Tradition and Heresy in Adhan (Call to Prayer)
Adhan (call to prayer) lexically means ‘announcement,’1 as the Exalted God states in the Holy Qur’an:
وَأَذَانٌ مِنْ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْحَجِّ الْأَكْبَرِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِنْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولُهُ .
And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters. (9:3).
In religion, ‘Adhan’ is used for naming a certain set of phrases. In this chapter, some issues about Adhan are discussed based on the Sunni documents hoping to be useful for those who follow the best arguments and logic, rather than blind imitation, thus illuminating some uncertainties caused by insufficient attention to the documents of traditions, and lead to the unity of Muslims, God willing. The least advantage of this discussion is for our Sunni brothers to understand that what their Shi’a brothers say about Adhan is supported by so many traditions narrated by the Sunni and acknowledged by great jurisprudents and narrators.
All Imamiyyah jurisprudents, following the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s), believe that Adhan began with God’s order and revelation to the Prophet’s heart. Various traditions have been narrated from the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) supporting this meaning:
Kulayni, in Al-Kafi, narrates:
…لمّا أُسْرِيَ بِرَسولِ اللهِ صلّى اللهُ عليهِ وآلِهِ وسلَّم إلى السَّماءِ فَبَلغَ البَيتَ المَعمورَ وَحَضَرتِ الصّلاةُ، أذَّنَ جِبرَئيلُ وأقامَ فَتَقدَّمَ رَسولُ اللهِ صلّى اللهُ عليهِ وآلِهِ وسلَّم وَصَفَّ المَلائِكَةُ وَالنّبيّونَ خَلْفَ مُحَمَّد صلّى اللهُ عليهِ وآلِهِ وسلَّم .
Imam Baqir (a.s) said: When the Messenger of Allah (a.s) was ascended to the heaven and reached Al-Bayt Al-Ma’mur,2 the prayer time came. So, (Archangel) Gabriel called out Adhan and iqamah. The Prophet (a.s) stood in front and the angels and Prophets queued behind him.3
…لمّا هَبطَ جِبرَئيلُ بالأذانِ عَلى رَسولِ اللهِ كانَ رأسُهُ في حِجْرِ عليٍّ عَليهِ السَّلامُ فأذَّنَ جِبرَئيلُ عَليهِ السَّلامُ وأقامَ، فَلَمّا انْتَبَهَ رَسولُ اللهِ صلّى اللهُ عليهِ وآلِهِ وسلَّم قال: يا عَليُّ! أسَمِعْتَ؟ قالَ نعم. قال: ادْعُ بِلالاً فَعَلِّمْهُ. فَدَعا عليٌّ عَليهِ السَّلامُ بِلالاً فَعَلَّمَه.
Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: When Gabriel descended to the Prophet (a.s) bearing Adhan, his honorable head was on Ali’s leg. Gabriel called out Adhan and iqamah. When the Prophet recovered back to normal state, he asked Ali, ‘Did you hear that?’ ‘Yes!’ he replied. ‘Did you memorize it?’ the Prophet asked again. Ali answered, ‘Yes!’ The Prophet stated, ‘Call Bilal and teach him the Adhan.’ Ali called Bilal and taught him the Adhan.4
These two traditions include two times of calling out the Adhan by Gabriel, once for the Prophet in his Ascension to heaven and the other for the religious declaration of it. Attention must be paid to the fact that the frequency of a revelation, even if it is twice, is quite important.
Sunnis in general have two viewpoints about the outset of the Adhan in religion, regardless of its features; the origin of Adhan is
(1) a revelation or
(2) a dream.
In his book entitled Al-Mabsut, Sarakhsi says:
Abu Hafs Muhammad Ibn Ali denied that the origin of Adhan is a dream. He said, “You are attacking one of the religion’s clearest signs saying that it is proved by a dream. Never! Rather, when the Prophet (a.s) was taken to Masjid Al-Aqsa and was surrounded by the other Prophets, an angel called out the Adhan and iqamah and the Prophet (a.s) prayed along with them. It is said that Gabriel (a.s) descended with the Adhan.”5
In Umda Al-Qari fi Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is recorded that Zamakhshari has quoted some people that the Adhan was descended by a Divine Revelation, not a dream.6
In Al-Bahr Al-Ra’iq, we read, “The origin of Adhan is Gabriel’s Adhan and iqamah in the night of the Prophet’s Ascension to the heaven, when the Prophet (a.s) led the prayer of the angels and the Prophets’ souls. Then the dream of Abdullah Ibn Zayd is mentioned.”7
Various traditions narrated by major Sunni narrators confirm that the origin of Adhan has been a revelation, not a dream:
…لَمّا أُسرِيَ بِالنّبيِّ أوْحى اللهُ إلَيهِ الأذان فَنَزَلَ بِه فَعَلَّمَهُ بِلالاً.
In the Prophet’s Ascension to heaven, God revealed Adhan to him, so he descended and taught it to Bilal.8
As you see, this tradition introduces revelation as the origin of the Adhan in the night of the Prophet’s Ascension. It has nothing to do with the issue of dream, since those narrating the dream know it as a happening in Medina, long after the Prophet’s Hijra (migration to Medina) when Islam had been strengthened, prayer and fasting and zakat (Islamic statutory levy) had been religiously established, the doctrinal provisions were established and the permissible and prohibited issues were set up.9 This is while the Prophet’s Ascension had occurred before Hijra and from Masjid Al-Haram (The Sacred Mosque); therefore, as this tradition and other similar ones stipulate, Adhan had been religiously set up many years before Hijra.10 Ibn Hajar Asqalani, in his exposition of Sahih Bukhari, and also Halabi, in his Sirah, acknowledge this stipulation saying: “There are traditions stipulating that the Adhan was set up before Hijra in Mecca.”11
The only objection Ibn Hajar raises to the tradition quoted by Ibn Umar is due to the existence of Talha Ibn Zayd in its document. He says about Talha, “He is denied.” But if one studies the documents of traditions supporting the dream (as the origin of Adhan), people would be seen who are not so much different from Talha Ibn Zayd, if not worse than him. Hence, there is no sense in preferring the traditions about dream.
عَن أنَسٍ أنَّ جِبرَئيلَ أمَرَ النّبيَّ صلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم بالأذانِ حينَ فُرِضَتِ الصَّلاةُ.
Anas narrated that when the prayer became obligatory, Gabriel ordered the Prophet (a.s) to call out the Adhan.12
Based on this tradition, at the same time as performing the prayer was set up, Adhan was established. On the other hand, the prayer was established from the very beginning of the Prophet’s Mission, so the origin of Adhan has nothing to do with the dream at all.
…لمّا أسْريَ بي أذَّنَ جِبْرَئِيلُ فَظَنَّتِ المَلائِكَةُ أنَّهُ يُصَلّي بِهِمْ، فَقَدَّمَني فَصَلَّيْتُ.
A’ishah said that the Holy Prophet (a.s) said: When I was ascended to the heaven, Gabriel called out the Adhan. The angels thought that he wanted to lead the prayer; but he led me forward and I led the prayer.13
…لمّا أرادَ اللهُ أنْ يُعَلِّمَ رَسولَهُ الأذان أتاهُ جِبرَئيلُ بِدابَّةٍ يُقالُ لَها البُراقُ فَرَكِبَها... إذا خَرجَ مَلَكٌ مِن وَراءِ الحِجابِ فقالَ: اللهُ أكْبَرُ اللهُ أكْبَرُ… ثمَّ أخَذَ المَلَكُ بِيَدِه فَأمَّ بأهْلِ السَّماءِ.
… (Imam Ali narrated) When God inclined to teach His Messenger the Adhan, Gabriel brought the Prophet a riding thing named Buraq and the Prophet mounted it… Then an angel appeared and called out, ‘Allahu Akbar—Allah is Great’… Then the angel took the Prophet’s hand to lead the prayer.14
After narrating this tradition, Ibn Hajar says: Ziyad Ibn Mundhir Abu Al-Jarud is mentioned in the document of the tradition; he is abandoned.” In response to Ibn Hajar, it should be said that Abu Al-Jarud is subject to controversy, but he is not as doubtful as those present in the tradition of dream. So, there is no sense in preferring the traditions of the dream to these ones.
…لَمّا كانَ مِن الحَسنِ بنِ عَليٍّ ما كانَ قَدِمْتُ عَليهِ المَدينةَ وهو جالِسٌ في أصْحابِه... فَتَذاكَرنا عندَهُ الأذان فقالَ بعضُنا: إنَّما كانَ بِدءُ الأذان بِرؤيا عبدِاللهِ بنِ زَيد بن ِعاصمٍ. فَقالَ له الحَسنُ بنُ عَليٍّ: إنَّ شَأنَ الأذان أعْظَمُ مِن ذاكَ! أذَّنَ جِبرَئِيلُ في السَّماءِ مَثنى وَعَلَّمهُ رَسولُ اللهِ صلّى اللهُ عليهِ وآلِهِ وسلَّم وَأقامَ مَرّةً مَرّةً فَعَلَّمهُ رَسولُ اللهِ.
Sufyan Al-Layl narrated that after what happened for Imam Hasan (a.s), he went to him in Medina. There, a discussion posed about Adhan. Some said that the origin of Adhan had been the dream of Abdullah Ibn Zayd. Hasan Ibn Ali (a.s) said, “The status of Adhan is greater than that. Gabriel called out the phrases of Adhan, each twice and taught it to the Prophet (a.s) and called out iqamah once and taught it to him.15
…إنّ رَسولَ اللهِ صلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم عَلَّم الأذانَ لَيلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بهِ وَفُرضَتْ عَلَيهِ الصّلاةُ.
Harun Ibn Sa’d reported form the martyr, Zayd Ibn Al-Imam Ali Ibn Al-Husayn, from his grandfathers from Imam Ali that the Prophet (a.s) learnt Adhan in his Ascension Night when prayer became obligatory for him.16
Abu’l-Ala’ said: I said to Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah, “We believe that the origin of Adhan had been the dream of a man from the Ansar.” Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah objected sharply and said, “You are attacking one of the roots of Islam and its teachings, supposing that Adhan was originated from a dream seen by one of the Ansar while a dream can be true or false, and is sometimes a wrong illusion.” I said, “What I said about Adhan is common among the public.” He answered, “By God I swear that it is a false idea.”17
It is clear that Abd Al-Razzaq has narrated from Ibn Jurayj that Ata’ said, “Indeed, Adhan was descended from Allah, the Glorious.” 18
On the other hand, some traditions attribute the origin of Adhan to the dream of a man from the Ansar called Abdullah Ibn Zayd about whom Tirmidhi says, “We know nothing about Abdullah Ibn Zayd truly narrated from the Holy Prophet (a.s) except this single tradition about Adhan.” He also quotes Bukhari as saying, “There is no tradition narrated by Abdullah Ibn Zayd except this one.”19 Bukhari and Muslim have not quoted these traditions in their Sahih books20 and even Hakim has not cited them in his Mustadrak. It thus becomes clear that these traditions have not been acceptable on the side of these two scholars.
Hakim says,21 “Abdullah Ibn Zayd is the one who dreamed of Adhan; and Islamic scholars have apparently accepted it. But because of the differences among the narrators, it has not been cited in the two Sahih books.22
When the Prophet (a.s) ordered the Muslims to make a bell for calling the people to prayer, I saw a man in my dream turning around me with a bell in his hand. I asked him, “O Servant of Allah! Do you sell me this bell?” “What do you want it for?” he asked. I answered, “For calling the people to prayer.” He asked again, “Do you want me to teach you something better than a bell?” I said, “Yes, I do.” He said, “Say these phrases: Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) four times; Ashhadu An La Ilaha Illa Allah (I testify that there is no deity but Allah) twice; Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Rasoul Allah (I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) twice; Hayya Ala al-Salat (Hurry to prayer) twice; Hayya Ala al-Falah (Hurry to salvation) twice; Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) twice; La Ilaha Illa Allah (There is no deity but Allah).”23
He then paused for a while and added, “When you stand for offering the prayer, you may say: Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) twice; Ashhadu An La Ilaha Illa Allah (I testify that there is no deity but Allah); Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Rasoul Allah (I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah); Hayya Ala al-Salat (Hurry to prayer); Hayya Ala al-Falah (Hurry to salvation); Qad Qaamat al-Salat (Surely prayer is performed) twice; Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) twice; La Ilaha Illa Allah (There is no deity but Allah).”
When I rose in the morning, I went to the Messenger of Allah (a.s) and informed him of what I had dreamed. The Prophet (a.s) said, “It has in fact been a true dream, God willing, so go with Bilal and teach him what you have dreamed to call it out, since he has a better voice than you.” I went with Bilal and taught him the Adhan and he called it out.
Umar Ibn Al-Khattab heard Adhan while he was in his house. He came out while his cloth drew on earth saying, “I swear by God Who appointed you rightfully for the Prophethood that I dreamed of what he dreamed, too.” The Messenger of Allah (a.s) said, “Praise be to God!”
Bayhaqi quotes from a chain of narrators reaching Muhammad Ibn Yahya that among the traditions narrated by Abdullah Ibn Zayd about Adhan, none is more valid than this one narrated by Muhamad Ibn Ishaq from Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Al-Taymi from Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Zayd, because Muhammad has heard this tradition from his father.
We now discuss the validity of the document of this tradition, beginning from Muhammad Ibn Ishaq who is the first one in the chain of narrators. Al-Darqutni writes about him, “Master scholars have had controversy about him. He is not proof, though is regarded as a narrator.”24 Also, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has regarded Muhammad Ibn Ishaq as doubtful in numerous traditions. Abu Dawud says, “I heard Ahmad Ibn Hanbal saying about Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, ‘He was a man who narrated traditions out of whim. He took other narrators’ books and adopted their traditions in his own books.’”25 Also, Al-Maruzi says, “Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said, ‘Muhammad Ibn Ishaq altered the facts. When he entered Baghdad, it made no difference for him whether to narrate traditions from Kalbi or others.’”26
Hanbal Ibn Ishaq says, “I heard Ahmad Ibn Hanbal saying, ‘The speech of Ibn Ishaq is not proof.’”27 Abdullah Ibn Ahmad also says, “I never saw my father considering traditions quoted by Ibn Ishaq as valid; rather he changed his traditions.” He was asked, “Can the traditions of Ibn Ishaq be dependable?” He replied, “They are not dependable.” Ayyub Ibn Ishaq Ibn Samiri says, “I asked Ahmad, ‘Would you accept a tradition narrated only by Ibn Ishaq?’ He said, ‘No, By God! I saw him narrating the speech of a group in one tradition without distinguishing each individual’s speech from another.’”28 About Ibn Ishaq, Al-Maymuni narrates from Ibn Mu’in, “He was doubtful.”29 Al-Nisa’i says about him, “He is not a strong person.”30
The document of this tradition is also faulty on the side of Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Al-Harith Al-Taymi from whom Ibn Ishaq has narrated the tradition. Al-Aqili quotes from Abdullah Ibn Ahmad, from his father who said about Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim, “In his traditions, there are biases. He narrates unknown traditions.”31 Moreover, the document of the present tradition reaches back to Abdullah Ibn Zayd about whom the viewpoints of Tirmidhi and others were mentioned.
For studying other aspects of the document and reviewing other traditions narrated about the dream as the origin of the Adhan, you can refer to Al-Nass wa’l-Ijtihad, case 23, Al-I’tisam bil Kitab wa’l-Sunnah, discussion on Al-Tathwib fi Adhan Salat Al-Fajr and Tadhkira Al-Fuqaha’, Vol. 3, p. 38 and 39.
Sunni jurisprudents have a lot of controversies regarding the chapters of Adhan and iqamah. Ibn Rushd says, “Scholars have controversy over Adhan holding four different views.”32 Having mentioned these four methods, he says, “The reasons for the different views held by these four groups are various traditions narrated in this regard and the variation of common routine among the members of each group over time.”33 Yet, the main differences among Shi’a and Sunni jurisprudents are in two issues; one is whether “حَيَِّ عَلى خَيرِ العَمَلِ” (Hurry to the best deed) is part of the Adhan and iqamah, and the other is that if tathwib is permitted in Adhan or not.
Besides what is enormously narrated from the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) about the inclusion of Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal in both Adhan and iqamah, various traditions have been narrated by the Sunnis. Bayhaqi, in Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, has a chapter entitled, باب: ما رُويَ في حَيَّ عَلى خَيْرِ العَمَلِ “Chapter: Narrations About Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal” Here, we mention some of these traditions as quoted from Al-Sunan Al-Kubra and other sources and then bring some Sunni scholars’ confirmation of them.
Ibn Umar used to say, in Adhan, Allahu Akbar and Ashhadu An La Ilaha Illa Allah three times each. Then, he probably said Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal (Hurry to the best of deed) after Hayya Ala al-Falah (Hurry to salvation).
The document of this tradition, as narrated in Al-Muwatta’ by Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani, is, “Malik narrated from Nafi’ and he narrated from Ibn Umar that… etc.”34 Regarding the regularities common among our Sunni brothers, who can question the validity of this tradition’s document? Bukhari, too, writes about this document, “The most valid documentation of a tradition is that narrated by Malik from Nafi’ from Ibn Umar. Hakim has quoted this statement of Bukhari from Muhammad Ibn Isma’il Al-Bukhari.35 Ibn Hajar has also mentioned it in the biography of Nafi’ in Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib.
Ibn Umar used not to say Adhan when he was in travel; he rather used to say Hayya Ala al-Falah and, sometimes, Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal.
Muhammad Ibn Sirin, about Ibn Umar, said, “Ibn Umar used to say Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal in Adhan.”
Nasir Ibn Dha’luq has narrated the same thing about Ibn Umar while he was in a travel, as he has quoted from Abu Umamah.
Ibn Hazm, in his Al-Muhalla, writes, “It is indeed proven that Ibn Umar and Ibn Umamah, son of Sahl Ibn Hunayf, used to say in the Adhan Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal; and this has been proven by the most valid documents.”36
Halabi, in Sirah, says, “Ibn Umar and Imam Zayn Al-Abidin Ali Ibn Al-Husayn, after Hayya Ala al-Falah used to say Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal.”39
Whenever Ibn Umar said Hayya Ala al-Falah in Adhan, he followed it by Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal. Then he said Allahu Akbar…40
The editor of the book writes down as footnote, “This tradition is narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah from Ibn Ajlan and Ubaydullah from Nafi’ from Ibn Umar.41 The narrators reported by Ibn Abi Shaybah are generally accepted by all Sunni jurisprudents.42
Bilal used to say Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal during calling for the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer, but the Messenger of Allah ordered him to say Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-nawm (Prayer is preferred to sleep) instead.43
The only problem posed by the author of Majma’ al-Zawa’id about this tradition is the existence of Abdul Rahman Ibn Ammar Ibn Sa’d among the narrators. However, by reference to Rijal books, it becomes clear that no one has totally rejected him. Ibn Habban, in contrast, has considered him among the trustworthy narrators. It is interesting that despite these valid traditions recorded in the most authentic books of the Sunnis, Ibn Taymiyah says, “Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal is added by the heretic.”44 Nawawi has rejected it in Al-Majmu’. The major problem that some people have mentioned about Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal is that the practice of Ibn Umar and Abu Umamah, the Companions, is not proof and the traditions about their practice are not successive.
It should be said, in reply, that, first, some people regard the tradition and speech of the Companions as proof, as is quoted from Abu Hanifah, “We follow whatever we inherit from the Companions and investigate those of their followers and may oppose them.”45 Sarakhsi, too, says in Usul, “Our scholars, both the past and the late, have no difference in the fact that the speech of a Companion is proof in an issue which cannot be obtained by Qiyas.”46 In saying Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal, there is undoubtedly no analogy. Second, in some of the traditions, previously cited and others, Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal is attributed to the time of the Prophet (a.s) and his own assertion.47
According to these traditions, the Prophet ordered to replace Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal with Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm in the Adhan of the Fajr (Morning) Prayer; yet, this does not harm our intention, since as is explicit in the tradition, this substitution is only for the Adhan of the Fajr Prayer. Therefore, the Adhan of the other Prayers should include Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal as stipulated in the same tradition. Moreover, this tradition is in contrast with the traditions that deny tathwib in Adhan and shows clearly that Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm is something added after the Prophet (a.s).48
The probability of the abrogation of Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal is also impossible, since if it were so, Ibn Umar, Abu Umamah and others would be informed and it would be meaningless to mention it in their Adhan. Furthermore, traditions narrated from the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) stipulate that Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal is a major part of Adhan in all occasions, which is revealed to the honorable Prophet.49
The second issue of controversy among the Sunni and Shi’a jurisprudents is tathwib. There is also controversy over it among the Sunni jurisprudents themselves. It has been said, “Tathwib means return and is therefore returning to calling out to prayers. When it is called out Hayya Ala al-Salat, people are invited to prayers; when Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm is called out, there is a returning to the same phrase which means inviting to the prayers. It is quoted from Al-Mughrib that the traditional tathwib is the same calling out of Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm in the Fajr Prayers twice and the recent one is calling out Al-Salat Al-Salat (prayer, prayer) or Qaamat Qaamat (Prayer is established). Another meaning of tathwib is saying Hayya Ala al-Salat and Hayya Ala al-Falah each twice between Adhan and iqamah.”50
Anyway, whatever meaning tathwib may have, it is not included in Adhan and iqamah, but is something added later. Since the common meaning of tathwib is to say Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm we focus on it in this discussion. Ibn Rushd in Bidayah Al-Mujtahid, about the controversy over this issue, says:
The jurisprudents are not in agreement whether Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm should be said in the Morning Adhan or not. Most of them believe that it should be said, but some do not agree with it, since it was not so in the Adhan of the Prophet. Shafi’i believes so. The difference in this issue is that whether this phrase was said in the Prophet’s reign or added in Umar’s.51
The following is quoted from Al-Muhadhab:
In case of the Morning Adhan, after Hayya Ala al-Salat and Hayya Ala al-Falah, tathwib—saying Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm should be added twice. But in the recent verdicts, to say this phrase is undesirable.52
In Al-Majmu’, it is written that Abu Hanifah did not accept tathwib in this way and in Sharh Kabir, some people such as Ibn Umar, Hasan, Malik, Sufyan Thawri, Ishaq and Shafi’i believe in tathwib (in its common sense). Abu Hanifah said, “Tathwib between Adhan and iqamah for the Morning Prayer is to say Hayya Ala al-Salat and Hayya Ala al-Falah each twice.53 Nearly the same is narrated in Al-Mughni.54 Anyhow, in both books, the tradition of Abu Mahdhurah is adduced for tathwib. This tradition says, “In case of the Morning Prayer, you should say, ‘Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm…”
It should be borne in mind that some people have considered tathwib as external to Adhan. In Al-Mabsut, after quoting a tradition, Sarakhsi says, “This tradition is an argument for tathwib being after Adhan (not a part of it).”55 After some more lines, he says, “People created this tathwib.56 People of Kufah added Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm to the Adhan and set the tathwib between Adhan and iqamah as two times of Hayya Ala al-Falah.
Now that the controversy of the Sunni jurisprudents themselves about tathwib became clear, we conclude that tathwib and even Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm is not included in Adhan and to say it between Adhan and iqamah is not recommended at all because nothing has been revealed about it, nor is there any recommendation about it by the Prophet (a.s). Rather it is a phrase included in Adhan after the Prophet (a.s) by some of the Companions’ personal desire. Authentic evidences, to be discussed later on, are present in the Sunni traditions proving our claim.
Imam Malik says, in Al-Muwatta’:
“It has been narrated to us that the caller to the Prayer came to Umar for the Morning Prayer and found him asleep; he said, “Prayer is preferred to sleep. (Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm)” Umar therefore ordered to include this phrase in the Adhan for the Morning Prayer.”57
As is seen, it is explicitly mentioned in this tradition that Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm is an addition to the Adhan made by Umar and has nothing to do with the original Adhan of Islam. Thus Muhammad Ibn Al-Hasan Al-Shaybani, in Al-Muwatta’, stipulates that Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm is not related to the Adhan. His exact viewpoint is that “Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm is said after the Adhan and since it is not a part of it, it is not obligatory to add.”58
Suyuti, in Tanwir Al-Hawalik, explaining the document of this tradition, says:
What Malik has narrated from Umar is also narrated by Al-Darqutni in his Sunan with two documents; one is narrated by Waki’, in his Musannaf, from Muhammad Ibn Ajlan from Nafi’ from Umar’s son from Umar who instructed his Muezzin (caller to Adhan), “When you reach Hayya Ala al-Falah in the Morning Adhan, you should say Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm twice.” 59
Zurqani narrates the same issue in Ta’liqah.60 Master Sunni biographists have validated the narrators in both document chains and in general, there is no fallacy in the documents cited by the Sunni jurisprudents.61 Shawkani, about Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm, quotes the following from Al-Bahr Al-Zukhar:
When Umar invented this phrase, his son told him, “This is heresy.” When hearing this phrase, Ali is narrated as saying, “Do not add anything to the Adhan.” The author of Al-Bahr Al-Zukhar, after citing the tradition of Abu Mahdhurah and Bilal says, “If tathwib were religiously allowed, Ali, Ibn Umar and Tawus would not deny it.” As a conclusion from the traditions, we accept this issue (tathwib), not religiously, but if said as an additional part of Adhan.62
It is narrated from Abu Hanifah from Hammad from Ibrahim in Jami’ Al-Masanid…
I asked him about tathwib and he replied, “People have made tathwib and it is a good thing they have made. Tathwib includes saying Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm twice, after Adhan.” Imam Muhammad Ibn Hasan Shaybani has cited this tradition in Athar from Abu Hanifah saying, “This is Abu Hanifah’s statement and we follow it.”63
It is narrated from Ibn Uyaynah from Al-Layth that Mujahid said:
“I was with Ibn Umar when we heard someone saying tathwib in the mosque. Ibn Umar said, ‘Let us get away from this heretic.’”64
Abu Dawud narrates this occurrence from Mujahid about the Noon or Evening Prayer.65
Ibn Jurayj says:
Amr Ibn Hafs informed me that Sa’d, a muezzin, was the first to say Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm. That was during Umar’s reign. At first, Umar told him that it was a heresy, but left it to himself later. Balabil did not say Adhan for Umar.66
Ibn Jurayj says:
Hasan Ibn Muslim informed me that someone asked Tawus, “When was Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm first called out?” He replied, “That was not called during the Prophet’s reign. After his demise, in the reign of Abu Bakr, Balabil heard this phrase from a man who was not a caller to Adhan. So, he learnt it and called out Adhan with it from then on. Abu Bakr was a little while alive after this happening. Then in his reign, Umar said, “It would be better if we prohibit Balabil from what he has invented.” But he apparently forgot this issue and people called out Adhan with this phrase up to the present time.67
Though a little difference is noticed between the first and second traditions, they share the same concept; that is tathwib and Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm was established after the Messenger of Allah (a.s). Anyway, the tradition of Malik with the document of Al-Darqutni and the testimony of famous and master Sunni jurisprudents suffice for proving it.
The traditions resorted to for proving Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm are all fallacious regarding their documents. These traditions are mostly those narrated by Abu Dawud and Al-Nisa’i from Abu Mahdhurah as is mentioned in Al-Mughni,68 Al-Sharh Al-Kabir69 and Al-Majmu’.70
In Sunan Al-Nisa’i, the tradition is as follows:
Suwayd Ibn Nasr said: Abdullah narrates from Sufyan from Ibn Ja’far from Abi Salman that Abu Mahdhurah said: “I called out Adhan for the Holy Prophet (a.s) and I called out in the Morning Adhan Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm.71
The document of this tradition in Sunan Bayhaqi is in this form: “It was narrated for us from Sufyan Thawri from Abu Ja’far from Abu Sulayman…” Abu Salman is therefore replaced with Abu Sulayman. Bayhaqi continues: “The name of Abu Sulayman is Hammam Mu’adhin (muezzin).”72
In this document, Abu Salman or Abu Sulayman is named Hammam Mu’adhin and is an unknown person. All that Ibn Hajar has brought about this man is that, “It is said that the name of Abu Salman Mu’adhin is Hammam and he narrates traditions from Ali and Abu Mahdhurah. Abu Ja’far Farra’ and Ala’ Ibn Salih Kufi narrate traditions on his authority.73
Beside the problem posed by Abu Sulayman about the document of this tradition, some believe that Abu Ja’far whose name is in this tradition is not known and not the same person as Abu Ja’far Al-Farra’. Nisa’i himself has mentioned this issue in Sunan.
(1) Musaddad narrated to us from al-Harith Ibn Ubayd from Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Malik Ibn Abu Mahdhurah from his father that his grandfather said: I said, “O the Messenger of Allah! Teach me your way of saying the Adhan!” The Prophet touched my head and said, “Say like this…” He mentioned the phrases in Adhan one by one until he reached Hayya Ala al-Falah; and then he said: “In case of the Morning Prayer, say: Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm.74
In this tradition’s document, there is Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Malik about whom Ibn Hajar narrates Ibn Qattan’s saying, “He is unidentified and nobody has ever narrated a tradition from him except Harith.” After quoting the traditions of Thawri and Harith Ibn Ubayd narrated by Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Malik, Ibn Hajar quotes Abdul Haq as saying, “We cannot adduce these documents.”75 Harith Ibn Ubayd is also subject of controversy.76
(2) Al-Hasan Ibn Ali, nicknamed Abu Ali, narrated to us from Abu Asim and Abd al-Razzaq from Abu Jurayj that Uthman Ibn Sa’ib narrated from his father and the mother of Abd al-Malik Ibn Abu Mahdhurah that Abu Mahdhurah narrates from the honorable Prophet (a.s) that Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm is said twice in the Morning…77
In this tradition too, Uthman Ibn Sa’ib and his father are not known except by this very tradition.78 The mother of Abd al-Malik is also unknown.
(3) Al-Nufayli narrated to us from Ibrahim Ibn Isma’il Ibn Abd al-Malik that he heard his grandfather, Abu Mahdhurah, saying in the Fajr Prayer Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm.79
This document is also invalid, since Ibrahim Ibn Isma’il Ibn Abd al-Malik has explicitly been criticized.80
In concluding from the traditions narrated about tathwib, it should be said that, first, as we know, the documents of these traditions are doubtful and unacceptable. Second, even if these traditions are not considered as doubtful, they undoubtedly cannot be followed. The reason is that they are in contrast with those true ones stating that Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm is a phrase added by people’s own approbation, after the time of the Prophet (a.s). As a result, both groups of traditions are invalid and thus unacceptable. Therefore, there is no proof for the inclusion of tathwib in the Adhan, or its recommendation after the Adhan.
As the final discussion of this chapter, I quote the research-based statements of Allamah Sharaf Al-Din, in Al-Nass wa’l-Ijtihad, to illuminate the issue of the testimony to Ali’s (a.s) Wilayah in Adhan:
“Adhan includes eighteen phrases, in our view as followers of Imamiyyah; Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) four times; Ashhadu An La Ilaha Illa Allah (I testify that there is no deity but Allah) twice; Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Rasoul Allah (I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) twice; Hayya Ala al-Salat (Hurry to prayer) twice; Hayya Ala al-Falah (Hurry to salvation) twice; Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal (Hurry to the best of deed) twice; Allahu Akbar (Allah is great) twice; La Ilaha Illa Allah (There is no deity but Allah) twice.”
iqamah is composed of seventeen phrases which are the same as Adhan’s, each repeated twice, except La Ilaha Illa Allah (There is no deity but Allah) which is said once; and between Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal (Hurry to the best of deed) and Allahu Akbar (Allah is great), there are two times of Qad Qaamat al-Salat (Surely prayer was established).
Tribute to Muhammad and his Household (saying “اللهم صلِّ على مُحَمَّد وآل مُحَمَّد” Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammad(in) wa Aali Muhammad) after mentioning the name of the Prophet (a.s) is recommended as is completing the testimonies by the testimony to the Wilayah and Imamate of Ali (a.s), in both Adhan and iqamah.
Whoever has denied the testimony to Ali’s Wilayah in Adhan, regarding it as heresy, has made mistake and has as uncommon belief. The caller to Adhan in Islam [usually added phrases to the beginning and the end of Adhan—phrases that are not derived from the religion, but still they are not heresy and adding them is not forbidden. The reason is that the callers to Adhan do not consider these phrases as parts of Adhan, and include them just due to the general arguments.81 The testimony to Ali’s Wilayah is subject to these general arguments. Moreover, short phrases from the people themselves do not nullify Adhan and iqamah.82 To say these during Adhan and iqamah is therefore not forbidden…”83
Consequently, since naming Ali (a.s) is as worship, there is no doubt about the preference of mentioning his name in general and in Adhan, in particular. As Muttaqi Hindi narrates in Kanz Al-Ummal:
ذِكْرُ عَلِيٍّ عِبادَةٌ.
Mentioning Ali’s name is as worship.84
- 1. As is cited in Majma’ Al-Bahrayn, Adhan comes from the root Idhn, meaning knowledge or permission. Regarding the root of the word, there are two possibilities; (1) its original form is Idhan, which means beliefe and granting, or (2) it may be Adhan. (Editor)
- 2. Al-Bayt Al-Ma’mur is the counterpart of the Holy Ka’ba (Allah’s House) in the heaven around which the angles revolve.
- 3. Al-Furu’ min Al-Kafi, Dar Al-Kutub Al-Islamiyyah, Vol. 3, Bab bada’a Al-Adhan wa Al-Iqamah wa fazlaha wa thawabahuma, p. 302, Hadith 1 and 2.
- 4. Ibid.
- 5. Vol. 1, p. 128.
- 6. Vol. 5, p. 107.
- 7. Vol. 1, p. 268.
- 8. Fat’h Al-Bari, Dar Al-Kutub, Al-Ilm, 1410, Vol. 2, Kitab Abwab Al-Adhan, Bab Bad’at Al-Adhan, p. 100, another version: Fourth edition, Dar Al-Ihya’ Al- Turath Al- Arabi, p. 62. The same concept is quoted by Mutaqqi Hindi from Tabarani from Ibn Umar. See: Kanz Al-Ummal, Vol. 8, p. 329, No. 23138.
- 9. Sirah by Ibn Husham, Vol. 2, p. 154.
- 10. Fat’h Al-Bari, Vol. 2, Kitab Al-Adhan, Bab bada’a Al-Adhan, p. 62 and 63.
- 11. Sirah Halabi, Vol. 2, p. 296, Bab “Bada’a Al-Adhan wa Mashru’iyyatih”
- 12. Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Fat’h Al-Bari, First Edition, Dar Al-Ma’rifa, Vol. 2, p. 100; Fourth Edition, dar Al-Turath, p. 62.
- 13. Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Fat’h Al-Bari, First edition, Dar Al-Ma’rifa, Vol. 2, p. 100.
- 14. Ibn Hajar asqalani, Fat’h Al-Bari, First Edition, Dar Al-Ma’rifa, Vol. 2, p. 100; Fourth Edition, Dar Al-Turath, p. 62.
- 15. Al-Mustadrak, Maktaba Al-Matbu’at Al-Islamiyyah, Beirut, Vol. 3, p. 171, Kitab Ma’rifa Al-Sahaba, Faza’il Al-Hasan Ibn Ali (a.s).
- 16. Tahawi has cited this tradition in Mushkil Al-Athar. Also Ibn Mardiwiyh has quoted it from Muttaqi Hindi in Kanz Al-Ummal. See: Kanz Al-Ummal, Part 6, p. 277, Hadith 397 (quoted in Al-Nass wa Al-Ijtihad, p. 205) Al-Musannaf, Vol. 1, p. 456, No. 1775 (quoted from Al-I’tisam, p. 30)
- 17. Al-Sirah Al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 2, p. 297 (quoted from Al-I’tisam, p. 29)
- 18. Al-Musannaf, Vol. 1, p. 456, No. 1775 (quoted from Al-I’tisam, p. 30)
- 19. Tahdhib Al-Kamal, Vol. 14, p. 541.
- 20. Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.
- 21. Al-Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 336.
- 22. Allamah Sharaf Al-Din writes down, “Here, Hakim says something which indicates his belief in the invalidity of the traditions introducing a dream as the origin of adhan. He states, “The reason why the two Shaykhs (Bukhari and Muslim) have not mentioned the tradition of Abdullah Ibn Zayd about dream and adhan is that Abdullah’s death was prior to the establishment of adhan.” This is exactly what Hakim stated in part 4, p. 348; see Al-Nass wa Al-Ijtihad, p. 202.
- 23. Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab Al-Salat, Bab Kayfa Al-Adhan, No. 421 (Int’l No.)
- 24. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 9, p.43 and 44.
- 25. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Hydar Abad 1326, Vol. 9, p. 43.
- 26. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 9, p. 43.
- 27. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 9, p. 44.
- 28. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 9, p. 43.
- 29. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 9, p. 44.
- 30. Ibid.
- 31. Ibn Hajar, Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 9, p. 6.
- 32. Bidayat Al-Mujtahid wa Nahaya Al-Muqtasid, Dar Ibn Hazm, Part I, Kitab Al-Salat, Chapter II, fi Ma’rifa Al-Adhan wa Al-Iqamah, p. 206.
- 33. Bidayat Al-Mujtahid wa Nahaya Al-Muqtasid, Dar Ibn Hazm, Part I, Kitab Al-Salat, Chapter II, fi Ma’rifa Al-Adhan wa Al-Iqamah, p. 206.
- 34. 2nd ed, p.55.
- 35. From Ma’rifat ‘Ulum Al-Hadith, p. 53, it is quoted that “Though Hakim and others are not pleased with this statement.”
- 36. Vol. 3, p. 160.
- 37. The adhan revealed to the Prophet (a.s) by Gabriel.
- 38. Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, Vol. 1, p. 424, 425.
- 39. Vol. 2, p. 110 (quoted from Al-Nass wa Al-Ijtihad, p. 207)
- 40. Al-Musannaf, vol. 1, p. 460, No. 1786.
- 41. Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, Vol. 1, p. 145.
- 42. To investigate about any of these narrators, see: Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib.
- 43. Nur Al-Din, Ali Ibn Abu Bakr Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id, Dar Al-Kutub Al-’Ilmiyyah, Beirut 1408, Vol. 1, Kitab Al-Salat, Bab Kayf Al-Adhan, p. 330.
- 44. Quoted from Ta’liq of Muwatta’, p. 55, No. 92.
- 45. Ahmad Ibn Abi Sahl Al-Sarakhsi, Usul, 1st ed. 1414, Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyya, Beirut, Vol. 1, p. 313.
- 46. Usul, Vol 2, p. 110.
- 47. Qushji, a grand Sunni theologian, quotes from Umar that Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal has been common in the Prophet’s age. He narrates that Umar said in a sermon, “Three things were common in the Prophet’s era from which I prohibit and for which I penalize: temporary marriage (mut’ah), hajj tamattu’ (a kind of the ritual pilgrimage) and saying Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal in the adhan.” Then Qushji says, “This is not a fallacy of Umar since a jurisprudent’s opposition to others’ views in jurisprudential issues is not regarded as heresy.” See: Sharh Tajrid, p. 408.
- 48. It is quoted from Ibn Abbas that Umar, the second caliph, ordered to exclude Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal for the fear that people may leave out Jihad (holy war) and turn to prayers instead. Not to let the Muslims neglect jihad, he prohibited Hayya Ala Khayr al-Amal and ordered Al-Salat Khayrun Min al-Nawm instead. But indeed the superiority of prayers over any other deed is a fact found in other traditions, independent of adhan, and Islam knows the philosophy of its rules. In his Sunan, Bayhaqi quotes the Prophet (a.s) as saying, “Be it known to you that the best deed for you is the prayer.” See: Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, Vol. 1, p. 457.
- 49. Jami’ Ahadith Shi’a, Kitab Al-Salat, Chapter 17 on “adad fusul Al-adhan wa Al-Iqamah wa kiyfiyyatiha wa ilaliha” (phrases of adhan and iqamah, their quality and justification).
- 50. Al-Mabsut, Vol. 1, p. 130; Al-Mughni, Vol. 1, p. 420; Al-Sharh Al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 399.
- 51. Bidayat Al-Mujtahid, Vol. 1, p. 106.
- 52. Al-Majmu’, Vol. 3, p. 99.
- 53. Al-Mughni and Al-Sharh Al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 399.
- 54. Ibn Qudama, Al-Mughni, p. 420.
- 55. Al-Mabsut, Vol. 1, p. 130.
- 56. Al-Mabsut, Vol. 1, p. 130.
- 57. Al-Mutawwa’, 2nd ed. Tahqiq Abdul Wahhab Abdul Latif, Kitab Al-Nida’ Lissalat, p. 55.
- 58. Ibid.
- 59. Tanwir Al-Hawalik, Vol. 1, p. 93.
- 60. Al-Ta’liqah, Vol. 1, p. 25 (quoted from Al-Nass wa Al-Ijtihad).
- 61. For the biography of each of them see: Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib.
- 62. Nayl Al-Awtar, Vol. 2, p. 43.
- 63. Jami’ Al-Masanid, Vol. 1, p. 296 (as quoted From Al-I’tisam)
- 64. Al-Musannaf, Vol. 1, p. 475.
- 65. Sunan Abi Dawud, Vol. 1, p. 148, No. 453 (Int’l No.)
- 66. Kanz Al-Ummal, Vol. 8, p. 357, No. 23251.
- 67. Kanz Al-Ummal, Vol. 8, p. 357, No. 23252.
- 68. Al-Mughni, Vol. 1, p. 420.
- 69. Al-Mughni and Al-Sharh Al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 399.
- 70. Al-Majmu’, Vol. 3, p. 99.
- 71. Sunan Al-Nisa’i, Vol. 2, Bab Al-Tathwib fi Al-Adhan, p. 13. Nisa’i narrates the tradition with another document, which again reaches Sufyan.
- 72. Al-Sunan Al-Kubra, Vol. 1, p. 422.
- 73. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 12, p. 114.
- 74. Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1, p. 136, No. 421 (Int’l No.)
- 75. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 9, p. 317.
- 76. Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, Vol. 2, p. 149.
- 77. Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol. 1, p. 136, No. 422 (Int’l No.)
- 78. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 7, p. 117; Vol. 3, p. 451; Vol. 12, p. 483.
- 79. Sunan Abu Dawud, Vol., p. 137, No. 426 (Int’l No.)
- 80. Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, Vol. 1, p. 105.
- 81. ‘General arguments’ are religious reasons stating a general rule with no special instance, just as true traditions consider mentioning the name of Ali (a.s) in adhan as recommended. Such general arguments are valid until there are no other certain reasons to exclude adhan from these rules. Hence, bringing Ali’s name in adhan is recommended too. (Editor)
- 82. Sunni master scholars have consensus that additional words during adhan are lawful and do not distort adhan. As is mentioned in Fat’h Al-Bari, “Permission of including words in adhan is obtained from Bukhari’s statements. Ibn Mundhir narrates the permission of including words in adhan from Urwa, Ata’, Hasan, Qutada, and Ahmad. Nakha’i and Awza’i agree about this permission, though consider it as undesirable. Ibn Hanifa, Malik and Shafi’i allow it too, but consider the omission of it more desirable. The only person forbidding the inclusion of words in adhan is Thawri. See: Fat’h Al-Bari, Abwab Al-Adhan, Bab Al-Kalam fi Al-Adhan, p. 80 (Editor).
- 83. Allamah Sharaf Al-Din, Al-Nass wa Al-Ijtihad, p. 207 & 208.
- 84. Vol. 11, p. 601, No. 32894; Jami’ Al-Saghir, No. 4332; “Ibn Asakir” has narrated this tradition in “Tarikh Madina Dimashq” (The history of Damascus) with valid documents (Vol. 42, p. 356).