How Allah SWT Guided Muslims to give the Azaan

There was once a time in the history of Islam that the population of Muslims was so low, they could all make prayer in congregation without having to call out Adhan. It is important to mention here that at this time, the Adhan had not been decreed. It was only after the Prophet’s (SAW) arrival to Medina that the number of Muslims began to grow. It is said that in the beginning people would simply call out “the time for Jamaat is ready” or something similar but it was not long before Muslims began to feel the need to have a proper call to prayer. It is said that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked his companions for advice regarding this issue.

It was suggested by some companions of the Prophet (SAW) that Muslims should blow a horn to announce the time for prayer similar to the Jews. Others suggested following the tradition of the Christians and ring bells as they do in their churches. There were some who even suggested that Muslims light fire to denote the time of prayer like the worshippers of fire do. It was not surprising that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was not satisfied with any of these suggestions. Thus he waited until either a better idea or guidance from Allah (SWT) came to him.

Guidance comes from Allah (SWT)

One day, a companion by the names of Abdullah ibn Zaid (RA) came to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and said, “O Messenger of Allah! I had a beautiful dream last night.

What was the dream you saw”, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked Zaid (RA).

Zaid (RA) answered, “I’ve seen that a man wearing green garment taught me the words of the Adhan and advised me to call people to prayer with these words.” He then recited the words of the Adhan.

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

Bilal (RA) stood up and called the Adhan and it is said that his voice resounded throughout Medina. People came running to Masjid Al-Nabawi. Umar ibn Khatib (RA) was one of the persons who came and said: “O Messenger of Allah, an angel taught me the same words in my dream last night.” And Prophet Muhammad (SAW) accepted this Adhan as the official call to the Salah.

How Allah (SWT) guided Muslims to give the Azaan

From the Books of Hadith

Book of Call to Prayer
Bukhari - Book 1 - Volume 11 - Hadith 580

Narrated Anas bin Malik (RA):
When the number of Muslims increased they discussed the question as to how to know the time for the prayer by some familiar means. Some suggested that a fire be lit (at the time of the prayer) and others put forward the proposal to ring the bell. Bilal was ordered to pronounce the wording of Adhan twice and of the Iqama once only.

Book of Call to Prayer
Bukhari - Book 1 - Volume 11 - Hadith 578

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar (RA):
When the Muslims arrived at Medina, they used to assemble for the prayer, and used to guess the time for it. During those days, the practice of Adhan for the prayers had not been introduced yet. Once they discussed this problem regarding the call for prayer. Some people suggested the use of a bell like the Christians, others proposed a trumpet like the horn used by the Jews, but ‘Umar was the first to suggest that a man should call (the people) for the prayer; so Allah’s Apostle ordered Bilal to get up and pronounce the Adhan for prayers.

Book of Call to Prayers (Adhan)
Bukhari - Book 1 - Volume 11 - Hadith 577

Narrated Anas (RA):
The people mentioned the fire and the bell (they suggested those as signals to indicate the starting of prayers), and by that they mentioned the Jews and the Christians. Then Bilal was ordered to pronounce Adhan for the prayer by saying its wordings twice, and for the Iqama (the call for the actual standing for the prayers in rows) by saying its wordings once. (Iqama is pronounced when the people are ready for the prayer).

Book of Call to Prayer
Bukhari - Book 1 - Volume 11 - Hadith 579

Narrated Anas (RA):
Bilal was ordered to repeat the wording of the Adhan for prayers twice, and to pronounce the wording of the Iqamas once except “Qad-qamat-is-Salat”.