Islam's Call to Prayer

It’s the first thing recited in the ears of a newborn babe; it's often the first thing recited in a new home. And it rings out in mosques, Islamic schools, homes, and on the street in Muslim communities five times a day. The adhan, or Islamic call to prayer, is an integral part of the Muslim faith.

The adhan is one of the most lyrical, inspiring prayers for Muslims. A hadith recounts that the Prophet’s companions one day were discussing how to gather everyone for prayer. Some suggested using a bell as Christians do, and others advised using a ram's horn, following an ancient Jewish practice. Then Umar, one of the Prophet's companions, suggested having one person call others to prayer. The Prophet agreed, calling his ex-slave, Bilal, to recite the adhan, according to a hadith from the collection of al Bukhari.

The Arabic text of the adhan is similar for all five recitations (with a slight difference in the adhan recited for the pre-dawn prayer, which adds the line "Prayer is better than sleep"). Its compelling sound is amplified by the skill of the person who recites it: The more melodius and clear the voice, the more powerful the adhan is.

In cooperation with IslamiCity.com, Beliefnet presents the opportunity to listen to the adhan in all its glory--as it is recited in some of the largest mosques around the world.

Call to Prayer (the Adhan) (Audio courtesy IslamiCity.com)
Listen to the Call to Prayer
Allah is Most Great. Allah is Most Great.
Allah is Most Great. Allah is Most Great.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.
Come to prayer. Come to prayer.
Come to Success. Come to Success.
Allah is Most Great. Allah is Most Great.
There is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah.
Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah.
Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah.
Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasoolullah.
Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasoolullah.
Hayya 'alas-Salah. Hayya 'alas-Salah.
Hayya 'alal-falah. Hayya 'alal-falah.
Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
La ilaha ill-Allah.
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