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Athaan in Madeenah

Monday 29/03/2010

The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) consulted his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, to find a method to awaken from sleep, remind the forgetful and inform the people that the time of prayer was due. Some of them said, “Let a flag be raised when the time of prayer is due, so that people would see it.” However, this opinion was rejected under the pretext that it would be of no benefit for those who were sleeping or heedless. Others said, “Let us kindle fire on the top of a hill,” but this opinion was also not accepted. Others recommended using a horn, which was used by the Jews for their prayers, but the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) disliked this, as Muslims should behave in opposition to the people of the Book in their practices. Some Companions suggested the use of a bell, which was used by the Christians, but again the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) disliked it for the same reason.

A party of them gave an opinion of calling to prayer, that is, when the prayer time was due, one of them would call to it. This opinion was accepted. One of those who called for that was ‘Abdullaah bin Zayd Al-Ansaari, may Allah be pleased with him. While he was in a state between slumber and wakefulness, a person appeared to him and said, “Should I not teach you some words to say when you call to prayer?” He said, “Yes.” He said to him, “Say: ‘Allahu Akbar [Allah is the Greatest]” twice; say: ‘Ash-hadu alla ilaaha illa Allah, wa ash-hadu anna muhammadan rasoolullaah [I testify that none is truly worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah]’; say: ‘Hayya ‘alas-salah [Come to prayer]’ twice, ‘Hayya ‘alal-falaah [come to prosperity]’ twice, say: ‘Allahu Akbar [Allah is Greater]’ twice, and then say: ‘la ilaaha illa Allah [There is none truly worthy of worship except Allah]’.”
 
‘Abdullaah, may Allah be pleased with him, woke up and went directly to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and told him about his vision, who responded: “Indeed, it is a true vision!” Then he said to him: “Dictate it to Bilaal for his voice is more pleasant than yours..”
 
While Bilaal, may Allah be pleased with him, was calling to prayer using these words, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, came dragging his upper garment and said, “By Allah, I have seen [a vision] like what he saw, O Messenger of Allah.” Bilaal bin Rabaah, may Allah be pleased with him, was one of the Prophet’s two callers to prayer in Madeenah, and the other was ‘Abdullaah bin Umm Maktoom, may Allah be pleased with him. In the Athaan (call) to the Morning prayer, Bilaal, may Allah be pleased with him, would say twice after “Hayya ‘alal-falaah”: “As-salaatu khayrun minan-nawm (Prayer is better than sleep)”. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) authenticated this. At first, the Athaan was proclaimed from a high place, and then the minaret was introduced.

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