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AZAN

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The word azan is derived from izn which means anything that is heard (uzun meaning the ear), and azan or ta'dhin means a making known or an announcement of prayer. According to Bukhari (10:1-2), when the Muslims came to Medina, they used, at first, to have a time appointed for prayer, thus a consultation was held at which suggestions for ringing a bell or blowing a horn having been rejected. It was proposed that a man should be appointed who should call out for prayer. Ibn Hisham (p. 348) writes, "When the azan call was introduced, Bilal is said to have summoned the faithful in Medina to the early prayer from the roof of the highest house in the vicinity of mosque."

The Fatimids restored hayya ala khayri'l amal (hasten to do the righteous deeds) in the azan. Ibn Idhari (d. after 712/1312) writes in al-Bayan al-Maghrib (ed. G.S. Colin and E. Levi Provencal, 1948, 1:223) that, "In 349/960, Imam al-Muizz dispatched a qadi to the imam and muezzins of the mosque in Cairo, ordering that the azan should not be given without reciting hayya ala khayri'l amal."


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