The Importance of the Adhan - Sahih Muslim

[684–14]. (Dar al-Salam 0750) Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn
Numayr narrated: [Abdah narrated; from Talhah ibn Yahya; from his paternal uncle. He said: ‘I was at Mu'awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan’s when the caller came over to announce the prayer. Mu'awiyah said: “I heard God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) say: ‘The [prayer] announcers are the ones with the longest necks on the Day of Judgement’”.’

This was also narrated to me by Ishaq ibn Mansur: Abu [Amir reported; Sufyan narrated; from Talhah ibn Yahya; from [Isa ibn Talhah. He said: ‘I heard Mu[awiyah say: “God’s Messenger said”’: the same text.

[685–15]. (Dar al-Salam 0751) Qutaybah ibn Sa'id, [Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah and Ishaq ibn Ibrahim narrated: Jarir Ishaq said: ‘reported’, but the other two said: ‘narrated’); from al-A'mash; from Abu Sufyan; from Jabir. He said: ‘I heard God’s
Messenger (peace be upon him) say: “When Satan hears the prayer announcement [i.e. adhan], he goes as far away as al-Rawha’”. Sulayman said: ‘I asked him about al-Rawha’, and he said that it is thrity-six miles from Madinah’.

(Dar al-Salam 0752) Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah and Abu Kurayb narrated it: both said: Abu Mu'awiyah narrated; from al-Amash; with the same chain of transmission.

[686–16]. (Dar al-Salam 0753) Qutaybah ibn Sa'id, Zuhayr ibn Harb and Ishaq ibn Ibrahim narrated (Qutabah’s text): Jarir Ishaq said: ‘reported’; but the other two said: ‘narrated’); from al-Amash; from Abu Salih; from Abu Hurayrah; This refers to the Arabian mile, which is a little longer than the well-known
British mile used nowadays. The Arabian mile is said to be equal to 1855 metres.

Prophet (peace be upon him): ‘When Satan hears the prayer announcement [i.e. adhan], he moves away, making a farting noise, so that he does not hear the caller. When he finishes, Satan comes back to whisper. When Satan hears the prayer announcement [i.e. iqamah], he moves away so that he does not hear the announcer. When he finishes, Satan comes back to whisper’.

[687–17]. (Dar al-Salam 0754) [Abd al-Hamid ibn Bayan al- Wasiti narrated to me: Khalid (meaning Ibn Abdullah) narrated; from Suhayl; from his father; from Abu Hurayrah: God’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: ‘When the announcer makes the call to prayer [i.e. adhan], Satan will move away making a farting noise’

[688–18]. (Dar al-Salam 0755) Umayyah ibn Bistam narrated: Yazid (meaning Ibn Zuray) narrated; Rawh narrated; from Suhayl. He said: ‘My father sent me to Bani Harithah and a young lad of ours (or a friend of ours) was with me. Someone called out to him by name from a farm. My companion looked over to the farm but could see no one. I mentioned this to my father and he said: “Had I felt that you may experience this, I would not have sent you. However, if you hear such a voice, then make the call to prayer. I heard Abu Hurayrah narrating from God’s Messenger (peace be upon him): ‘When Satan hears the call to prayer, he runs away making a farting noise’”.’

[689–19]. (Dar al-Salam 0756) Qutaybah ibn Sa[id narrated: al- Mughirah (meaning al-Hizami) narrated; from Abu al-Zinad; from al-A[raj; from Abu Hurayrah; that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘When the call to prayer is made, Satan moves away making a farting noise so that he does not hear the prayer announcement. When the adhan is over, he comes back. Then when the iqamah is made, he runs away, and when it finishes he comes back, taking his position even between a person and himself. He tells the worshipper: remember this and remember that, [mentioning] things that he did not remember earlier. [He continues] until the worshipper does not know how much of his prayer he has performed.’

[690–20]. (Dar al-Salam 0757) Muhammad ibn Rafi[ narrated: [Abd al-Razzaq narrated; Ma'mar narrated; from Hammam ibn Munabbih; from Abu Hurayrah, from the Prophet: the same text, but he said at the end: ‘until the worshipper is left
unaware how he prayed’.


The first hadith, No. 684, mentions that the Prophet said that the prayer announcers, i.e. the mu’dhdhins, are the people with the longest necks on the Day of Judgement. Scholars of earlier and later generations differ as to the meaning of this statement. It is said that they are the ones who most look up to God’s grace, because the one who is eager to get something tries to stretch his neck so as to see it better. Thus, the hadith means that they see great reward and they stretch their necks towards it. Al-Nadr ibn Shumayl said: ‘When people’s perspiration is made to reach their mouths on the Day of Judgement, they stretch their necks so that they do not feel this great distress’. Others say that those who announce the prayer are the chiefs of people. The Arabs used to describe their chiefs as having long necks, meaning that they have greater following. Ibn al A'rabi said that it means they are the ones with the greatest good works
to show. Qadi [Iyad and other scholars read the hadith as meaning ‘they are the fastest running on the Day of Judgement’, which means that they move quickly towards Heaven.

The hadiths mention that when Satan hears the call to prayer [i.e. adhan], he runs away, and he makes a farting noise. The expression used by the Prophet is also said to mean running fast. Both meanings were stated by Abu Ubayd and other leading scholars. Scholars also say that Satan runs away when he hears the adhan because he does not want to testify in favour of the announcer on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet said that anyone who hears the adhan, whether human or jinn or inanimate object, will testify in favour of the caller on the Day of Judgement. Qadi Iyad said: ‘It is suggested that only the believers among humans and jinn will testify, because an unbeliever is unacceptable as a witness’. Qadi Iyad further said: ‘This is totally unacceptable, no matter who says it, because the hadiths contradict it. It is further said that this applies to anyone who qualifies as a witness, provided that he has the sense of hearing. On the other hand, it is said that it applies to all animate and inanimate objects, as God creates for them an understanding of the adhan and a rational sense and knowledge. Furthermore, it is said that Satan runs away because of the great importance of the adhan, as it incorporates principles of the belief in God’s oneness and proclaims the essentials of Islam. It is also suggested that Satan despairs of being able to seduce man at the time when the principle of God’s oneness is declared’.

The hadiths mention that Satan runs away when he hears the adhan and the iqamah, because they are calls inviting people to come to the prayer and to join it. However, he returns when they are over and he approaches people, trying his best to divert them from their prayer by reminding them of their daily affairs, so that they are distracted and do not know how far they have got in their prayers. The hadiths in this chapter highlight the importance and great merit of the adhan. Many hadiths are related in the two Sahih anthologies of al-Bukhari and Muslim stressing its importance. Our scholars hold different views on whether it is better for a person to dedicate himself to proclaiming the adhan or leading the congregational prayer. The more correct view is that the adhan is better. This
is stated by al-Shafi[i himself in his book al-Umm, and this is shared by the majority of our scholars.

A second view makes leading the prayer better, and it is also stated by al-Shafi[i. The third view makes the two of equal merit. The fourth suggests that if a person feels that he meets the requirements of leading prayer, then it is better for him. Otherwise, the adhan is more preferable. This last view is stated by Abu Ali al-Tabari, Abu al-Qasim ibn Kujj, al-Masudi and Qadi Husayn, all of whom belong to our Shafi[i school. Should a person combine both roles of calling the adhan and
leading the prayer? A number of our scholars maintain that it is undesirable, and some go further so as to say that it is discouraged. However, the more scrupulous scholars and the majority say that it is acceptable and even desirable. This is more correct, but God knows best.

Excerpt is from Sahih Muslim Vol 3 - Imam Abul Hussain Muslim

9780860377283 - Paperback - Translated by Adil Salahi