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Adhaan and Iqaamah for the One Praying Alone (Hadith No. 2496)


Volume 4, Book 52, Number 101 :
Narrated by Malik bin Al-Huwairith (radiallaahu `anhu)
On my departure from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) he said to me and to a friend of mine, “You two, pronounce the Adhan and the Iqama for the prayer and let the elder of you lead the prayer.”

We’ve established previously that the minimum number of people required for a congregational prayer is two. This hadith further proves the importance of the adhaan and iqaamah regardless of the number of people in congregation and the place. Adhaan and iqaamah are NOT limited to the mosque, they should be established wherever the congregation is being held – even while traveling.

While looking up the importance of adhaan and iqaamah, I came across this absolutely beautiful hadeeth of ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir, who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

‘Your Lord likes it when a shepherd at the top of a mountain pass calls the Adhaan for prayer and then prays. Then Allaah says, “Look at this slave of mine, saying the Adhaan and the Iqaamah for prayer and fearing Me. I ask you to bear witness that I have forgiven My slave and will admit him to Paradise.”’” (Narrated by al-Nisaa’i)


This is just too good to ignore. Such beautiful rewards for an easy act. It also proves the importance of adhaan and iqaamah for a person who’s praying alone (men only). Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said in reply to a related question:

The Sunnah is to give the adhaan and iqaamah. As to whether it is obligatory, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. It is better and more on the safe side for you to give the adhaan then the iqaamah, because of the general meaning of the evidence. But you should pray in congregation whenever possible. If there is a congregation or you can hear the call to prayer from a mosque near you, then it is obligatory for you to respond to the muezzin and attend the prayer in congregation. If you cannot hear the call and there is no mosque near you, the Sunnah is for you to give the adhaan yourself, then the iqaamah. End quote.

Al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

“If a man neglects to say the Adhaan and Iqaamah when he is praying alone or in congregation, I regard that as makrooh, but he does not have to repeat the prayers he did without the Adhaan or Iqaamah.”

Source: IslamQA


Taraweeh: Individual or Congregational? (Hadith No. 1722)


Volume 3, Book 32, Number 227:

Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):

Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” Ibn Shihab (a sub-narrator) said, “Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) died and the people continued observing that (i.e. Nawafil offered individually, not in congregation), and it remained as it was during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr (radiallaahu `anhu) and in the early days of ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)’s Caliphate.” ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Abdul Qari said, “I went out in the company of ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (radiallaahu `anhu) one night in Ramadan to the mosque and found the people praying in different groups. A man praying alone or a man praying with a little group behind him. So, ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) said, ‘In my opinion I would better collect these (people) under the leadership of one Qari (Reciter) (i.e. let them pray in congregation!)’. So, he made up his mind to congregate them behind Ubai bin Ka’b (radiallaahu `anhu). Then on another night I went again in his company and the people were praying behind their reciter. On that, ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) remarked, ‘What an excellent Bid’a (i.e. innovation in religion) this is; but the prayer which they do not perform, but sleep at its time is better than the one they are offering.’ He meant the prayer in the last part of the night. (In those days) people used to pray in the early part of the night.”

al-Bukhaari (2010) narrated that ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Abd al-Qaari said: I went out with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) to the mosque one night in Ramadaan, and the people were scattered, each man praying by himself. Some men would pray and have groups of people behind them following them. ‘Umar said: “I think that if I unite all these people with one reader, it will be better. Then he resolved to gather them behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b.

al-Haafiz said:

Ibn al-Teen and others said that ‘Umar based this decision on the Prophet’s approval of those who prayed with him on those nights. Although he disliked that for them, that was based on the fear that it might be made obligatory for them. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, there was no longer any fear of that happening, and ‘Umar thought, because of the potential division that might arise from people praying separately, and because uniting them behind one reader is more motivating for many people. The majority agreed with ‘Umar’s decision. End quote from Fath al-Baari.

Al-Nawawi said in al-Majmoo’, 3/526:

Praying Taraweeh is Sunnah according to scholarly consensus… It is permissible to offer this prayer alone or in congregation, but which is better? There are two well-known opinions on this matter. The correct view according to the consensus of our companions is that praying it in congregation is better. The second view is that it is better to pray it individually.

Our companions said: The difference of opinion has to do with one who has memorized the Qur’aan; there is no fear that he may become lazy and neglect it if he prays on his own, and the congregation in the mosque is not going to be affected if he stays away.  But if one of these factors is absent, then praying in congregation is better, and there is no difference of scholarly opinion on this point.

The author of al-Shaamil said:

Abu’l-‘Abbaas and Abu Ishaaq said that praying Taraweeh in congregation is better than praying it individually, because of the consensus of the Sahaabah and the consensus of the scholars of the regions on this point. End quote.

Ibn al-Mubaarak, Ahmad and Ishaaq favoured praying with the imam during the month of Ramadaan.

It says in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi:

In the book on night prayer (qiyaam): it was said to Ahmad ibn Hanbal: Do you prefer a man to pray with the people in Ramadaan or on his own? He said: He should pray with the people. He said: And I prefer that he should pray with the imam and pray Witr with him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If a man prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded as if he spent the rest of the night (in prayer).” Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “He should pray with the people until he prays Witr with them, and he should not leave until the imam leaves. Abu Dawood said: I saw him (Imam Ahmad) – in the month of Ramadaan, praying Witr with his imam, except on one night when I did not attend. Ishaaq (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: I said to Ahmad: Is praying qiyaam in Ramadaan in congregation dearer to you or praying on one’s own? He said: I prefer that this prayer should be offered in congregation, so as to revive the Sunnah. And Ishaaq said the same. End quote.

See al-Mughni, 1/457.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Majaalis Shahr Ramadaan, p. 22:

At first the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to pray Taraweeh in congregation in the mosque, then he stopped because he feared that it might be made obligatory upon his ummah…

Then he quoted the two ahaadeeth quoted above. Then he said:

No man should keep away from Taraweeh prayer lest he misses out on the reward for it. And he should not leave until the imam finishes Taraweeh and Witr, so that he may attain the reward of spending the whole night in prayer. End quote.

Al-Albaani said in Qiyaam Ramadaan:

Rather it (praying Taraweeh in congregation) is better than praying it alone, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did it himself and explained its virtue.

Rather he did not lead them in praying it in congregation for the rest of the month because he feared that praying at night during Ramadaan might be made obligatory for them, and they would be unable to do that, as it says in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah which is narrated in al-Saheehayn and elsewhere. This concern no longer applied after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died and Allaah had completed Islam. Hence the reason for not praying in congregation when offering night prayers in Ramadaan was no longer present, and the previous ruling remained in effect, which is that it is prescribed to offer this prayer in congregation. Hence ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) revived it, as it says inSaheeh al-Bukhaari and elsewhere. End quote.

It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (27/138):

From the time of ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and the Muslims regularly offered Taraweeh prayer in congregation. ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) is the one who united the people in offering the prayer behind a single imam.

Asad ibn ‘Amr ibn Abi Yoosuf said: I asked Abu Haneefah about Taraweeh and what ‘Umar did. He said: Taraweeh is a confirmed Sunnah, and ‘Umar did not base his decision on speculation and he was not introducing bid’ah (an innovation). He did not enjoin it except because of what he knew from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). ‘Umar introduced this and gathered the people behind Ubayy ibn Ka’b and he offered this prayer in congregation, at the time when the Sahaabah – the Muhaajireen and Ansaar – were still alive, and no one among them objected to that, rather they helped him and agreed with him, and also enjoined it. End quote.

Imaam’s Forgotten Sunnah (Ahadith 806-808)


There’s something Prophet (SAW) used to do after finishing his prayer, which I don’t see many Imaams doing today. And it makes me sad. :(

Volume 1, Book 12, Number 806:

Narrated Samura bin Jundab:

The Prophet used to face us on completion of the prayer.

Volume 1, Book 12, Number 807:

Narrated Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani:

The Prophet led us in the Fajr prayer at Hudaibiya after a rainy night. On completion of the prayer, he faced the people and said, “Do you know what your Lord has said (revealed)?” The people replied, “Allah and His Apostle know better.” He said, “Allah has said, ‘In this morning some of my slaves remained as true believers and some became non-believers; whoever said that the rain was due to the Blessings and the Mercy of Allah had belief in Me and he disbelieves in the stars, and whoever said that it rained because of a particular star had no belief in Me but believes in that star.'”

This particular image shows the imaam addressing the congregation while standing. Hadith does not say anything about standing, so Imaam may face the congregation in sitting position as well.

Volume 1, Book 12, Number 808:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Once the Prophet delayed the ‘Isha’ prayer until midnight and then came to us. Having prayed he faced us and said, “The people had prayed and slept but you were in the prayer as long as you were waiting for it.”

Facing congregation after the prayer is a Sunnah for the Imaam. It’s easier to address people that way as well.


The ‘Silent’ Prayers (Hadith No. 713)


Volume 1, Book 12, Number 713:

Narrated Abu Ma’mar:

We asked Khabbab whether Allah’s Apostle used to recite (the Qur’an) in the Zuhr and the ‘Asr prayers. He replied in the affirmative. We said, “How did you come to know about it?” He said, “By the movement of his beard.”

  1. Dhuhr and `Asr are the sirri (silent/in which we whisper) prayers. Imaam does not recite aloud in congregation. Everyone recites their own surahs.
  2. How to know if someone is reciting something in the prayer or not? Check the movement of their beard (or lips). Which means, one should lip sync in Salah. Whisper to your Lord, per se. Don’t just go about it in your heart/mind.


Night Prayer: Not Compulsory (Ahadith 696-698)


Hadith no. 693, 694 and 695 are repeats.

Volume 1, Book 11, Number 696:

Narrated ‘Aisha:

Allah’s Apostle used to pray in his room at night. As the wall of the room was low, the people saw him and some of them stood up to follow him in the prayer. In the morning they spread the news. The following night the Prophet stood for the prayer and the people followed him. This went on for two or three nights. Thereupon Allah’s Apostle did not stand for the prayer the following night, and did not come out. In the morning, the people asked him about it. He replied, that he was afraid that the night prayer might become compulsory.

Volume 1, Book 11, Number 697:

Narrated ‘Aisha:

The Prophet had a mat which he used to spread during the day and use as a curtain at night. So a number of people gathered at night facing it and prayed behind him.

Volume 1, Book 11, Number 698:

Narrated Zaid bin Thabit:

Allah’s Apostle made a small room in the month of Ramadan (Sa’id said, “I think that Zaid bin Thabit said that it was made of a mat”) and he prayed there for a few nights, and so some of his companions prayed behind him. When he came to know about it, he kept on sitting. In the morning, he went out to them and said, “I have seen and understood what you did. You should pray in your houses, for the best prayer of a person is that which he prays in his house except the compulsory prayers.”

Night prayer is not compulsory during or outside Ramadan. The one who performs it gets huge rewards though.

With this, Kitaab-ul-Adhaan ends. Alhamdulillah.


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