Asma bint Shameem
الله اكبر لله اكبر
Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar!
The sound of the adhaan reverberates grandly through the air as it pierces the quiet night.
It resonates all around me, the voice of the Mu’adhdhin so deep, so intense, it seems to fill the space between heaven and earth.
I close my eyes and listen, reflecting on the awe-inspiring words of the call to the prayer, and I am totally overcome…overcome and moved by the grandeur, the majesty, the absolute power of these magnanimous phrases.
What beautiful words!
Allaahu Akbar Allaahu Akbar!
The whole earth shakes with this noble declaration of the Mu’adhdhin.
The skies tremble, mountains quiver and the seas roar. The sound permeates everything that exists, saturating all with the magnificence of these glorious words.
And they all reply back…repeating after the Mu’adhdhin….humming in unison…. singing the praises of their Rabb, the Creator of all.
And surely His is the Praise.
As for me, I am mesmerized and totally captivated, overwhelmed by an Iman rush I never experienced before.
Each cell in my body responds….every nerve in my being replies back.
Yes, without a doubt…Allaahu Akbar.
O Allaah, indeed, You are the Greatest. Greater than any thing or any being, any worries or any problems, any distractions or any temptations, any wants or any desires, any enemies or any loved ones. You are Greater, Stronger, Bigger, Higher, Superior, more Powerful, more Capable, more Able, more Beloved, more Needed, more Worthy of my attention and worship than anything else. Nothing can supersede You or be better than You. There is nothing that can be put in comparison with You.
Indeed, Allaahu Akbar!
The Mu’adhdhin goes on….and spell-bound I listen.
اشهد ان لا الٰه الا الله
“I bear witness that there’s no deity worthy of worship except Allaah”
With that testimony of faith, it’s as if time itself has stopped. The whole universe has come to a complete standstill…..
Everything comes alive and responds; reverberating, resonating with the Words of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala…with His Praise, with His Glory, with His Majesty.
Each rock and each leaf, every flower and every tree, the little bugs in the sand, and the birds in the sky….every creature, every being, every mortal, every thing; the drops in the ocean and the atoms in space, all bear witness along with the Mu’adhdhin, declaring His Lordship, affirming His Majesty… admitting their subservience, their ultimate servitude.
“Yes, it is only Allaah Who is the True Lord of all that exists….the Only One Worthy of worship.”
Each and every single one of them fervently repeats these exalted words. And along with them, my heart joins in too.
“Indeed, Yaa Rabb, I too, bear witness that there’s no deity worthy of worship except You.”
As the Mu’adhdhin completes the rest of the call to the prayer, the lofty words cause my skin to shiver and my heart to tremble. It overtakes me. It permeates my very being…it throbs in my very soul.
Wallaahi, it is the most beautiful sound to my ears, after the Book of Allaah, the sweetest, the greatest, the most beloved to my heart.
Living in the US a major chunk of my life, I had forgotten what it is like to hear the adhaan. But recently moving to a Muslim country made me realize what a beautiful blessing of Allaah it is, when I hear the adhaan five times a day resonating all around me. And how I love it. Subhaan Allaah!
Yes sure, I had heard the adhaan before. But it had never affected me like this. What was the reason behind it? Why was it affecting me this way?
And then it dawned on me. I had fallen in love with the adhaan.
I realized that all my life I had just heard the adhaan. I had never ‘listened’ to it I had never really paid attention to it nor ever reflected upon it. I had just heard the words and repeated them like a parrot.
But now that I am listening to it with the ears of my heart and reflecting upon these exalted words before repeating them, that’s when they have come alive for me and that’s when they really have meaning.
So great is this call to prayer and so exalted is the act itself that Allaah will forgive the one making the adhaan and every thing and every creature that hears the Mu’adhdhin will bear witness for him and ask forgiveness from Allaah on his behalf.
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever hears the Adhan, whether a human being, a jinn or any other creature, will be a witness for him (the Mu’adhdhin) on the Day of Resurrection.” (Bukhaari)
No wonder the necks of the Mu’adhdhins will be the longest on the Day of Judgment as an honor given to them for performing such a noble task. And what an honor!
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said:
‘The mu’adhdhins will be the people with the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection.” [Muslim]
That’s for the one making the adhaan. But not everyone of us is as fortunate. However, for the rest of us, there’s still hope.The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Anyone who, when he hears the mu’adhdhin, says
و أنا أشْهَدُ أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريكَ لهُ , و أن محمداً عبدُهُ ورسوله ، رضيت بالله رباً ، وبمحمد رسولاً ، وبالإسلام ديناً
‘I testify that there is no god but Allah alone with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. I am pleased with Allah as a Lord, with Muhammad as a Messenger, and Islam as a deen,’ will have his sins forgiven.” (Muslim)
Just imagine! Your sins forgiven just by sincerely repeating these words!
Umar bin al-Khattab (Radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said:
“When the Mu’adhdhin says,”Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest, Allah is the Greatest)’; and you say, ‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, and when he says, ‘Ash-hadu an laa ilah illa-Allaah (I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah),’ you say, ‘Ash-hadu an laa illaha illa Allah, and when he says, ‘Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasoolullaah (I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah),’ you say, ‘Ash-hadu anna Muhammadar-Rasoolah’, and when he says, ‘Hayya ‘alas-Salat (Come to prayer).’ You say: ‘La hawla wala quwwata illa billah (there is neither might nor any power except by Allah),’ and when he says, ‘Hayya ‘alalfalah (Come to saluation)’, you say, ‘Laa hawla wala quwaata ila billah (there is neither might nor any power except by Allah),’ and when he says, ‘Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar (Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest),’ you say from your heart (with sincerity), ‘Laa ilaha illa Allaah,’ you will enter Jannah (Paradise).” [Muslim]
And once the adhaan is finished, make dua for the Prophet (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) from the bottom of your heart, and insha Allaah, he (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) will intercede for you on the Day of Judgment. That’s because he (sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said:
‘Whoever after listening to the Adhan says,
اللهم رب هذه الدعوة التامة والصلاة القائمة ،آت محمداً الوسيلة والفضيلة وابعثه مقاماً محموداً الذي وعدته.
‘O Allah! Lord of this perfect call (of not ascribing partners to You) and of the regular Salat (prayer) which is going to be established! Kindly give Muhammad the right of intercession and superiority and send him (on the Day of Judgement) to the best and the highest place in Paradise which you promised him.’ then intercession for me will be permitted for him on the Day of Resurrection.” [Bukhaari]
So next time you hear the adhaan, don’t just ‘hear’ it….Listen to it. But don’t listen with your ears…listen to it with your heart….Let it sink in deep inside you, let it overtake you. Reflect on the words and ponder over the meanings. Repeat after the Mu’adhdhin. Say the words with sincerity and wholeheartedness. Hear the whole universe responding to the adhaan along with you, testifying to the Oneness of Allaah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala and His Lordship, glorifying His Praise.
And it will become beloved to you. Submerge yourself in the beauty and majesty of these magnanimous words, and it will affect you.
Value the blessing of hearing the adhaan. Don’t take it for granted. Try your best to live your life according to these glorious words and insha Allaah, He will forgive you and enter you into Jannah.
As for me, I know that being a woman, it’s not for me to say the adhaan out loud nor can I ever be like the Mu’adhdhin. But there is one thing I do know. And that is that Allaah is not unfair. Rather He is al-Kareem, al-Jawaad. So I hope with Him that He will reward me for my niyyah and He will count me among the Mu’adhdhins, those who call to prayer, those with the longest necks on the Day of Judgment, just by my repeating the words. And I hope that He will forgive me…..