This means that the voice of someone being send to the ears of the listeners. Basically, this means the calling to prayer through the proclamation words. This is practiced by Muslims during the first period of Hegira in Medina.
The hadith in Imam Bukhari and Muslim compilation came from Ibnu 'Umar r.a which says that in the beginning of Meccan Muslims' migration to Medina, they had assembled and waiting for the time to perform daily prayer services. At that time, there was no adzan yet. However, one day our noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w had called upon all of his companions into a meeting. They were discussing on how to tell the people that our daily prayer service is on the time and for them to come to the mosque. Some suggested for the flag to be shown up so the people who see it will come to the mosque. But, this is not effective as people who stay far in hidden places could not see the flag. Others suggested the horn to be whistled like our Jewish brethren doing to call people to the synagogue. Some suggested bell like the Christian brethren.
The companion, Umar al-Khattab r.a feels that it would be beneficial for everyone, natural and appropriate by just using human voice as the announcement and he suggested that announcer just shouting "it is now the time for salat service." Prophet Muhammad s.a.w agreed with the suggestion but he changed the wordings with "let us perform prayer and charity services".
One night, a companion who is known as Abdullah Bin Zayd r.a had dreamed about a better way to announce the prayer times with good words which sounds like some of the words that we listen today. The next morning, he went to see prophet Muhammad s.a.w and talked about it in their meeting. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w attested that the dream is the true one. He then ordered another companion, Bilal Bin Rabah to proclaim the herald. The same day, Umar bin al-Khattab r.a also mentioned that he dreamed the same thing.
Another report by al-Bazzar said that, "The messenger of the God, Muhammad 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 leader for a service conducted by dwellers of heavens. Among those dwellers of the heaven are sage Adam a.s and sage Noah a.s. The God had completed the noble value of noble prophet Muhammad s.a.w on the inhabitants of heavens and earth".
Condition for Adzan
There are few things to be done by one who is going to call for prayer service. These are just optional but it will increase the meritorious deeds for one who performs them...
1. Performing the ablution, according to Shafi'ie jurisprudence it is not favorable to perform it without ablution.
2. Standing and facing the quibla direction.
3. Chanting the litanies which means, "Glory be to the God, and praises be only to the God and there is no gods except the God and the God is the Greatest and there is no other might effective that He the Most Highest permits it to be effective".
4. Recite the salawat for prophet Muhammad s.a.w which means dear the Lord please be in contact with prophet Muhammad s.a.w and with his family members, his ancestors and his companions may peace be with them".
4. Put the forefingers into the ears.
5. Then chant these words like the audio as these are the adzans...
Sorry, I am lazy to type in Arabic, hehehe... Basically they means...
The God is the Greatest.... The God is the Greatest... I testify that there is no gods except the God.... I testify that there is no gods except the God.... I testify that Muhammad s.a.w is the messenger of the God... I testify that Muhammad s.a.w is the messenger of the God... Let us go for the salat service.... Let us go for the salat service... Let us achieve the success... Let us achieve the success... The God is the Greatest... The God is the Greatest... There is no gods except the God...
The way we answer or accept the sentences are just the same except for the sentences beginning from "Let us perform the salat service.... to.... let us achieve the success". We answer them as "there is no other might effective except if He the Most Highest the Most Mighty permits it to be effective". Usually I will do these in Arabic because I am familiar with Arabic.
For Subh prayer service, there is an addition after the "Let us achieve the success..." Where we add, "The salat service is better than continuing sleeping". Because after we perform the salat service, we would commence our day with daily activities like preparing to go for the office. If we sleep again, the result would be a bad mood and temper as it takes us time to be awake again.
Iqamat means that everyone will be standing to perform the salat service. It is maybe after 10-15 minutes the adzan being aired by the caller who we call as a muadzin. Usually in between the adzan and iqamat, people would make supplications or praying optional services depending on the time. The sound is just the same like the adzan except that everything is chanted only once. The meaning is also the same.
After the adzan of iqamat we usually....
1. We recite the salawat first.
2. We recite the suggested supplication which sounds like....
أللهم ربَّ هاذِهِ الدعوةِ التامةِ والصلاةِ القائمةِ آتِ محمدانِ الوسيلةَ والفضيلةَ وابعثهُ مقامًامحمودًانِ الذى وعدتَه إنكَ لاتخلفُ الميعاد يا أرحمَ الراحمينَ
Dear the God our Lord, this is the perfect calling and the prayer service is valuable. Please grant to prophet Muhammad s.a.w the salvation and goodness. And please raise him up with the appraised position as You have already promised. Indeed You never goes against Your promises. O, the Most Merciful over all.
Wishing brothers and sisters who celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year with warm greeting. Wishing that everyone enjoy the joyful festivity spirit. For those driving for reunion dinner please be careful and make sure to drive safe. Those who are not returning home for whole year, please return home if you still have parents. They might be waiting for your return to celebrate it together.
Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!