How Do Muslims Call to Prayer?

The adhan is the call given to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual Prayer). Five times a day the adhan is raised from mosques throughout the world.

It is a Sunnah (optional duty) that brings its own reward from Allah (God). The person who gives the adhan is called a muadhdhin. (The English word “muezzin” is a mispronunciation of the Arabic term.)

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The adhan begins with an affirmation of the supremacy of Allah (God). Then comes the shahadah (profession of faith), which consists of the profession of the Unity of Allah (God), the negation of shirk (polytheism), and the confirmation that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah (God).

And after that, comes the call to the Prayer and to success — our eternal home in Paradise — which also implies our return to the Creator. Each line is repeated for emphasis.

The words of the adhan are as follows:

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.

Allah is Greater (than anything), Allah is Greater.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.

Allah is Greater, Allah is Greater.

Ash-hadu alla ilaha illa-llah.

I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah.

Ash-hadu alla ilaha illa-llah.

I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah.

Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah.

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah, hayya ‘ala-s-Salah.

Hasten to the Prayer, hasten to the Prayer.

Hayya ‘ala-l-falah, hayya ‘ala-l-falah.

Hasten to real success, hasten to real success.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar.

Allah is Greater, Allah is Greater.

La ilaha illa-llah

There is none worthy of worship but Allah.

In the adhan for the Subh (Dawn) Prayer (also commonly called the Fajr Prayer), the following words are added after Hayya ‘ala-l-falah:

As-Salatu khairun min an-naum, As-Salatu khairun min an-naum.

Prayer is better than sleep, Prayer is better than sleep.

The Sunnah (practice of the Prophet) recommends that while the adhan is being called, one should listen attentively and repeat it silently after the muadhdhin, but when he says “Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah” and “Hayya ‘ala-l-falah” one should say:

La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.

There is no might or power except with Allah.

After the adhan, it is recommended to say the following du‘a’ (supplication):

Allahumma rabba hadhihi-d-da‘awati-t-tammati wa-s-Salati-l-qa’imati, ati Muhammadan il-wasilata wa-l-fadilata wa-d-darajata-r-rafî‘ati wa-b‘ath-hu maqamam mahmudan illadhi wa‘adtahu.

O Allah, Lord of this most perfect call, and of the Prayer that is about to be established, grant to Muhammad the favor of nearness (to You) and excellence and a place of distinction, and exalt him to a position of glory that You have promised him.

Iqamah (Standing Up For Prayer)

Iqamah means to stand up for the Salah (ritual Prayer). It is a Sunnah (practice of the Prophet) to call the iqamah just before the Salah begins, whether the salan is performed individually or in congregation.

The words of the iqamah are the same as the adhan, except that after Hayya ‘ala-l-falah” one says:

Qad qamati-s-Salah, Qad qamati-s-Salah.

Prayer is ready, Prayer is ready.

It is recommended that the hearer of the iqamah should repeat it after the muqim (the one who announces the iqamah), and when he says Qad qamati-s-Salah” the hearer should respond by saying:

Aqamaha-llahu wa adamaha.

May Allah keep it established forever.