Rulings on The Response to the Adhaan (Call for Salaah) – Dr Saleh as Saleh


Umdat al-Ahkaam – Hadeeth No.63

All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, the noble companions, and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

Abi Sa’eed al-Khudri (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

إِذَا سَمِعْتُمُ النِّدَاءَ فَقُولُوا مِثْلَ ما يَقُولُ الْمُؤَذِّنُ ‏

Whenever you hear the adhaan, say what the Mu’adhdhin is saying.” [01]

Benefit: Ruling Concerning Following the Statements of the Mu’adhdhin

The mu’adhdhin (caller) makes the adhaan for the five prescribed prayers and also on the day of jumu’ah; when he calls, he does so aloud making it inevitable that one must hear his voice in order to respond.

In this hadeeth, the instruction of the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) “say what the Mu’adhdhin is saying” implies that every statement made by the mu’adhdhin should be repeated verbatim by those that hear it. This covers the entire adhaan excluding two statements, specifically the hayyalatan (i.e. “hayya ‘ala’-salaah” – come for salaah and “hayya ‘ala’-falaah” – come for success), for which the responder says “Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billaah” (There is no power or strength except with Allaah); this is the instruction of the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) as recorded by Muslim in his Saheeh.[02] Therefore, for all other statements made by the mu’adhdhin, the responder repeats them exactly word for word.

Likewise, the responder must make all statements following the mu’adhdhin with his tongue; doing so with one’s heart is insufficient since the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) directed the responder to “say”, which in general entails utterance by the tongue.

Benefit: Types of Saying

“Saying” is of four types.

1) In the heart – There are no rulings from sharee’ah that depends on this. That is why there is no effect legally if someone recites the Qur’aan with his heart since it is not a saying. Similarly, if someone says in his heart that his wife is divorced, then this statement is not implemented as it has no effect.

Furthermore, if someone makes an oath not to speak to a specific person and says in his heart “In shaa Allaah”, then this exception is of no benefit to him, and if he talks to that person in the future, then he breaks his oath, which makes the expiation binding upon him.

2) To utter by one’s tongue and moving the lips

3) To make one’s self hear – There is a difference between the second and the third types of saying since a person may move his tongue without making himself hear.

4) To make others hear him – This is known as al-jahr (loudness)

If a person makes salaah without moving his lips, then this salaah is invalid since he did not actually “say” takbeeratul-ihraam, al-Fatiha, and the rest of the Qur’aan that he recites. However, it is not a condition that he makes himself hear.

Benefit: Following the Mu’adhdhin if you can See but not Hear Him

If you see the mu’adhdhin but you are unable to hear him, then you do not repeat after him as the condition is hearing him.

Benefit: General Principles When Following the Mu’adhdin

This hadeeth indicates that you follow the mu’adhdhin even if there is more than one caller. The Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said, “Whenever you hear the adhaan.” Thus, if you hear multiple callers, then you follow them as this is remembrance. The scholars said that this is applicable as long as the person is not in salaah since the praying individual is not called. Similarly, if the person has already prayed, then the generality of the hadeeth implies that it is still applicable to him, making it appropriate that he responds.

Benefit: Wisdom of Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى)

When a person is responding to the adhaan, he is getting a share of the reward; therefore, Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) gives him a reward even if he is not establishing the worship. Therefore, Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) has enabled the believer to share in rewards through related matters.


1) Although a person may not be making hajj, he is still able to attain specific rewards during that prescribed period. When the hujjaj (pilgrims) make the sacrifice, a person who is not performing hajj may also make a sacrifice.

2) It is known that during hajj, the pilgrims stay away from certain prohibited things while in ihraam. Likewise, it is prescribed that those who are not doing hajj but still intend to make a sacrifice not cut their hair, nails, etc.

3) In addition, it is legislated that those not performing hajj pray salaat al-‘Eid.

Benefit: Accompanying the Adhaan

The response must be said in a manner accompanying the adhaan

Benefit: Prerecorded Adhaan

A recording is simply relating and copying a voice. There is no legal effect to it so no response is required. However, if someone hears the adhaan being broadcast live, then he may follow it.

Example: A recording of qur’aan is played from a tape or over the radio, and the reciter comes to a point where sujood at-tilaawah is legislated. The listener does not make sujood as he is not sharing with the reciter in time.

Benefit: Mu’adhdhin Following Another Mu’adhdhin

If a caller completes the adhaan and hears other mu’adhdhineen (pl. of mu’adhdhin) making adhaan, then he may follow them because he falls under the general wording of the hadeeth.

Benefit: Following Multiple Callers

  • If someone hears a number of callers, then he follows whoever it is possible to follow, hear, and understand.
  • If multiple mu’adhdhineen are the same in this rank, then he follows the one ahead of the others.
  • If multiple mu’adhdineen are of the same rank and none is first, then he follows the caller at the masjid he intends to make salaah.

Benefit: Person in Salaah Following the Mu’adhdhin

The famous saying regarding this is that repeating after the caller can distract the musallee (i.e. person in salaah). The Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said:

“Verily, the mind is occupied and busy with more important matters during the salaah.” [03]

Shaykh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) held another opinion; he maintained that the person in salaah may respond because this response is remembrance whose cause existed in salaah. Similarly, he said it is permissible to say “al-hamdullillaah” if you sneeze or return the salaam because the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) responded to that while in salaah. However, when it comes to following the mu’adhdhin, consideration is required because the response to the adhaan is prolonged and is far longer than returning the salaam, which is simply responded to with the hand, finger, or head. Thus, it is precautionary not to respond.

Benefit: Responding While Answering the Call of Nature

Excluded from responding is the one that it is answering the call of nature. This is based on the hadeeth of the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم),

I do not like to remember Allaah except in a state of purity

Benefit: Mu’adhdhin Responding to Himself

Concerning the mu’adhdhin repeating after himself, there are two opinions.

1) He responds to himself in order to combine the reward of adhaan with the reward of responding.
2) What is apparent in the hadeeth is that there must be a hearer and someone else that is heard. As such, the mu’adhdhin would not respond to himself.

Benefit: Following the Iqaamah

What is apparent in this hadeeth is the following of the adhaan only. However, another opinion holds that the iqaamah is also referred to as an adhaan as in the hadeeth that the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said,

Between the adhaanayn (i.e. two adhaan), there is salaah” [04]

Some scholars have contended that since the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) referred to the iqaamah as adhaan, it is permissible to repeat after the muqeem (the one that performs the iqaamah). In addition, they took as evidence the hadeeth in Sunan Abu Dawood that the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) commanded the people to also follow the iqaamah, but this hadeeth has weakness. However, following the muqeem could cause the person to delay making takbeeratul-ihraam and entering the salaah.

Benefit: Volume of the Response

The response in this hadeeth is in principle. There are no indications of a link between the essence of the remembrance and the description of the sound (loud or silent). Moreover, there is no benefit in being loud in the response.

Benefit: Missing Following Mu’adhdhin Due to a Legal Excuse

When someone has a legal excuse for being unable to follow the mu’adhdhin (e.g. answering the call of nature), then he may make up what he missed. Similarly, if someone first hears the mu’adhdhin during the middle of the adhaan, then he starts following from the beginning and completes the following with the mu’adhdhin.

Example: Someone first hears the mu’adhdhin at “hayya ‘ala’-salaah.” The person should start from the beginning at “Allaahu Akbar” until he catches up with the mu’adhdhin and then continue to follow him.

Benefit: Adhaan of a Child

With respect to the child that has reached the age of distinction, Shaykh al-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) held the opinion that the adhaan which is collective duty is permissible from him but not the adhaan which is in individual duty.

I ask Allaah to make this a benefit for myself and for all those that read it and/or convey it. All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, the noble companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

Saleh As-Saleh
15th of Dhul Qi’dah 1428 AH.
Corresponding to Dec 25th , 2007


[01] Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (English translation vol. 1, hadeeth no. 585) and Malik’s Muwatta (English Translation book 3, hadeeth no 2)

[02] Hadeeth from ‘Umar bin al-Khattab (English Translation book 4, hadeeth 748).

[03] Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (English translation vol. 5, hadeeth no. 215).

[04] Agreed upon. Reported from Abdullaah bin Mughaffal al-Muzani (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (English translation vol. 1, hadeeth no. 597 & 600) and in Saheeh Muslim (English translation no. 1822, book 4).

Based upon the sharh (explanation) of Hadeeth No.63 from Umdat al-Ahkaam by our Shayekh Muhammad bin Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) and More recently by our Shayekh Sh. (Dr.) Sami ibn Muhammad As-Sghair (hafidhahullaah) in his sharh of the Umdah in 1428 AH

Prepared by Saleh As-Saleh. Transcribed and first edited by Br. Abu Abdullaah al-Amreeki, Jazaahullaahu Khairan,from live duroos in Paltalk’s “Understanding Islam 1” room.Text further edited by sis Umm Ahmad al-Kanadiyyah, Jazaahaallaahu Khairan,and finally reviewed and checked by Saleh as-Saleh.

Click the Below Link to read the PDF document.
Rulings on The Response to the Adhaan – Dr Saleh as Saleh [PDF]

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