Adhan and Iqama (Shafii)


What is the adhan in islam? What is the iqama?

I. The Ruling of Adhan and Iqama

The term adhan, which started to be used in the first year of the Hijrah, literally means to announce, to proclaim, and to inform. In Islamic legal terminology, adhan means the statements that are recited in a specific way, and at certain and specified times before the obligatory prayers.

In every religion, there are certain words, instruments, or sounds to inform their followers about the times of worship and to call them to perform the acts of worship. The trumpet is peculiar to the Jews; the bell is peculiar to the Christians; and the adhan is peculiar to the Muslims.

The adhan is the symbol of the presence of Islam in a country. This is why the adhan is recited in Arabic throughout the world. With the adhan, the community is informed of the times of the prayer. The principles of the religion of Islam are announced to the world. The adhan, which is recited before every obligatory prayer, is a means to remind people of Allah’s name every second throughout the world.

The adhan is established with the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslim scholars. It is stated in the following verse,

“When you call for prayer …”[1]

Our Prophet stated, “If three people are gathered together and they do not recite the adhan and if do they not pray together as a congregation, Satan will definitely overtake them.’’ [2]

Muslim scholars see it as a big drawback if the adhan and iqamah, which are considered to be the most important symbols of Islam, are completely abandoned by the community of a region.

The person who summons the faithful to prayer from a minaret five times a day is called the muezzin.

It is Sunnah muakkadah to recite the adhan and the iqamah. Both of them are recited for the obligatory prayers, not for the supererogatory ones. The person should only recite one adhan, if he performs a couple of makeup prayers consecutively or combine two consecutive prayers, whereas, one iqamah should be recited for each of the obligatory prayers.

II. The Wordings of Adhan and Iqamah

All the words of the adhan except for the last sentence are repeated. The muezzin first says the words “Allahu akbar” twice. After this, he lowers the tone of his voice and says “ashhadu an la ilaha illallah, ashhadu an la ilaha illallah, ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasulu’l Allah, ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasulu’l Allah.” After this, he raises his voice and repeats the same statements. After this, he says “hayya ‘ala’s-salah, hayya ‘ala’s-salah, hayya ‘ala’l-falah, hayya ‘ala’l-falah.” When the adhan for the dawn prayer is recited, after these sentences, the following statements are added two times, “(اَلصَّلاَةُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ النّوْمِ) assalatu khayrun mina’n-nawm’’.  At the end of the adhan, the muezzin says “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la ilaha illallah.”

The statements of iqamah are same as the statements of adhan except for adding the statement “(قَدْ قَامَتِ الصَّلَوةِ) qad qamati’s-salah” twice after the statement “Hayya ‘ala’l Falah”.

According to the Hanafis, the number of statements in the adhan and the iqamah are the same. According to the Malikis, every statement in the iqamah is said once except for the takbirs, which makes it a total of ten statements. According to the Shafii and the Hanbali Schools, the total number of statements in iqamah is eleven and the statement “qad qamati’s-salah” is also said twice just like the takbirs.

Below is the wording of an iqamah:

  • “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar.
  • Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah.
  • Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasulullah.
  • Hayya ‘ala’s salah.
  • Hayya ala’l falah.
  • Qad qamati’s-salah. Qad qamati’s-salah.
  • Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar.
  • La ilaha illallah.”

Meaning: (Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.

I bear witness that there is no deity (worthy of worship) but Allah

I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.

Come to the prayer, come to prosperity.

Prayer is to begin, prayer is to begin.

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest.

There is no deity (worthy of worship) but Allah.)

III. Things that Need to be Paid Attention to When Reciting the Adhan

It is required that the one who recites the adhan be a Muslim male who has reached the age of discernment. The adhan should be recited in the time of the prayer. It must be in Arabic and the order of its statements must be observed. The adhan should not be attached to another adhan, and there should not be long breaks between the statements.

The following are the Sunnah acts of the adhan:

  • Reciting it with “tartil”, meaning to recite every word separately,
  • Reciting it with “tarji”, meaning to say the testimony of faith silently before saying it out aloud
  • Reciting it with “taswib” during the Dawn prayer. Taswib means to say the words “assalatu khayrun mina’n-nawm” twice after the words “hayya ‘alal-falah”.
  • To recite the adhan in a high place like the roof of the mosque or a minaret.
  • To turn towards the qibla when reciting the adhan and to turn the head to the right when saying the words “hayya ‘ala’s salah” and to the left when saying the words, “hayya ‘ala’l falah”.
  • One who recites the adhan should be someone with a beautiful and strong voice. He should also be a religiously sound person.
  • Those who hear the adhan should stop everything they are doing, and listen to the words of the adhan. They should respond to it by repeating the words of the adhan. If there are more than one mosque from where the adhan is recited, one should respond to the first one. Those who are in the class studying or teaching something or reciting the Qur’an do not need to respond the adhan. However, it is more virtuous to leave even recitation of the Qur’an and listen to the adhan. In relation to this topic, our Prophet (pbuh) stated the following: “When you hear the adhan, repeat what is being said (by saying everything that the muezzin says). Then say peace and blessings (salawat) upon me. Whomsoever repeats exactly what the muadhin says except the words Hayya alas-salah, he will enter Jannah. For the words Hayya-alas-salah, say the words La hawla wa la kuwwata illah billah.” When the muezzin says “assalatu khayrun mina’n-nawm” during the adhan for the Dawn prayer, it is recommended to say “sadaqta wa barirta (you said the right thing and the truth).
  • After the adhan is finished and the prayer of peace and blessings upon our Prophet is completed, the supplication of wasila should be recited. This is because Rasulullah stated: “When you hear the muezzin, repeat what he says word for word, then invoke Allah’s Blessings and Peace upon me, for whoever invokes Allah’s Blessing and Peace upon me (once), Allah will send His Blessings and Peace tenfold upon them. Then ask Allah to grant me Al-Wasilah (the most superior degree in Paradise), for it is a rank in Paradise that is granted to only one of Allah’s servants, and I hope I will be this one. Whoever asks Allah to grant me Al-Wasilah, they will deserve my Shafa’ah (intercession).” [3]

It is reprehensible to let someone who is corrupt (fasiq) recite the adhan, to speak between the statements of the adhan, to say the words of the adhan in a melodious voice (talhin), and to recite it in a chanting, sing-song voice by changing from one melody to another (taghanni).

One may recite the adhan when a fire or a war breaks out, or when bidding farewell to a traveler.[4]

It is a recommended Sunnah to recite the adhan to the right ear and iqamah to the left ear of a newborn baby. When Fatima (r. anha) bore Hasan (r.a.), Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) recited the adhan into his right ear.

It is recommended to recite the adhan into the ear of a person who has epilepsy.

IV. Rulings Related to Iqamah

  • The adhan is recited slowly, while the iqamah is recited faster. All of its statements except the last one i.e. “la ilaha illallah” should be recited twice and together in one breath.
  • It is recommended that the one who recited the adhan also recites the iqamah.
  • It is Sunnah for women to recite the iqamah if they perform the prayer in congregation among themselves.
  • If one performs the prayer alone, he should recite the iqamah in a low voice. If a non-Arab Muslim performs the prayer alone and does not know the Arabic wording of iqamah well, it is permissible for him to recite it in his own mother tongue.
  • To say the invocations between the adhan and the iqamah is a Sunnah. This is because there are reports that Allah will not reject the invocations said between the adhan and the iqama.
  • When the muezzin says “qad qamat al-salah, the congregation says, “aqamahallahu wa adamaha ma damati’s-samawatu wa’l-ardu” (May Allah let and keep His servants perform this prayer as long as the earth and the heavens exist).
  • If the muezzin takes a break, does not recite a word from the iqamah, stays silent for a long time, or speaks between the statements, then the iqamah becomes invalid. This rule is also effective for the adhan.
  • It is Sunnah for the person who is about to perform the prayer in congregation to stand up for the obligatory prayer when the recitation of the iqamah ends. (According to the Hanafi School, one stands up after the statement “hayya ‘ala’s-salah”).
  • The iqamah should be repeated if there is a break, long enough to perform a two-cycle prayer, between the iqamah and the imam’s beginning takbir.

[1] Al-Maida, 5: 58.

[2] Nayl al-Awtar, II, 31

[3] Muslim, Salat, 11

[4] Al-Zuhayli, al-Fiqh al-Islami, 1/720

Source: Fiqh1 (According To The Shafi’i School Of Islamic Law), Erkam Publications

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