In the second year after Hijrat(migration) the announcing of the time of Prayer(Salaat) ie. the call to prayer (Azaan) began and Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) was appointed Muazzin and always remained the Muazzin of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) both in his presence and also during travel.
The announcing of the call to Prayer(Azaan) started when Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) became concerned and thought of finding a way to gather all the people for Salaat with congregation(Jamaat). He therefore asked the Sahaabah (Radiahallahu Anhum) for their opinions concerning this. Different suggestions were put forward. One was that a flag be hoisted which the people will see and call each other to gather at the Masjid. However, Nabi (Sallailahu alayhi wasallam) disliked this suggestion.
Another suggestion was that a horn be blown which the Jews used to blow to gather their flocks but this suggestion was not liked by Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
The third suggestion was that two sticks should be hit against each other at the time of Salaah and its sound will make everyone gather for Salaat, but Nabi (Sallaallahu alayhi wasallam) disliked this as well.
All the Sahaabah (Radiahallahu Anhum) were concerned about this matter of calling people to prayer. The most concerned was Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Zaid bin Abd Rabi (R.A.). After the gathering dispersed, he slept in the Masjid and the words of the Azaan were taught to him in his dream. In the morning, he came to Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and said that he was between wakefulness and sleep when suddenly he saw a man who was wearing two pieces of green cloth. This man stood facing Qibla calling these words out aloud. He then mentioned the words of the Azaan. After this he sat for a little while and for the second time called out the same words and added "Qadqa matis Salaah" . I remember this dream of mine very clearly. I saw this while I was partially awake- On hearing this Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned that Allaah Ta'aala showed him a good dream. In another narration it is mentioned that he said , "if Allaah wills this dream is true."
Hereafter, Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that he must stand with Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) and whatever words were taught to him in the dream, he should teach it to Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) and let him call it out because his voice was louder. Hadhrat Abdullaah bin Zaid (Radiahallahu Anhu) mentions that I stood up with Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) and started teaching him the words of the Azaan which I heard in the dream and he started reading the words with a loud voice and with great effort.
When Hadhrat Umar (Radiahallahu Anhu) heard the sound of the Azaan, he left his home and joined the company of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He came hurriedly, without even putting his clothes on properly but dragging it along. He said, " 0 Rasul of Allaah, I take an oath on the Being who has sent you with the truth (Allaah). I also saw the same dream as Abdullaah bin Zaid (Radiahallahu Anhu). After this Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) remarked."All praises are due to Allaah who has shown us a better way than our consultation. From your dream it is confirmed that Hadhrat Abdullaah's dream is true". (Jamul Fawaid-Miskhaat).
Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) stayed with Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). In Madinah he was the Muazzin and even while travelling, he went with Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and at the time of Salaat he used to give Azaan. Very seldom Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) went somewhere and someone other than Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) called the Azaan. Whenever Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) went to Musjid-e-Quba, then Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) would give the Azaan and when hearing him, the people living around the area knew that Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was in the area. Once Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) went to Musjid-e-Quba and Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) was not with him. Hadhrat Saad Qartaz (Radiahallahu Anhu) gave the Azaan. Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned that if you do not see Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) with me, then give the Azaan. In the lifetime of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallarn) he had given Azaan on three occasions. (Jamul-Fawaid)
At one time Hadhrat Zaid bin Harith (Radiahallahu Anhu) gave Azaan at the time of Fajr at the request of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This was because Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) was out on some necessity. When Salaat was about to commence Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) as as per norm always gave the lqaamat after the Azaan. Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said "without doubt Zaid bin Haarith gave Azaan and whoever gave Azaan should give Iqaamat". (Abu Dawood--Tirmidhi)
Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) used to give the Fajr Azaan from the roof of the house of a lady from the tribe of Bani Najjar. Her home was joined to the Musjid. From the time of Sehri he used to sit on the roof waiting for the time of Fajr. When it was time to commence the Azaan then he should stretch his limbs, and make the following duaa after which he gave the Azaan.
"Oh Allaah I praise you, and I desire that You become aid to the Quraish to establish Your Deen."
The woman from whose roof he gave Azaan said that there was not a day that he did not mention this duaa. (Abu Dawood)
At one time Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) told Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) that when you give Azaan, pause between the words, and when giving the Iqaamat, then do so quickly. Between the Azaan and the Iqaamat, allow such a pause that the if person who is eating or drinking or relieving himself, then such a necessity will be completed. Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also mentioned to Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) that he should keep his Shahaadat fingers in his ears while giving the Azaan, because the sound becomes louder.
Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) passed away in the 20th year after Hijrat. in Damascus and he is buried near Bab Sageer. His blessed age was 63 years. When Nabi (Sallaallahu alayhi wasallam) proclaimed prophethood, he was 30 years old. He spent the remaining 33 years of his life in the assistance of this Deen. He was perscuted severely for admitting Islaam and despite this, he continued to announce, boldly, "Ahad, the One Allaah!". He participated in the battles and endured both hunger and pain. He was not only a Muazzin, but he was granted the status of being the leader of Muazzins.
The Call to Prayer(AZAAN)
The Azan is uttered in a loud, albeit sweet melodious, voice to announce to the faithful that it is time for the Obligatory Prayer and to invite them to offer the prayers. Those who perform Azan are known as 'Muezzin.' The honour of being the first Muezzin goes to Hazrat Bilal(R.A.), a black slave who converted to Islam. He had a very sweet, resonant and musical voice. He was appointed as Muezzin by the Prophet(peace be upon him) of Islam. The appointment of a black slave as the first person to call Muslims for prayers, shows that in Islam all human beings are treated as equals. Rich or poor, black or white, short or tall - all are equal in the eyes of Allah. It is the piety of each individual that makes the difference.
Azan is recited in a loud voice by the Muezzin facing the direction of the Ka'ba in the following words, which are said in the order mentioned:
"Allahu Akbar" - recited FOUR times. Meaning, "Allah is the Greatest."(four times)
"Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah" - recited TWO times. Meaning, "I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah."(twice)
"Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasoolullah" - recited TWO times. Meaning, "I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah."(recited twice)
"Hayya 'alas-Salah" - recited TWO times. Meaning, "Come to prayer."(turning the face alone to the right and saying it twice)
"Hayya 'alal-falah" - recited TWO times. Meaning, "Come to Success."(turning the face alone to the left and saying it twice)
"Allahu Akbar" - recited TWO times. Meaning, "Allah is the Greatest"
"La-Ilaha Il-Allah"- recited once. Meaning, "There is no other object of worship except Allah."
Morning (Fajr) Prayers
The following phrase is added after "Hayya 'alal-falah" in the Azan of the early morning prayers:
"As-salatu khairum minannaum" - recited Two times. Meaning, "Prayer is better than sleep" (recited two times).
Iqamat is the second call to prayer and is uttered immediately before the beginning of the Obligatory Prayer (Fard). It is similar to Azaan but with the addition of the following sentence after "Hayya 'alal-falah:" "Qad qama-tis-Salah" - recited two times. Meaning, "Prayer has indeed begun" (recited two times)
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