Rasoolullaah (SAWS) has said, ‘Follow my sunnat (practice) and do not innovate; for every innovation ( bid'at ) is a clear mistake (deviating from the right path); and every such mistake leads to Jahannam (the fire of Hell).' In the context of this hadees several companions of Rasoolullaah (SAWS) ordered exclusion and modification in the azaan after the demise of Rasoolullaah (SAWS). Did these companions have greater knowledge of the welfare of religion and of the Muslims than Allaah and His Prophet? Has any human being the power to alter any command with which Allaah has encouraged the believers to comply as one of the compulsory acts? Or does any person claim the authority to abandon an obligatory act merely because the inducements to another act are greater? Indeed Allaah has commanded that the religious injunctions should be received solely from Rasoolullaah (SAWS) and his progeny.
Azaan (call to the prayer) should be said before every sunnat and before the sunset prayer (maghrib). Rasoolullaah (SAWS) has said, “If my community had knowledge of the rewards for the person performing three good works, they would have surely obtained a share of them, the first among them is to give a call to the prayer; second is to arrive early or hasten for the Friday prayer; and the last is to obtain the place in the first row in the mosque.”
Rasoolullaah (SAWS) has said, “The proudest of men or the one with the longest necks, on the Day of Qeyaamat, will be the mo'azzins (the one who says azaan).” They are called ‘men with the longest necks' because of their high status and their stretching themselves to receive the mercy of Allaah. The azaan should be pronounced slowly and in a chanting manner, while the iqaamat should be uttered quickly. Rasoolullaah (SAWS) himself induced the people and urged them to say the call to prayer and described its merits.
Maulaana Ali (AS) has said, ‘The mo'azzin should stand facing the qibla when saying the azaan as well as the iqaamat. When he utters “ Hayya ‘alas salaat (2 times), hasten to the prayer, the mo'azzin and the listeners should turn to the right; and when it comes Hayya ‘alal falaah (2 times), hasten to the success, they should turn to the left.'
Maulaana Ali (AS) has said, ‘There can be no call to prayer unless it is said within the prescribed time.' Imaam Ja'far as-Saadiq (AS) has said, ‘He who says azaan and the iqaamat and offers prayer is followed by the two rows of angels in his prayer.' ‘When the mo'azzin says “qad qaamat is-salaat”, conversation becomes unlawful for all the worshippers in the mosque.'
Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) has said, ‘There is no harm if the person giving the azaan is not in a state of ritual purity; however, it is best that he should be ritually pure. No one should, in any case, say the iqaamat without being ritually pure.' Maulaana Ali (AS) has said, “He who hears the azaan in the mosque and then goes away from it is a dissembler ( munaafiq ). There are two exceptions to this rule: the man who goes out with the intention to return and the man who is not ritually pure and goes out to perform his ablution.” A blind man can give the call to the prayer, so long as he is guided to stand in the proper direction.
Imaam Ali Zayn ul-Aabideen (AS) has said: ‘Whenever Rasoolullaah (SAWS) heard the azaan, he used to repeat the words with the mo'azzin . But when the caller proclaimed Hayya ‘alas salaat (2 times), hasten to the prayer; Hayya ‘alal falaah (2 times), hasten to the success; and Hayya ‘alaa khair il- ‘amal, hasten to the best of works, Rasoolullaah (SAWS) used to say la hawla wa la quwata illa billaah, there is neither power nor strength but with Allaah.'
Maulaana Ali (AS) has said: ‘Rasoolullaah (SAWS) ordered that, when a child is born to a man, let him say the azaan in the child's right ear, and the iqaamat in the left ear. This will surely protect a child from shaitaan . Rasoolullaah (SAWS) ordered me to act in the same way with Imaam Hasan (AS) and Imaam Husain (AS), with this recite additionally Surat ul-Faateha, Surat ul-Hashr, Surat ul-Ikhlaas, Surat un-Naas and Surat ul-Falaq.' He also said that, ‘When evil spirits terrify you and lead you astray by assuming various shapes, give the azaan loudly.'
“Allaaho akbar (4 times). Ash-hado anlailaaha illallaah (2times). Ash-hado anna Mohammadar Rasoolullaah (2 times). Ash-hado anna maulana Aliyaw waliyullah (2 times). Hayya ‘alas salaat (2 times). Hayya alal falaah (2 times). Hayya ‘ala khairil ‘amal (2 times). Mohammaduw wa ‘Aliyun khairul bashare wa ‘itratohoma khairul ‘itr (2 times). Allaaho akbar (2 times). La ilaaha illallaaho la ilaaha illallaah.”
“Allaah is the greatest (4). I bear the witness that there is no God but Allaah (2). I bear the witness that Mohammad (SAWS) is his messenger (2). I bear the witness that Ali (AS) is the friend of Allaah (2). Hasten towards the prayer (2). Hasten towards the betterment (2). Hasten towards the best of deeds (2). Mohammad (SAWS) and Ali (AS) are the best of mankind and their progeny is the best of all progenies (2). Allaah is the greatest (2). There is no God but Allaah (2).”
After saying the azaan, you should recite the following du'a sitting silently by attaining the posture of your hands as you do while taking the niyyat.
“Allaahumma ‘alayha ahyaa wa ‘alayha amooto wa ‘alayha ub'aso inshaa allaaho ta'aala. Allaahumma inni as'alokal ‘afwa wal ‘aafeyata fid deene wad duniya wal aakherate innaka ‘ala kulle shay'in qadeer.”
“O Allaah, I shall live for prayers and die for it and with Your blessings, I shall be raised with prayers on the Day of Judgement ( Qeyaamat ). O Allaah, I seek Your forgiveness and health not only in the religion and world but also in the life hereafter. Indeed You have the power over everything.”
You should say Iqaamat before every obligatory prayer. Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) has said, ‘Iqaamat should be uttered quickly.' The iqaamat is said in the following way:
“Allaaho akbar (4 times). Ash-hado an lailaaha illallaah (2 times). Ash-hado anna Mohammadar Rasoolullaah (2 times). Hayya ‘alas salaat (2 times). Hayya ‘alal falaah (2 times). Hayya ‘ala khairil ‘amal (2 times). Qad qaamat is-salaat (2 times). Allaaho akbar (2 times). La ilaaha illallaah.”
“Allaah is the greatest (4). I bear the witness that there is no God but Allaah (2). I bear the witness that Mohammad (SAWS) is his messenger (2). Hasten towards the prayer (2). Hasten towards the betterment (2). Hasten towards the best of deeds (2). Then lo the prayers have been established (2). Allaah is the greatest (2). There is no God but Allaah.
After saying the iqaamat, you should recite the following du'a silently in the standing position and then proceed for taking the niyyat of obligatory prayer.
“Allaahumma aqimha wa adimha wa sharrifha wa ‘azzimha wa ‘alash-shaitaane harrimha waj'alni minal qaa'emina beha wal mohaafezina ‘alaiha behaqqil kalemaatit taammaate aate Mohammadenil waseelata wal fazla wal fazeelata wad darajatar rafee'ata wab'ashul maqaamal mahmoodal lazi wa'adtohu wa salle ‘alaihe wa'ala ahle baytehit taahireen.”
“O Allaah, help us in establishing this prayer forever and increase its value in our hearts and make prayers forbidden on shaitaan. Include me among those who establish prayers and also maintains them regularly. O Allaah, bestow the honors of intercession (mediation) upon Your Prophet Mohammad and raise him in the position and which You have promised him and bestow blessings upon him and his progeny and may Allaah bless all of them.”