Azaan -The call to prayer
To give the Azaan for Namaaz is proven from the Holy Quran-e-Majeed. Almighty Allah says in the Glorious Quran: "And when you call the Azaan for Salaah". The Ulema have stated that to give Azaan for the five daily Salaah including Jummah Salaah, is Sunnat-e-Mu'akadah and if the Azaan is not given by anyone, then the people of the entire area are sinners individually. With the exception of the Fardh Namaaz, there is no Azaan for the two Eids, Witr, Janazah Salaah or any Nafil Salaah. The time for Azaan is the same time as that of Namaaz. It is not permissible to give any Azaan before the time of that particular Salaah.
One who gives the Azaan must be a Sunni Sahihul Aqeedah person who is in his proper sense of mind. If Azaan is given without Wudhu, it will be complete, but it is not correct to do so. It is not permissible for a person who is in an impure state, an insane person, an intoxicated person or a Faasiq (open sinner) to call out the Azaan. It is Makrooh-e-Tahreemi for women to give the Azaan or Iqaamah. Azaan mu
st be given standing facing the direction of the Qibla, with the index fingers in the ears. The Azaan must be called out with a loud voice, pausing after each Takbeer. The Azaan must be given outside the actual Musjid and not inside as this is Khilaaf-e-Sunnah (against the Sunnah) and Makrooh. This law even applies to the Azaan of the Jummah Khutba. Azaan should not be given in front of the Mimbar, but outside the main Musjid, but standing in line with the Khateeb. It is desirable to read Durood Shareef before and after the Azaan.
To reply to the words of Azaan is Mustahab. The method of doing this, is to repeat after the Mu'azzin the words of Azaan, but when he says "Ash hadu an'na Muhammadur Rasoolullah" then you should kiss your thumb nails and rub them over your eyes. This should be done by saying "Sallal laahu alaika Ya Rasoolallah" the first time, and "Qurratu Aini bika Ya Rasoolallah" the second time. Then say, "Allahuma Mati'ni Bis Sam'i Wal Basari". Whoever does this, will be blessed with entering Jannatul Firdous through the Shifa'ah (intercession) of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), He will never lose his eyesight, and his eyes will never be sore.
When the Mu'azzin says, "Hayya Alas Salaah" and "Hayya Alal Falah", then you should say, "Laa Howla Wa laa Quw'wata illa Billahil Aliyul Azeem". In the Azaan of Fajr, when the Mu'azzin says, "As Salaatu Khairum minan Naum", then you should say, "Sadaqtu Wa Barartu".
It is not allowed to give answer to the Azaan during the Khutba of Jummah, or to kiss the thumbs or to recited Durood Shareef aloud. It is important to remain silent and listen to the Khutba. When Azaan is read, all talking should stop. Even if a person is reciting the Quran, he should stop and answer the Azaan. Even when walking on the street, one should stop and give answer to the Azaan when it is heard. If in your area, you are able to hear the Azaan of various Masaajid, then you should answer the first Azaan that you hear. In one Hadith, The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated: "Freedom from the fire of Hell is written for that Muslim who calls out the Azaan for seven years."
BENEFIT IN THE ANSWER TO AZAAN: Once while speaking to a group of women Huzoor-e-Anwar (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "When Hazrat Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) calls out the Azaan and Takbeer, then say as he says, since for every Kalma (word) Almighty Allah will bless you with one hundred thousand good deeds, He will exalt your status by one thousand folds and He will forgive your one thousand sins". The women then asked, "And what is (the reward) for the menfolk ?" The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) replied, "Double that amount."
Let us take some time to ponder on this fact, that in the Azaan of one day, there are seventy seven words, and in the Iqaamah of one day there are 85 words. If the Sawaab for the women was so great then imagine it being doubled for the men. Then think that this is for one day, what is the Sawaab of that person whose daily practice this is. Subhan-Allah!
DU'A AFTER THE AZAAN: "Allahuma Rabba Haazihi Da'watit Tamati Was Salaatil Qaa'imati Aati Sayyidina Muhammadinil Wasilata Wal Fadilata Wad Darajatar Rafi'ata Wab Athoo Maqaamam Mahmoodanil Lazi Wa ad'tahu War zukna Shafa'atuhu Yaumal Qiyaamati. Inaka La Tukhli ful Mi'aad."
"O Lord of this beautiful Azaan and the Salaah which will follow, give our Master Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam's) Wasila and greatness and a very high station. And let him reach the Plain of Mahmood of which You have promised him and let us receive his Intercession on the Day of Qiyamah. Without doubt, You never go against Your Promise."
OTHER INSTANCES WHERE AZAAN CAN BE GIVEN: With the exception of Namaaz, it is also Mustahab (desirable) to give Azaan in the following instances:-
- To give Azaan at times of fear brings tranquillity.
- During an uncontrollable fire. Insha-Allah, the fire will be quickly extinguished.
- Azaan can be given in the ears of a person to remove fear and sadness.
- At the birth of a child, Azaan should be given in the right ear and Iqaamah in the left ear.
- Azaan can be given at the grave-side to give Sukoon (tranquillity) to the deceased.
- Give Azaan to cure somebody who is affected by Jinnaat or Shaitaan.
- During the time of storm.
- To ask for rain during drought, or to stop a heavy storm.
- When lost in a forest, by giving Azaan, someone will show you your way.
- Giving Azaan in your business or residence, will increase Barakah (blessings).