Wednesday, 26 October 2011

What is Adzan? It is Creepy!

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

A person who calls for prayer is called as Muezzin. The first Muezzin was Bilal bin Rabah, a black man from Abyssinia and black were exhibited in democratic European human zoos during colonial time as animal for the Jakuns Europeans.

Peace be upon everyone and blessings of the God be poured on those passing by. I have had heard this issue for long about adzan where some in Europe believe as scary since they do not understand what has been uttered from the minaret. They said, bell at the church tower is not scary as the adzan. Everybody has his own opinion.

Some of my Muslim brothers and sisters also said that listening to church bell or Catholic church organ makes them feel creepy like listening to some ghostly rhythm or being in creepy scenes in vampire movies. People are always afraid of things which they are not familiar with or things which they are not sure about. 

Now I am here to help people especially Muslim ourselves understand what is adzan and at least when 'some' people who do not believe do research, and they are lazy to do interview; they may perhaps checking some information from a practicing Muslim. 

What exactly is adzan??? Adzan  is a special utterance practiced by those who submit themselves to the God as the sign that a prayer service to honor the Lord of the time will happen. It urges the faithful community and people around who hear it to come into the congregation and together performing the prayer service. It is a phenomena for five obligatory prayer service time at every masjid worldwide. It will stop only when the world comes to its end. 

Where Does the Word Islam Comes From?

Before that, why I don't use the word Muslim instead I am using people who submit themselves to the God? Because people only take the word as it is. They have no effort to understand what exactly the origin of the derivative nor eliminating ignorance.


What??! Islam means peace?!!!! WTF are you talking about?! If Islam means peace, why "you" slaughter this and that and s**t and **** bla... bla... bla...

I know all of these s***s will come out of certain red necks and those who suck them up in Asia. Make sure to brush teeth after meals and balun beer ya, hehehe. I am familiar with those kind of barks and do I care? Na'ah... LOL... 


People have their right to say anything they want. Those filthy words we could see everywhere in comments of many sites. We talk about religion, path of life, and matters which cleanse our souls but in the same time we throw out filthy words, thinking that we are holy amongst others, and we had forgotten to purify ourselves of evil thoughts no matter in what condition we are... ironically : ) This applies to all human-being... No matter whether a person calling himself or herself Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Sikh, Jain, Taoist, and what else the name that people identify themselves as adherents in the world?

Arabic, Aramaic and Hebrew are all sister languages. They are of Semitic origin, the children of Shem bin Noah. The origin of the word Islam was actually spelled as Sleem. We have Sarf for phonology of words linked to Nahw or grammar in Arabic but too bad English, French, Italian, German and other European languages has no well built phonology subject. Ancient and well-developed languages like Arabic and Sanskrit has well-built grammatical systems. Most of Arabic speaker students fail this subject. However, we in South East Asia had preserved this lessons and most of South East Asian religious studies students no matter whether they are of Arab descents or natives memorized the lessons and practicing them in speeches. 

This word "sleem" which forms the word Islam and later Muslim to signify a person who embraced Islam or choosing Islam as their path to reach the God. Islam is actually derived from the Name of the God. The God possesses Most Glorious and Holiest Name. It is mentioned in the glorious Quran. I still remember when I was a young child maybe around seven to nine years old, we always recite His Holiest Names before we begin lessons and I was first introduced at home with Arabic alphabets and not Roman alphabets so when I entered National School I also had problems to spell and write, so do my younger sisters. We recited : "He is the God, there is no gods but only Him the Most Compassionate, the Most Loving-Kind, the King of the universe, the Most Holy, the One Who grants Peace, the One Who keeps promises.... and so on..."

We are also encouraged to pray for each other as a greeting with assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu which means may be peace descends upon you and with His boundless Compassion, and His boundless Blessings

The word related to Peace is actually derived from one of the Name of the God. It is not a human name and languages came from Him. We are different from Jews or Christians in this sense where we do not identify ourselves with Muhammad or his tribal identification as what had been written by Western writers. That is why we do not greet people in certain dirty places like in toilet or lavatory and in certain circumstances. The Jews also have this rule because I indeed have some Jew acquaintances. Those Orthodox Jews always greet others with shlom'aleichem and some Syriac Christians who speak Aramaic also greet other with shlumlakhum. All have the same meaning with assalaamu'alaikum which I also use to begin my posts.

Again we emphasize to everyone. The God of all the human, creatures and universe is none other than Him. Human build up concepts to view Him and human have their own religious history regarding dogma and creed. People could be childish all they want but soon... They will realize the reality of life where all of human-being possess negative qualities and not angels. That's why human have religions and why human need the teaching of morality : )   

Background of Adzan

Usually a Muezzin will call for the prayer services from high places, it could be on hills, minaret of the masjids, or any high places. Nowadays we have technology like microphone and if we do not accept technology, won't we be called as backward and could not get along with modernization?

Idiomatically adzan means the herald. It is synonymous to the exclamation. Adzan is a combination of certain words signifying that it is now the time for obligatory prayer services or the herald that it is now the time for an obligatory prayer service. A person will take charge to herald this and that is what we hear from the minaret of masjids or from the microphone in masjids across the world. 

Its Position within the Law 

Its position within the law and tradition is encouraged while we are about to perform obligatory prayer services. I don't know how to translate this concept of sunna muakkada. Our translation and interpretation lecturers never taught us on the language of shariah. We only learned about Nida and Bible translations and later about editing of newspapers and stuffs. Now it is on my initiative and brothers and sisters to make lists of shariah terms and concepts because we have large corpus of shariah terms in Malay but we never do translation and adaptation to other languages. It leaves people in ambiguity and I am not actually supporting the usage of other ritual languages rather than Arabic because Arabic is better but people need to understand or else there would be of no use to embrace something that we do not understand.   

Then, it is obligatory for a person in a community or a group to take charge to call for congregational prayer services when obligatory time to honor the God is coming. We call this as fardu kifayya and I had explained the meaning more or less. If only a person in an area and there is no people for congregation, then it is considered as an observation of prophetic tradition. There are merits for observation of prophetic traditions but no sins if they are not observed. If there are a Muslim community, then one of the community must take charge to call for obligatory prayer services. Women are only encouraged to perform other form of adzan which is called as iqamah only among them as to prevent them from being slandered if they raise up their voice. 

Evidence in the Quran and Sunnah

The Quran, the Sunnah, and the agreement of ulamas stated that adzan has many benefits and its merit is great. The evidence from the Quran surah al-Maidah verse 58 mentioned about the exclamation...

Says the God : "When you are exclaiming to (perform) prayer services, they take it as mockery and something to make fun of; that is because they are the people who possess no mind (to think)."

Evidence from prophetic traditions covering many hadiths. Among them is from the narration of Bukhari and Muslim which sounds : "When the time of prayer services is there, one of you must perform the adzan and the elder among you must be the leader of the prayer service." This is one of the reasons I feel not comfortable to be imam in prayer services in my hostel because there are many elders in our hostel musalla. Unless if it is very very crucial, then I would not question anything.

How Adzan Began to be Practiced?

Adzan was practiced by Muslims in the first period of Hegira. In a hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim from the report of Ibnu Umar r.a : "In the beginning of Meccan Muslim migration to Medina, they had assembled and waiting for the time to perform daily prayer services. At that time, there was no adzan yet. One day, the noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w had called all of his companions into a meeting on how to herald the coming of prayer service time and how to call people to the masjid for prayer services. There were few suggestions regarding the herald about the time. Some had suggested that they should show up flag to denote the prayer services time so people who see it will come to the masjid and pray together. Some had suggested the sofar (whistle) being used to call people. Some had suggested bell as a mean to denote the time and to call for congregation. 

However, Umar al-Khattab had suggested that it should be more appropriate and natural with just the announcement through human voice and just saying 'it is now the time for prayer service.' Muhammad s.a.w accepted the suggestion of Umar al-Khattab but he changed the wordings with 'let us perform prayer (charity).'

One night a companion whose name Abdullah bin Zayd had dreamed about more better way to announce the prayer time with the beginning of the word are God is the Greatest and so on... The morning after that, Abdullah bin Zayd went to see prophet Muhammad s.a.w and talked with the meeting. Prophet Muhammmad s.a.w said that his dream is a true dream. The prophet Muhammad s.a.w ordered another companion, Bilal bin Rabah to proclaim the herald. After listening to wordings of the adzan, Umar al-Khattab then came to the meeting and said that he dreamed the same thing and his dream was the same dream as Abdullah bin Zayd."

Al-Bazzar narrated from a report that : "The messenger of the God s.a.w during the night of Isra' had been shown and listened to the adzan at the seventh heaven. Then the archangel Gabriel a.s came to him and he became the imam for the members of heavens. Among those members of heavens are Adam a.s and Noah a.s. The God had completed the noble value of him on the inhabitants of heaven and earth."   

What Is Uttered in the Adzan?

Straight to the point without Arabic parallel texts because it might make monolingual people dizzy. People in Middle East are actually bilingual people and I believe around the world there are many bilingual or trilingual people. Usually Christians in Middle East could also speak Arabic, Syriac, and Greek and they use all three languages in parallel in their prayers. 

For us Muslims in South East Asia, some of us would do supplications in native languages and only obligatory rituals in Arabic. Like one of a Malay brother in musalla had also recited supplications after obligatory prayer services in Malay, and it is not wrong. People who could not understand Arabic also understood what he said. Adzan in Arabic that everyone listens from minarets of masjids means....

The God is the Great.... 
The God is the Great...
I bear witness that there is no gods but only the God... 
I bear witness that there is no gods but only the God...
I bear witness that Muhammad s.a.w is the messenger of the God... 
I bear witness that Muhammad s.a.w is the messenger of the God... 
Let us perform prayer...
Let us perform prayer...
Let us all achieve success (in the world and hereafter)...
Let us all achieve success (in the world and hereafter)...
The God is the Great...
There is no gods but only the God...

Shi'a Muslim brothers might have a slightly different adzan but just one addition regarding Ali k.w. Nothing really different. So, when we understood things we won't be paranoid right? Or some people love to scare others away with something which does not really happen? Its like a creation of negative perception for example don't go to the forest lest you will see a monster, a demon, a ghost, and etc negative by some village folk parents to scare away their children from going to certain area since they are lazy to answer questions that will be posed to them by their children after they know what happen in the forest while the parents are lazy or just perhaps became chickens since they are also influenced by their imagination, hahahaha.

Then we have supplications after the adzan which means in English.......................

Dear the God our Lord, please be in contact with our prophet Muhammad s.a.w and his family as You had been in contact with our father, Abraham a.s and his family. Dear the God our Lord, please bless our prophet Muhammad s.a.w as You had blessed our father Abraham a.s. and his family.

Dear the God Who Dominates the perfect exclamation and the prayer service which is being performed. 
Please make the prophet Muhammad s.a.w (for me) as a rope which connects me to You and a priority for me. 
And raise prophet Muhammad s.a.w with the appraised position as what You had promised for him.  

(Supplication from the report of Bukhari)

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!

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