Praise be to Allah.
Azaan in Arabic means proclaiming or announcing.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And
proclaim [adhdhin] to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage)”
[al-Hajj 22:27]. & Transliteration: Wa `Adhdhin Fi
In sharee’ah terminology it means: worshipping Allah
by announcing the time of the obligatory prayer,
using phrases that have been narrated from the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him),
in a specific manner.
The fuqaha’ are agreed that the azaan is one of the
unique features and manifest symbols of Islam, but
they differ as to the rulings on it. Some say that
it is fard kifaayah (a communal obligation); this is
the view of Imam Ahmad and was the view favoured by
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah; among contemporary
scholars it is the view of Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
(may Allah have mercy on him). And some said that it
is Sunnah mu’akkadah. The correct view is that it is
fard kifaayah; if someone who is competent does it,
the rest are absolved of sin. The evidence for that
comes from the Sunnah.
It was narrated that Maalik ibn al-Huwayrith said:
we came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him) when we were young
men close in age, and we stayed with him for twenty
days. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) was merciful and kind; he thought
that we were missing our families so he asked us
about our families whom we had left behind, then he
said, «Go back to your families, and stay with them;
teach them and instruct them. When the time for
prayer comes, let one of you give the call to prayer
and let the oldest of you lead you in prayer»
[Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 602; Muslim, 674].
According to a report narrated by al-Bukhaari, 604:
«When you both go out, give the call to prayer (azaan),
then the call immediately before the prayer (iqaamah),
then let the older of you lead you in prayer».
According to a report narrated by al-Tirmidhi (205)
and al-Nasaa’i (634): It was narrated that Maalik
ibn al-Huwayrith said: I came to the Messenger of
Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
with a cousin of mine, and he said, «When you
travel, give the call to prayer (azaan), then the
call immediately before the prayer (iqaamah), then
let the older of you lead you in prayer» [Classed as
saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 1/230].
This hadeeth indicates that the azaan is a communal
obligation, because the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him) enjoined that only one person
should give the call to prayer for a group; he did
not tell the whole group to give the call to prayer
(See Tawdeeh al-Ahkaam, 1/424).
"This indicates that giving the call to prayer and
praying in congregation are prescribed for
travelers. It also shows that it is encouraged
always to give the call to prayer, whether one is
travelling or not" (Sharh Muslim, 5/175).
The scholars of the Standing Committee said:
"The azaan is fard kifaayah (a communal obligation)
in a town, and the same applies to the iqaamah. If a
person starts to pray without the azaan or iqaamah,
whether out of forgetfulness or ignorance, or for
some other reason, the prayer is still valid" (Fataawa
al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 6/54).
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
"The evidence for them – i.e., the azaan and iqaamah
– being obligatory is the command of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in a
number of ahadith, and the fact that he always did
that whether he was travelling or not, and because
the time of prayer cannot usually be known without
it, and because it serves a purpose and because it
is one of the manifest symbols of Islam" (Al-Sharh
Based on the fact that the azaan is fard kifaayah,
if the azaan is given in a town and the people can
hear it, then the communal obligation has been
discharged and there is no need to give the azaan
for every congregation. But it is better and
preferable to give the adhaan even if a person is
The Standing Committee was asked:
Is it obligatory to give the adhaan over
loudspeakers in every mosque in every neighbourhood,
knowing that the adhaan from one mosque can be heard
by all the Muslims? Or is the adhaan from one mosque
sufficient for all the mosques of the neighbourhood?
The answer was: "The adhaan is fard kifaayah, so if
a muezzin gives the adhaan in one neighbourhood and
all the residents can hear it, that is sufficient.
But it is prescribed for the people of each mosque
to give the adhaan because of the general meaning of
Based on this, it is preferable for you to give the
adhaan, although that is not obligatory for you.