Placing index fingers in ears when calling Athaan and Iqaamah
Fatwa No: 341923

Question

I know that when we call the azan we touch our ears, but do we do the same when saying the Iqaamah (second call the prayer, which signals that the prayer is about to start)? Meaning, when we say the Takbeer (saying: Allaahu Akbar) before the prayer, do we touch our ears as well? I hope you understand the question. Please kindly answer it. Thank you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Placing the fingers in the ears while saying the Athaan was reported in the Sunnah. Abu Juhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I saw Bilaal calling the Athaan, I looked at his mouth following him this side and that side (i.e., right and left), and his (index) fingers were in his ears.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi who graded it saheeh (sound)] The version narrated by Ibn Maajah reads, “‘...and he put his (index) fingers in his ears.’ Moreover, Sa‘d Al-Qarath narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, commanded Bilaal to put his (index) fingers in his ears when calling the Athaan. ” [Ibn Maajah and Al-Haakim] Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar said in Fat-h Al-Baari that there was weakness in the chain of narration of the last hadeeth.

Based on these ahaadeeth, scholars recommended that the mua'ththin places his index fingers in his ears while calling the Athaan. Imaam At-Tirmithi commented on the hadeeth narrated by Abu Juhayfah, “Scholars act upon it (this hadeeth); they recommend that the muezzin inserts his fingers in his ears while calling the Athaan...

As for the Iqaamah, scholars held different views regarding putting the fingers in the ears while pronouncing it; some said that it is prescribed, others said that it is not prescribed, and a third group said that the person has the choice to put the fingers in the ears or not.

Imaam At-Tirmithi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Some scholars held that the fingers should be put in the ears while calling the Iqaamah as well. This is the view held by Al-Awzaa‘i...

Ibn Rajab  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Is-haaq held the same view as Al-Awzaa‘i in this regard.” [Fat-h Al-Bari]

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “It is not recommended to put the fingers in the ears in the Iqaamah, as has been stated by Ar-Rooyaani in Al-Hilyah as well as by others...” [Al-Majmoo’]

Tuhfat Al-Ahwathi reads, “As for the statement (of At-Tirmithi), ‘Some scholars held that the fingers should be put in the ears while calling the Iqaamah as well. This is the view held by Al-Awzaa‘i.’ There is no evidence in the Sunnah to support this view, and the Qiyas (analogy) with the Athaan is wrong; it is considered an analogy with a difference (Qiyaas m'aal Faariq, i.e. analogy which differs in essential qualities)...

The Maaliki scholar Al-Hattaab  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Al-Mudawwanah reads, ‘He has the choice to put his fingers in his ears while calling the Athaan and Iqaamah or not to put them...” [Mawaahib Al-Jaleel]

Allah knows best.

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