Adhaan: A Perfect Call from your Sustainer
“And when you proclaim the call to prayer, they counter it with ridicule and amusement. That is because they are a people who do not understand.” (5:58)
The Adhaan echoes from the minarets of world, five times daily. The first adhaan of the day begins in the Far East and gradually progresses in line with the movement of the sun to cover every corner of the globe; there is hardly a time where Adhaan is not heard in some corner of the globe. When the Muadh-dhins of Indonesia are calling out the “Fajar Adhaan”, those of Africa are calling the Adhaan for Isha.
The Adhaan is a reassuring message to humanity that gives meaning, purpose and direction to life. It is a reminder to take time out of our busy schedules to find peace, fulfilment and spiritual nourishment through prayer. It epitomizes the fundamentals of religion taught to humanity across the passage of time by all Prophets. It is referred to as the ‘Perfect Call’ in the prayer (du‘aa) after Adhaan.
It begins with the declaration that Allah is the Greatest! “Allah is the Greatest” is a declaration that everything in this universe – from the smallest to the largest – depends on Him, while He depends on none. It liberates us from slavery to our desires; it protects us from overwhelming fear, hopelessness and helplessness. It inspires man with hope and courage. The following verse aptly expands on His Greatness: “O Allah! Lord of Power (And Rule), You give power to whom You please; You take power away from whom You will. You exalt whom You will and humiliate whom You will. In Your hand is all that is good. You have absolute power over all things. You cause the night to pass into the day, and You cause the day to pass into the night. You bring forth the living from the dead, and You bring forth the dead from that which is alive. You grant sustenance to whom You will beyond any measure.” (3:26 – 27)
The testimony that “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah” is a Muslim’s profession of faith. An affirmation uttered by every Prophet of Allah, a universal declaration made by believers throughout the ages of time. The testimony binds Believers as brothers in faith. “The Muslim is a brother to another Muslim. He does not wrong him, nor surrenders him (to the enemy). Whoever fulfils the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfil his needs. Whoever relieves a Muslim from distress, Allah will relieve him from distress on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever covers the faults of a Muslim, Allah will cover his faults on the Day of Resurrection.” (Bukhari)
The Adhaan reaffirms the institute of Prophethood that began with Prophet Adam alayhis salaam and ended with the seal and crown of all Prophets, Our Master and Leader Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam. We draw no distinction between Prophets; we affirm our belief that all the Prophets were Muslim who came to invite their people to the oneness of Allah. “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” speaks of our loving association with the best of mankind, whose character has been attested to, by none other than Allah Who declares: “And most surely you (O’ Prophet Muhammad) have the most sublime (exalted) character.” (68:4) It speaks of the need to purge our character from arrogance, hatred, greed, hypocrisy etc. It invites us to embrace justice, compassion and commitment as prophetic values worthy of emulation.
The expressions “Come to Salaah” and “Come towards Success” are meant to invite mankind to find solace, peace, and guidance through the medium of prayer (salaah). Salaah is time during which we as mankind pour out our hearts and speak directly to our Creator. We begin by praising Him, which is followed by requesting His blessings and seeking protection from evil, we beseech His guidance in all our endeavours. It is an invitation to the spiritual oasis; it provides refuge for the broken hearted, hope for the despondent, direction to the confused and forgiveness for the sinner.
The Adhaan is a call to humanity not to be waylaid by materialism, it is a call to come to that which promises success, it celebrates the greatness of the Almighty and affirms our total dependence on His mercy.