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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 06: Adhan and Iqamah (Summary of the Chapter)


Chapter 06:
Adhan and Iqamah (Summary of the Chapter):


The adhan (lit. an announcement) is an announcement of the time of prayer in the words of h.3, on hearing which Muslims flock to the mosque or to a place of prayer, and the iqamah (lit. setting upright of a thing or establishing an affair) is a similar call in the words of h. 4, at which those gathered in the mosque arrange themselves into ranks and the prayer service is started. Though prayers were said in congregation from the very start when this institution was established very early at Makkah the adhan and the iqamah were introduced after the flight to Madinah. But the adhan is not only an announcement to the people to gather together for prayer; it is as well a declaration of the principles of Islam, made with a loud voice, from every locality inhabited by Muslims. It is an announcement to the whole world five times a day as to what Islam is and what it stands for. In the shahadah there is a declaration of the basic principles of Islam that there is no god but Allah--God is only One--and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. In the takbir there is the declaration that Allah is the greatest of all and that, therefore a Muslim bows before none but Allah- Allahu Akbar the watchword of Islam is repeated no less than six times in the adhan. In hayya `ala-l-sala (come to prayer) there is the declaration of the real message of religion which is the realization of the divine in man. This can only be attained through prayer, by drinking deep at the Divine source. In hayya `ala-l-falah (come to success) we are told that success, or full development of the human faculties, can be attained only through prayer or the realization of the divine in man.

The adhan thus serves a double purpose; it is an announcement of the time of prayer and at the same time an announcement of the principles of Islam and the significance underlying them. It replaces the meaningless ringing of a bell or the blowing of a trumpet by the most effective propaganda of religion that can be thought of. To everyone's door, nay, to his very ears, is carried the message every morning, every noon, every afternoon, every evening and at the time of going to bed that the Unity of God and the messengership of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, are the fundamental principles of Islam, and that any one can attain to complete self-development through the realization of the divine in him, which is brought about by prayer. 

Muslims must give up all business on hearing the call for prayer (v. 1). How adhan was started is stated in hh. 1, 2, while h.3 gives the words of the adhan and h. 4 the words of the iqamah. Hh. 5-8 relate to the mode of delivery of the adhan, while hh. 9, 10 show that the adhan must be delivered from a high place and in the loudest voice so that it may reach the largest number of people. The deliverer of the adhan must be a man who is respected for his virtues and he should take no remuneration for this service (hh. 11, 12). The call must be obeyed (h. 13). The words of the adhan should be repeated when it is being delivered, and a prayer must be offered after it has been delivered (hh. 14--16). The adhan may be called out earlier than the time of prayer if there is some other object in view (h. 17). Hh. 18, 19 relate to the delivery of the iqamah.

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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 06: Adhan and Iqamah (Summary of the Chapter)

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