This article is about the Islamic call to prayer. For the settlement in Ras al-Khaimah, see Adhan, Ras al-Khaimah.
aḏān, azaan, adhaan
call to prayer

The adhān (Arapça: أَذَانAzan/Ezan [ʔæˈðæːn]) is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is ʼḏn أَذَن meaning "to permit"; another derivative of this word is uḏun, meaning "ear".

Adhan is called out by the muezzin in the mosque five times a day, traditionally from a minaret, summoning Muslims for mandatory (fard) prayers (salah). A second call known as iqama (set up) then summons Muslims to line up for the beginning of the prayers. The main purpose behind the multiple loud pronouncements of adhan in every mosque is to make available to everyone an easily intelligible summary of Islamic belief. It is intended to bring to the mind of every believer and non-believer the substance of Islamic beliefs, or its spiritual ideology. In modern times, loudspeakers have been installed on minarets for this purpose.

The adhan sums up the Shahada, the statement of faith: There is no deity but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God. This statement of faith called the Kalimah, is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Text Edit


Recital Arabic Transliteration Translation
4x الله أكبر Allahu Akbar God is Greater
2x أشهد لا اله إلا الله Ash-had al-la ilaha illa llah I bear witness that there is no God except the One God3.
2x أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله Ash-hadu anna Muħammadan rasulullah I bear witness that Muhammad is God's Messenger
2x حي على الصلاة Hayya 'ala-salahh Come to salat (prayer, worship)
2x حي على الفلاح Hayya 'ala 'l-falah Come to success
2x الصلاة خير من النوم As-salatu khayru min an-nawm Salat (prayer, worship) is better than sleep2
2x الله أكبر Allāhu akbar God is Greater
1x لا إله إلا الله La ilaha illallah There is no god except the One God.

Shi'a Edit

Recital Arabic Transliteration Translation[1]
4x الله اكبر Allahu Akbar Allah is the greatest
2x اشهد ان لا اله الا الله Ash-hadu an la ilāha an la illa llāh I testify that there is no God except for Allah
2x اشهد ان محمدا رسول الله Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan-rasūlu llāh I testify that Muhammad is a Messenger of Allah
2x1 اشهد ان عليا ولي الله Ash-hadu anna Aliya wali-ul-lah I testify that Ali is a Vicegerent of God
2x حي على الصلاة Hayya 'alas-salāh Come to prayer
2x حي على الفلاح Hayya 'alal-falāh Come to success
2x حي على خير العمل Hayya- al Khair al amal The time for the best of deeds has come
2x الله اكبر Allah-u Akbar God is greater than any description
2x لا اله الا الله Lā ilāha illallāh There is no deity except for God

*Şablon:NoteAccording to Twelver Shi'a scholars, Ashhadu ana Alian waliullah ("I testify that Ali is the vicegerent of God") is not a part of adhan and iqamah but some say it is recommended (Mustahabb) to say that twice after third part of the adhan which is Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan-rasūl ullāh.

Fatimid/Ismaili/Dawoodi Bohra believe and include and recite this at same place, twice in main adhan, but not in Iqama.

Fatimid/Ismaili/Dawoodi Bohra also recite mohammadun -va- ali-un khayr-ul- basar va itarat-o- homa khayr-ul-itar (Muhammad and Ali are the best gentleman and their progeny is the best of progeny) twice after 6th part Hayya 'ala-khayril-amal. At the end of Azaan ,they recite Lā ilāha illallāh twice (but once in Iqama). This tradition is continued from their first Da'i al-Mutlaq, Zoeb bin Moosa (1132 CE), after their 21st Imam, At-Tayyib Abi l-Qasim, and claim this is true Fatimid tradition.[2][3][4]


Shi'a view Edit

Shi'a sources state that it is Muhammad who, according to God's command, ordered the adhan as a means of calling Muslims to prayer. Shi'a Islam teaches that no one else contributed, or had any authority to contribute, towards the composition of the adhan.

Other Shi'a sources state that Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi was, in fact, the first person to recite the adhan publicly out loud in front of the Muslim congregation.

The fundamental phrase La- ilaha-ill-al-lah is the foundation stone of Islam along with the belief that "there is no god but the God". This is confession of Tawhid or the "doctrine of Oneness [of God]".

The phrase Mohammad-un –rasul-al-lah fulfils the requirement that there should be someone to guide in the name of God, which states Muhammad is God's rasul (messenger) nabi (prophet). This is acceptance of Nabuvat of Muhammad.

Dosya:Kalema at Bab-al-Futuh Cairo.jpg

Muhammad declared Ali (Ali bin Abu Talib) as his successor, at Ghadir Khumm, which was required for the continuation of his guidance. According to the hadith of the pond of Khumm, Muhammad stated that "Of whomsoever I am the mawla, Ali is his mawla". Hence, the Adhan requires further confession, the phrase Ali-un- vali-ul-lah means "Ali is his (Allah's) Wali "the friend" ", stressing the need that, for the continuation of the faith, there is a requirement of Wali, which is the one and only Imam after Imam which are really taking care of Islam, hence this is also confession of Imamah.

In one of the Qiblah of Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah (1035–1094) of Fatemi era masjid of Qahira (Mosque of Ibn Tulun) engraved his name and Kalema-tut-shahadat as La ‐ilah‐ ilal‐lah, Mohamad‐un‐ rasul‐al‐lah Ali –un‐wali‐ul–lah.

Adhan reminds everyone, these three Islamic teaching Tawhid, Nabuwat and Imamate before each prayer. These three emphasise devotion to God, Muhammad and Imam, which are so linked together that these can not be viewed separately. One leads to other and finally to God.

The phrase is optional to some Shia as justified above. They feel that Ali's Valayat is self-evident, a testification and need not be declared. However, the greatness of God is also taken to be self-evident, but Muslims still declare Allaho Akabar to publicize and confirm/boost their faith. This is the reason that the most shia give for the recitation of the phrase regarding Ali.

Sunni view Edit

Sunnis state that the adhan was not written or said by the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, but by one of his Sahabah (his companions). Umar, a prominent sahabah of Muhammad, had a vision in his dream, in which the call for prayers was revealed to him by God. He later related this to his companions. Meanwhile, this news reached Muhammad, and he liked it and confirmed it. Because of his stunning voice Muhammad choose a freed Habeshan slave by the name of Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi to give the call for prayers. Muhammad preferred the call better than the use of bells (as by the Christians) and horns (as by the Jews).

During the Friday prayer (Salat Al Jumu'ah), there are two adhans; the first is to call the people to the mosque, the second is said before the Imam begins the khutbah (sermon). Just before the prayers start, someone amongst the praying people recites the iqama as in all prayers. The basis for this is that at the time of the Caliph Umar he ordered two adhans to be made, the first of which was to be made in the marketplace to inform the people that the Friday prayer was soon to begin, and the second adhan would be the regular one held in the mosque. Not all Sunnis prefer two adhans as the need for warning the people of the impending time for prayer is no longer essential now that the times for prayers are well known.


During adhan Edit

While listening to the adhan, Muslims repeat the same words silently, except when the muezzin says ḥayya 'alas-salāh or ḥayya 'alal-falāḥ they silently say lā hawla wa lā quwata illā billāh (there is no strength or power except from God).

Post-adhan Edit

The following dua (supplication) is optionally read by Muslims after the adhan is recited:

Arabic Transliteration Translation
اللهم رب هذه الدعوة التامة والصلاة القائمة Allahumma rabba hadhi-hid da'wa-tit-tamma wa-salati Qae-ma O God, Owner of this perfect call and Owner of this prayer to be performed
آت محمداً الوسيلة و الفضيلة Ati muhammadanil wasilata wal fadeela Bestow upon Muhammad al waseelah (a station in Paradise {Jannah}) and al fadeelah (a rank above the rest of creation)
وابعثه مقاماً محموداً الذي وعدته Wab ath-hu maqamam-mahmuda-nil alladhi wa aadtha And raise him to the rank you have promised him


Each phrase is followed by a longer pause and is repeated one or more times according to fixed rules. During the first statement each phrase is limited in tonal range, less melismatic, and shorter. Upon repetition the phrase is longer, ornamented with melismas, and may possess a tonal range of over an octave. The adhan's form is characterised by contrast and contains twelve melodic passages which move from one to another tonal center of one maqam a fourth or fifth apart. The tempo is mostly slow; it may be faster and with less melismas for the sunset prayer. During festivals, it may be performed antiphonally as a duet.[5]


As an extension of the reforms brought about by the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the Turkish government at the time, encouraged by Atatürk, tried to supply secularism to Turkey. As he declared the speech in opening ceremony of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on November 1, 1937, bizim devlet idaresindeki ana programımız, chp programıdır. bunun kapsadığı prensipler, idarede ve siyasette bizi aydınlatıcı ana hatlardır. fakat bu prensipleri, gökten indiği sanılan kitapların dogmalarıyla asla bir tutmamalıdır. biz, ilhamlarımızı gökten ve gaipten değil, doğrudan doğruya hayattan almış bulunuyoruz.[6] The program involved implementing a Turkish adhan program as part of its goals, as opposed to the conventional Arabic call to prayer.[7]

It was considered Bid‘ah (Arapça: بدعة‎), which is any type of innovation in Islam. Though innovations in worldly matters, such as science, medicine and technology are acceptable and encouraged, Bid`ah within the religion is often seen as a sin or innuendo, and Muhammad stated as such:

« 'A'isha reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: He who innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid (reason) (commits sin) and these are to be rejected. »</div>

Similar statements are found in other verses of the Qur'an and other Hadith as well.

The adhan was replaced with the following:

« Tanrı uludur
Şüphesiz bilirim, bildiririm
Tanrı'dan başka yoktur tapacak.
Şüphesiz bilirim, bildiririm;
Tanrı'nın elçisidir Muhammed.
Haydin namaza, haydin felaha,
Namaz uykudan hayırlıdır. »</div>

Following the conclusion of said debates, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) released an official mandate on July 18, 1932, announcing the decision to all the mosques across Turkey, and the practice was continued for a period of 18 years.

On July 16, 1950, a new government was sworn in, led by Adnan Menderes, who had campaigned almost exclusively on a platform of repealing the ban on the Arabic adhan. The Arabic adhan was restored, and Arabic was declared as the liturgical language.

Turkish National Anthem Edit

Adhan in the eighth verse of İstiklâl Marşı, the Turkish national anthem

« Oh glorious God, the sole wish of my pain-stricken heart is that,
No heathen's hand should ever touch the bosom of my sacred Temples.
These adhans, whose shahadahs are the foundations of my religion,
May their noble sound last loud and wide over my eternal homeland. »</div>

See alsoEdit


  1. Adapted from: Adhan and Iqamah
  2. Islamic Laws : Rules of Namaz » Adhan and Iqamah
  3. Importance and Conditions of Prayers - Question #466
  4. Ad'han- Call to Prayer #928
  5. Touma, Habib Hassan (1996). The Music of the Arabs, p.157-158, trans. Laurie Schwartz. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-88-8.
  6. TBMM
  7. The Adhan in Turkey

External linksEdit

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