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The Story of Aathaan(Call to the Prayer)

In the beginning, the Muslims used to gather to perform prayers at their due times without any call to precede it. But when their numbers increased, the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) thought of finding a way by which he could call the Muslims for prayers. Some Muslims suggested raising a flag at the time of prayer, and on seeing it, the Muslims would come to prayer. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, did not like the idea; another suggestion was to use a horn to call the people to prayer as the Jews do. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, disapproved of this idea as well. Others said, "We can use a bell, and when we ring it, the Muslims will know that the time of prayer is due."

 'Abdullaah Ibn Zayd, one of the Prophets Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, was present at these discussions. He was a faithful Muslim who loved Allaah and His Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and used to follow Allaahs orders in all he did. 'Abdullaah heard all this discussion, and went home and slept while thinking about this problem and trying to solve it.

In his sleep, he saw a strange dream. In the morning he went quickly to the Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and told him about that dream:

In that dream he saw a man wearing green clothes and carrying a horn in his hand.

He asked the man: "Would you sell this horn to me?"

The man in green said: "And what will you do with it?"

 'Abdullaah Ibn Zayd answered: "We shall use it to call people for prayers."

The man said: "Should I guide you to something better?"

 'Abdullaah said: "What is it?"

The man in green said: Say: -

 Allaahu Akbar (Allaah is the Greatest).. Allaahu Akbar.. Allaahu Akbar.. Allaahu Akbar..

- Ashhadu Allaa Ilaaha Illallaah (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah).. Ashhadu Allaa Ilaaha Illallaah.

- Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Rasoolullaah (I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah).. Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Rasoolullaah..

- Hayyi 'Alas-Salaah (Come to Prayer). Hayyi 'Alas-Salaah.

- Hayyi 'Alal-Falaah (Come to success). Hayyi 'Alal-Falaah

- Allaahu Akbar.. Allaahu Akbar.

- Laa Ilaaha Illallaah (None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah.)  

Upon hearing that, the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "It is surely a true dream, Allaah willing!"

Thereupon, the Prophet asked 'Abdullaah Ibn Zayd to tell Bilaal, may Allaah be pleased with him, to use those words when he called for prayers, and he did.

Bilaal, may Allaah be pleased with him, recited Aathaan out loud. When 'Umar bin Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, heard him whilst in his house, he rushed to the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, and said to him: "O Prophet of Allaah! I swear by Him Who has sent you with the truth, I saw the same dream."

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "Praise be to Allaah!"

In Arabic, "Aathaan" means "to announce something". In Islamic terminology, Aathaan is to inform (Muslims) that the time of prayer is due, and it is announcing an Islamic ritual, and a call to the congregational prayer. Moreover, Aathaan is a communal obligation. (If one Muslim or a group of Muslim do it, it will be sufficient for all the other Muslims).

The words of Aathaan, though few in number, yet they include the following great meanings:

  • Testifying that Allaah is the Greatest.

  • Testifying that Allaah is One and that Muhammad, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger. These two testimonies represent the essence of Islam.

  • Calling Muslims to perform the prayer, which is the second pillar of Islam.

  • Highlighting the real meaning of success (Arabic falaah), which is to gain the good of this worldly life and the Hereafter.  

  • Hearing Aathaan:

When the Muslim hears Aathaan, he should repeat exactly what the person calling it says, except at Hayyi `Alas-Salaah (Come to Prayer) and Hayyi `Alal-Falaah (Come to success), he should say, Laa Hawla Walaa Quwwata Illaa Billaah (There is neither might nor power except with Allaah).

  • Exalting the mention of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, after Aathaan:

After Aathaan, a Muslim should exalt the mention of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, using any of the wordings (or formulas) narrated in this regard. He should also ask Allaah to grant the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, Al-Waseelah (It literally means the means but it refers to the right of intercession in the Hereafter). The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: After Aathaan, a Muslim should exalt the mention of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, using any of the wordings (or formulas) narrated in this regard. He should also ask Allaah to grant the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, Al-Waseelah (It literally means the means but it refers to the right of intercession in the Hereafter).

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said:

"Whoever says after listening to Aathaan, O Allaah! Lord of this perfect call and of the regular prayer which is going to be established, give Muhammad Al-Waseelah (the right of

intercession) and prominence and resurrect him to the best and the highest place in Paradise that You have promised him (of), he will be entitled for my intercession on the Day of Resurrection.[Al-Bukhaari]  

  • Aathaan is one of the best deeds:

Aathaan is on of the best deeds, and many narrations stated its excellence. The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said: "If people know the reward of Aathaan and (praying in) the first row in prayer, and did not find a way to achieve it except by drawing lots, they would do so." [Al-Bukhaari].

The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, also said: "The caller to the prayer will have the loftiest ranks on the Day of Judgment." [Muslim]

Stories
Good Manners
The Mystery of the Jewel

The Queen and the Wicked Insect

Our Religion

Enjoining Prayers

The Giver in Charity with no Limits

The Giver in Charity with no Limits

The Story of Aathaan

The Life of the Prophethet
The Prophets Childhood
The Prophet's Trade and Marriage
The Year of Sadness and The Night Journey and the Ascent to the Heavens
Examples of Jews' Conspiracies
The Hudaybiyah Peace Treaty
Prophets
Aadam

Ismaa'eel

Prophet Lout (Lot), may Allah exalt his mention

Prophet Ayyoob (Job), may Allah exalt his mention

Prophet Zechariah, may Allah exalt his mention

Great Muslim Characters
Al-Bukhaari
Ash-Shaafi'ee
Ibn Taymiyyah

Muhammad Ibn Al-Qaasim

Al-Khaleel Ibn Ahmad

 

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