History of Adhan (Call to Prayers)

In Makkah, the number of muslims were small. They could make Jama’ah without any call. When Prophet Muhammad (SAW) arrived in Madinah, the number of Muslims started to increase. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) built Masjid Al-Nabawi to offer Salaah regularly. By the second year of Hijrah, the number of Muslims had increased. The people announced in a loud voice. “As-salat ul-jamiah (the Salaah for jama’ah is ready).” Those who heard this call came to join the Salaah. Muslims felt the need to find a way to inform people to come to the Salaah. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked his Sahabah for their advice.

Some Sahabah suggested that the muslims, like the jews, should blow a horn to announce the time for the Salaah. Others said, the muslims might ring bells as the christians do in their churches. A few proposed that the muslims, like the fire-worshippers, kindle a fire to call people to pray. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) wasn’t satisfied with any of these ideas. He waited to hear a better idea or to receive guidance from Allah.

One day, a Sahabi, Abdullah ibn Zaid came to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I had a beautiful dream last night.”

“What was the dream you saw”, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked Zaid.

Zaid answered, “I’ve seen that a man wearing green garment taught me the words of the Adhan and advised me to call people to prayer with these words.” He then recited the words of the Adhan.

The words were beautiful and full of meaning. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) recognized that the dream of Zaid was true. He asked Zaid to teach the words of Adhan to Bilal.

Bilal stood up and called the Adhan. The voice of Bilal resounded throughout the Madinah. People came running to Masjid Al-Nabawi. Umar ibn Khatib was one of the persons who came and said: “O Messanger of Allah, an angel taught me the same words in my dream last night.” And Prophet Muhammad (SAW) accepted this Adhan as the official call to the Salaah.

Book of Call to Prayer
Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 11 :: Hadith 580

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

When the number of Muslims increased they discussed the question as to how to know the time for the prayer by some familiar means. Some suggested that a fire be lit (at the time of the prayer) and others put forward the proposal to ring the bell. Bilal was ordered to pronounce the wording of Adhan twice and of the Iqama once only.

Book of Call to Prayer
Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 11 :: Hadith 578

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

When the Muslims arrived at Medina, they used to assemble for the prayer, and used to guess the time for it. During those days, the practice of Adhan for the prayers had not been introduced yet. Once they discussed this problem regarding the call for prayer. Some people suggested the use of a bell like the Christians, others proposed a trumpet like the horn used by the Jews, but ‘Umar was the first to suggest that a man should call (the people) for the prayer; so Allah’s Apostle ordered Bilal to get up and pronounce the Adhan for prayers.

Book of Call to Prayers (Adhan)
Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 11 :: Hadith 577

Narrated Anas:

The people mentioned the fire and the bell (they suggested those as signals to indicate the starting of prayers), and by that they mentioned the Jews and the Christians. Then Bilal was ordered to pronounce Adhan for the prayer by saying its wordings twice, and for the Iqama (the call for the actual standing for the prayers in rows) by saying its wordings once. (Iqama is pronounced when the people are ready for the prayer).

Book of Call to Prayer
Bukhari :: Book 1 :: Volume 11 :: Hadith 579

Narrated Anas:

Bilal was ordered to repeat the wording of the Adhan for prayers twice, and to pronounce the wording of the Iqamas once except “Qad-qamat-is-Salat”.

Adhan at Masjid Al Haram

 Extract from: History of Adhan 

Read HERE… Adhan : An Amazing Discovery

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