Category Archives: Salaat/Namaaz


[Mufti Abdur-Rahman Ibn Yusuf Mangera]

WITR HAS BEEN noted to be one of the most complex issues of prayer. There are approximately seventeen aspects concerning the witr prayer around which there lie differences of opinion. However, in this chapter we will focus on the following three issues: (1) How many rak’ats is the witr prayer? (2) How many salams in the witr prayer? (3) Is performing one rak’a sufficient for witr?.

There are numerous hadiths which report the number of rak’ats to be performed in witr. However, due to many inconsistencies found in them. It becomes very difficult to formulate an opinion that is in complete agreement woth the literal meaning of each narration. It is therefore necessary to interpret some of these narrations in order to harmonize their meaning with other similar narrations.

In this chapter, various narrations on the witr prayers will be analyzed in-depth in an attempt to establish those procedures of performing witr that are most in conformance with the sunna.


The first discussion is concerning the number of rak’ats that should be performed for witr.


According to Imam Shafi’i, witr should be performed in the units of one, three, five, seven, nine or even eleven rak’ats. He states in his book Kitaab al-Umm that one rak’a can be performed as witr. However, ‘Allama Qastalani relates in his commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, Irshad al-sari, that Qadi Abu’l Tayyib was of the opinion that it is undesirable [makruh] to perform just one rak’a for witr. (Irshad al-sari 2-259)

Qadi Abu’l Tayyib is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of Shafi’i fiqh and is also one of its main teachers in Iraq during his time. He studied under Imam Daraqutni, and among his students were the likes of Khatib al-Baghdadi and Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi.

Following this, there is a difference of opinion among the Shafi’is as to how the rak’ats of witr should be performed. One opinion is that during Ramadan, three rak’ats should be performed with one set of salams, and in other months with two sets – one in the second rak’a and the other in the third. Another opinion states that one set of salams should be made if the witr is being performed in congregation, and two sets if it is being performed individually.

The opinions of Imam Malik and Ahmad are similar to that of Imam Shafi’i with just a few minor differences. The commentator of sifr al-sa’ada relates an opinion of Imam Ahmad which states that a single rak’a of witr is undesirable [makruh]. According to the Imam, a person must perform some rak’ats before performing the witr. A similar opinion has been narrated from Imam Malik as well. He relates a hadith in his muwatta on the authority of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas in which the Companion is described as performing a single rak’a for witr. Following this narration, Imam Malik states:

Our practice is not based on this, since witr [in our opinion] is atleast three rak’ats. (Muwatta Imam Malik 77)

The above review of opinions can be concluded as follows. According to Imam Shafi’i, witr can be performed in any number of odd rak’ats, ranging from one to eleven. Imam Ahmad’s main and more popular view is that the witr be performed as one rak’a and the rak’ats performed prior to it be considered as Qiyam al-layl or tahajjud [night-vigil prayer] (al-Mughni). Imam Malik also does not recommend performing a single rak’a for witr. He recommends that at least three rak’ats be performed. Imam Abu Hanifa’s opinion is simply that witr should be performed as three continuous rak’ats with two sittings – one in the second rak’a and the other in the third – with salams to be performed in the final sitting only.


Before looking at the apparently conflicting hadiths, we will first look at those hadiths which clearly state that witr consists of three rak’ats.

1. It is reported from Abu Salama that

He asked Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) regarding the prayer of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) during Ramadan. She explained, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would not perform more than eleven rak’ats, neither in Ramadan nor out of it. He would perform four rak’ats, and do not ask of their beauty and length; followed by another four; and do not ask of their beauty and length; after which he would perform three [witr].” Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) continued, “I asked, O Messenger of Allah! Do you sleep before you perform witr.” He replied, “O Aisha! My eyes sleep but my heart does not.”‘ (Sahih Bukhari 1:154, Sahih Muslim 1:254, Sunan al-Nasa’i 1: 248, Sunan Abi Dawud 196).

In this narration Umm al-mu’minin [Mother of the Believers] ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) mentions that the witr prayer performed by the Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) consisted of three rak’ats.

2. Sa’d bin Hisham (radhiyallahu anhu) relates that,

‘Aisha (radhiyallahu anha) informed him that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not make salams in the second rak’a of witr. (Sunan al-Nasa’i 1:248, Muwatta Imam Muhammad 151)

3. This narration has also been mentioned by Imam Hakim with a slight variation:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would not make salams in the first two rak’ats of witr. (al-Mustadarak 1:304)

Imam Hakim then states “[This Narration is] authentic according to the conditions of Imam Bukhari and Muslim.” ‘Allama Dhahabi agreed with him.

4. The following is another variation of the above narration related by Imam Hakim:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform three rak’ats of witr making salams only at the end [in the final rak’a]. This was the practice of the Leader of the Faithful ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) and it is from him that the people of Madina acquired this practice. (al-Mustadarak 1:304).

5. Sa’d ibn Hisham (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), after completing the ‘Isha prayer, would enter his home and perform two rak’ats, followed by another two more lengthier than the first. Thereafter, he would perform the witr prayer without any interval in between [i.e. without salams in the second rak’a]. He would then perform two rak’ats sitting down with the bowing and prostration also sitting down. (Musnad Ahmad 6:156).

6. ‘Abdullah ibn Qays narrates:

I asked ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha), “How many rak’ats of witr did the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) perform?” She replied, “Four with three, six with three or eight with three. He would not perform more than thirteen rak’ats for witr or less than seven.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 1:200)

In this hadith, the whole tahajjud prayer has been described as witr, whereas in reality only three rak’ats were witr, and the four, six or eight rak’ats were tahajjud. This is the reason why Umm al-mu’minin ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) distinguished the three rak’ats of witr and the various other rak’ats in the above narrations.

7. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Jurayj narrates:

I asked ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) regarding the chapters the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would recite in witr. She replied, “He would recite, ‘Sabbih isma rabbik al-A’la’ [Surat al-A’la] in the first rak’a, ‘Qul ya’ayyuha’l-kafirun’ [Surat al-Kafirun] in the second, and ‘Qul huwallahu ahad’ [Surat al-Ikhlas] along with ‘Mu’awwadhatayn [Surat al-Falaq and al-Nas] in the third.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 1:208, Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:106, Sunan ibn Majah 1:82)

Imam Tirmidhi has declared this hadith to be sound [hasan].

8. Imam Hakim has related a very similar narration from ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) through ‘Amra bint ‘Abdul Rahman and has stated it as being in accordance with the strict conditions of both Imam Bukhari and Muslim. ‘Allama Dhahabi has also verified this by stating that the hadith has been transmitred through a reliable chain of narrators. (al-Mustadarak 1:305)

9. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali reports from his father, who narrates on the authority of his father, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu), that

the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) rose at night, cleaned his teeth with a siwak [toothstick], and then performed two rak’ats of prayer, then went back to sleep. He again rose,  used the siwak and made wudu’, and thereafter performed another two rak’ats of prayer, [on and on] until he has completed six rak’ats [in this manner]. He then performed three rak’ats witr followed by two rak’ats [nafl]. (Sahih Muslim 1:261, Sunan al-Nas’ai 1:249)

10. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) has also reported the following narration regarding the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) witr prayer:

During the night before dawn, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform eight rak’ats [tahajjud] and three rak’ats witr, followed by two rak’ats [nafl]. (Sunan al-Nas’ai 1:249)

11. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform three rak’ats witr. He would recite, ‘Sabbih isma rabbik al-A’la’ [Surat al-A’la] in the first rak’a, ‘Qul ya’ayyuha’l-kafirun’ [Surat al-Kafirun] in the second, and ‘Qul huwallahu ahad’ [Surat al-Ikhlas] in the third. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:106, Sunan al-Nas’ai 1:249, Sunan ibn Majah 82)

Numerous other Companions in their narrations have also mentioned the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) recitation of these three surats [chapters] during witr in the above mentioned order:

(1) ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abza (radhiyallahu anhu) (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:298)

(2) ‘Ubay ibn Ka’b (radhiyallahu anhu) (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:300)

(3) ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiyallahu anhu) (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:106)

(4) ‘Abdullah ibn Abi ‘Awfa (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(5) ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(6) Nu’man ibn Bashir (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(7) Abu Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(8) ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

(9) ‘Imran ibn Hussain (radhiyallahu anhu) (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:298)

(10) Abu Khaytama through his father Mu’awiya ibn Khadij (radhiyallahu anhu) (Majma’ al-zawa’id 1:241)

The narrations of these Companions further support the opinion that witr consists of  three rak’ats.

12. Thabit al-Bunani reports that Anas bin Malik (radhiyallahu anhu) addressed him saying:

O Thabit! Take this from me, for you will not hear it from anyone more trustworthy than myself, since I heard it from the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), who acquired it from Jibril, and Jibril acquired it from Allah Ta’ala. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed the ‘Isha prayer when I was in his company, followed by six rak’ats [nafl], during which he made salams at every second rak’a. Thereafter, he performed three rak’ats witr with salams at very end (Kanz al-‘ummal 4:196)

The great historian and Hadith master Ibn Asakir has narrated this hadith through a reliable chain.

From the above narrations, a number of points are derived: (1) it is established that witr is three rak’ats; and (2) that the three rak’ats are to be performed together and concluded with salams at the end of the third rak’a.


1. Miswar ibn Makhrama reports:

We finished burying Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), when ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhi) remembered that he had not yet performed witr. He stood up and we formed rows behind him. He lead us in three rak’ats and made salams only at the end [in the third rak’a] (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:293 U, Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq 3:20 U)

2. Ibrahim al-Nakh’ay reports that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

I would not neglect the three rak’ats of witr, even if I were to receive red camels in exchange (Muwatta Imam Muhammad 150)

In those times red camels were considered valuable assets.

3. Hasan al-Basri was informed that

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) would make salams in the second rak’a of witr. Hasan al-Basri informed that ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was a greater jurist than [his son], and his practice was to say the takbir and stand from from the second rak’a [for the third without making salams] (al-Mustadrak 1:304)

4. Makhul reports:

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) would perform three rak’ats of witr without salams inbetween (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:295)

5. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) says,

The rak’ats of witr are similar to the daytime witr prayer (i.e. Maghrib) [(Muwatta Imam Muhammad 150, Majma’ al-Zawa’id 2:242U)]

6. Ibrahim al-Nakh’ay reports that ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

One rak’a does not suffice for witr (Muwatta Imam Muhammad 150)

7. It is reported from Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) that

Witr is three rak’ats (Musannaf ibn Abi Shayba 2:293)

8. Abu Mansur reports:

I asked Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) regarding the number of rak’ats in witr. He replied, “Three rak’ats” (Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar)

9. ‘Ata’ reports that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

Witr is similar to the Maghrib prayer (Muwatta Imam Muhammad 150)

10. Hasan al-Basri reports,

Ubay ibn Ka’b (radhiyallahu anhu) would perform three rak’ats for witr and would make salams only at the end of the third rak’a (Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq 2:294)

11. Abu Ghalib reports that

Abu Umama (radhiyallahu anhu) would perform three rak’ats for witr (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:294)

12. ‘Alqama, the student of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reports that

Witr is three rak’ats (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:294)

13. It is reported that Ibrahim al-Nakh’ay would so:

There is no witr consisting less than three rak’ats (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:294)

14. Abu’l-Zanad reports:

‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz designated the rak’ats of witr to be three  based on the ruling of the jurists, with salams to be made only at the end (Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar)

15. It is reported that Hasan al-Basri said:

The Muslims have reached a consensus concerning witr being three rak’ats with salams only at the end (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 2:294)

The reason for quoting the statements of so many Companions and Followers [tabi’in] is that their opinions and practices hold a high status in Islamic law. Whenever a conflict is found between the hadiths concerning a certain issue, the scholars turn to the actions and statements of the Companions to remedy that conflict. The Companions undoubtedly possessed great insight into the reality of these issues, to to them being blessed with the close company of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The scholars therefore hold their opinion in high regard and normally adopt those hadiths which conform to their practice. Likewise the opinions of the Followers are also regarded since they succeeded the companions and were the bearers of their knowledge.

The more prominent Companions like Sayyidina ‘Umar, ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, Anas ibn Malik, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, ‘A’isha, ‘Ubay ibn Ka’b and Abu Umama (radhiyallahu anhuma) all stated in clear terms that witr consists of three rak’ats. Those who came after them, like Ibrahim al-Nakh’ay, ‘Alqama, Abu Ishaq, Qasim ibn Muhammad and others held the same opinion. Even the renowned fuqaha sab’a “the seven great jurists” of the earlier (will follow later), concluded that the witr has three rak’ats . This was such a widely accepted opinion that Hasan al-Basri reported consensus [‘Ijma] on it.


The Hanafi opinion in this matter is that, like every other prayer, only one set of salams be made in witr. According to this opinion, one must not make two sets of salams and cause the third rak’a to be performed separately.

The opinion of the other scholars is that the musalli [person praying] should first perform two rak’ats and then, after terminating them with salams, perform the third rak’a separately with another set of salams.

There are a number of reasons which establish the superiority of the Hanafi position on this issue.

(1) None of the narrations mentioned above declare that two sets of salams should be made within the three rak’a prayer. On the contrary, many of them have stated that the three rak’ats are to be performed continuously without any break in between. It is quite evident that if there had been an interval in between the second and the third rak’ats, the narrators would have certainly mentioned it.

(2) The narrations of ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) portray witr to be like any other set of three rak’ats, as they do not mention the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) making an extra set of salams in the second rak’a. It should be noted that ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anhu) is considered as the most knowledgeable person regarding the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) witr prayer. This is due to her close observance of the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) witr prayer while at home, where he was habitually performing it. Hence, without further debate, her explanation that witr consists of three rak’ats should be accepted.

(3) Some narrations, which have been reported from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), state that the witr was performed as a single rak’a. Many scholars claimed that Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) never actually saw the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performing the witr prayer, and that his narrations cannot be preferred over those of ‘A’isha and Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhum), both of whom were known to have seen Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performing the prayer.

(4) One narrations states:

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited the “incomplete prayer” [butayra’ lit. an animal which has had its tail cut off] – where a person performs a single rak’a as witr.

Although this narration is said to contain some weaknesses, its prohibition of performing witr as one rak’a holds; due to it being authentically transmitted through a number of reliable chains [asnad]. In his Lisan al-Mizan, Hafiz Ibn Hajar has related this narration through a strong chain under the biography of ‘Uthman ibn Muhammad, one of its narrators. With the exception of ‘Uqayli – known for his extreme strictness in the criticism of narrators (even though his criticism here is only of a mild nature) – most scholars of hadith have judged ‘Uthman ibn Muhammad to be reliable. Hakim al-Naysaburi has related a narration from him in his Mustadarak and called it authentic, which ‘Allama Dhahabi has verified. Hence, the status of the hadith can be no lower than hasan [sound], and the prohibition mentioned in it of performing one rak’a separately will stand as a strong command [see Fath al-Mulhim 2:309]

(5) Many of the elect Companions, like ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ibn Mas’ud, Ibn ‘Abbas, Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman, Anas ibn Malik, Ubay’ ibn Ka’b (radhiyallahu anhum) all performed witr with only one set of salams at the end of the salat. Some of their narrations have been mentioned above and others can be found in the numerous collections of hadith; the chapters (on witr) of which are especially replete with the narrations of ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) on witr. Therefore, the sunna method of performing witr would be to perform them as a continuous set of three rak’ats as practised by these great Companions.

(6) In some hadiths, the Maghrib prayer, with contains only one set of salams at the end, has been called “the witr prayer of the day.” Therefore, “the witr prayer of the night” should also be offered like the Maghrib Salat – with only one set of salams in the last rak’a.
There is a report which mentions that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prohibited that the witr be performed like the Maghrib prayer. What this actually means is that one should not perform the witr alone, like Maghrib, without performing any dual set of rak’ats [Shuf’a] before it. The report does not mean that one must make salams in between and separate the last rak’a from the first two.

(7) The “seven great jurists” [fuqaha sab’a] all agreed that the witr was to be performed as three rak’ats with salams only at the end. These seven jurists would be consulted by the people on various issues, and whatever the majority of them agreed on would be accepted as the legal ruling [fatwa]. In his book, Imam Tahawi has related their unanimous opinion that witr should be performed as three rak’ats with salams made only in the last rak’a. The seven jurists were: Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib, ‘Urwa ibn al-Zubayr, Qasim ibn Muhammad, Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abd Rahman, Kharija ibn Zayd, ‘Ubaydullah ibn Abdillah and Sulayman ibn Yasar (may Allah be pleased with them all) [(Awjaz al-Masalik 1:434)].

(8) Hasan al-Basri reported a consensus [‘Ijma] on the opinion that witr was three continuous rak’ats without any intervals in between; which means that is was a widely accepted view.

These points make it easy to conclude that the witr is indeed three rak’ats with a single set of salams to be performed in the third, and the final, rak’a. This was the widely held opinion among the Companions and the Followers (may Allah be pleased with them).


1. Sa’d ibn Hisham asked ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) to describe for him the witr prayer of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). She replied:

We would prepare his siwak [toothstick] and water for his ablution [wudu’]. Allah would have him wake up during the night whenever He willed, and the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would clean his teeth with the siwak and complete his ablution. He would then perform nine rak’ats and would sit on the eighth rak’a only, in which He would remember Allah, praise Him, and invoke [du’a] Him. Thereafter he would stand up without making salams abd perform the ninth rak’a, then he would sit down, and [again] he would remember Allah, praise Him, and invoke Him. He would then make the salams [loud enough] for us to hear. After salams, he would perform another two rak’ats sitting down. So, my son, these were eleven rak’ats.
When the Messenger became of age and heavier, he would perform [only] seven rak’ats, abd his practice in the [final] two rak’ats  would be the same as his earlier practice [of performing them seated]. So these were [in total] seven rak’ats. (Sahih Muslim 1:256)

The apparent wording of this narration suggests that the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) witr prayer was a total of nine rak’ats, in which he would sit only at the end of the eighth rak’a and complete the prayer with salams in the ninth. The hadith then states that this was his earlier practice, for later on he reduced the rak’ats to seven, sitting briefly in the sixth and ending with salams in the seventh.

In Sunan al-Nasa’i, Muwatta Imam Malik and a number of other hadith collections, the same narration has been transmitted through the same chain with the following addition, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would not make salams in the second rak’a of witr.”  In the version of al-Mustadarak, it states, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform three rak’ats witr with salams only at the end.” In Musnad Ahmed, it states:

After the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had performed the ‘Isha prayer, he would enter his home and perform two rak’ats, followed by another two lengthier than the first. He would then perform witr without any interval in between, after which he would perform a final two rak’ats seated.

The following points come to light after studying the various transmissions of this narration:

(a) At most, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform a total of eleven rak’ats at night. Included in this were the witr and the two rak’ats that succeeded it.

(b) Three rak’ats out of eleven were witr.

(c) He would sit in the second rak’a of witr without making any salams.

(d) After witr, he would perform two rak’ats seated.

(e) He would sit at the end of every second rak’a.

From these points we learn that the various narrations concerning witr are indeed describing the same procedure of performing witr. The reason why they appear to be conflicting is due to the different words used in most of them.

The version in Sahih Muslim only states that the total number of rak’ats performed, without offering much detail as to how they were performed in connection with the tahajjud prayer. The reason for this is that ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) was specifically asked about the witr prayer and not about tahajjud. Hence, she did not feel it was necessary to provide any details about the rak’ats of tahajjud performed before the witr. So, providing details about the witr, she said, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would sit without making salams on the eighth rak’a.” This eighth rak’a was in reality the second rak’a of witr, which was being performed after the six rak’ats of tahajjud; then, on the ninth rak’a (the third rak’a of witr), he would make salams and thus completing his witr prayer.

It was common knowledge at that time that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) always performed his tahajjud prayer in sets of two; so ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) did not provide any detail about them and thus mentioned the total number of rak’ats together. Lastly, she ended by saying that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform yet another two rak’ats seated after performing the ninth rak’a, bringing the total number of rak’ats to eleven.

This is most like the soundest interpretation for this hadith, as it encompasses all the variations of Sa’d bin Hisham’s narration, and at the same time reconciles the apparent conflicts between them. In summary, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform the tahajjud prayer in sets of two, as stated in the above-mentioned narration in Musnad Ahmad (and probably all other narrations on tahajjud); and thereafter perform the three continuous rak’ats of witr, with salams made only at the end. After the final salams, he would then perform two more rak’ats sitting down.

2. ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) narrates:

The Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) prayer at night would be thirteen rak’ats, five of which would be witr; and he would sit only at the end.

The apparent wording of this hadith describes the witr prayer of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as being a continuous set of five rak’ats. However, just as in the previous narration, the apparent meaning in this narration  is not to be taken as an implied meaning. The reason for this is that ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) only specified the total number of rak’ats performed by the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) at night and included in it the two rak’ats the two rak’ats of nafl performed sitting down after the three rak’ats of witr. This is what she refers to when she says, “Five of which would be witr” (i.e. including the two rak’ats of witr).

When she says, “he would sit only in the end,” it means that he would not sit for any lengthy period of time during the prayer to make extra supplicarion [du’a’] and remembrance [dhikr] except at the very end. He sat only briefly in every other rak’a to recite the tashahhud. Furthermore, she did not even mention that he made salams in the third rak’a of witr, as it was common knowledge that salams has to be made in the third rak’a. What ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) was referring to when she said, “he would sit only in the end,” was the final sitting of the Messenger’s two rak’ats nafl salah that follpwed his witr. (the Messenger would only sit for an extended period of time in the final sitting of his last set of two rak’ats nafl salat).

Some Hanafi scholars have explained this narration in a slightly different way. They state that it is known that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would perform the rak’ats of tahajjud standing up or sitting down, and the witr prayer he would always perform standing up, while the two rak’ats following the witr he would mostly perform sitting down. Hence, if the hadith is approached with these points in mind, the apparent meaning of this hadith cannot be taken.

What really happened, they explain, is that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), according to his normal routine, performed the witr along with the tahajjud prayer standing up and then sat down to perform the two nafl rak’ats. ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) described his prayer by saying, “he would sit only in the end,” – that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), after having performed the first eleven or so rak’ats (tahajjud and witr) standing, sat down and performed the last two rak’ats of nafl. She states that he sat down to perform the last two rak’ats of nafl after having performed all the other prayers standing up. [See Darse Tirmidhi 2:210-220, Fath al-Mulhim 2:219]

This makes the above narration of ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) very clear and dispels the nption that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed a lengthy prayer comprised of many rak’ats, with only one sitting at the end and no sitting postires in between the various postures he performed. The following narration of Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) further corroborates this explanation:

The Messenger of Allah performed eight rak’ats and seven rak’ats in Madina, i.e. Zuhr and ‘Asr [together] and Maghrib and ‘Isha [together] (Sahih Muslim 1:246)

No scholar has taken this statement to imply that each of the four rak’ats of Zuhr and ‘Asr, and the three of the Maghrib and four of the ‘Isha were combined together in such a way that there was no interval between them.

The reason why the scholars have disregarded such an interpretation is because it suggests a new method of prayer that is inconsistent with the normal method of prayer used regularly by the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his Companions (radhiyallahu anhum). In the same way, those narrations which apparently suggest a new method for witr contrary to the normal practice of prayer being a minimum of two rak’ats, will have to be interpreted accordingly and not taken literally.


‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

Someone asked the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) about prayer at night. The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “The prayer at night should be performed in sets of two. Then, when one anticipates the break of dawn, he should perform one more rak’a which will convert what he has performed into witr for him.” (Sahih Bukhari 1:135, Sahih Muslim 1:257)

In another version of this narration it states, “Witr is a single rak’a performed towards the end of the night.” The version in Sunan Ibn Maja states, “The prayer of the night is [performed] in sets of two, and the witr is a rak’a [performed] before dawn.”

Some scholars have deduced from these narrations that the witr is a single rak’a to be performed on its own separately. This deduction however does not bring out the real meaning of this hadith as all the characteristics of prayer have not been taken into consideration. The following points should be considered:

(a) May Allah Ta’ala bless the great Shafi’i scholar Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, who states in his Fath al-Bari:

It could be contended that this [hadith] is not absolutely clear with regards to the intervals [between the second and third rak’ats of witr]. It is possible that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) intended by his statement, “he should perform one more rak’a,” that this rak’a should be performed together [Mudafatan] with the two rak’ats before it (Fath al-Bari 2:285U)

Hence, the real meaning of this hadith is that a person should perform the tahajjud prayer in sets of two throughout the night, and upon reaching the end of his vigil [qiyam al-layl], he should add an extra rak’a to the final set of two and make it three rak’ats. This way, the rak’ats of his tahajjud and witr prayer will add upto an odd number and thereby be in accordance with the Messenger’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) statement:

Then, when one anticipates the break of dawn, he should perform one more rak’a, which will convert what he has performed into witr for him (Sahih Bukhari 1:135, Sahih Muslim 1:257)

(b) The Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said regarding the sacred pilgrimage [haj]:

The pilgrimage is ‘Arafa (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, ibn Maja, al-Daraqutni)

This narration is also not to be taken literally, as it would mean that a person’s pilgrimage is completed by him merely proceeding to the plain of ‘Arafat, standing there for sometime, and then returning home without even entering into pilgrim sanctity [ihram]. This is obviously not a valid interpretation since it has neglected many integral aspects of the worship. In actuality, the hadith is only expressing the importance of standing [wuquf] in ‘Arafat, as it is one of the integrals of the pilgrimage; and not that it is an only integral act to be performed for haj.

Similarly, by stating that the witr is one rak’a performed before the end of the time, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is only defining the distinctive factor between witr and two rak’ats of tahajjud; that adding an extra rak’a to the last two rak’ats of tahajjud would render all three rak’ats into witr, thus allowing the person to fulfill his requirement of witr.

(c) The personal practice of Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), although appearing otherwise from the above hadith, was to perform three rak’ats of witr together; as is indicated in the following narration of Imam Malik:

Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) would state that the Maghrib prayer is the witr of the day (Muwatta Imam Malik 77)

If the Maghrib prayer (which everyone agrees is three continuous rak’ats) has been stated as being the witr of the day, then it follows that the witr prayer itself should be performed as three continuous rak’ats as well.

In the light of the above, it is very difficult to establish that the witr could be performed as just one rak’a. Hafiz Ibn Hajar relates in his Fath al-Bari that Ibn al-Salah said:

We cannot infer from the narrations of witr, despite their being so many, that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) only performed a single rak’a for witr (Fath al-Bari 2:15)

Hence, any narration which states that the witr prayer was anything but three rak’ats cannot be taken literally. Instead, it has to be analyzed and suitably interpreted so as to draw out its true meaning and harmonize it with other narrations that mention the witr as being three rak’ats.


After reading the hadiths of this chapter, one might ask why these narrations differ from one another in describing the witr prayer? The answer to it is very simple. There are two types of narrators. Firstly, there are those who refer to the whole combination of the night prayer [tahajjud] and witr as being witr, and do not mention any distinction between the two. They state only the total number of rak’ats the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed at night, since it was common knowledge anyway that the final three rak’ats of the tahajjud prayer would be set aside for witr. Hence, they include the whole night-vigil [tahajjud] prayer when mentioning the witr prayer. Examples of this can be found above in the section titled “Some Confusing Narrations.”

As opposed to this, the second type of narrators do not refer to all of the rak’ats as being witr, but rather describe the tahajjud and witr prayers separately in terms of the number of rak’ats performed for each. Hence, they do not leave any room for speculation. The majority of the second type of narrations state very clearly that the witr consists of three rak’ats. Examples of this can be found above in the section titled “The Hadiths on This Issue.” Imam Tirmidhi, quoting the words of Ishaq ibn Rahway [or Rahuya] concludes:

The narrations that state that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed thirteen rak’ats witr actually mean (as Ishaq says) that he performed thirteen rak’ats including the three rak’ats of witr, and [it follows from this] that the whole night prayer was refferred to as witr. (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 1:105)

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Manbaji, a Hanafi jurist and hadith scholar, writes:

One way of reconciling between the [conflicting] narrations is to say that [initially] the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ised to perform one rak’a as witr and even instructed others in this; but his final position was to perform [the witr as] three rak’ats (al-lubab fi’ l-jam’i bayn al-sunnati wa’ l-kitab 1:173).


In conclusion, the witr should be performed as three rak’a prayer, since that is how, according to the majority of the narrations, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed his witr prayer. These three rak’ats should be performed together without separating the third rak’a from the first two. Performing one rak’a witr has been classified as being an incomplete prayer by the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Evidence of this is the fact that there is no other example of a prayer consisting of just one rak’a in Islamic jurisprudence. Hence, the witr prayer should be performed continuously just like the Maghrib prayer and not on its own as a single rak’a.

Furthermore, it has been made clear that the practice of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was to perform witr at night after the tahajjud prayer. He would perform the tahajjud prayer in sets of two rak’ats until the time of Fajr drew close, at which time he would add an extra rak’a to the final set, thuse converting both the last two rak’ats set and the additional rak’a into witr. Surely, this explanation is what the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) intended when he said,

Then, when one anticipates the break of dawn, he should perform one more rak’a, which will convert what he has performed into witr for him (Sahih al-Bukhari 1:135, Sahih al-Muslim 1:257).

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

Congregational Witr Salaah during Ramadan


Asalaam u Alaikum
I have heard and read many hadiths that supports praying Witr prayer during the latter part of the night especially after Tahajud,,, however during the Month of Ramadaan the Witr is prayed in congregation after Salaatul Taraweeh. I have seen many people leave the masjid after Taraweeh assuming that they are leaving off the Witr to pray after Tahajud. Can you offer some advice as to the importance of praying Witr in congregation during this month or is it still advisable to leave it off till later in the night..
Jazaak Allah


Wa Alaikum As Salam,
Performing Witr in congregation is a specialty of the month of Ramadan, and this is what is more virtuous. From the time of the Sahabahs until today, the Witr Salah has always been performed in congregation during the month of Ramadan. This has been the firm practice of the Sahabahs, the Tabi’een, the atba’ut Tabieen and all the generations of rightly guided scholars after them. Alhamdulillah, until today it is the well established practice in Holy Kaaba and the Prophet’s mosque.

The great Jurists and Muhaditheen of the early period have unanimously agreed that performing Witr Salah in congregation in Ramadan is more virtuous and more superior than performing it at the latter part of the night (after Tahajjud Salah).

This does not contradict the words or actions of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) but in reality it is in accordance to what the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did, as was seen and understood by the Sahabahs (Radhiyallahu Anhum). For indeed, it is morally unacceptable for any Muslim to assume that the Sahabahs would have agreed on any matter that contradicted or opposed the teachings and practices of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

The amount of rakaats that the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed on the nights were known and witnessed by the Sahabahs. They were there with him in his Salah. They saw what he did and were fully aware of how many rakaats he performed in congregation. It was with this full understanding and knowledge of the practice of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that the Sahabahs unanimously held on to the performance of 20 rakaats of taraweeh as well as the Witr Salaah in congregation. If this act of theirs was in opposition to the practice of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), then they would have been corrected by others who would have reprimanded them for changing the Prophet’s practice. However, no one not even the wives of the Prophet, his sons-in-law, his grandchildren, daughters, family members or devout followers opposed or spoke against the 20 rakats of taraweeh with Salaah Al Witr in jamaah. It is based on this Ijma of the Sahabahs, it is inferred that 20 rakats of taraweeh Salaah along with the performance of Witr Salaah in jamaah is in accordance to that which was endorsed by the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). It is for this reason; the early jurists of Islam have clearly stated that in the month of Ramadan, it is more virtuous to perform the witr Salah in congregation.

In the regard, the famous book of Fiqh, Nurul Idhaah states,

‘And a person’s witr Salaah in congregation in Ramadan is more virtuous than performing it individually at the latter part of the night, as stated as the preferred verdict of Qazi Khan’.

While commenting on the above statement, the great jurist and author of Mariqi’ul Falaah states,

‘the performance of the witr in congregation is virtuous because of the fact that since congregation is allowed for it, it becomes virtuous (to do it in this manner,) and also due to the fact that Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) used to have the witr performed in congregation……………and in ‘Al Fath’ and in ‘Al Burhan’ (both of which are sound and authentic books of Islamic Jurisprudence), it is evident that the opinion of the grand jurist Qazi Khan is preferred since the Prophet (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed the witr salaah in congregation with the sahabahs, and then he explained his reason for leaving it out since he feared that standing by night in Ramadan may become essential upon them. The righteous Khalifahs also performed witr Salaah in congregation.’  [Mariqiul Falaah].

Similarly, the great jurist Allama Khwarzimi (rahimahullah) has written,

‘and in Ramadan, the correct and sound opinion is that witr in congregation is more virtuous because Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) used to have the witr performed in congregation.’ [Al Kifayah].

The recent scholar and jurist expert Mufti Syed Abdur Raheem has also stated,

‘During the time of Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu), Ubai bin Kaab (Radhiyallahu anhu) and other sahabahs used to lead 20 rakaats of Taraweeh Salaah. From that time until today, the practice of the (Salafus Saliheen) Pious Predecessors and the latter scholars have always been to perform witr in congregation in the month of Ramadan. Hence, for those who are performing Tahajjud Salaah, it is more virtuous (for them) to perform the witr salaah in congregation.’ [Fatawa Rahimiyyah Vol 4 Pg. 421]

In view of all these quotations and explanations, it becomes evident that in the month of Ramadan, it is more virtuous for one to perform the witr salaah in Jamaat.

And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan

Darul Uloom Trinidad & Tobago

The 8 Raka’ts Dilemma and Debacle of the Salafi Juhhala

[By Zaheer Mangera – [(A Madrasah Student)]

I’m sure that by now we are accustomed to the 8 rakaat brigade slinking out of the Masaajid after 8 rakaats. This unfortunately has become a common aberration in many Masaajid throughout South Africa and other parts of the world. Some Masaajid in Johannesburg have actually made a separate parking area for the 8 rakaat gang of deviates. Hence I felt the need to comment on this matter. In reality the matter is quite simple. The complications arise as always from the side of the dim-witted Salafis who can’t grasp simple issues of the Shariah


I’m sure this is the question running through the minds of all and sundry who, for the pleasure of Allah, diligently uphold the Sunnah Taraaweeh of 20 rakaats. The reality is that no Aalim on the surface of this earth had declared Taraweeh to be 8 rakaats except a man who popped up in the last century, and who believed that he could interpret Hadith narrations better than the entire fraternity of Aimmah Mujtahideen and Fuqaha from the Sahaabah running all the way down over 1400 years. This person who had deviated from the Way of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah was Albaani, the recent Imam of the Salafis.

It is unfortunate that Salafis vigorously try to justify the deviation of their Imams from the Path of the Sahaabah and the Aimmah Mujtahideen. In complete conflict with the Sahaabah and the Ummah, they adamantly adhere to Albaani’s view and audaciously label anyone who opposes his view as one who is “disuniting the ummah”, when in fact they are the ones guilty of sowing discord in the Ummah with their baseless 8 raka’t stunt.

Quite hilarious I’d say, the man deviated from the interpretation of every single Aalim and the Ijma’ of this Ummah. When the ummah speaks and opposes his deviation then it is said that we causing disunity?

The main Hadith they present as proof is a Hadith with regards to Tahajjud Salaat which they take out of context and interpret only as Albani had understood. However, they are blind to the fact that Imaam Bukhari (Rahmatullah alayh) himself, from whose Kitaab they obtain their baseless daleel, is proven to having performed 20 Raka’ts.

The books of the Muhaditheen and Fuqaha are replete with discussions regarding Taraaweeh. None of these great authorities of the Shariah related to Taraaweeh the Hadith which Salafis usually quote, as ALL KNEW that the Hadith did not pertain to Taraaweeh, and that it referred to Tahajjud Salaat.

The Ummah always performed 20 rakaat and regarded it to be Sunnah. Some even performed extra as Nafil such as the Maalikis who performed extra rakaats whilst those in Makkah made Tawaaf after every four rakaats hence the people in Madinah used to performs 36 raka’ts. However, the Sahabah by consensus deemed Taraweeh to be 20 rakaats, and this elevates the 20 Raka’ts Taraaweeh to the status of Sunnatul Muakkadah.

Imaam Tirmidhi (Rahmatullah alayh), died 279 AH, states that ‘Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu), ‘Ali (Radhiyallahu anhu), Sufyan Thawri (Rahmatullah alayh) and Imam Shafi’i (Rahmatullah (alayh), all accept that Taraaweeh Salaat is Twenty Rakaahs. He quoted Imam Shafi’i as saying that he saw the people of Makkah performing twenty raka’ts. (Tirmidhi, v.1 p.99)

The Muwatta of Imam Muhammad (Rahmatullah alayh), reads:

“We go by this (twenty rak’ats Taraweeh)….because the Muslims (the Sahaabah) were unanimous about it and saw it to be a good act. It has been reported that Rasulallah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whatever the Muslims (the Sahaabah) regard as a good act, it is indeed a good act in the sight of Allah as well.”

Hafiz Abu Zur’ah Al-’Iraqi stated,

“They (the Ulama) have regarded the approval of the Sahaabah [when Sayyiduna ‘Umar did so] as Ijma’“.

Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari stated that the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu anhum) have enacted Ijma’ on the practice of twenty rak’ats. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami and many others have also claimed Ijma’ of the Sahaabah on this issue.


“You must then follow my Sunnah and that of the rightly-guided Khulafa” [Abu Dawud]

Many other Ahaadith emphasize that the Ummah should follow the Khulafah and more specifically, Shaikhain i.e.  Hadhrat Abu Bakr and Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhuma).

The errant Salafis say absurdly that it means that we should follow the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It seems they can’t understand simple issues.

Nabi [Sallallahu alayhi wasallam] equated the Sunnah of his Sahabah to his own Sunnah. Thus he mentioned that out of the 73 sects only the one that holds on to both his way and the way of his Sahaabah would be saved. Since Salafi’ism is a sect of baatil, it’s no wonder that they so abortively justify their conflict with the Ijma’ of the Sahaabah.

Rasulullah [Sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said:

“A group of my Ummah shall remain steadfast on the truth, victorious, unharmed by those who oppose them, and do not support them, until death or until the Day of Resurrection.”

[Al-Bukhaari, Book 71 no. 3641 Sahih Muslim, no. 1920]

Now on the basis of this Hadith, Taraaweeh of less than 20 raka’ts and the Salafi malpractice of 8 raka’ts are manifestly baatil, because from the time the blessed Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) left this world until the last century NO ONE EVER PERFORMED 8 RAKAATS.  It was only with the advent of this miscreant Salafi group that it began to be propagated that Taraaweeh is 8 raka’ts. Thus, one does not require intelligence to understand that the innovated 8 rakaats can never be the Sunnah.

TRUTH ON THE TONGUE OF ‘UMAR (Radhiyallahu anhu)

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Allah has placed truth on Umar’s tongue and heart.” [Abu Dawud]

We ask the Salafis when Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) said with his ‘tongue’ that Taraweeh should be 20 rakaats, was this the Haqq or not? What these Salafis don’t understand is that when they negate Ijma’, they automatically imply, like Shiahs, that they and their Imam, Albaani who died just yesterday, have understood the Sunnah better than the Sahaabah. It follows from this implication that the Sahaabah and Taabieen had erred in their Ijma’ of 20 raka’ts. These Salafis are opening the doors of fitnah – the fitnah of blatantly contradicting the Sahaabah in their understanding of the Sunnah, yet Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explicitly said:

“The best of people are my generation, then those who follow after them, then those who follow after them, then there will come after them a people who will be fat, and they will love obesity, bearing witness before being asked to.”  [Tirmidhi and Al-Haakim]

These Salafis are in diametric conflict with this clear declaration of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).


An old man dressed in woollen garments came to Imaam Shaafi’i (Rahmatullahi Alaihi) and said: “May I ask a question?” Imaam Shaafi’i gave him permission. He then asked: “What are the Shar’i proofs in the Deen of Allah Ta’ala?” Imaam Shaafi’i replied: “The Kitaab of Allah Ta’ala.” He then asked: “And what else?” Imaam Shaafi’i replied: “The Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He then asked: “And what else?” Imaam Shaafi’ replied: “The consensus of the Ummah.” He then asked: “What is your proof for this?” Imaam Shaafi’i thought for a while. The old man then said: “I give you respite for three days, either you bring me proof from the Qur’aan or seek forgiveness and repent to Allah Ta’ala.” The facial complexion of Imaam Shaafi’i changed. He then went and did not come out for three days. On the third day between Zuhr and ‘Asr, weak and sick, he emerged from his seclusion. As he was about to be seated, the old man appeared, greeted and sat beside him. He then asked for his proof. Imaam Shaafi’i said: “Yes”, and he recited the Qur’aanic verse:

“And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows a path other than the path of the believers, we shall (forsake him) and let him continue on his path, and thereafter We shall drive him towards Hell, and evil an abode it is. [Surah Nisa, 115]

The man said: “You have spoken the truth.” The man then left. Imaam Shaafi’i said to those seated around him: “I recited the entire Qur’an thrice daily for three days, until the proof finally dawned upon me.”

It is no wonder that Salafis become blind and deaf to the Haq and can’t understand simple concepts because they have contradicted Ijma’. The warning of Allah Ta’ala mentioned in this verse is true. The stated calamity has overtaken the Salafis.

“We shall (forsake him) and let him continue on his path, and thereafter We shall drive him towards Hell, and evil an abode it is.”

Allah Ta’ala has abandoned them in their waywardness and deviation, and if Allah does not guide than who can guide one?

Despite all this Salafis will still monotonously ramble on. One should not waste one’s precious time, no matter what ‘daleels’ are put forward. The fact of the matter is that they will never accept the Haqq. Just deliver the message of Haqq. It is about such people that the Qur’aan mentions:

“Do you not see those who take their nafs  [also their own intellects and reasoning] as gods besides Allah [by giving preference over truth or making that the yardstick] how we lead them astray even though they possessed knowledge; how we sealed their hearts and ears and cast a veil over their eyes? Who can guide them besides Allah? Will you then not take heed?”

May Allah protect us and guide one and all and protect us from becoming part of the 8 rakaat brigade which contradicts the Sunnah of the noble Sahaabah.


As mentioned earlier on it was clearly proved that for over the past 1400 years, 20 rakaats Taraweeh were considered Sunnah by the Ummah. However, their main daleel which is a misinterpretation shall be neutralized. Hypothetically, we shall assume that the tooth fairy exists and that the Hadith and its interpretation were not known to any Sahaabi or Faqeeh. And that Imaam Bukhari himself became somewhat lacking in vision when he came across this Hadith, and that only Albani was raised up this past century to correct all the Sahaabah and those who followed them with regards to what the true SUNNAH is.


Narrated Abu Salama Bin Abdur Rrahman (Radhiyallahu anhu):

“I asked Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) about the Salaat of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) during the month of Ramadan. She said that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) never exceeded 11 Rakats in Ramadan nor in the other months. (First) he used to offer 4 rakats. Do not ask me about their beauty and length, then 4 Raka’ts. Do not ask me about their beauty and length. Then 3 Raka’ts.”

Aishah further said: I said: ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Do you sleep before offering Witr salat?’ He replied: ‘O Aishah! My eyes sleep but my heart remains awake!”

[Bukhari, Book of Tahajjud Salaat, chapter: the Salaat of the Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) at night in Ramadan and in other months. 2:248]


1. The commentator of al-Sahih al-Bukhari and the erudite Muhaddith, Shaykh Shamsud-Din al-Kermani (d. 786 AH) said: ‘In the Hadith (above), the Tahajjud Salaat is meant. Abu Salama’s question and Hadrat Aishah’s answer concerned the Tahajjud.’ He adds further: ‘If the Tahajjud prayer is not meant, then this Hadith will be in conflict with the Hadith that states that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) led twenty Rak’ats  for each of two nights, and in the case of such clash the Hadith of twenty Rakat’s which is  affirmative (Muthbit) shall have precedence because according to the principles of Hadith, the affirmative takes precedence over the negative (Nafi)”  — [Al-Kawakib ud-Durari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 9, pg 155-156].

Let’s for one minute exercise some common sense, we all know and even Salafis agree that Taraaweeh was performed in JAMAAT IN PUBLIC for a number of days before Nabi [Sallallahu alayhi wasallam] desisted for fear of it becoming obligatory.

Now if it was performed in jamaat and in public what was the need to ask Aishah [Radiallahu anha]? Wouldn’t the number of raka’ts of Taraaweeh have been common knowledge to the Sahaabah?  It is quite obvious that the Sahaabi was asking Hadhrat Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) about the private ibaadat of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Sahaabi was not asking her about Taraaweeh which was being performed in public in the Musjid. She confirmed that Rasulullah’s Tahajjud remained 8 raka’ts throughout the year even in Ramadhaan. This Hadith does not refer to Taraaweeh Salaat.

While the deviant Salafis cite Hadhrat Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radhiyallahu anhu), they are either ignorant of his standing practice regarding Taraaweeh or they are conveniently ignoring it, or they attempt to conceal it in a vain bid to justify their 8 raka’t fallacy. Hadhrat Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radhiyallahu anhu) himself performed 20 rakaats Taraaweeh like the rest of the Sahaabah. Thus, in a conflict between his words and his practice, the latter takes precedence and is given preference. But the Salafis are too stupid to understand the operation of the principles of the Shariah.

For more detailed Analysis on this issue read:



Five Daily Salaah (Islamic Prayer) Mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an

All five daily prayers, wudhu (ablution), Friday prayers and tahajjud prayers are mentioned in Qur’an:


[Qur’an 5:6] O you who believe! when you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles; and if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution, then wash (yourselves) and if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy, or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith, Allah does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you and that He may complete His favor on you, so that you may be grateful.

[Qur’an 4:43] O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are Intoxicated until you know (well) what you say, nor when you are under an obligation to perform a bath– unless (you are) travelling on the road– until you have washed yourselves; and if you are sick, or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth, then wipe your faces and your hands; surely Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.


[Qur’an 7:31] O children of Adam! attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.


[Qur’an 17:78] Keep up prayer from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night and the morning recitation; surely the morning recitation is witnessed.

[Qur’an 24:58] O you who believe! let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained to puberty ask permission of you three times; before the morning prayer, and when you put off your clothes at midday in summer, and after the prayer of the nightfall; these are three times of privacy for you; neither is it a sin for you nor for them besides these, some of you must go round about (waiting) upon others; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.


[Qur’an 11:114] And keep up prayer in the two parts of the day and in the first hours of the night; surely good deeds take away evil deeds this is a reminder to the mindful.


[Qur’an 2:238] Attend constantly to prayers and to the middle prayer and stand up truly obedient to Allah.

[Qur’an 11:114] And keep up prayer in the two parts of the day and in the first hours of the night; surely good deeds take away evil deeds this is a reminder to the mindful.

[Qur’an 24:58] O you who believe! let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained to puberty ask permission of you three times; before the morning prayer, and when you put off your clothes at midday in summer, and after the prayer of the nightfall; these are three times of privacy for you; neither is it a sin for you nor for them besides these, some of you must go round about (waiting) upon others; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.


[Qur’an 11:114] And keep up prayer in the two parts of the day and in the first hours of the night; surely good deeds take away evil deeds this is a reminder to the mindful.

[Qur’an 17:78] Keep up prayer from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night and the morning recitation; surely the morning recitation is witnessed.


[Qur’an 24:58] O you who believe! let those whom your right hands possess and those of you who have not attained to puberty ask permission of you three times; before the morning prayer, and when you put off your clothes at midday in summer, and after the prayer of the nightfall; these are three times of privacy for you; neither is it a sin for you nor for them besides these, some of you must go round about (waiting) upon others; thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.

[Qur’an 50:40] And glorify Him in the night and after the prayers.


[Qur’an 62.9] O you who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading; that is better for you, if you know.


[Qur’an 17.79] And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud  beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory.

[Qur’an 73.20] Surely your Lord knows that you pass in prayer nearly two-thirds of the night, and (sometimes) half of it, and (sometimes) a third of it, and (also) a party of those with you; and Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you are not able to do it, so He has turned to you (mercifully), therefore read what is easy of the Quran. He knows that there must be among you sick, and others who travel in the land seeking of the bounty of Allah, and others who fight in Allah’s way, therefore read as much of it as is easy (to you), and keep up prayer and pay.

The Sunnah Prayer of Fajr

[Mufti Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn Yusuf]

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) laid great emphasis on the sunnah prayer of Fajr, saying, “it is more superior than the world and everything within it” (Sahih Muslim 1:251). Likewise there are a number of narrations from which the importance of this Sunnah prayer can be understood. This means that a person should ensure that it is performed prior to the fardh prayer, since no sunnah prayer is permissible until after sunrise, once the fardh prayer of Fajr is performed.

So what is one to do if he arrives late to the masjid for Fajr, and finds the congregational salaat about to begin or already in progress? On the one hand, he remembers the emphasis regarding the sunnah prayer of Fajr, yet on the other, he knows the Hadith of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) stating that once the call to commence (Iqamah) has been made, only the fardh prayer  should be performed. The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:

Once the call to commence (Iqamah) is made for the prayer, there is no prayer except the fardh prayer (maktuba) [Sahih Muslim 1: 247]

The worshipper (musalli) is unsure of what to do in this situation. Should he hurry and perform the sunnah prayer, then catch up with the imam for the fardh prayer, or should he abandon the sunnah prayer altogether and join in the congregation? There is a difference of opinion among the scholars on this issue.


One opinion is that it is necessary for this person to immediately join the congregation for the fardh prayer, and that it is no longer permissible for him to perform the sunnah prayer during the congregational fardh prayer, just as in the ruling for other prayers.

Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik are of the opinion that the person should attempt to perform his sunnah prayer, as long as he think he can complete it quickly and join in the fardh prayer before it ends, i.e. even if he catches only the last sitting. This means that he must be confident of not missing the congregation completely, otherwise ge should leave performing the sunnah and join the congregation; because, technically speaking, the congregational fardh prayer is more important.

One point to remember, however, is that once the congregational prayer begins, the sunnah prayer should not be performed where the main congregation is in progress. It should not be performed outside the main prayer-hall (masjid) area.

Another view of some Hanafi scholars is that a person should only attempt to perform the Sunnah prayer if he feels confident of acquiring atleast one rak’ah behind the imam. This means that he must be certain of catching up with the imam before he stands up from the bowing (ruku’) of the second rak’ah of the fardh.

This difference of opinion is only concerning the two rak’ats sunnah of Fajr, and there is no controversy regarding the sunnah in other prayers. All the scholars are unanimous that once the congregation for those prayers commences, no other sunnah prayer is permissible, because although the sunnah prayers in them are important, they are not as emphasized as the sunnah of Fajr. Also, if a person happens to miss the sunnah prayer of Zuhr for instance, he can make it up after the fardh, since it is not a prohibited time for it.


1. Aa’isha (radhiyallahu anha)  said,

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was not as regular in any supererogatory prayers (nafl) as he was in the two rak’ats before Fajr. [Sahih Muslim 1:251]

2. Aa’isha (radhiyallahu anha) said,

I did not observe the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) hasten towards any supererogatory (nafl) prayers as fast as he would to perform the two rak’ats before Fajr. [Sahih Muslim 1:251]

3. Aa’isha (radhiyallahu anha) reports that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,

The two (sunnah) rak’ats of Fajr are more superior than the entire world [Sahih Muslim 1:251]

4. Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) reports that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said regarding the two (sunnah) rak’ats at the break of dawn:

They are more beloved to me than the entire world. [Sahih Muslim 2:251]

5. Abu Hurayra (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,

Do not abandon the sunnah rak’ats of Fajr, even if horses trample over you. [Sunan Abi Dawud 1:186, Athar al-Sunan 1:224]

All the above hadiths explain the significance of and emphasis placed on the sunnah prayer of Fajr. Since the Sunnah rak’ats of other prayers are not as greatly emphasized as the sunnah of Fajr, they are treated differently.


There are also many other rigorously authenticated hadiths which confirm that the Companions of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) attempt to complete their sunnah prayer prior to joining the congregational fardh prayer of Fajr if it had already commenced.

1. Imam Tahawi reports from Nafi’:

I wakened Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) for the Fajr prayer, while the prayer had already commenced. He arose and performed the two rak’ats (sunnah first). [Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar 1:375]

2. Abu Ishaq says,

‘Abdullah Ibn Abi Musa related to me from his father regarding the time Sa’id Ibn al-‘Aas called them. He has called Abu Musa, Hudhayfa and ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud before the Fajr prayer. When they departed from him, the congregation had already begun, so ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) positioned himself behind a pillar in the masjid and performed two rak’ats sunnah first, then joined the congregation.  [Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar: 1:374]

3. Abu ‘Uthman al-Ansari reports:

‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) arrived while the imam was leading the Fajr prayer. Since Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) had not yet performed the two rak’ats (sunnah), he performed them behind the imam (i.e. separately), then joined in the congregation. [Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar: 1:375]

4. Imam Tahawi has transmitted a report from Abu’l Darda’ (radhiyallahu anhu):

He would enter the Masjid while everybody would be in rows performing the Fajr prayer. He would first perform his two rak’ats in a corner of the masjid, then join everyone in the (fardh) prayer.  [Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar: 1:375]

5. Abu Uthman al-Nahdi says,

We would arrive at (times to the masjid were) ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) (was the imam), not having performed the two rak’ats (sunnah) of Fajr. ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) would have already started the prayer, so we would first perform our two rak’ats at the rear of the masjid, then join in the congregation. [Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar: 1:376]

6. ‘Abdullah Ibn Abi Musa (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates:

‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) arrived will the imam was leading the Fajr prayer. He performed the two rak’ats (sunnah) behind a pillar, as he had not yet performed them. [Musannaf ‘Abd al Razzaq 1:444]

7. Haritha Ibn Mudrib says,

‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and Abu Musa (radhiyallahu anhum) left Sa’id Ibn al-‘Aas (after visiting him). The congregation (for Fajr) had just begun. So ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu)  performed two rak’ats (sunnah), then joined in the prayer with everyone else. As for Abu Musa (radhiyallahu anhu), he joined in the row immediately thereafter. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah: 2:251]

8. Abu Darda’ (radhiyallahu anhu) regarding the Sunnah of Fajr

Yes, By Allah! If I ever enter (the masjid) and find everyone in prayer, I proceed to a pillar of the masjid and perform two rak’ats quickly; then I join the congregation and perform my Fajr with them.  [Musannaf ‘Abd al Razzaq 1:443]

9. Abu Darda’ (radhiyallahu anhu), according to another reports, states,

I (sometimes) approach the people while they are standing in rows performing Fajr. I perform two rak’ats (sunnah) then I join them. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 2:251]

10. It is reported regarding Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu),

He would sometimes join in the congregation (immediately) and at other times he would first perform his two rak’ats at one side of the masjid. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 2:251]

11. Sha’bi narrates regarding Masruq:

He entered the masjid to find the people engaged in the Fajr prayer. Since he had not yet performed the two rak’ats (sunnah), he performed them at one side, then joined the congregation in prayer. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 2:251, Musannaf ‘Abd al Razzaq 2:444]

12. It is reported that Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullah) had instructed,

When you enter the masjid and find the imam in prayer and you have not yet performed the two rak’ats of Fajr, perform them (first); then join the imam (in the fardh prayer). [Musannaf ‘Abd al Razzaq 2:445, Sharh Ma’ani’l Athar 1:376]

These are just some of the many hadiths wgich highlight the practice of the Companions and Followers. A great jurist (faqih) like ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu), as well as many other prominent Companions, such as Abu Darda’ and Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhum), would first the two-rak’ats sunnah of Fajr and then proceed to join the main congregation. Hasan al-Basri (rahimahullah), a prominent follower (tabi’i) who requires no introduction, orders in clear words that the sunnah prayers be performed before joining the congregation.


(1) The emphasis regarding the sunnah of Fajr is far greater than that of any other sunnah prayer. It has been ordered that the sunnah of Fajr be performed even if there is a danger of horses trampling over the person. Due to this emphasis, there should remain no doubt as to why the Hanafis excluded the sunnah prayer of Fajr from the command of the Hadith that informs us of only fardh prayers being permissible when the congregation begins.

(2) It is sunnah to make a lengthy recitation of the Qur’an during the fardh of Fajr. Hence, it is possible that one could quickly perform his two rak’ats sunnah first and then join in with the imam during the first rak’a, or the second rak’a, or just before the imam makes the salaam. This is normally difficult in other prayers where a relatively shorter recitation is made and the number of rak’ats recommended before them is four.

(3) In the above Hadith, the command regarding the impermissibility of any non-fardh prayer at the time of congregation cannot be taken as a general command encompassing all prayers. If it was an absolutely general command, then it would also be prohibited for someone to perform the sunnah prayer in his house once he was aware that the congregation had commenced in the masjid. However, many scholars have permitted that the sunnah prayer be performed at home, even though the congregation may have already begun in the masjid. Consequently, this leaves no room to ceiticize the Hanafi school for excluding the sunnah of Fajr from the prohibition. Many other scholars have also not taken the command to be an absolutely general one.

(4) The word ‘maktuba’ has been used in the hadith to describe the fardh prayer. The general meaning of this word includes the missed [qada’] prayers also, which indicates that it would be permissible to perform the missed prayers even after the congregarion has begun. However, some scholars do not allow this. From this, it is understood that the hadith (see beginning of the article) is not taken literally, just as its command is not taken in a general sense.

After mentioning these points, it could be concluded that the Hanafi school has reconciled both types of hadiths by saying that the person should only perform the sunnah prayers first if he feels he can acquire that congregational-fardh prayer before it ends. Otherwise, he should enter immediately into the congregation with the imam. In this way, the person benefits by attaining the reward of the sunnah prayer of Fajr and also the reward of performing the fardh salat in congregation.


At times, some narrations are quoted which explicitly exempt the fardh sunnah from the command of the hadith (which mentions the impermissibility of prayer once the congregational fardh prayer has commenced). However, those narrations are usually weak, and have neither been used  as a basis for the Hanafi position nor as evidence to prove the Hanafi opinion against other opinions.

Likewise, there are some narrations which specifically indicate that the sunnah rak’ats of Fajr are included in the prohibition of the hadith. The narrations mention details of a Companion confirming with the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “Are the sunnah rak’ats of Fajr also invalid if they are performed after the congregation has begun?” The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) answers him in the affirmative  saying, “Yes!, they are also invalid.” These narrations, being even weaker than the others, will not stand as evidence  to strengthen the other group’s opinion.

The Significance of Adhan (The Call to Salah)

[Moulana Ihtishamul Hasan Sahib Kandhelwi (rahimahullah)]


Salah is an important obligation commanded by Allah Azza Wa Jal. It is the highest form of earning the proximity of the Creator. All the actions related to salah like  adhan, iqamah, imamat etc. are the distinguishing features of Islam. Respecting and revering them is tantamount to respecting Islam. 

However, due to ignorance of  their original status, grandeur and virtue, they are not  revered as they should be. 

This booklet was prepared in order to fulfil this need so that  one can at least be apprized of  the majesty and sanctity of  adhan and iqamah.

The adhan is generally regarded as merely a call to salah but in  reality, the secret of the loftiness  and elevation of the Muslims is  concealed in it. The adhan is not  merely an announcement for salah but is in fact an open invitation to Islam five times daily in every place.

It is for this reason that the shayatin (satans) flee from the sound of adhan. Satanic effects are removed and the limitless mercy of Allah descends,  the details of which you will find in this article. 

Our final word is that all praises  are due to Allah Azza Wa Jal, the Lord of the worlds and salutations be upon the prophets and messengers.

Muhammad Ihtishamul  Hasan
17 April 1965  

The Grandeur and Virtue of Adhan
Those factors which are the most  important for the elevation and  fertility of Islam are called the  sha’air – distinguishing features – of Islam. From among  these distinguishing features,  one of the most important is adh ān. If today the Muslims become  aware of the importance,  grandeur and actual reality of  adhan and they afford it its  proper perspective, there is no  reason why the Muslims should not be elevated on earth.

Regrettably today the greatness  and virtue of adhan has been  blurred from our eyes. Whatever is done, is being done as a  custom or habit. Consequently, we  don’t achieve the benefits  and fruits which were worthy of  this act. When the reality of  something is not before the eyes, the effects naturally do not  manifest themselves. Only the outward forms remain. When the  actual grandeur and importance  of worship leave the heart, only  the external forms of worship  remain behind and these are  regarded as habits. This is a sign  of the close proximity of  Qiyamah. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Very shortly a  time is to come when Islam will  remain in name only and only the  writing of the Qur’an will remain.’

When only the name of Islam  remains and the original source  of all guidance, the Qur’an  remains in script only, then  naturally all the factors and  distinguishing features of Islam  will only be customary. Their  virtue and importance which they  supposed to have will not remain in the hearts. Consequently, their  original fruits and effects will not manifest themselves.

It is essential to respect and  revere all the distinguishing features of Islam. This is what  brings Islam and iman to perfection. This is equal to  respecting Allah  Ta’ala.  Therefore, the disrespect of the  minutest distinguishing feature  of Islam is not tolerated.

Shah Waliullah (Rahimahullah) explains the distinguishing features of Islam as follows:

By the sha’air, I refer to those  matters which are external and  tangible by means of which Allah  Ta’ala is worshipped.

They are specific with Allah Ta’ala  to the extent that honouring  them is like honouring Allah.  Being deficient in them is like  being deficient with regard to  Allah. This must be embedded in  the heart so deeply that it cannot exit without tearing the heart.‛ [Hujjatullahil Balighah, vol.1 p. 66].

The source of Shari’ah is to revere  the distinguishing features of  Allah Ta’ala and to gain proximity  to Him by means of them.  Therefore we have been  commanded to respect them.  Allah Ta’ala states, ‘Whoever  respects the distinguishing  features of Allah, it is due to the piety of his heart.’

Adhan is also from among these  distinguishing features. Its  majesty, importance and virtue will be mentioned in the ensuing pages. And only Allah grants the ability.

The Meaning of Adhan

The literal meaning of adhan is to announce. The call to prayer has been named adhan because it is an announcement of salah.

The Inception of Adhan

There was great emphasis to perform salah with congregation.  In order to do this, there was a  need to gather all the Muslims  together at one place at the same time. This was not possible  without an announcement.

The Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) discussed this among  themselves as to what method to  adopt. Some of them mentioned  that a fire should be lit so that  the people could see it and gather. 

Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  rejected this idea because this  was a resemblance with the fire-worshippers. 

The Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) suggested sounding a  horn. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan) rejected this idea also  because this was a resemblance with the Jews. The Sahabah  (radhiyallahu anhum) then suggested ringing a bell like the church bells. Due to resemblance  with the Christians, Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did  not accept this suggestion. 

The Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) all went away and no decision was reached. 

At night, Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) was  shown the method of adhan in a  dream. He mentioned this to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in the morning. On  hearing about this dream,  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said that it was a true dream. 

Thereafter, the announcement for salah was made in the manner  shown in the dream. This incident has been narrated in authentic ahadith. This incident clearly indicates the following:

(1)  the divine laws began  according to the expediencies of  man in which there was ease for him.

(2)  to oppose the nations which  are engrossed in misguidance  and ignorance in the  distinguishing features of Islam  is a commendable and meritorious act. One should not  adopt any act in Deen which is  prevalent among them.

(3)  The adhan was initiated for the sake of salah. The original  aim was that people hear the adhan and gather for congregation. Hence, there  should not be such a long delay  after the adhan whereby people  are placed in distress. The actual  aim of adhan is thereby lost.

(4) Besides the Maghrib Salah, it  is preferable to have a delay in  the congregation after the adhan  so that all the worshippers can easily prepare for salah and  gather for the jama’at. During the  Maghrib Salah, because a delay is  not appropriate, it is necessary  to immediately begin the  congregation after the adhan. If  for some reason there is a delay in the adhan, it is essential to  wait a while for the worshippers.  It is not necessary to wait for the appointed time. What is essential  is the ease of the worshippers.  The quest for a larger number of worshippers is meritorious.

Although the adhan was initiated for salah, Allah Ta’ala out of His  extreme mercy, assigned it as an  important act of worship. He  included it among the distinguishing features of Islam. 

Shah Waliullah (rahimahullah) writes,

Divine wisdom required that the  adhan should not be merely an  announcement, but together withthat, it should be a  distinguishing feature. In this wayit has become to the uninformed  and the informed a call to Deen.  Accepting it became a sign of  submitting to Allah. Therefore it  was necessary for the adhan to  contain the mention of Allah, a  testimony to the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and an  invitation to salah so that it can  be an explicit exposition of its aim.‛  [Hujjatullhil Balighah vol.1  p.189]

Now the adhan is an  announcement of true Deen and an elevation of the true word.  The adhan has such virtues that  clearly indicate it to be a  distinguishing characteristic of  Islam. The place where the adhan  is delivered is regarded as Darul  Islam – an Islamic governed state. Whenever Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) heard the adhan from  any locality, he did not attack  that l locality. If he did not hear  the adhan, he would attack that place. 

This indicates that the adhan is  not merely an announcement for salah but an invitation to the true Deen and an exposition of the  truth of Islam  in  front  of the  creation. Therefore Shah  Waliullah (rahimahullah) says  regarding the adhan,
‘It is a portion from among the  portions of prophethood.‛ [ibid]

Sayyidatuna ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) said that the verse,

‘Whose statement can be better than the one who calls to Allāh, does good deeds and says ‘I am of the Muslims’.  
refers to the mu’adhdhins

We have consequently been commanded to respond to the adhan by repeating the words of the mu’adhdhin and practically answering his call. 

The Words of Adhan

Allahu Akbar
Allah is the greatest. (4 times).  

Ash hadu an la ilaaha illa Allah
I bear witness that there is no god besides Allah.   

Ash hadu an la ilaaha illa Allah
I bear witness that there is no god besides Allah.

Ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah
I bear witness that Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the messenger of Allah.   

Ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah
I bear witness that Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the messenger of Allah.    

Hayya alas salah
Come to salah. (twice)  

Hayya alal falah
Come to success. (twice)

Allahu Akbar
Allah is the greatest. (twice)    

la ilaaha illa Allah
There is no god besides Allah. 

A person should stand on a high place and recite these words with a loud voice. Whatever distance his voice reaches, that is where the announcement of truth will reach. In the adhan of Fajr, the words,    

As-salatu khairun minan naum

must be recited twice so that people do not become lazy in getting up from their sleep.

There is an invitation to salah in the words,

Hayya alas salah

which is an important obligation of Allah at the time.

In the words,    

Hayya alal falah

there is an invitation to the remainder of Deen which is a guarantee of success in this world and the hereafter. 

The same words should be repeated at the time of the congregation, but after   
Hayya alal falah

the following words should be said twice,    

Qadqamatis Salah
(Salah has begun.) This is called iqamah.  

The adhan is delivered in order to call those people who are outside while the iqamah is delivered to invite those people who are in the musjid to join the congregation. Hence, the iqamah does not have to be uttered in a very loud  voice. Such a tone which the  worshippers can hear is sufficient. They have to be  informed that the jama’ah is about to begin. 

The person who delivered the  adhan should recite the iqamah  so that one person invites the  people to the musjid and makes them stand up for salah. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said, ‘The one who recited the  adhan should recite the iqamah.‛  

Shah Waliullah (rahimahullah) writes that the wisdom of this is  that when one person has recited  the adhan and accumulated the  virtues and rewards thereof,  others do not have a right to  challenge him now and deprive  him of further rewards.

Responding to the Adhan and Iqamah

It is mustahab (preferable) to  give a verbal and physical response to the factors which  the  mu’adhdhin is inviting to.  The method of doing this is to say from the depths of the  heart whatever the mu’adhdhin  says and to verbally repeat the  words he utters. 

Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said, ‘When you hear the adhan,  say whatever the mu’adhdhin  says.‛  

Responding to the adhan with the depths of the heart is a guarantee for jannah.

In a hadith of Sahih Muslim, it is mentioned that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,  ‘When the mu’adhdhin said Allahu Akbar and one of you said Allahu Akbar, then the mu’adhdhin said Ash hadu an la ilaaha illa Allah and he also said Ash hadu an la ilaaha illa Allah, then the mu’adhdhin said Ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah and he also said Ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah, then the mu’adhdhin said Hayya alas salah and he said La Hawla wa la quwwata illa billa, then the mu’adhdhin said Hayya alal falah and he said La Hawla wa la quwwata illa billa, then the mu’adhdhin said Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar and he also said Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar, then the mu’adhdhin said  la ilaaha illa Allah and he also said la ilaaha illa Allah, if this was said with sincerity of the heart, he will enter jannah.‛  

This hadith of Muslim Sharīf indicates that when the mu’adhdhin says, 

Hayya alal falah and Hayya alal falah the respondent should say, La Hawla wa la quwwata illa billa   (There is no power and might except from Allah).

This is a sort of way of seeking  Allah’s assistance in order to  respond to this call and to give it  practical form because without  any divinely granted ability, no  act of virtue can be committed.  This is actual submission whereby the slave completely hands  himself over to the Master.

Similarly, at the time of iqamah, instead of saying Qadqamatis Salah one should say AqmahAllahu wa adamaha – May Allah always maintain the salah

After the adhan, the respondent should recite salat ‘alan Nabi  (durud) which is a further  testification to the truth of the means by which Allah conveyed the message to us. 

In a hadith of Sahih Muslim,  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘When you hear  the adhan of the mu’adhdhin,  repeat the words he says, then  convey salutations upon me  because the person who conveys  one salutation upon me, Allah  sends down ten blessings on him. Then seek my wasilah (means). The wasilah is a place in jannah. Only one person from the slaves of Allah will achieve that place and I have hope that it will be me. Whoever seeks the wasilah for me, intercession will become compulsory for him.‛  

In a hadith of Sahih Bukhari it is mentioned that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Whoever hears the adhan and says,  


Allahumma Rabba hazihid da’watit tammati was salaatil qaimati aat Muhammada nil waseelata wal fadheelata wab’as-hu maqqaamam mahmooda nillazee wa’attahu

(O Allah, the Lord of this perfect call and the established salah, grant Muhammad the wasilah and virtue and send him to the Muqame Mahmud – the praised position which you have promised.) 

my intercession will become compulsory for him on the day of Qiyamah.‛  

Thereafter, for a further acceptance of the mu’adhdhin’s call, recite,


Radheetu billahi rabbaw wabi Muhammadin rasoolan wabil Islaami deena

(I have been satisfied with Allah  as my Lord, Muhammad as my messenger and Islam as my Deen.)

This is a verbal completion of the  response to the adhan. Thereafter one should physically  answer the call. Imam Nawawi states that it is mustahab  (preferable) to verbally respond  to the adhan for every person who hears the adhan, whether male  or female, whether he has  ablution or not, whether he is in a state of ceremonial purity (tahir) or not or whether it is a  menstruating woman. However, a  person who is in the toilet or one  having intercourse or one in any similar state should not respond. 

Similarly, a person performing salah, whether fard or nafl,  should not respond. He should  respond when he completes his salah. If he responded in salah, it  is makruh (reprehensible)  because this is an apparent  shunning of salah. However his salah will not be invalid because  the adhan is also the dhikr of Allah. However, if he said, Hayya alas salah, Hayya alal falah or As-salatu khairun minan naum, his salah will be nullified because  this is human speech, if he is  aware of the mas’alah. [Nuzhatun Nazirin]

Sayyidatuna Maymunah (radhiyallahu anha) states that once Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was speaking to a group of men  and women. He said, ‘O women,  when you hear the adhan and  iqamah of this Abyssinian, repeat  whatever he says. You will receive  one hundred thousand stages for each letter.‛  

Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) asked, ‘If this is the  amount for women, what reward will the men receive?‛

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Men will receive  double the reward.’ [Jam’ul  Fawaid]

Qadi Iyad (rahimahullah) states  that the adhan is a concise invitation to the belief of iman. It  includes both categories of iman: logical aspects as well as those  heard from the prophets (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) because the beginning of iman is  to establish the being of Allah Ta’ala and to show His  perfect attributes and greatness.  This has been done by the  repetition of the words (Allahu Akbar). The words (Allahu Akbar),  in spite of being so brief, express every form of perfection and  splendour. (The oneness of Allah  Ta’ala has been expressed by the  words (la ilaaha illa Allah) while  shirk (polytheism), which is the
complete opposite of unity, has  been negated. This is actual tauhid – oneness – and the actual  foundation of iman. Tauhid precedes everything else. 

Then there is the testimony of  the prophethood of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  After oneness, this testification  is the greatest factor. The entire  Shari’ah brought by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is  testified as being true. It takes the next step after tauhid. All  these factors are the original  obligations which complete the  logical beliefs. After testifying to  the prophethood, there is an invitation to salah. It has been  mentioned after prophethood  because its obligation became  known through Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The intellect  plays no part in this. Then there  is an invitation to success. All the  matters of the hereafter are included in this. 

When the congregation is about  to begin, these very words are  repeated in the form of the  iqamah. It includes an announcement that salah has  begun. Before beginning the salah, one testifies these matters  which are beliefs of iman, verbally  and with the heart so that one  can become pre-occupied in salah  with a firm resolution and insight. The greatness and importance of salah must be kept in mind as well as the greatness of Allah for whom the salah is being  performed. [Nuzhatun Nazirin]

In other words, five times a day for the five salahs, all the matters  of iman are announced  and  admitted two times. Thereafter  one is afforded the opportunity  of presenting oneself in the court  of Allah. This is only the grace of Allah.

The Fruits and Effects of Adhan

The fruits and effects of adhan  are of two types: one is that the  benefits are general for all those  people who live in the area where  the adhan is delivered. The second one refers to the specific  benefits of the mu’adhdhin

The general benefits and effects  are several.

(1) Shaytan flees from the place  where the adhan is delivered and  he abandons the area wherever  the voice of the mu’adhdhin  reaches. It is reported by Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) in Sahih  Bukhari that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,  ‘When the call of adhan is given, shaytan flees while passing wind,  to the extent that he cannot hear  the adhan. When the adhan is completed, he returns.‛  

When shaytan flees, it is clear  that satanic effects will also  decrease at that time. The  effulgence of the Merciful  Almighty and blessings spread  all around till where the mu’adhdhin’s voice reaches. Therefore the adhan should be  recited in a loud voice so that the  satanic effects are diminished far and wide. Darkness should  dissipate and the word of truth  should be elevated. In this way  the light of truth can spread.  Consequently, it is beneficial and a tried and tested method to recite the adhan wherever there is a  plague or there are the effects of shaytan.

No one remains deprived of this  benefit. Five times a day,  falsehood has to flee from truth  wherever the adhan is delivered.

(2) The city, town or village where  the adhan is delivered is saved  from the general punishment and  wrath of Allah Azza wa Jal on  that day. Imam Tabarani has  narrated from Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘When the adhan  is called out in any village, Allah saves that village from His  punishment on that day.‛ [Jam’ul  Fawaid]

It is quite clear that when the  name of Allah is taken in a place  and His mercy descends there, how can His punishment overcome  them on that day? How can  mercy and anger come together?

(3) Everything, whether living or  non-living, man or other  creations, Muslim or non-Muslim,  is affected by the adhan and  enjoys it wherever it is called out.  It is for this reason that  everything to which the voice of  the mu’adhdhin reaches,  supplicates for him and on the  day of Qiyamah, will bear witness  to his iman and Islam. These are  the benefits of adhan which  every person will receive and the  mu’adhdhin himself will benefit. The benefits which accrue to the  mu’adhdhin are several.

(1)  Every living and non-living  being, every dry and moist  creation to which the mu’adhdhin’s voice reaches will seek  forgiveness for him. On the day of  reckoning, they will testify on  his behalf. It is narrated by  Sayyiduna  ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abdir Rahman Ibn Abi Sa’sa’ah  (radhiyallahu anhu) that  Sayyiduna Abu Sa’id Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) said to him, ‘I  see that you prefer living in the  jungle and grazing the goats.  When you are among your goats  or on your farm, then deliver the  adhan and call it out loudly  because whichever human, jinn  or other creation hears the sound  of the mu’adhdhin, he will bear  testimony for him on the day of  Qiyamah. I heard this from Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

It is mentioned with more clarity  in other narrations.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) states that Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘The mu’adhdhin is forgiven to  the extent where his voice reaches and every moist and dry thing bears testimony for him.‛ [Sunan Abi Dawud and Nasai] 

Sayyiduna Bara’ (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Everything seeks forgiveness for  the mu’adhin till where his voice  reaches and every moist and dry  thing testifies to this. He will  receive the reward equal to all  the worshippers.‛ [Jam’ul Fawaid]

2. The mu’adhdhins will be at  ease on the day of Qiyamah  without any fear. They will be  sitting on chairs of musk. They will not be questioned.  There will be no harshness in their reckoning.

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)  narrates that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Three people will  not experience extreme anguish  on the day of Qiyamah nor will  they be harshly reckoned. They  will be sitting on mounds of  musk while the creation is being  questioned. They are: the one  who recited the Qur’an for the  pleasure of Allah, the one who  made imamate for his people and  they were pleased with him and  the  mu’adhdhin who calls out  the adhan five times a day.‛ [Ibid]

3. The status of the mu’adhdhins adhan is equal to that of the  martyrs in the path of Allah.  Allah will fulfil whatever wish  they express between the adhan  and iqamah.

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘The person who  calls out the adhan with the hope  of reward is like a martyr who is  floundering in his blood. He can  ask of Allah whatever he wants between the adhan and iqamah. (That is, his every desire will be fulfilled.) [Jam’ul Fawa’id]

4. The mu’adhdhins will have long necks and high stages on the day of Judgement. When they elevated the name of Allah in the world, they themselves will be elevated in the hereafter.  

It is reported by Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) in Sahih Muslim that Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘The mu’adhdhins will have the longest necks on the day of Qiyamah.‛

Anas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘If I take an oath, I will be completely truthful by saying that from among all people, Allah Ta’ala loves those who keep an eye on the sun and the moon, that is, the mu’adhdhins. They will be recognized with their long necks on the day of Judgement.‛ [Ibid] 

These were some of the benefits specific with the mu’adhdhins which they will obtain in the hereafter. 

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said that if the people  come to know what is in the adhan and they have to draw  lots, they will certainly do so. [Sahih Bukhari]

Looking at these virtues and  merits of adhan made Sayyiduna  ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu)  comment that if he did not have  the responsibilities of khilafah,  he would have assumed the task  of calling out the adhan. [Fathul Baari]

Amirul Mu’minin ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib  (radhiyallahu anhu) used to say  that he regretted not having  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) appoint Hasan and Husain (radhiyallahu anhum) as  mu’adhdhins.

In  short, the adhan which is  regarded as a menial task and an  ordinary announcement, is in  reality a revolutionary  announcement of truth which is  called out by the caller of Allah  five times daily. The truth of  Islam is openly claimed thereby  displaying the power and the might of the Muslims. There is no  reason why a nation that elevates  the name of Allah Ta’ala should  itself not be elevated on earth.  Allah is the greatest. There is no  deity besides Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of  Allah. Peace and salutations be  upon him.

The Actual Purpose of Adhan

You have been apprized of many  important facts about the  adhan. You have also learnt that  the adhan is an important  distinguishing feature of Islam  which exposes the magnificence and loftiness of Islam.

Why has the adhan been  accorded this much importance? The reason is that the actual aim  of adhan is very high and noble,  being the root of the religion of  Islam. It is the real aim of the  mission of all the prophets and messengers. The adhan is an  open announcement and exposition of the Deen of Allah Ta’ala and a  response to the satanic call. It is for this reason that shaytan  braces himself to combat every  major power but he cannot bear to even listen to the words of  calling towards Deen. He flees so  far away that he cannot hear the  adhan. When the adhan is  completed, he returns full of  revenge due to the effect the adhan had on him. He  begins to disrupt the salah of the  worshippers and tries to disturb  everyone. He creates all kinds of  thoughts and whisperings to the extent that the worshipper even forgets he is in salah

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said that when the adhan is called out, shaytan flees  while passing wind. He goes so  far away that he cannot hear the  adhan any more. When the adhan is complete, he returns. When  the worshippers stand up for salah and the iqamah is called  out, he flees again. When the  takbir is completed, he returns.  He now endeavours to disturb  the worshippers by means of whispering thoughts in their  minds and reminding them of  other events. They begin thinking  of things which they never  thought of before to the extent  that they even forget how many  raka’at they have performed. [Mishkat]

This whispering of shaytan in order to disrupt the salah is a  response and an attempt to  nullify the call of Allah. Shaytan  adopted this stance out of  extreme emotional revenge. It is  for this reason that the method  of combating this disruption of shaytan has been shown to the worshipper so that there is no  difference in the concentration and humility of his salah.

The question arises as to how come shaytan flees from the adhan but does not flee from salah which is a higher form of worship. In fact, shaytan comes  closer to the worshipper in salah  and becomes a barrier between  his soul and the salah. Yet salah  is the most virtuous form of worship and the actual  aim.

The actual cause of this  confusion is that the status of adhan does not have any position  in the minds but is merely regarded as an announcement for salah. However, adhan has a  much more higher status and is a  sign of the conciseness of Islam.  The adhan, besides being a  means of salah, is also an  intended aim. The adhan  therefore has two virtues. It is  itself an important goal and is  the means to another important  goal. Since these two realities are separate, the specialities and  virtues of each one will also be  separate. For example, a  speciality of adhan is that the sound of the adhan does not  remain confined to the earth’s atmosphere. It goes into the heavens.

‘Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri  has quoted from Al-Jami’ As-Saghir of ‘Allamah Suyuti that  besides the sound of the adhan  and the Qur’an, the sound of the  people on earth does not reach  the heavens. Only these two  sounds reach the heavens directly.

It is narrated by Sayyiduna Abu Sa’id Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) in Sahih Bukhari that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘To whichever  jinn, man or other creation the  sound of the adhan reaches,  they will bear witness for the  mu’adhdhin Qiyamah.‛  

When the mu’adhdhin has  elevated the call of truth, then all  the creations that heard his call  will testify to his iman on the day  of Judgement. How can the one  who invites others towards Islam  and iman be himself bereft of  them? How can he be beyond the  obedience of Allah Ta’ala and His messenger? The mu’adhdhin of the musjid is no mulla but is in fact  the caller of Allah who calls the  people towards the Deen of Allah  Ta’ala. He is performing the duty  of breaking the false invitation of shaytan. Undoubtedly, shaytan  will run away from such a call and  all false satanic invitations will  disintegrate in front of this call. When every moist and dry thing  bears testimony to the faith of  the mu’adhdhin, how can shaytan  bear to see the fact that he is  turning him away from Islam but  the rest of creation which heard  the adhan is testifying to his faith?

The sound of the caller of Allah  goes above the skies as well. The  creation in the skies also bear  testimony to his faith. This is no  low status for the caller to the Deen of Allah Azza Wa Jal. It is for  this reason that the mu’adhdhin  will be the highest on the day of  reckoning as mentioned previously. 

The recompense for any act is  according to its condition. Since  the mu’adhdhins raised their necks in the world to proclaim the  truth, undoubtedly, the  requirement of the grace of Allah  Ta’ala is that their necks will be  the highest on the day of  reckoning. Their loud voices will be a means of their salvation and  success. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) therefore said, ‘Whoever calls out the adhan for  seven years with the hope of  reward, will be guaranteed  freedom from the fire.‛   [Hujjatullahil Balighah, vol.1,  p.  189] 

Why should he not achieve  freedom from the fire of hell when he called out the adhan for  such a long period without any  recompense? This in itself bears  testimony to the faith of his  heart and that he is a faithful and  obedient servant of Allah Ta’ala.  His relationship with Allah is  firmly created and through his  arduous effort, has gathered together so much of divine mercy  which is a tremendous capital. It  is for this reason that the adhan  is an independent portion of prophethood.

Shah Waliullah writes that the  excessive virtues of adhan indicate that it is a distinguishing  feature of Islam. Due to the adhan,  a locality is termed  Darul Islam – an Islamic nation. 

Therefore when Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) heard the adhan, he held back and if there was no  adhan in any locality, he attacked  it.

The adhan is a portion of  nubuwah because it is a means of  encouragement towards the greatest worship in Islam, namely salah. Salah is the root of all  virtue. The pleasure of Allah Ta’ala and the anger of shaytan cannot  be earned from other acts as  they are earned from transitive  virtues and the elevating of the  true word.‛  [ibid]

The adhan is in itself a  distinguishing feature of Islam  and a means to another  distinguishing feature. It is a  portion of prophethood and a  means to another portion that is more important.

The adhan has also been  instituted to expose the internal condition of the people, whether  they have accepted the divine  guidance and the Deen of Allah  Ta’ala or not. It is therefore necessary for the one listening  to the adhan to accept the call and respond to it so that there is an explicit completion of the  purpose of adhan.

Responding to the adhan is  necessary for every sane mature  Muslim, to the extent that it is  necessary for women to respond  too, although they are not  compelled to attend the  congregational prayer. The  response must not be brief but in  detail. One has to reiterate  whatever the mu’adhdhin says,  word for word.  

The adhan is also an invitation to salah and success which cannot be attained without the grace of the Almighty. Therefore one should, at this occasion seek assistance from Allah because man cannot achieve anything merely with his intention and resolve.

The one who does this is promised entry into jannah because he has reiterated the call of Allah verbally and has completed the act of submission physically. Due to the importance and grandeur of the call, he did not suffice on the detailed response only but was focussed towards the brief admission so that the aims of this invitation are properly submerged in the mind. Consequently, after the adhan, one is required to recite the following du’a:    


Allahumma Rabba hazihid da’watit tammati was salaatil qaimati aat Muhammada nil waseelata wal fadheelata wab’as-hu maqqaamam mahmooda nillazee wa’attahu

(O Allah, the Lord of this perfect call and the established salah, grant Muhammad the wasilah and virtue and send him to the Muqame Mahmud – the praised position which you have promised).

Jabir (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates in Sahih Bukhari that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘My intercession becomes compulsory for the one who recites this du’a after listening to the adhan.‛ 

It is essential for the Noble Almighty to grant recompense for a virtuous deed. Therefore this du’a has been suggested. Another du’a to recite is:   

Ash hadu an la ilaaha illa Allahu Wahdahu la shareeka lahu wa anna Muhammadan ‘Abduhu wa rasuluhu, Radheetu billahi rabbaw wabi Muhammadin rasoolan wabil Islaami deena

(I bear testimony that there is no deity besides Allah, the one. He has no partner and that Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is His servant and messenger. I have been satisfied with Allah as my Lord, Muhammad as my messenger and Islam as my Deen.) 

There is a narration of Sayyidunā Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas (radhiyallahu anhu) in Sahih Muslim that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Whoever reads this du’a after listening to the adhan, his sins will be forgiven.‛  

In a narration of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr Ibnul ‘Aas (radhiyallahu anhu) in Sahih Muslim, Nabi is reported to have said, ‘When you hear the adhan  of the mu’adhdhin, repeat the  words he says, then send  salutations upon me because the person who sends one salutation upon me, Allah favours him with  ten mercies. Then seek wasilah  from Allah for me. It is a high  stage in jannah which only  lone  slave of Allah will attain. I have  hope to be that one slave. Whoever seeks wasilah for me,  my intercession becomes compulsory for him.‛

Shah Waliullah (rahimahullah) writes that the order to  supplicate for Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has been issued  so that the acceptance of his Deen and choosing his love can be  completed. [Hujjatullahil  Balighah.]

This purpose of adhan is for all  the people because in the adhan,  there is an announcement of all  those matters which are common  in all the inspired books. These  are the fundamentals of religion.  For those who know the reality of salah and perform it correctly,  the adhan is not merely an  announcement of truth for them  but a special invitation to  present oneself in the court of  Allah. It is as if a special  announcer of Allah is announcing  to the chosen servants of Allah,  the ruler of all rulers, the king of  all kings that the time to attend  the court of the Almighty is in  close proximity. A general  assembly is to be enacted. Be  informed and remain alert. Cleanse yourself and present yourself in  His court. Now general  permission has been granted to  everyone to attend because the  literal meaning of adhan is to  announce and to grant general permission. 

Hafiz Ibn Hajar and ‘Allamah Aini  state that the literal meaning of  adhan is to announce and to  grant general permission.

The welcome to the court of the  king of kings, the ruler of all  rulers will be according to His  call. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said that the mua’dhdhin is entrusted to  announce that it is the time to  attend the court of the Almighty.  Therefore it is essential for the  mu’adhdhins to be the best people who have the capability of  inviting towards Allah’s court. They should be apprized of the  etiquette and the conditions for  attending  this court because  this is such a status for which the  kingdom of the world can be sacrificed. 

After becoming aware of  lthe  purpose of adhan and its virtues,  one should thoroughly know the  meaning and message of its  words so that a person knows  what a great matter he is inviting  to and calling the people to a  certain direction. If he himself is  unaware of the meaning, how can  he inform others?

The Meaning of the Words of  Adhan

Firstly, the words (Allahu Akbar)  –  Allah is the greatest are recited  four times in a loud voice.  Greatness and majesty are for  Allah alone. He is the most  majestic and the greatest. He is  higher than everything.  Everything is a non-entity before  Him and under His command.  There is no reason why man  should submit to any force, no  matter how massive. By doing  this, he will destroy the nobility  of his humankind. 

This admission, four times, will  remove the fear and danger of  every kind of power and force from the heart and mind. After the  heart and mind have been  cleansed from all forces besides  Allah, say (Ash hadu an la ilaaha illa Allah) twice. This is a  testimony that there is no deity  besides Allah. Allah is the only  being that is great. Only He can  be worshipped and obeyed.  Contact must only be made with Him. He is the true deity to be  worshipped and is the creator of  the universe. Only His laws  should be obeyed who is the  owner of every place and time.  His reign is over all the worlds and the skies.

After testifying this two times,  man reaches his original nobility  of being a human. He is now  freed from the slavery of  everything besides Allah. He has  now made contact with his  Master, Lord, Owner, Creator and Sustainer. After embedding this  reality in the mind, a tremendous  revolution occurs in a person’s  life. All his emotions, ideologies,  thoughts and beliefs change. He abandons the entire creation and  becomes devoted to Allah alone  who controls the whole of  creation. His fear is removed  from every power.

Now he is not for the creation  and the whole creation becomes his. We are Muslims and the entire world is ours.

After admitting this reality, the  direction of man’s life changes.  Now, instead of following his  carnal self or shaytan, he obeys  Allah and His prophets (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam. He treads that  path of life which is open for him  from the first day. Therefore he  immediately announces another  reality: (Ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasulullah) – I  bear witness that Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the messenger of Allah.  

Since Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the  messenger of Allah, whatever message he brought is also true.  Whatever laws of Allah he  conveyed are all correct. The path  he showed to mankind is the  actual path to success because it  is the path of all the messengers  and the accepted servants of Allah. His Shari’ah is the concise  embodiment of all the previous  religions. It contains the best  teachings of every Shari’ah.  Admitting the prophethood is  also an admission of tauhid  –  oneness – because all the  previous nations became  misguided due to granting their  leaders the status of godhood.  They began worshipping human  beings and discarded the Lord  of  the universe. They became misguided themselves and misguided others.  

When the prophethood of Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is  announced and admitted, it  becomes an admission to the  truth of all the previous prophets  and divine books because Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) testified to the truth  of all the previous apostles and scriptures. 

Now when the path of success,  salvation, worship and obedience  has been specified, invite others  towards it and call people from  all sides by saying, (Hayya alas salah) – come to prayer and  (Hayya alas falah) – come  to  success. This is what contains  the success of life in this world and salvation in the hereafter.

‘Allamah Qurtubi (rahimahullah)  states that in spite of the adhan  having concise words, it contains  all the essential beliefs because it  firstly contains the greatness of  Allah, which includes all the  attributes of perfection. Then it  announces pure tauhid –  oneness. This negates disbelief  and polytheism in totality. Then  it contains the admission of  risalah – prophethood. This  contains an admission of all the  factors that were sent via the  messenger. Then there is an invitation towards success,  salvation, worship and obedience. The success of the  hereafter is dependent on this.  The aims of the previous apostles  (alayhimussalaam) and all the divine religions are also included  in the adhan.

The Virtue of Iqamah

The virtue and greatness of  iqamah is the same as that of adhan. The only difference is that  the adhan is an invitation to all  the people towards Deen and an  open or general announcement  to present oneself in the court of Allah. 

Iqamah on the other hand is only  for the specific people who have  presented themselves in the court of Allah. They are sitting and  eagerly waiting in the musjid to be in front of Allah, to converse  and supplicate to Him and present their needs before Him. 

Therefore Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said that the person  who calls out the adhan should  recite the iqamah. The one who  announced to the people that  they should come for worship now has the right to make them stand up for prayer.

Adhan – An Amazing Discovery 

Adhan: an incredible medium for  the proclamation of Tauhid of  the Almighty Allah and the Risalah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  the sound of which constantly  echoes around the globe. Indeed, a symbol of Islam.

Amazing though it sounds, but  fortunately for the Muslims of  the world, it is an established fact. Have a look at the map of the  world and you will find Indonesia (an Islamic country), right on the  eastern side of the earth’s  central land mass. Indonesia  consists of numerous small  islands, the principle ones amongst them being Java, Sumatra,  Borneo and Saibil, all of which  are well known. It is the largest  Islamic country in the world, with 180 million inhabitants. The  number of  non-Muslims here is negligible.

As soon as dawn breaks on the  eastern island of Saibil, at approximately 5:30 am local time,  Fajr Adhan begins. Thousands of  Muadhdhins in eastern Indonesia commence proclaiming the Tawhid (oneness) of the Almighty,  Omnipotent and Omniscient Allah and Risalah (universal apostleship) of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

The process then continues and  advances towards the western  islands of Indonesia. The time  difference between the eastern  and western islands of Indonesia  is one and a half hours. Hence  one and a half hours after the  adhan has been completed in  Saibil, it echoes in Jakarta on  Java island. Sumatra then follows  suit and before this auspicious  process of the calling of adhan  ends in Indonesia, it has already begun in Malaysia. 

Burma is then next in line, and  within an hour of its commencement in Jakarta, it  reaches Dacca, the capital city of  Bangladesh. No sooner the  calling of adhan ends in Bangladesh, it has already  prevailed in western India, from  Calcutta to Srinigar. It then  advances towards Bombay and  the environment of the entire  India resounds with this august proclamation.

Srinigar and Sialkot (a city in north Pakistan) have the same  timing for adhan. The time difference  between Sialkot, Kota, Karachi  and Gowadar (a city in  Baluchistan, a province of  Pakistan) is forty minutes, and  within this time, Fajr adhan is  heard throughout Pakistan.  Before it ends there, however, it  has already begun in Afghanistan and Muscat. 

The time difference between  Muscat and Baghdad is one hour.  Adhan resounds during this one hour in the environments of  Hijaze Muqaddas (the holy cities  of Makkah and Madinah), Yemen,  United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq. The time difference between Baghdad and Alexandria (or Iskandariyyah as it is known in  Arabic) in Egypt is again one  hour. Adhan continues to  resound in Syria, Egypt, Somalia  and Sudan during this hour.  Alexandria and Istanbul (the  principle city of Turkey) are  situated on the same  geographical longitude. The time  difference between Eastern and  Western Turkey is one and a half hours, and during this time it is  echoed with the call to prayer. 

Alexandria and Tripoli (the capital  city of Libya) are located at an  hour’s difference from one  another. The process of calling  adhan thus continues throughout  the whole of Africa. Therefore,  the proclamation of the oneness  of Allah and the prophethood of  Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that had begun in the  eastern islands of Indonesia  reaches the eastern shore of the  Atlantic ocean after nine and a half hours. 

Prior to the adhan reaching the  shores of the Atlantic, the process of Zuhr adhan has alreadycommenced in eastern Indonesia,  and before it reaches Dacca, ‘Asr  adhan has started. This has  hardly reached Jakarta when the  time of Maghrib becomes due,  an no sooner has Maghrib time reahed Sumatra, then the time  for calling the Isha adhan has  commenced in Saibil. When the  muadhdhins of Indonesia are  calling out the Fajr adhan, the  muadhdhins in Africa are calling out the adhan for Isha.

If we were to ponder over this  phenomenon seriously and studiously, we would conclude  the amazing fact that there is  not a single moment when  thousands, if not hundreds of  thousands of muadhdhins  around the world are not  proclaiming the oneness of Allah  and the apostleship of the noble  Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) on the surface  of this earth! Insha-allah, by the  will of Allah, the Almighty, this  universal and continuous calling  of the adhan shall not cease until  the day of Judgement, and we should all continue to make du’a  for the same.  [Adapted from the tabloid,  Ar-Rasheed November 1996]

The Rules of Adhan 

Adhan is the call to salah. It is  sunnah to recite the adhan for the five daily salahs and for Jumu’ah salah.

1.  If the adhan is being called  out for any salah, it is essential  that it be delivered during the  time of that salah. If the adhan is  delivered before the  commencement of the time, it  will not be valid. When the time  enters, the adhan will have to be  repeated irrespective of whether  it was for fajr salah or any other salah.

2.  The adhan and the iqamah  have to be in Arabic and in exactly the same words as  conveyed to us from Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). If the adhan is delivered in any other language, or in  Arabic, but in different words;  then this will not be valid even if,  upon hearing it, people understand it as adhan and the  purpose of adhan is fulfilled (i.e.  even if people respond to the  adhan by coming to offer their salah).

3.  It is necessary for the muadhdhin to be a male. The adhan of a female is not proper.  If a woman delivers the adhan, it  should be repeated. If salah is  offered without it being  repeated, it will be as if the salah  was offered without any adhan.

4.  It is necessary that the  muadhdhin be of sound intellect.  If a child who has not reached  the age of understanding, a  mentally deranged person or an intoxicated person delivers the  adhan; it will not be counted.

5.  The sunnah method of calling  out the adhan is that the person  calling out the adhan should be  free from the major and minor  impurities (hadath akbar and  hadath asghar). He should go to  an elevated place away from the  musjid, face the qiblah, insert  his  forefingers into both his ears,  and say the following words as  loud as possible without overstraining himself:
Allahu Akbar  four times,  
Ash hadu an la ilaha illa Allah twice,  
Ash hadu anna Muhammadar  Rasulullah  twice,  
Hayya alas salah  twice,  
Hayya alal falah  twice,  
Allahu Akbar  twice again, and  
La ilaha illa Allah  once.

When saying Hayya alas salah, he should turn his face towards the  right in such a way that his chest  and feet do not turn away from  the qiblah. When saying Hayya alas falah, he should turn his  face towards the left in such a way that his chest and feet do  not turn away from the qiblah.

In the fajr adhan, after saying  Hayya alas falah, he should add  the  words:

As-Salahu khayrum minan naum twice.

The total number of sentences  of adhan are therefore fifteen  while there are seventeen  sentences for the adhan of Fajr.

The words of the adhan should  not be uttered in a singing tune,  nor should they be uttered in  such a way that some of the words are said loudly while others are said softly. 

After saying Allahu Akbar twice,  the muadhdhin should wait to  the extent that the person who is listening to the adhan can reply to it.  

Apart from Allahu Akbar, even for  the other sentences, he should  wait for a similar period before  continuing with the following sentences.

6.  The method of iqamah is also  the same. The difference is that  it is preferable to call out the adhan  outside the musjid, while the iqamah is called out inside. 

Adhan is called out in a loud tone  while iqamah is called out in a comparatively lower tone. 

In iqamah one does not say  As-salahu  khairun  minan naum‛.  Instead, for all the five salahs,  one has to say Qad qamatis salah‛ two times. 

When saying the iqamah, one  does not have to insert one’s  fore-fingers into one’s ears. The  reason for inserting the fingers  into the ears is to raise the voice  and this is not necessary when saying the iqamah

During the iqamah, it is not  necessary to turn to the right and left when saying Hayya alas  salah  and Hayya alal falah. However, some jurists are in favour of this.

More Rules Concerning the Adhan and Iqamah

1.  For  every fard-e-ayn salah, it  is sunnat-e-mu’akkadah for males  to call out the adhan once. This is irrespective of whether a person  is a traveller or not, whether he is  performing the salah in  congregation or alone, or whether he is performing a qada salah  or  not. For jumu’ah salah, the adhan should be called out twice.

2.  If a salah was missed for a  reason in which all the people  were involved, then the adhan  for that salah should be delivered  aloud. If it was missed for some specific reason, it should be  delivered secretly in a soft voice  so that people do not come to  know of any missed salah by  hearing the adhan aloud. The  reason for this is that missing a  salah is a sign of negligence and  laziness and to be negligent and  lazy in the affairs of Deen is a sin. It is not appropriate to announce or expose one’s sins.

If several salahs were missed and  all are being performed at one  time, it will be sunnah to call out  the adhan for the first time only.  As for the other salahs, only the  iqamah is sunnah. However, it is  mustahab to call out the adhan  for each salah separately.

3.  If a person is travelling and all  his companions are present with  him, it is mustahab and not  sunnat-e-mu’akkadah, for him to deliver the adhan.

4.  If a person offers his salah at  home, whether alone or in congregation, then both the  adhan and the iqamah will be mustahab for him on condition  that the adhan and iqamah of  the musjid of that area or town  has already been called out. This  is so because the adhan and  iqamah of the area is sufficient  for all the residents of that neighbourhood.

5.  If a person goes to a musjid in  which the adhan, iqamah and  salah has already been  performed, it will be makruh for  him to deliver the adhan and  iqamah when offering his own  salah. However, if that musjid  does not have any appointed  imam or muadhdhin, it will not be  makruh, but preferable.

6.  If a person is in a place in  which all the conditions for Jumu’ah salah are found and  Jumu’ah is even performed there,  yet despite this, he offers Zuhr  salah instead of Jumu’ah salah, it  will be makruh for him to call out  the adhan and iqamah. This is  irrespective of whether he offers  the Zuhr salah due to some excuse or not, or whether he offers it  before the completion of the  Jumu’ah salah or after its  completion.

7.  It is makruh for women to call  out the adhan and iqamah  irrespective of whether they are  offering their salah in congregation or individually.

8.  Apart from the fard-e-ayn  salahadhan for any other salah  is not prescribed  –  irrespective  of whether it is a fard-e-kifayah  salah, such as janazah salah, or a  waajib salah, such as witr salah,  the salahs of  Id; or whether it is a nafl salah.

9.  It is mustahab for the person  who hears the adhan to reply to  it, irrespective of whether he is a  male or female, in a state of  purity or impurity. Some ulama  have said that it is wajib.  But the  preferred opinion is that it is mustahab.

Replying to the adhan means  that the words which the muadhdhin says should be  repeated. However, when replying to Hayya alas salah and Hayya  alal falah, he should say, La hawla wa la quwwata illa billahil aliyyil azīm. 

For As-salaho khairun minan  naum, he should say Sadaqta wa bararta.

After the adhan, he should send salutations to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alay and then read the following dua: 

10. On hearing the adhan of Jumu’ah, it is wajib to leave whatever one may be occupied with, and go for the Jumu’ah salah to the Jame Musjid. It is haram to occupy oneself in any transaction or any other sort of work. 

11. Replying to the iqamah is also mustahab and not wajib. In replying to Qad qamatis salah, one should say Aqamahallahu wa adamaha

12. In eight situations, an answer to the adhan should not be given: 
(1) while offering salah
(2) while listening to a khutbah irrespective of whether it is a khutbah of Jumu’ah or any other khutbah
(3) when one is in a state of haid,
(4) when one is in a state of nifas,  (5) while one is teaching or learning the knowledge of Deen,  (6) while one is having sexual intercourse, 
(7)  while one is relieving oneself,   (8)  while one is eating, i.e. it is  not necessary.

After having completed these occupations and much time has not lapsed since  hearing the adhan, one should  reply to it, otherwise one should  not reply.

It is not necessary for the  person who is calling out the adhan to respond to the adhan as well.

13. If a person forgets to reply to  the adhan or intentionally does  not reply to it and on the  completion of the adhan, he  remembers or decides to reply to  it, he should reply to it if much  time has not lapsed, otherwise he should not reply.

14.  If considerable time has  passed after having called out the iqamah  and the congregation  has not stood up as yet, the  iqamah should be repeated. But  if  much time has not passed, it does not have to be repeated. 

The iqamah for Fajr Salah has  been called out but the imam  has not offered his sunnah salah  of Fajr as yet. If he occupies  himself in offering his sunnah,  then the time that he takes will  not be regarded as a long time  and it will therefore not be  necessary to repeat the iqamah. However, if one occupies oneself  with something that is not a part  of salah, such as eating and  drinking, then in this case the iqamah will have to be repeated.

15.  While the muadhdhin calls  out the adhan; he dies, falls  unconscious, his voice breaks  down completely or he forgets  and there is no one to correct  him, or his wudu breaks and he  rushes to repeat it – in all these  cases, it will be sunnat-e-mu’akkadah to repeat the adhan.

16.  If a person’s wudu breaks  while he is calling out the adhan  or iqamah, it will be preferable for  him to complete the adhan or iqamah and thereafter perform his wudu.

17. It is makruh for one muadhdhin to call out the adhan in two  musjids. He should call out the  adhan in the musjid in which he offers his fard salah.

18.  It is the right of the person  who calls out the adhan to call  out the iqamah as well. But if  after calling out the adhan, he  goes away somewhere or permits  someone else to call out the  iqamah, it is permissible for that  person to call out the iqamah.

19.  It is permissible for several  muadhdhins to call out the adhan at the same time.

20.  The muadhdhin should  complete his iqamah at the place  where he commenced it. He  should not move from place to place while reciting the iqamah.

21.  Niyyah is not a condition for  adhan and iqamah. However, one  is not rewarded without making  an intention. The intention is  that one is calling out the adhan  solely for the pleasure of Allah  and for the reward of it, and for no other reason.

The Sunnats and Mustahabs of Adhan and Iqamah 

The sunnats of adhan and  iqamah are of two types. Some are related to the muadhdhin  while others are related to the  adhan and iqamah. We will first  mention the sunnats related  to  the muadhdhin, and then those  that are related to the adhan and iqamah.

Sunnats related to the muadhdhin
1.  The muadhdhin has to be a  male. The adhan and iqamah of a  female is makruh-e-tahrimi. If a  woman calls out the adhan, it will  have to be repeated, but not the iqamah. This is so because  repetition of the iqamah is not stipulated as opposed to the repetition of the adhan.

2.  The muadhdhin has to be of  sound mind. The adhan and  iqamah of a mentally deranged  person, intoxicated person or an  immature child is makruh. Their  adhan will have to be repeated and not their iqamah.

3.  The muadhdhin must know  the necessary rules applicable to  him and he must also know the  times of the different salahs.  If  an ignorant person calls out  the adhan, he will not obtain the  same reward as that of a qualified muadhdhin.

4.  The muadhdhin must be pious  and religiously-minded and he  must be aware of the condition  of the people – reminding those  who do not attend the  congregation. He must do this if  he has no fear of anyone causing  harm to him.

5. The muadhdhin must have a loud voice.

Sunnats related to the adhan and iqamah

1.  The adhan should be called  out at an elevated place outside  the musjid. The iqamah should  be called out inside the musjid. To  call out the adhan inside the  musjid is makruh-e-tanzihi.  However, it is not makruh to call  out the second adhan of Jumu’ah  inside the musjid in front of the  pulpit (mimbar). In fact, this is  practised in all the Muslim  countries.

2.  The adhan has to be called out  in a standing position. If anyone  calls it out while sitting, it will be  makruh and it will have to be  repeated. However, if a traveller  is on his mount or a person  delivers adhan for his own salah,  it will not have to be repeated.

3.  The adhan has to be called out  in a loud voice. However, if a  person is calling out the adhan  for his own salah, he has the  choice to say it aloud or softly.  Even then, there is more reward in saying it aloud.

4.  It is mustahab to insert the  fore-fingers into the ears at the time of calling out the adhan.

5.  The words of the adhan  should be said with a pause between them, while the iqamah  should be said quickly. In other  words, when saying the takbirs  of the adhan, the muadhdhin  should pause after every two  takbirs so that those who are  listening to the adhan can  repeat the words. Apart from the  takbirs, he should pause after every sentence and thereafter  continue with the next sentence.  If, due to some reason, he does  not pause in this way, it will be mustahab to repeat the adhan

If the iqamah was called out by  pausing, it is not mustahab to repeat it.

6.  When calling out the adhan, it  is sunnah to turn towards the  right and left when saying Hayya  alas salah and Hayya alal falah.  This is irrespective of whether  the adhan is for a salah or for  some other reason. However, his chest and feet should not turn away from the qiblah.

7.  The Adhan and iqamah should be called while facing the qiblah  as long as one is not mounted  on an animal. It is makruh-e-tanzihi to call out the adhan and  iqamah while one is not facing the qiblah.

8.  At the time of calling out the  adhan, it is necessary for the  person to be pure from hadath-e-akbar (major impurity) and  mustahab to be pure from both  the major and minor impurities.  At the time of calling out the iqamah, it is necessary to be pure  from both the impurities. If a  person calls out the adhan while  in a state of hadath-e-akbar, it  will be makruh-e-tahrimi and it  will be mustahab to repeat that  adhan. Similarly, if a person calls  out the iqamah while in a state  of major or minor impurity, it will  be makruh-e-tahrimi but it is not mustahab to repeat the iqamah.

9.  It is sunnah to say the words  of the adhan and iqamah in  sequence. If an error is made in  the order of the adhan or  iqamah, such an error should be  rectified by repeating the  misplaced sentence in its proper  sequence, e.g a person  says,

Ash hado anna Muhammadar  Rasulullah before Ash hado an la  ilsha illa Allahu,  
or he says, Hayya alal falah before  Hayya alas salah.

In the first instance, the  sequence of the adhan is set in order by calling out,  
Ash hado an la ilaha illa Allahu   and then repeating,
Ash hado anna Muhammadar  Rasulullah.

In the second instance, after  saying,
Hayya alas salah,  
he  should  repeat,
Hayya alal falah. 

It is not necessary to repeat the entire adhan.

10.  While calling out the adhan  and iqamah, no other words  should be spoken (This ruling is  for the muadhdhin. It is not proper for those listening to the adhan and iqamah to talk, recite the  Quran or occupy themselves in  any other task. They should  concentrate in replying to the  adhan and iqamah. If a person is  reciting the Qur’an, he should  stop and concentrate on replying to the adhan and iqamah), even if  they be a greeting or a reply to a  greeting. If a person speaks while  calling out the adhan or iqamah  and he spoke considerably, he should repeat the adhan and not the iqamah.

Miscellaneous Questions Regarding Adhan

Question: Is it permissible to kiss  the thumbs upon hearing the name of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) during the adhan?

Answer: Kissing the thumbs  upon hearing the name of  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has no basis in the Shari’ah.

Question: I noticed that the  muazzin in our mosque, before  giving adhan recites the  following durood – sallallaho alan Nabiyye ummiye wa alihi sallallahoalayhi wassalam as salatau wa  salaman alayka ya rasoollah. Is it  correct to recite this before giving adhan as well as before iqamah?

Answer: If it is done silently by  himself, then any form of Durood or Dhikr may be recited. The  word, ‘Ya Rasulullah’ should not  be used since many people  attach wrong beliefs to these  words. If these words are said  aloud like the words of the  Adhan and Iqamat, it is a bid’ah  (innovation) and will be haraam.

Question: In replying to the  adhan, should we say “sallahu  alahai wasallam” while replying  to “Ashadu Anna Muhammed ar Rasoolullah”? Are we supposed  to say “sallahu  alahi wasallam”? 

Answer: According to the  narrators of Hadith, we are  supposed to repeat the exact  words of the muadhdhin except  for ‘Hayya alas Salah’ and ‘Hayya  alal Falah’, There is no mention  of saying the words, ‘Sallallahu  Alayhi Wasallam’. However, if one  does so, without thinking it to be necessary, then there is no harm in it. 

Question: Is the hadith that  mentions replying back to  ‘Qadqamatis Salah” unauthentic?

Answer: This Hadith is recorded  by Imam Abu Dawud in his Sunan, Hadith  529. The chain of  narrators have been classified as  weak (in Mukhtasar al-Munzhiri,  vol.1 pg.285). However, such a  Hadith can be used to establish  a mustahab act. The fact that it is  weak does not necessitate its total rejection.

Question: The purpose of  installing a transmitter and receivers at homes is because the  adhan could not be heard with  the normal microphone system.  Is it permissible to install transmitters? At present the  adhan, Jumu’ah khutbah and other special programs are being transmitted.

Answer: To install transmitters  is  mubah (permissible). There is no prohibition in Shari’ah for that. 

The transmitters serve as a reminder for salat and an ideal opportunity for womenfolk to  benefit from the discourses of the Ulama in the Musjid.

Question: In our town there are  many adhans all at once. Should  we wait for all the adhans to be  over before praying. Sometimes we cannot hear the adhan properly.

Answer: A person should answer  and comply with the adhan of his  or her Musjid, i.e. the Musjid  nearest to one’s house. There is no need to wait for all the adhans to finish.

Question: In our musjid, the  adhan is recited quite loudly over  the loudspeaker. The non-Muslim  residents become annoyed. Should the loudspeaker not be  toned down to avoid dispute and ill-feeling with the non-Muslim neighbours?

Answer: Yes, the system should  be toned down. The Shari’ah  does not instruct that the adhan  be recited over a microphone system nor does it have to be excessively loud. 

Question: Should the musallis  respond to the second adhan  recited in front of the mimbar on Fridays?

Answer: The response should be  in the mind, without any lip or tongue movement. The  du’a too  should be read in the mind.

Question: If the muadhdhin’s  wudu breaks during the adhan,  what should he do?

Answer: He should complete the  adhan.

Question: When reciting the  Iqamah, should the muadhdhin  stand immediately behind the imam in the first saff?

Answer: The iqamah may be  recited from any position in any  saff. No specific place has been allocated for the iqamah.

Question: What should be done  if the adhan commences while one is reciting the Qur’an or performing wudu?

Answer: Halt the recitation of the  Qur’an and respond to the adhan.  One may resume the recitation  after reciting the dua after adhan

If the adhan begins while one is performing wudu, continue with the wudu, but respond to the  adhan as well.

Question: In my masjid, the  words,  ‘Ya  Rasulallah‛ are said  after adhan and also by the Imam  in the Friday Khutbah. Is this permissible?

Answer: ‘Abdur-Rahman Ibn Abi  Layla (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that Ka’b Ibn ‘Ujra (radhiyallahu anhu) met me in the Musjid. He  said to me, ‘Should I not gift you  something that I had heard from  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)?’ I replied, ‘Most  certainly, please do so.’ He said,  ‘We asked Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), ‘O Rasul of  Allah, how should we send salat  (blessings) upon you and the  Ahlul-Bayt (members of  your  household)? For Allah has shown  us only how to send salams  (salutations) upon you (but  not  Salat)?’ Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) replied, ‘Say, O Allah,  send Salat (blessings) upon Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) like how you sent them  upon Ibrahim (alayhissalaam). Verily You are the most worthy of  praise, most honourable (the  formula of Durood-e-Ibrahim).’ [Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

In this Hadith (tradition), Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) taught  his Sahaba (radhiyallahu anhum)  the way of sending Salat and  Salam (blessings and salutations)  upon him. Also we see no  similarity between the way  taught by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the baseless  custom prevailing nowadays.

Undoubtedly, Salat is a powerful  blessing and a means of great  rewards, provided it is carried out  in the way shown by our beloved  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  Neither has Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) nor the Sahaba  (Radhiyallahu Anhum), Tabi’in  (Rahimahumullah) and pious predecessors specified any time or mode for reciting of Durud and  Salam as is the practice  nowadays. Neither did any of the  Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) nor Tabi’in carry out the practice  that is now prevalent. In fact,  they strongly opposed such innovations. 

To specify certain times, e.g. after Fard (obligatory) prayers or after  Jumu’ah, likewise, after adhan  and to recite in a loud voice or in  group form, etc. and to regard these practices as necessary and  part of Deen is undoubtedly an innovation. It is narrated that Ibn  Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) once  heard of a group that had  gathered in a Musjid reciting the  Kalimah and Durud and Salam in  a loud voice. He immediately confronted them and said,  ‘This  is a practice we have not seen in  the time of Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). I regard you all  to be only innovators.’ He  continued to say this until he  chased them all out of the  Musjid.  

Most definitely, we should make  it a practice to recite Durud and  Salam on Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as much as possible,  but we should be careful to do  this only in the way shown to us by Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself.  [Ahsanul  Fatawa vol.1 pg.363 ]

The Philosophy of Adhān

The following is an in-depth  study into the inception and establishment of the adhan as  expounded by Moulana Idris Kandhelwi in his book, Seeratul Mustafa.

After Iman (belief), Salah  occupies the loftiest status in Islam. The performance of Salah  with Jama‘at is of supreme  importance. It is somewhat  problematic for all the people to  gather at a specific place and  time without any form of  announcement. When Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) brought this up in a consultation,  someone suggested lighting a fire. Another person suggested  the chiming of bells whilst another proposed blowing a  trumpet. Rasulullsh (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) loathed the use  of fire as this bore resemblance  to the Zoroastrians. He objected  to the chiming of bells due to its  resemblance to the practice of  the Christians and he was  opposed to the use of a trumpet  as it may be tantamount to  emulation of the Jews. Without  reaching any firm decision, the  gathering broke up and everyone returned home.

During this period, ‘Abdullah Ibn  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) was  shown the celebrated dream of  adhan and iqamah. When he  related his dream to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the latter remarked:  ‘This dream is true.‛  In other  words, this dream is from Allah  and it is free of nafsani (sensual)  and Shaytani (satanic) influence.  Although a categorical injunction  cannot be established on the  basis of a pious dream or  inspiration, yet the endorsement  issued by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) of the contents  of this dream has actually made  it acquire the status of divine  revelation. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) instructed the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) to  call out the adhan using the  same words. The adhan subsequently became one of the sha‘air (salient features) of Deen.

Then again, the configuration  and sequence of the words of  adhan is also remarkable. These  few words sum up the three basic fundamentals of Islam; tauhid  (oneness of Allah Ta‘ala), risalat  (prophethood) and the hereafter.  The words Allahu Akbar describe  the greatness and magnanimity  of Allah Ta‘ala. The words Ash-hadu Alla ilaha Ilallah confirm the tauhid (oneness of Allah Ta‘ala)  and negate polytheism. The  words Ash-hadu Anna Muhammadar-Rasulullah affirm  the prophethood of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). They are a  proclamation of the fact that we have recognised Allah Ta‘ala and  the method of worshipping Him  through the medium of none  other than Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). 

Following this proclamation of tauhid and risalat, the greatest form of devotion is salah and to  this objective thewords of ‘Hayya ‘Alas-Salah’, summon the  believers. And with the words  ‘Hayya ‘Alal Falah’, a call to  perpetual success is made and  these words are a subtle  reference to the hereafter as well. In other words, if you desire  eternity and perpetual success,  apply yourself to the sole worship of Allah Ta‘ala. The word success  refers to the  success of the  hereafter. And finally the adhan  is terminated with the opening  words of Allahu Akbar Allahu  Akbar La Ilaha Ilallah. In other  words, Allah Ta‘ala is the greatest and nobody is entitled to  worship and devotion but Him. (Imam Qurtubi and others say:  ‘The adhan, in spite of its limited  number of words, comprises of a  number of articles of faith. It  commences with the greatness  of Allah Ta‘ala. This also includes  the very presence of Allah Ta‘ala. Thereafter, it mentions tauhid  and negates shirk (polytheism).  It then declares the risalat (prophethood) of Muhammad  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Immediately after  Shahadah, it summons (the  faithful) to a specific form of devotion because the knowledge  of this devotion could only be  gleaned from Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  Thereafter it calls to success and  this success is a reference to an  eternal success. And in this is a  subtle indication towards the  hereafter. Finally the adhan,  repeats the opening words to addmore emphasis to (its message).‛ [Fathul-Bari volume 2, page 62)]

The person whom Allah Ta‘ala  has granted a little common  sense will, by merely glancing  over the translation of the  adhan, realise that the adhan is  an embodiment of d‘awat  (invitation) to the truth and it is  a voice that invites towards Allah  Ta‘ala. On the contrary, the  chimes of the Christians, the  trumpet of the Jews and the  conch-shell of the Hindus are  merely objects of play and  amusement. With the  proclamation of Allah’s greatness  and grandeur, with the  declaration of His oneness and  divinity, a devotee is able to  reach Allah. He will never be able  to reach the Almighty with the thumping of drums or the clanging of bells.

Persian couplet: “The path you  are treading on is the path that  leads to Turkey (whilst your  intention is to go elsewhere)”

It seems like the words of the  adhan were sanctioned through a dream because the adhan  embraces proclamation of the  prophethood of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). And to publicly proclaim this  prophethood and to invite  towards his Deen is a compulsion upon the servants and devotees.

Persian couplet: “It is better and  more satisfying when the  mysteries of the beloved are  expressed by someone else.”

On the night of M‘iraj, Allah  Ta‘ala directly instructed Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to establish Salah.  And Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also heard the words  of the adhan being called out as  he was ascending and  descending the levels of the heavens. It appears in Khasaisul-Kubra  on the authority of Hadhrat ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) that an  angel called out the adhan in the  heavens and Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  heard it. [Khasaisul-Kubra volume 1 page 164] 

Hadhrat ‘Ayeshah (radhiyallahu anha) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Jibril called out the adhan in  the  sky and he urged me forward to lead the Salah. So I led the angels  in prayer.‛   [Khasaisul-Kubra volume 1, page  176] 

Furthermore, after hijrah, when  the need arose for a public announcement to summon the faithful to salah, ‘Abdullah Ibn  Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) was  taught the words of the adhan and iqamah in a dream. When he  heard the dream being related to  him by ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid  (radhiyallahu anhu), Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) instantly  realised that these were the  words of adhan and iqamah  he had heard whilst in M‘iraj. This  is why, on hearing the words, he  spontaneously declared: ‘This is  an authentic dream.‛  In other  words, this dream precisely corresponds to what I had heard  whilst awake on the night of M‘iraj.

There are conflicting narrations  in regards to the (number of)  words of the adhan and iqamah.  According to the adhan of Abu Mahdhurah (radhiyallahu anhu),  tarj‘i  (A reference to certain  words of the adhan being repeated; first softly and then  relatively loudly) is an integral  part of the adhan. Hence, the  adhan will comprise of nineteen words whilst the iqamah will  comprise of seventeen words.  Imam Shafi‘i (Rahimahullah) has  opted for the adhan of Abu Mahzurah (radhiyallahu anhu).

Imam Abu Hanifah  (Rahimahullah) has preferred the adhan of ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid  (radhiyallahu anhu) because  after all, the actual legislation of  the adhan is linked to the dream  of  ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid  (radhiyallahu anhu). Furthermore, Hadhrat ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) also had the identical  dream that corresponds to the  adhan of ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu).

Shaikh Ibn I‘lan Makkirm (rahimahullah) writes in Sharh Kitabul Adhkar, volume 2 page 70, that it is cited in Tabrani’s Awsat that Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) also saw the identical dream.

Then Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) declared the dream to  be authentic and instructed Bilal  (radhiyallahu anhu) to call out  the adhan accordingly because  the adhan of ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) was identical to the adhan Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) heard Jibril (alayhissalaam) calling out in the heavens when he  undertook his journey of M‘iraj. And at the urging of Jibril  (alayhissalaam), Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) led the  angels in salah. It appears in a  Hadith that when ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) related  his dream to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), he  advised him, ‘Teach the words of  adhan you were taught in the dream to Bilal because he has a louder voice than you.‛  

Thereafter, during the lifetime of  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and in his very  presence, Bilal (radhiyallahu anhu) continued calling out the adhan  in exactly the same words that  were taught to him by ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu).

Furthermore, on the basis of  authentic and explicit Ahadith,  it  is categorically established that  the adhan of ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) did not  contain tarj‘i.  Also, as mentioned  above, Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) saw exactly the same  dream as ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid  radhiyallahu anhu (and  this  dream makes no mention of tarj‘i).
For these reasons, Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahimahullah) pronounces the adhan of  ‘Abdullah Ibn Zaid (radhiyallahu anhu) that is mentioned in a number of Ahadith as more appropriate.

Since the adhan is one of the  Shi‘ar (salient features) of Islam  and its words contain a form of  distinctive spiritual illumination  and barakat (blessings), the  Shari‘ah has enjoined calling out  the adhan in the ear of a newborn child so that the words of tauhid  and risalat are the first words to  land on the child’s ears upon his  entry into this world. This will  enable the child to renew his  pact of alastu  [ i.e. A reference to  the pact every soul had taken with Allah Ta‘ala in the realm of  souls wherein Allah Ta‘ala questioned the souls saying:  ‘Alastu Birabbikum….‛ (Am I not  your Lord?) Hence the name ‘the  realm of Alastu’.] 

The Benefit of Responding to the Adhan

The adhan is called out for the  fard salats. For those who listen  to the adhan, according to some  scholars it is mustahabb  (preferable) to respond to the  adhan while others are of the  view that it is wajib (compulsory). [Namaze Masnun p.253.]

The person who responds to the  adhan regularly with respect and  reverence and shuns all innovations, will Insha Allah, be blessed  with uttering the kalimah i.e La ilaha ilah Allah at the time of  death. What greater good  fortune can there be? Moulana  Zul Fiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi  (Damat Barakatuhum) has on  numerous occasions quoted Moulana Ahmad Ali Lahori  (Rahimahullah) as saying that it  was his experience that whoever  regularly responded to the adhan  was granted the good fortune of reciting the kalimah at the time  of death. [Nabi Karim Ki Pasandidah Namaz, p. 143]

The reason for this is that when  one is about to die, those around  him are commanded to recite the  kalimah in a loud voice, so that  he could hear it and also begin  reciting the same. He must not  be commanded to read the kalimah. The same condition is  found in responding to the  adhan, namely, one person is  calling out the kalimah and the  listener is responding to it. In  this manner, a habit is created in  the listener to recite the kalimah  as soon as he hears it. This habit  will be of immense benefit at the time of death. 

One who is not in the habit of  responding to the adhan, may  perhaps say, ‘onions, potatoes‛ or begin singing or doing some  action that he habitually  committed during the course of  his life. Some people respond by  saying, ‘I have committed sins my  whole life. Now what benefit is there in reciting the kalimah?‛ In  this way, a person rejects the  kalimah at this most crucial hour.  May Allah save us from an evil  consequence.

How Do We Treat Our Muadhdhins
When the musjid committee  employs a muadhdhin, there is no  clear-cut job description  detailing what is expected of  him. As a result, the muadhdhin  find himself responsible to the  entire congregation, rather than  the appropriate authorities. He is  thus expected to be a security  officer, a toilet cleaner or a  gardener coupled with the noble task of calling out the adhan

Similarly, there is a stark lack of  consideration for the duration of  service when it comes to leave,  allowances, etc. Muadhdhins are  totally neglected in the field of education and training and there  is an absence of opportunities  for personal development. Many  muadhdhins undergo poor social  conditions because their living quarters are not conducive to  decent living standards. Muadhdhins generally hold the  perception that conditions of  employment such as punctuality  for salah are not uniformly  enforced between them and the  imams, who may sometimes be  late or even absent from salah without the reprimands the muadhdhins receive. 

The musjid trustees assume a  position of authority which has  to be discharged with  compassion and justice. Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said,  ‘Woe to the rulers, leaders and  trustees. On the day of  Resurrection, some people will  wish they could be suspended  between the heaven and the  earth rather than having to face  the burden of their  responsibilities.‛ [Sahih Ibn  Hibban]

After all, the muadhdhin is a  human being who can err and  slip. Overlook his faults and treat  him justly just as you would treat  any other human being. He is  entitled to decent working conditions and a reasonable salary.

Why Zuhr and ‘Asr Salaah are Non-Audible??


Ever wondered why the Jama’at Salaah of Zuhr  and ‘Asr  are Non-Audible while Fajr, Maghrib & ‘Isha Salaah are audible (i.e. recitation in Qiyaam with loud voice)??

The Sunnah of Non-Audible Salaah of Zuhr and ‘Asr  traces its practice way-back to the early days of Islam!

Hadhrat Maulana Shah Waliullah Al Dehlwi (rahmatullah alayh) explains it in his famous treatise Hujjatullah lil Balighah:

“During the initial days of Islam, to read Salaat or the Qur’an loudly during day time invited hard punishments, ostracization and even death. The Muslims were scared and were forced to read the salaat  in silence. At dusk, when people went back to their homes and the markets emptied, then Muslims could find courage to raise their voices while reading Salaat and Qur’an. Similarly, during Fajr  there were not many who would object to prayers in loud voice.

Even great Sahaabi like Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was almost forced to leave his house because the Makkan’s did not like him reading Qur’an loudly. They were afraid that children who heard him and imitated him were actually learning from him. This was not acceptable to them. He was asked to either read the Qur’an without volume or leave the city. He was lucky that Abu Darda’ (radhiyallahu anhu) offered him protection and he could stay in his house. [Later Hadhrat Abu Darda’ (radhiyallahu anhu)  revoked the protection and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) retorted that he did not need protection of man – Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala was enough for him.]

In remembrance of the hardhips faced by our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah (ridhwanallahu anhum) during the early days, we pray our Zuhr and ‘Asr salaah in slow voices, as they used to.”