Athan is a special call for Muslims to give them the reminder that it is the time to leave all the activities and to stand in front of ALLAH (SWT) to seek his blessings and forgiveness. The crier (mu’azzin) at the Athan times calls the Muslims to the success in the world and in the life here after.
The meaning of Athan:
Athan is an Arabic word that is used to call or inform. Athan is a call that is used to inform the Muslims that it is now time to fulfill the religious obligation of offering the prayer. Athan is also called azan, Adhan, and bang in the subcontinent.
As it is preferable for Muslim men to offer the prayer with Jma’at so at the Athan times the Mu’azzin calls the Muslims to perform the congregation prayer. A mu’azzin says Athan traditionally from a minaret to call the Muslims towards ALLAH (SWT). Now in the modern days loudspeakers are used for this purpose.
The second and final call is Iqamah that is proclaimed immediately before starting the prayer. It indicates that it is now the actual time to offer the prayer.
The First Mu’azzin of Islam:
The Athan was made the part of Islamic tradition in the first year of migration (Hijrat) towards Madina. The first Mu’azzin of Islam was Hazrat Bilal al Habashi (may ALLAH be pleased with him). He was born a slave and freed by Hazrat Abu Bakar (May ALLAH be pleased with him).
He had a melodious and mesmerizing voice and was chosen as the first Mu’azzin of Islam by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
At the Athan times it is necessary for a Muslim to keep quiet and to hear the words of Athan very carefully. There is agreement between Sunni and Shiya that Hazrat Bilal Habashi is the first Mu’azzin.
It is compulsory to hear the Athan with keeping silence. When the Mu’azzin starts the Athan every Muslim should leave all the activities (what he is doing at the time when Mu’azzin is saying the words of Athan) to hear attentively. According to Ahadith we must maintain silence to hear the words of Athan carefully and should repeat the words of Athan after the Mu’azzin.
Perform the ablution:
Before calling the Athan it is necessary to make sure that your dress and body is clean and purified. So before calling Athan perform the ablution. Start ablution by washing your hands three times, then take water into mouth and split out three times, then clean your nose three times with water, then wash your whole face three times, after washing face then wash your right arm first and then left arm three times, with wet hands clean neck, head and forefingers and at last wash both feet.
Dua after Athan:
It is not compulsory to say dua but is preferred to do so read ALLAHUMMA RABBA HATHIHI AL DA’AWATI AL-TAAMMA …, INNAKA LA TOKHLIFU AL-MEE’AD. Read complete dua.