Azan

Posted on 03/17/2012 by marina

AZAN أذان
Lit. “announcement.”
The call or summons to public prayers proclaimed by the Mu’azzin (or crier) – in small mosques from the side of the building or at the door, and in large mosques from the minaret.
it is in Arabic as follows
الله أكبر! الله أكبر! الله أكبر! الله أكبر! أشهد ان لااله الا الله! أشهد ان لا اله الا الله ! أشهد ان محمدا رسول -الله! أشهد ان محمدا رسول الله! ا حى على الصلوة! حى على الصلوة! حى على الصلوة! حى على الفلاح! حى على الفلاح! الله أكبر! الله أكبر! لا إله إلا الله!
Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! Ashhadu an la ilaha illa ‘llah! Ashadu an la ilaha illa ‘llah! Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasulu-llah! Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasulu-llah! Hayya ‘ala ‘s-salati! Hayya ‘ala ‘s-salati! Hayya ‘ala ‘l-falah! Hayya ‘ala ‘l-fatah.! Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! La ilaha illa llah!
Which is translated:-
” God is most great! God is most great! God is most great! God is most great! I testify that there is no god but God! I testify that there is no god but God! I testify that Muhammad is the Apostle of God! I testify that Muhammad is the Apostle of God! Come to prayer! Come to prayer! Come to salvation! Come to salvation! God is most great! God is most great! There is no god but God!”
In the Azan in the early morning, after the words, “Come to salvation!” is added

الصلاة خير من النوم الصلاة خير من النوم

As-salatu khairun mina ‘n-naumi! As-salatu khairun mina ‘n-naumi! “Prayer is better than sleep! Prayer is better than sleep!
The Shi’ahs make a slight alteration in the Azan, by adding the words

حي على خبر العمل حي على خير العمل

Haaya ‘ala khairi ‘l-’amali! Haaya ‘ala khairi ‘l-’amali! “Come to the best or works! Come to the best of works!” and by repeating the last sentence of the Azan, “There is no god but God,” twice instead of once, as in the Sunni Azan.
When the Azan is recited, it is usual for men of piety and religious feeling to, respond to each call, as, for example, when the Mu’azzin cries:
“Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!”
Those who hear it repeat
“Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!”
The Mu’azzin says-
“I testify that there is no god but God; I testify that there is no God but God;”
They reply –
“I testify that there is no God but God; I testify that there is no god but God.”
Mu’azzin. – “I testify that, Muhammad is the Apostle of God.”
Reply-” I testify that Muhammad is the Apostle of God.”
Mu’azzin. —” Come to prayer.”
Reply.-” I have no power or strength but from God the most High and Great.”
Mu’azzin.— “Come to salvation.”
Reply.-”What God willeth will be: what He willeth not willeth not be.”
The recital of the Azan must be listened to with great reverence. If a person be walking at the time, he should stand still; if reclining; sit up. Mr. Lane, in his Modern Egyptians says, “Most of the Mu’azzins of Cairo have harmonious and sonorous voices, which they strain to the utmost pitch; yet there is a simple and solemn melody in their chants which is very striking, particularly in the stillness of the night” But Vambery remarks that “the Tukistanees most carefully avoid all tune and melody. The manner in which the Azan is cried in the west is here (in Bokhara) declared sinful, and the beautiful melancholy notes which, in the silent hour of a moonlit evening, are heard from the slender minarets on the Bosphorus fascinating every hearer, would be listened to by the Bokhariot with feelings only of detestation.”
The summons to prayer was at first the simple cry, “Come to public prayer.” After the Qiblah was changed, Muhammad bethought himself of a more formal call. Some suggested the Jewish trumpet, others the Christian bell; but neither was grateful to the Prophet’s ear. The Azan, or call to prayer was then established. Tradition claims for it at supernatural origin, thus : – “While the matter was under discussion. ‘Abdu’llah, a Kharrajite, dreamed that he met a man clad in green raiment, carrying a bell. ‘Abdu’llah sought to buy it, saying that it would do well for bringing together the assembly of the faithful, I will show thee a better way,” replied the stranger; ” let a crier cry aloud, ‘God. is most great,’ &C” Waking from sleep, Abdu’llah proceeded to Muhammad, and told him his dream. (Muir, from Kutibu ‘l- Wackidi) Hishami recites the story as if ‘Abdu’llah had actually met the man.
Bingham, in his Antiquities (vol.ii, book viii. Chap. vii.), relates that, in the monastery of virgins which Paula, the famous Roman lady, set up and governed at Jerusalem, the signal for prayer was given by one going about and singing “Hallelujah!” for that was their call to church as St. Jerome informs us.
The Azan is proclaimed before the stated times of prayer, either by one of the congregation, or by the Mu’azzin or crier, who is paid for the purpose. He must stand with his face towards Makkah, with the points of his fore- fingers in his ears and recite the formula which has been given above it must not be recited by an unclean person, a drunkard, a madman, or a woman,

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam