Call for prayer


M

ost of us have heard the sound of ‘Azaan’ or the Muslim call to prayer emanating from mosques at some time or the other. There is usually, in every mosque, a person - called the Mu’azzin - dedicated to delivering the Azaan five times a day. In summoning Muslims to mandatory prayers (Salah), the Azaan is sometimes delivered from a minaret fitted with loudspeakers.

The actual prayers start within a short time after the call for prayer is given.

This method of calling people was formulated in the time of the Prophet Muhammad after other methods like blowing of horns and ringing of bells were rejected. Its utility in calling believers to prayer aside, the loud pronouncement of the Azaan five times a day serves to make available to every believer and non-believer an easily intelligible summary of the Islamic creed.

In the Qur’an and Sunnah (traditions of the Prophet) there are four fundamentals on which the entire superstructure of Islam rests: (a) Belief in the oneness of Allah and in the fact that there is no power greater than Him; He alone is the Creator and the Master of the universe and no other can claim share in His Godhood, His Sovereignty; (b) Muhammad is the final dispenser of the Will of Allah and it is in his words and deeds that His will find expression; (c) it is not the material utility that determines the value of things or acts in Islam but their spiritual significance.

Thus, salvation in Islam lies in the purification of the soul achieved only by conscious obedience to the Commands of God. Prayer is the most important form of that obedience; (d) the highest aim of the life of a Muslim is to live a life that has divine pleasure attached to it.

Given below is the English translation of the Azaan:
"God is the greatest." (Said four times)
"I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah (God)." (Said two times)
“I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (God).” (Said two times)
"Come to prayer." (Said two times)
"Come to Success." (Said two times)
"God is the greatest." (Said two times)
"There is no other deity except Allah (God)." (Said once)

The amazing part about the Azaan is that it is being called out at every moment at some place or the other in the world. Thus, the sound of the Azaan constantly echoes and re-echoes around the globe in a never-ending cycle.

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