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Adhan : Call to Prayer
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adhan, call to prayer, islam, islamic, salat, mosque

Adhan : Call to Prayer


Call to Prayer.
aka: azaan, aazan, athan


Five times a day, at dawn, noon, late afternoon, dusk and evening, Muslims are called to salat (prayer) when they hear the Adhan [Listen RealPlayer]. The purpose of Adhan is to call people to the mosque for the Fard (mandatory) prayers. However, the prayers can be performed anywhere, including at home or in the workplace.

In Muslim countries, the Adhan is broadcast from a minaret (a mosque's tower), where it is either sung by a muezzin (the person who calls the Adhan) or played from a recording. Computer programs and digital clocks programmed to call the Adhan are also available

There are various versions of the Adhan, used by different sects of Islam.

The Call to Prayer is done in Arabic only. The English translation of a common Adhan as heard in Saudi Arabia is as follows:

God is most great. God is most great.
God is most great. God is most great.
I testify that there is no God except God.
I testify that there is no God except God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
Come to prayer! Come to prayer!
Come to success! Come to success!
God is most great. God is most great.
There is none worthy of worship except God.
Source: The Islamic Call to Prayer, TourSaudiArabia.com

Another example:

God is Great (four times)
I testify that there is no god but God (twice)
I testify that Muhammad is God's messenger (twice)
Come to prayer (twice),
Come to salvation (twice)
God is Great (twice)
There is no god but God.

Note: For the dawn prayer, the muezzin adds, after the second "Come to salvation," the phrase "Prayer is better than sleep" twice.

Muslims hearing the adhan, must repeat it with a low voice, but in the place of the 4th and the 5th element, they say "There is no strength nor power but in God". The added sentence of the morning prayer (as seen above) is not repeated either, but replaced with: "You have said what is true".

While the performance of adhan is melodious, there are no fixed melodies. The muezzin is free to modulate the sentences to what he feels is best. The adhan is also used in connection with the birth of a child, when the father reads the adhan into the ear of his newborn child.
Source: Adhan Entry in the Encyclopedia of the Orient

  • In Saudi Arabia, businesses close for 30 minutes at each call to prayer.
  • In most Western countries, the Adhan is done inside the mosque.


Secular Adhan Wikipedia entry
Non-Christian Adhan: The Call to Prayer By the Shadhiliyya Sufi Center. (See: Sufism)
Non-Christian Call for Prayer According to Five Islamic Schools of Law
Non-Christian How to say Azan by the Islamic Academy


Non-Christian Adhan Listen to various examples of the Adhan (RealPlayer)

See Also

» Islam

About this page:
• Subject: Adhan : Call to Prayer
• First posted: May 3, 2004
• Editor: Anton Hein
• Copyright: Apologetics Index
• To Bookmark, click this link: Apologetics Index entry on Adhan : Call to Prayer
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