#393: Adhan During a Situation of Unrest


Assalamualaikum ustaz. Is there any basis for calling out the adhan during a state of emergency according to syarak? I once watched a video where the adhan is called out in mosques in Turkey during a military coup attempt several years ago. Hope for your view on this matter.


Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

Basically, adhan is a specific dhikr where Islam sanctions it to inform people that the time for prayer has begun and to call Muslims to perform prayer. The ruling for the calling of the adhan for obligatory and qadha’ prayers is sunnah muaakad, that is, it is sunnah kifayah for congregational prayer and sunnah ‘ainiah for prayers performed alone. Adhan has its own important role in showcasing the eminence of Islam. [1]

Scholars agreed that calling the adhan is an eminence of Islam that has been sanctioned by Allah SWT as soon as the time for the five obligatory prayers begins according to – among the evidences – a hadith of the Prophet PBUH:

إِذَا حَضَرَتْ الصَّلاةُ فَلْيُؤَذِّنْ لَكُمْ أَحَدُكُمْ وَلْيَؤُمَّكُمْ أَكْبَرُكُمْ

“And when the time for prayer comes one of you should call the adhan for you and the oldest of you should act as imam.” [1]

There are numerous hadiths which state the advantages of calling the adhan. Among them is a statement of the Prophet PBUH:

لَوْ يَعْلَمُ النَّاسُ مَا فِي النِّدَاءِ وَالصَّفِّ الْأَوَّلِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَجِدُوا إِلَّا أَنْ يَسْتَهِمُوا عَلَيْهِ لَاسْتَهَمُوا

“If the people were to know what excellence is there in the Adhan and in the first row, and they could not (get these opportunities) except by drawing lots, they would have definitely done that.” [3]

Rasullullah PBUH said:

فَإِذَا كُنْتَ فِي غَنَمِكَ أَوْ بَادِيَتِكَ فَأَذَّنْتَ بِالصَّلَاةِ فَارْفَعْ صَوْتَكَ بِالنِّدَاءِ فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَسْمَعُ مَدَى صَوْتِ الْمُؤَذِّنِ جِنٌّ وَلَا إِنْسٌ وَلَا شَيْءٌ إِلَّا شَهِدَ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

“So, when you are looking after your sheep or when you are in the desert and want to pronounce the Adhan, raise your voice, for no Jinn, human being or any other things hear the Mu`adh-dhin’s voice but will be a witness for him on the Day of Resurrection,” [4]

Calling the Adhan for Other Than Informing the Prayer Time

There are several situations where the adhan and iqamah are called out not for informing the prayer time. Here, we include several situations together with the evidences:

First: Calling the adhan in the ear of a newborn.

This is the opinion of contemporary scholars from the al-Hanafiyyah and al-Malikiyyah and a qaul from al-Syafi’eyyah and al-Hanabilah. [5]

This is based on a hadith narrated by Abu Daud and al-Tirmizi from Abi Rafi’ from his father RA:

رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَذَّنَ فِي أُذُنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ – حِينَ وَلَدَتْهُ فَاطِمَةُ – بِالصَّلاَةِ

“I saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) uttering the call to prayer (Adhan) in the ear of al-Hasan ibn Ali when Fatimah gave birth to him.” [6]

There is also an athar stated by ‘Abd al-Razzaq in his musannaf and by al-Baghawi in Syarh al-Sunnah where it is narrated from Umar bin Abd al-‘Aziz Rahimahullah, when his child was birthed, he call the adhan in his child’s right ear and the iqamah in the left. However, this athar isn’t free from critics from the muhaddith. Wallahu a’lam.

Second: When one is disturbed by the jinn or shaytan.

This is according to a hadith narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah RA:

فَإِذَا تَغَوَّلَتْ لَكُمُ الْغِيلَانُ فَنَادُوا بِالْأَذَانِ

“If al-ghilaan (jinn and shaytan) disturbs (by changing forms), then call the adhan.” [7]

This hadith also isn’t free from being criticized. Some said it is a dhoif (weak) hadith because its sanad is broken. Al-Imam Hasan al-Basri in the chain of narrators of the hadith never heard from Jabir bin Abdullah RA as stated by Abu Hatim and al-Bazzar.

Although the original sanctioning of the adhan is to inform people of the time for prayer, however, there are other situations where it is stated by jurists when the adhan is called not only during the time for prayer.

This is as stated by al-Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haitami Rahimahullah: “It is sunnah to call the adhan, not during the time of prayer such as when the adhan is called in the ear of a newborn when a person is depressed and sad, a person experiences an episode of seizure, angry, in the ear of a person or animal who is behaving badly, during a period of unrest (military activity), during a fire…” [8]

Likewise, it is stated in the hasyiah of fiqh books such as Hasyiah al-Syabramallisi and Hasyiah al-Qalyubi, however, it isn’t supported with any evidences. Though, according to our observation, maybe due to the fact that calling the adhan will distance the shaytan, it is analogically deduced to situations other than for prayer times as mentioned by al-Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haitami Rahimahullah.

In a hadith narrated by Muslim there is a hadith which described how shaytan ran away when he heard the calling of the adhan:

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ إِذَا سَمِعَ النِّدَاءَ بِالصَّلاَةِ أَحَالَ لَهُ ضُرَاطٌ حَتَّى لاَ يَسْمَعَ صَوْتَهُ

“When Satan hears the call to prayer, he turns back and breaks the wind so as not to hear the call being made…” [9]

However, there are some who reject the analogical deduction saying that the shaytan ran away from the adhan that is called specifically for prayer and not for other adhans. This is as stated by Abu Zur’ah who was cited by al-Syabramallisi in his hasyiah. Consequently, al-Syabramallisi has his own opinion stating it is undeniable that the shaytan runs away if he hears the adhan and this isn’t limited to only the adhan for prayer. [10]

Considering the opinions of both al-Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haitami and al-Syabramallisi positively, we state that it is permissible to call the adhan if there is unrest. Maybe with the calling of the adhan it could somehow calm the anxiety and unrest of the situation.

Likewise, with the adhan, it grants the Muslims strength and dependence for Muslims towards Allah SWT and places fear in the enemies of Allah. Hence, once again, we state that it is permissible to call the adhan when there is a state of emergency or military unrest.

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 1/337

[2] Narrated by al-Bukhari (6705) and Muslim (1567)

[3] Narrated by al-Bukhari (615)

[4] Narrated by al-Bukhari (609)

[5] See al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, 1/272; Radd al-Mukhtar, 1/385; al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 8/325; Mughni al-Muhtaj, 1/134; al-Mughni, 13/401 and Syarh Muntaha al-Iradaat, 1/130-131

[6] Narrated by Abu Daud (5105) dan al-Tirmizi (1514)

[7] Narrated by al-Nasa’ie in al-Sunan al-Kubra (10725)

[8] See Tuhfah al-Muhtaj fi Syarh al-Minhaj, 1/461

[9] Narrated by Muslim (389)

[10] See Hasyiah al-Syabramalisi on the book Nihayah al-Muhtaj ila Syarh al-Minhaj written by al-Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haitami, 1/401