The Adhan and the Iqamah

Before starting the Salat, two Mustahabb acts may be done: The Adhan and the Iqamah. The performance of the Adhan is Mustahabb in two cases:

1. At the beginning of the time of the Salat, so as to make an announcement of the arrival of its time, as it is heard from the Muadhdhin at the arrival of the times of the morning and noon Salats, etc.

2. It is Mustahabb before performing the Salat, as a preparatory act, even if its time has passed for a while, say, for an hour or more.

The Adhan is the call to the Salat, stressing its importance and high position, so as to draw the attention of the unmindful, and remind the people. When one hears the call of the Muadhdhin, one should leave for a while one's work or occupation, and incline towards Allah with a humble heart, eager for worship and supplication.

The Adhan is one of the most commendable acts in Islam. Every word of it has its own particular meaning, and every phrase forms a certain idea in the soul of the Muslim and leaves its effect in his conscience.

Phrases of the Adhan

1. "Allahu Akbar" (4 times). It means that Allah is greater than any description and comprehension.

2. The Shahadatan [the two testimonies] which are: "Ashhadu An La Ilaha Illa-Llah" (twice), and "Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Rasulu­ Llah (twice).

Their meaning is admitting the Oneness of Allah, and believing in Muhammad (s) as Messenger of Allah.

3. "Hayya Alas-Salah" (twice). It means: Come to the Salat.

4. "Hayya Alal-Falah (twice). It means: Come to success in salvation, as there is nothing like the Salat leading to it.

5. "Hayya Alla Khayrul- Amal" (twice). It means: Come to the best of acts most loved by Allah, the Exalted.

6. "Allahu Akbar" (twice)

7. "La Ilaha Illa-Llah" (twice)

The Iqamah

It is a Mustahabb extolment of Allah, by which we remember Him and glorify Him, and prepare ourselves and hearts on coming to perform the Salat before Allah with humbleness and servitude.

Phrases of the Iqamah

1. "Allahu Akbar" (twice).

2. "Ashhadu An La Illiha Illa-Llah" (twice).

3. "Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Rasulullah" (twice).

4. "Hayya Alas-Salah" (twice).

5. "Hayya Alal-Falah'' (twice).

6. "Hayya Ala Khayril-Amal"1 (twice)

7. "Qad Qamatis Salah" (twice).

8. "Allahu Akbar"2 (twice)

9. "La Ilaha Illa-Llah" (once).


Q1. If you are asked to call to the Salat, how will you do it? Explain.

Q2. What is meant by: "Hayya Alal-Falah'', "Allahu Akbar", and "Hayya Ala Khayril-Amal”? Explain briefly.

Q3. What difference is there between the Adhan and the Iqamah?

  • 1. Some Ulama of different sects say that the phrase: Hayya Ala Khayril-Amal "Wa" included in the Adhan on the days of the Messenger of Allah (s). Among these are: Al-Qushachi, at the end of the chapter on Imammah or his "Sharhut-Tajrid", which he wrote on theology. He is a well-known Sunni scholar. Al­Allamah Al-Halabi also a well-versed Sunni scholar, in his “Sirat Ibn Umar”, chapter on the beginning of the Adhan, vol. 2, p. 110, says: “Abdullah and the Imam Zaynul Abidin used to say in the Adhan, after “Hayya Ala Khayril Amal". (Look up “Al-Haqa’iq Fil-Jawami Wal-Fawariq” by Ash-Shaykh Habib Ibn Ibrahim, vol. 2, p. 145. The four Islamic sects do not recite this phrase in their Adhan and Iqamah. Some of them have added the phrase “As-Salat Khayrun Minan-Nawm" [the Salat is better than sleep], which the Shafi'i refused to have it added, saying that it was not an original part of the Adhan. Some other Faqihs have also refused to recognize it. Ibn Rushd, in "Bidayatud-Mujtahid”, vol. 1, ed. 1935, says: “Others said that “As-Salatu Khayrun Minan-Nawm” should not be said, because it was not of the traditional Adhan…” In “Al-Mughni”, by Ibn Qudamah, vol. 1, p. 408, 3rd ed. it is said: "Ishaq said that this was something innovated by the people. Abu Isa said: This is the addition which had been loathed by the Ulama, and it was what caused Ibn Umar to leave the mosque on hearing it." (Look up “Al-Fiqh Alal Madhahibil-Khamsah" by Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah).
  • 2. The Hanafis, the Hanbalis, the Shafi'is and the Imami Shi’ah agree that the first Takbir [Allahu Akbar] at the beginning of the Adhan is to be repeated four times. The Malikis say that it is to be repeated twice. As to the other phrases of the Adhan, they are to he repeated twice each, as unanimously agreed upon, except the last ''La Illaha Illa-Llah", which is to be said once, according to the Imami Shi’ah"s opinion, twice according to the others' opinion, while the Malikis and the Shafi'is allow it to be said twice, regarding the second to be a Sunnah.