalā ʾibrāhīma wa ʿalā ʾaali ʾibrāhīma innaka ḥamīdun maǧīd. Allāhumma bārik ʿalā muḥammadin wa ʿalā ʾaali muḥammadin kamā bārakta ʿalā ʾibrāhīma wa ʿalā ʾaali ʾibrāhīma innaka ḥamīdun maǧīd.

3. Muhammad’s name is invoked requested:

،ﺍﻟﻠﻬﻢ ﺭﺏ ﻫﺬﻩ ﺍﻟﺪﻋﻮﺓ ﺍﻟﺘﺎﻣﺔ ﻭﺍﻟﺼﻼﺓ ﺍﻟﻘﺎﺋﻤﺔ ﺁﺕ ﻣﺤﻤﺪﺍ ﺍﻟﻮﺳﻴﻠﺔ ﻭﺍﻟﻔﻀﻴﻠﺔ ﻭﺍﺑﻌﺜﻪ ﺍﻟﻤﻘﺎﻡ ﺍﻟﻤﺤﻤﻮﺩ ﺍﻟﺬﻱ ﻭﻋﺪﺗﻪ

Allāhumma rabba haḍihi d-daʿawati t-tammah wa-ṣ-ṣalāti l-qaʾimah, ʾāti muḥammadan al-wasīlata wa-l-faḍīlah wa-bʿaṯhu l-maqalam al-maḥmūdan illaḍī waʿadtah

4. Dua are then made directly to GOD, between the adhan and the iqamaah.

Muhammad said: “Repeat the words of the Muezzin and when you finish, ask GOD what you want and you will get it”

 

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