Ever wonder why the Mu’adhin turns his face from right to left and left to right during Adhaan (while saying ‘hayya alas-Salah‘ and ‘hayya alal falah‘)? Because it is the way the first Mu’adhin of Islam, Bilal (RA), used to do it. And it is the way Prophet (SAW) taught him.
Narrated ‘Aun bin Abi Juhaifa:
My father said, “I saw Bilal turning his face from side to side while pronouncing the Adhaan for the prayer.”
I actually used to wonder if it’s a Sunnah or not. Now I have the answer Alhamdulillah. :)
Imaam Bukhari has done us such a wonderful favor by compiling his book that maybe even he himself did not realize the importance that it has today. May Allah grant him from the highest levels of Paradise and have mercy on him. Ameen.
Narrated Salim bin Abdullah:
My father said that Allah’s Apostle said, “Bilal pronounces Adhaan at night, so keep on eating and drinking (Suhur) till Ibn Umm Maktum pronounces Adhaan.” Salim added, “He was a blind man who would not pronounce the Adhaan unless he was told that the day had dawned.”
Yes, a blind man. He only needed to be told of the time. Pronouncing the Adhaan does not require sight, does it? :)
Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum was among the first converts to Islam. Muhammad (SAW) sent him and Mus`ab ibn `Umair to Medina for teaching Qur’an to the inhabitants before the Hijrah took place. He and Bilal ibn Rabah were chosen as mu’adhins in Medina by Muhammad (SAW). When Muhammad (SAW) left Medina for participating in battles, he was given the responsibility of leading the prayers. (Islam surely does NOT discriminate.)
Abd-Allah ibn Umm-Maktum requested Umar, the second Caliph of Islam, to let him take part in Jihad in spite of his blindness. Umar allowed him to take part in the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah in 636 C.E. He served in the battle as the standard bearer for the Muslim side, and he was killed in the fighting.
Allah (SWT) revealed a few verses about this awesome Sahabi (companion) as well. The story goes as follows:
Muhammad (SAW) was preaching Islam to Walid ibn al-Mughira and other Quraysh chieftains in Mecca. Abd-Allah ibn Umm Maktum came along and asked Muhammad (SAW) about something. Muhammad (SAW) did not want to turn his attention away from the chieftains and frowned at ibn Umm Maktum. Allah admonished Muhammad (SAW) for this action via the first ten verses of ‘Abasa:
He (Prophet s.a.w) frowned and turned (his) back,
Because there came to him the blind man.
And what would make you know that he would purify himself,
Or become reminded so that the reminder should profit him?
As for him who considers himself free from need (of you),
To him do you address yourself.
And no blame is on you if he would not purify himself
And as to him who comes to you striving hard,
And he fears,
From him will you divert yourself?
Another verse based on an incident involving ibn Umm-Maktum is the 95th verse of An-Nisa. As related by Ibn Kathir in his exegesis of the Qur’an, Al-Bukhari recorded that Sahl bin Sa`d As-Sa`di said, “I saw Marwan bin Al-Hakam sitting in the Masjid. I came and sat by his side. He told us that Zayd bin Thabit told him that Allah’s Messenger dictated this Ayah to him, Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and those who strive and fight in the Cause of Allah. Ibn Umm Maktum came to the Prophet as he was dictating that very Ayah to me. Ibn Umm Maktum said, `O Allah’s Messenger! By Allah, if I had power, I would surely take part in Jihad.’ He was a blind man. So Allah sent down revelation to His Messenger while his thigh was on mine and it became so heavy for me that I feared that my thigh would be broken. That ended after Allah revealed, … except those who are disabled and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah. [Qur’an, 4:95]
So that was Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum, the awesome Sahabi who did not let his blindness be his weakness. He did more than most ‘seeing’ men could ever do. May Allah be pleased with him. :)
Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
Allah’s Apostle said, “Whenever you hear the Adhan, say what the Mu’adhdhin is saying.
Narrated ‘Isa bin Talha:
that he had heard Mu’awiya repeating the words of Adhan up to “Wa ash-hadu Anna Muhammadan Rasulul-lah (and I testify that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle.)”
Narrated Yahya as above (586) and added:
“Some of my companions told me that Hisham had said, “When the Muadhin said, “Haiya alas-sala(t) (come for the prayer).” Muawiya said, “La hawla wala quwata illa billah (There is neither might nor any power except with Allah)” and added, “We heard your Prophet saying the same.”
So, when the muadhin (caller to prayer) is pronouncing the Adhaan, you’re supposed to repeat what he says. But when he says ‘hayya alas-salah‘ and ‘hayya alal-falah‘, say: ‘la hawla wala quwwata illa billah‘.
Using loudspeakers to pronounce the Adhaan apparently benefits those sitting at home, informing them about the time of prayer. Ever wonder what benefit the mu’adhin (the one calling to prayer) gets out of it?
Narrated ‘Abdul Rahman:
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri told my father, “I see you liking sheep and the wilderness. So whenever you are with your sheep or in the wilderness and you want to pronounce Adhan for the prayer raise your voice in doing so, for whoever hears the Adhan, whether a human being, a jinn or any other creature, will be a witness for you on the Day of Resurrection.” Abu Said added, “I heard it (this narration) from Allah’s Apostle.”
Beautiful! Even the person who is out alone in the desert looking after his sheep is being encouraged to pronounce Adhaan before performing his prayer. And with that, raise his voice so that he can have as many witnesses to his Adhaan as possible – from among men, jinn or any other creatures. Those witnesses will benefit the mu’adhin on the Day of Judgement. Then what about the person who calls to prayer and his voice spreads throughout a mile or two’s radius with the help of a loudspeaker? Only Allah can count the number of witnesses to his Adhaan. SubhanAllah! Can there be a better reward for him other than this? :)