When Muslims arrived in Madinah Al-Munawarah, they used to assemble for the prayers by guessing the time. During those days the practice of Adhan or the call for prayers had not been introduced yet.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was concerned about calling all believers to pray at the same time. He thought of appointing some people to go door to door and announce for prayers. The idea was rather impractical especially in the long run. He asked his companions to suggest some ways to call people for congregational prayers. Some suggested that a flag be flown over the mosque at the time of the prayers. Others suggested that a fire be lit so when people see it they will know it is time for prayer. Some mentioned the use of bells like the Christians, others proposed a trumpet like the horn used by the Jews. It was outright rejected.
Umar bin Khattab was the first to suggest that a man should call (the people) for the prayers. So Allahs Apostle (PBUH) approved it and ordered Bilal ibn Rabah to get up and pronounce the Adhan for prayers. It is also narrated that the Prophet and some of his companions received the wording for the Adhan by inspiration from Allah (SWT) simultaneously. For example Abdullah bin Zaid and Umar bin Khattab had a dream about it. Adhan is a call for prayers five times a day. It is also a call inviting people to Islam. And a firm reminder to Muslims that no matter what, Allah is still the Greatest and Muhammad is His messenger. It is also a fulfillment of a promise that Allah (SWT) made to His Prophet (PBUH): And raised high the esteem (in which) thou (art held). Quran 94:04
Abu Saeed Alkhudry narrates that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "Once archangel Gebraiel came to me and said that my Lord and yours Asks How have I raised high thy fame? I said Allah knows best. The angel said Allah says your name shall always be glorified with Mine".
The following article is sent by Khalid Shamsi, taken from Riyadh-ul-Jannah [translated by Hafiz Ghulam Muhammad Bora]. Published by Islamic Da'wah Academy, Leicester, England. Please read, learn, understand, practice and teach others. However please do not change their meaning.
Tawheed [Oneness] of the Almighty ALLAH Subhana Wa Ta'ala (SWT) and Risalat [Universal Apostleship] of Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH), the sound of which echoes around the globe. Amazing though it sounds, but fortunately for the Muslims of the world, it is an established fact. Have a look at a map of the world and you will find Indonesia [a Muslim country] right on the eastern side of the earth's central landmass. Indonesia consists of many numerous islands, the principal ones being Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Celebes, all of which are well known. It is the largest Muslim country in the world with 180 million inhabitants. As soon as dawn breaks on the eastern island of Celebes, at approximately 5.30A.M. local time, Fajr (dawn) Adhan (call for prayers) begins. Thousands of Mu'azzins in eastern Indonesia commence proclaiming the Tawheed of the Almighty, Omnipotent and Omniscient ALLAH (SWT) and the Risalat of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The process then continues and advances towards the Western Islands of Indonesia. The time difference between the eastern and western islands of Indonesia in one and half-hours. Hence, one and a half hours after the echoes have been completed in Celebes, it echoes in Jakarta and Java Island. Sumatra then follows suit and before this auspicious process of calling Adhan ends in Indonesia, it has already begun in Malaysia.
Burma is then next in line, and within an hour of its commencement in Jakarta, it reaches Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. No sooner the calling of Adhan ends in Bangladesh, it has already prevailed in western India, from Calcutta to Lukhnow. It then advances towards Bombay and then to Srinagar and the environment of entire Kashmir resounds with this glorious proclamation. Sialkot, a northern Pakistani city, has the same timing for Adhan. The difference between Sialkot, Quetta, Karachi and Gowadar, [a city in Baluchistan, a province of Pakistan] is forty minutes, and within this time, the Fajr Adhan is heard throughout Pakistan. Before it ends in Pakistan, it has already begun in Afghanistan and Muscat.
The time difference between Muscat and Baghdad is one hour. Adhan resounds during this one hour in the environments of United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia including Madinah Al-Munawarh the land where Adhan was originated. The time difference between Baghdad and Alexandra in Egypt is again one hour. Adhan continues to resound in Syria, Jordan, and Sudan during this hour. Alexandria and Istanbul, the principal city of Turkey, are situated on the same geographical longitude. The time difference between eastern and western Turkey is one and a half hours during which Adhan echoes throughout Turkey. Alexandra and Tripoli, the capital of Libya, are located at an hour's difference from one another. From Libya the Adhan continues into Tunisia, Algeria, Rabat, the capital city of Morocco, and Marrakech. The process of calling Adhan thus continues throughout the whole of Africa.
Therefore the proclamation of the Oneness of ALLAH (SWT) and the Apostleship of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that had begun in the eastern islands of Indonesia reaches the eastern shores of the Atlantic Ocean after nine hours. But just before the Adhan reaches the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the process of Dhuhr Adhan has already commenced in eastern Indonesia. By the time Dhuhr reaches Dhaka, Adhan for Asr prayer has already started. This has hardly reached Jakarta, one and a half hours later, when the time for Maghrib becomes due and no sooner has Mahgrib time reached Sumatra, then the time for Isha Adhan has commenced in Celebes! When the Mu'azzins of Indonesia are calling out Fajr Adhan, the Mu'azzins in Africa are calling out the Adhan for Isha. If we ponder over this phenomenon seriously, we can only conclude the amazing fact that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Mu'azzins around the world are always proclaiming the Oneness of Almighty ALLAH (SWT) and the Apostleship of the noble Prophet (PBUH). Insha'ALLAH ta'ala, this continuos universal calling of the Adhan shall continue until the Day of judgement. Ameen.
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