Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Prophet's Azan


One of the important aspects of the Salat is the call to prayer or the azan which is today being announced at every time when there is an obligatory Salat to be performed. The account of how it came into being and the wording to be pronounced do not seem to have its roots from the Prophet himself but by the suggestion of others to the Prophet. According to the Hadith the call was proposed by Umar and the wordings came from other than the Prophet. On the contrary from the sources of the Quran it can be determined that the first azan was made by the Prophet himself as he was the one receiving the inspiration from God and naturally he was the one who pronounced the azan prior to any other people of his time and the following verse of the Quran gave this evidence:

O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed to Salat on the Day of Congregation, hasten earnestly to the remembrance of God, and leave of business: that is best for you if you but knew! (Surah 62:9)

The above verse easily informed us that there is a call to Salat and the time of the call is easily traced as there is only one time that a call of the azan was made.and it was then at the time of business. In the Arab society it is normal for the Arab at mid noon when the sun’s decline from its zenith they will have a short nap or “siesta” as the Mexican do in Mexico. And the Quran confirmed that this time is rest time or it is treated as their privacy time and it is stated in the Quran that there are three times of privacy for the Arab which is mentioned and it is the time before dawn, at noon when the sun is blazing hot and when it is darkness at night time.

The Quran depicted where the Arab were at those times and they were all at their homes resting and they have a short break from business and trading activities and it is unlikely that these were the times the Prophet made his call or azan to his people to assemble to perform Salat on the Day of Congregation. The timing of the Salat on the Day of Congregation cannot be possible to be done at any of the times as near the time of dawn or when the sun’s decline at noon or at night time as mentioned in the verse below:

O you who believe! Let those whom your right hands possess and those who have not attained puberty ask your permission three times before they come to your bedroom before the dawn prayer (Salatil Fajri), and when you put off your garments at noon, and after the evening prayer (Salatil Ishaaa). These are three times of privacy for you. Outside these times there is no blame on you or them, if you move about attending to each other. Thus God make clear to you the Signs and God is All Knowing, All Wise. (Surah 24:58)

As described from the above verse it is unlikely that there is any call being made to do congregation at the times mentioned above since it is their privacy time. So the only possible or likely time that the Salat on the Day of Congregation was being held would be at the time of Wusta in the late afternoon which is the middle time between noon and dusk. This is the time their community is busy with activities of trade and businesses and that satisfy the description of the Surah 62:9 when the call was made to establish the Salat on the day of congregation to break a while from business for the remembrance of God. Based on the same Surah 62:9 the Prophet would be pronouncing the azan by calling people to Salat according to what is being stated in the verses at Surah 62:9 -11 and he would be making the call (azan) by following strictly the message that was inspired to him by God. There is nothing that the Prophet would change as he was a personality who feared the wrath of Allah and will not fail to perform his duties as that which is prescribed by God in the Quran which is inspired only to him. The Prophet’s call of the azan is taken from the evidences of the Surah 62:9-11 and from the evidences the effect can be arrived with having the following features taken directly in it sequences from the following verses:

O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on the Day of Assembly, hastens earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew! And when the Prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of Allah: and celebrate the Praises of Allah often (and without stint): that ye may prosper. But when they see some bargain or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave thee standing. Say: "The (blessing) from the Presence of Allah is better than any amusement or bargain! and Allah is the Best to provide (for all needs)."
(Surah 62:9-11)

The Prophet’s azan from the above evidences will be following exactly what has been inspired to him from God and he will follow the sequence of the inspiration above and when he call or make the azan he will be saying as follows:

O you who believe! Hasten to prayer.
Hasten earnestly to the remembrance of Allah.
Leave off business, that is best for you if you but knew.
The blessing from the Presence of Allah is better than any amusement or bargain. And Allah is the best to provide.

This is the evidence the Prophet Muhammad make his call (azan) to the believers to establish their Salat in the Quran. There is no evidence from any other source that the Prophet himself made the call of the azan. Any call of the azan or the description of it were done by other people like Bilal or other companions of the Prophet but the Prophet himself was never recorded to call the azan to invite people to do the Salat to remember God during his time. There was also no evidence that he received an inspiration of the call to azan from other sources and there is no doubt that only the Quran is the source of his azan and this is through the inspiration at the above Surah 62:9. Also it is understandable the present call of the azan would have been done only by others as it is unlikely the Prophet would announce publictly to bear his own witness that he is Muhammad the messenger of God which is one of the requirement of the current azan. This proves that the current call of the azan was an invention and not the one which was done by the Prophet, the one done by the Prophet is recorded in the Quran and it is the one we should follow.