Ads by Muslim Ad Network

Did Prophet Muhammad Give Adhan?

17 November, 2023
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Why did our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) never give Adhan as giving Adhan is the best deed?


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:  

  • Adhan (calling people to prayers) is one of the most meritorious acts in Islam. So, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to delegate a musical voiced man, like Bilal, for this task.
  • But, it was not the norm of the Prophet or the Caliphs to do that job as they, as state leaders, were too busy doing more crucial tasks than calling to prayers.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

Ads by Muslim Ad Network

Virtues of Adhan

No doubt adhan (calling people to prayers) is one of the most meritorious acts in Islam. However, according to the majority of scholars, even more superior is the imamah (leading people in Prayers). Hence no wonder, the Prophet Muhammad and the pious caliphs, including Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali performed this duty. 

Furthermore, no one can place the position of adhan above imamah, the position of the Prophet (PBUH).

There is, however, another group of scholars, from both the Shafi`i and Hanbali schools, who consider calling adhan as the most meritorious act; they are basing themselves on some of the tradition to this effect. 

Thus, the Prophet said, “If people ever knew the great rewards of waiting for adhan and occupying the front lines in prayer, they would rush to get it, even if they have to cast lots for it…” (Al-Bukhari)

In another tradition, we read, “The muezzins will have the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)

Adhan and Imamah

There is no doubt these traditions show the importance of adhan and those who call it. However, it does not in any way imply that it is higher than imamah. As Imam Ibn Taymiyyah has pointed out, such traditions, which speak about the merits or excellences of some actions over others should not be taken literally. Rather, they should be explained according to specific contexts.

Thus, while the imamah is superior to adhan in the case of some, adhan is superior for others. We know from the prophet’s own practice that he did not approve of everyone calling adhan; rather instead of allowing the companion who dreamt of it, he told him, “Teach it to Bilal for he has a more musical voice than you. 

Who Should Offer Adhan?

In other words, only individuals with pleasing voices should go for adhan. Those who are chosen for it, therefore, receive greater rewards. As for others, they may choose to do what they excel in, thereby meriting similar rewards for Allah’s mercy is not limited.

In light of these, we can easily see that since the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the pious Caliphs were busy performing crucial services which others couldn’t and for which they were better qualified than others.

However, in the case of individuals such as the great Companions like Bilal and Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktoom adhan was far more superior.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.