A Muslim society has its own peculiar and remarkable features which makes it different from the others. The main feature of a Muslim society is the pure and clean atmosphere in which everyone is helpful towards each other while the evil is despised. There are so many things making it utterly different from the other societies, the most important one is practicing ethical values. Another important feature that one can only notice in a Muslim society is the soothing sound of Athan called five times a day making Muslims aware of the time for offering prayer. Athan is very important in a Muslim society.
The literal meaning of the word Athan in Islam is to notify, to announce or to proclaim. In the Islamic context, the Athan refers to the call to prayer. It is through the Athan that the Muslims get to know that it is the time to pray. Muslims are ordered to pray five obligatory prayers. They are notified about the time to pray by Athan.
The origin of the Athan:
When Muslims migrated to Madinah, they built a masjid, the beautiful Masjid-e-Nabawi. Now the issue was how do Muslims know about the time of prayer? There were several suggestions such as blowing a trumpet or ringing a huge bell. These suggestions were rejected by the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Then some Sahabah (RA) who heard the Athan in a dream, suggested that it should be a human voice that would make a call to prayer. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ asked one of his companions to make Hadhrat Bilal (RA) learn certain words which we today know as words of Athan.
The Athan has great significance in Islam. Not just it is the call to pray, it is the call to success, for whoever listens carefully to the Athan and offers prayers upon its completion will reach great heights of success in this world and hereafter. The magnitude of benefits to a Muslim rendered by Athan can be judged by the fact that when Athan is made it perturbs Shaytaan so much that he cannot hear it. He tries his level best to prevent a Muslim from offering prayers because prayer is the key to Jannah.
Athan is the reminder to a Muslim to pray and build a soulful connection with Allah. Nothing can be more virtuous than building a link with Allah which is done through Salaah. Athan is the call to Salaah which indicates how virtuous Athan is. Its honour can be judged by the following hadith:
“If people knew about the virtue of Athan and performing prayers in the first line in the mosque, they would draw lots for them.”
So the next time you hear the Athan, be grateful for it for there are many communities even in our own country where Athan is not allowed over the loudspeaker, or it is not allowed at certain times or the volume is regulated.
So when you hear the Athan, be grateful for it, and then hurry to the Masjid!