Spiritual Melody Of Azaan (Prayer-call)


By Maryam Hedayat

day-9-masjid-toronto-dundas-street-side-windows-niche-into-prayer-hall-and-islamic-calligraphy-engravingEvery individual in the society looks at things from his/her own perspective. A writer’s way of looking at things is different from an engineer’s way of interpreting events. The profession of an individual is the guiding principle of observing life. An actor will search elements of acting into day-to-day events while a musician will do the same but in other ways.

The famous Bollywood singer, Sonu Nigam, possibly interpreted the sound in his own way and tried to derive the meaning of pleasure from it. Recently he tweeted against the call of Azaan from the mosque which implies that he failed to find any trace of melody and singing element into it and thus it became a symbol of ‘forced religiousness’ for him.

All of a sudden, opinions and counter opinions began to pour in. Non-Muslims favoring singer’s aggressiveness toward prayer-call is understandable as they do not know the inspirational value of Azaan.  What astonished me was to see reactions and updates of some Muslims being more aggressive than Sonu Nigam.

“Beautify your Azaan with melodious voice, lest it become a rebellious noise” goes the status update of one of the practicing Muslims who has considerable number of followers on social networking.

He further added: “Now yes there are even Muslims who get troubled by loud noise of Azaan. Does anyone ask how our dwellers in society suffer when Muezzin says ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ for 3 seconds followed by never ending “‘aaaaa”? The length of ‘aaaaa’ in Allah-o-Akbar troubles my sister, who struggles for two hours to make her special child sleep and our “AAA” size of Muezzins wakes him up in less than a minute, … my point is… to beautify it by means of Voice modulation, High tech sound systems, Echoes and controlled bass treble etc…”.

Display of ignorance about Azaan by a non-Muslim is forgivable. What is more disturbing how ignorant Muslims have become about their own religion! We truly need to awaken their sleeping soul and refresh them with meaning and purpose of Azaan.

The Azaan in Arabic أَذَان  is the Islamic call to worship, recited by the muezzins at prescribed five times of the day. The meaning of the word is “to listen, to hear, and be informed about”.

Narrated by Anas (ra): The people mentioned the fire and the bell (as signals to indicate the starting of prayers), and by that they mentioned the ways of Jews and the Christians.

Then a Sahabi, Abdullah ibn Zaid came to Prophet (pbuh) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I had a beautiful dream last night.”

“I’ve seen that a man wearing green garment taught me the words of the Azaan and advised me to call people to prayer with these words.” He then recited the words of the Azaan.

The words were beautiful and full of meaning. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) recognized that the dream of Zaid was true. He asked Zaid to teach the words of Azaan to Bilal.

Bilal stood up and called the Azaan. The voice of Bilal resounded throughout the Madinah. People came running to Masjid Al-Nabawi. (Sahih al-Bukhari 604, Book 10)

Azaan is the most beautiful and effective way to encourage people towards devotion of the Almighty as compared to ringing of bells and blowing horns which only cause noise.

Obviously Azaan sounds highly meaningful as it contains language of glorifying the Lord and His Messenger (pbuh).

It starts with “Allah is the Greatest” (four times) is to testify the ultimate power of the creator of the universe.

Next phrase “There is none worthy of worship except Allah” justifies the very first criterion of Muslim’s faith to believe in One Allah`s Supremacy and comparing none to Him.

Follows up with bearing witness that prophet (pbuh) is the Messenger of Allah.

Continued with “Come to Salah” and “Come towards Success” are meant to inspire the Muslims about prayers (salah) as being the key source of one`s success in this world and hereafter.

Ending by reciting His Greatness and testifying that there is none else praiseworthy as Him.

Specifically, for the Morning Prayer (Fajr), the phrase “Salah is better than sleeping” is added which signifies the fact that waking up for the sake of Allah has the greatest blessings than any other worldly pleasures.

If we talk about the melodious voice, then Bhajans and kirtans are sung beautifully with music and tunes, but still we feel unimpressed by them because it’s not about the voice that matters, it’s the faith that counts.

For Muslims the Azaan in itself is the most stunning and attractive call to humanity, whether recited by anyone.

Obviously if Azaan recited in a beautiful voice seems more striking to listen. However Azaan is not a song for which muezzins should get trained with latest voice modulation or controlled bass treble.

A muezzin calls Azaan for the sake of only Allah’s Pleasure.

Undoubtedly, Azaan is the most beautiful call to prayer in Islam compared to any other forms of call in any other religions in the world.

The meaning of Azaan is truly moving to the heart and stirring to the soul if understood by us. Saddening to know that many of us do not understand the meaning and essence of Azaan and feel troubled by the call of it.

Muezzin invites the people to perform Salah for Allah and to fulfill the Allah’s order.

“On the Day of Judgment, muezzins will have the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection. (In terms of blessings).” (Muslim: 750)

“Everybody, whether a human or a jinn, hearing the voice of Azaan will witness in favor of that muezzin on the Day of Judgment.”(Bukhaari: 583)

Therefore, the secret of deriving spiritual pleasure in Azaan is to comprehend the meaning of it and feel deeply about it. It is the power and beauty of Adhan that inspired many famous persons in history to convert to Islam.

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The article appeared in ICN (Indian Citizen News) on 29 April, 2017.


Categories: Islam, Maryam Hedayat, WORLD

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