A voice of the Muslim Ummah  


IQRA Site Links


About Iqra
Online Issues
Site Map


[CCM Home]

[Return to the Forum Page]


Questions & Answers

Additional Phrase in Adhan of Fajr


     For the past three or four months I have been hearing a lot of Muslims say that the phrase "as-salaatu khayrum-minan-nawm" of the morning adhân is an innovation created by 'Umar Ibn al-Khattâb (may Allâh be pleased with him). However, I am familiar with a hadîth in which the Messenger of Allâh ordered Bilâl to say this for the Fajr, and forbade him to say it for the 'Ishâ. Now, the problem is that our library here at the institution is limited and I cannot present this jamaat with my proof. I am hopeful that you can quickly reference this hadîth and/or others like it to help us through this fitnah. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

D. Mujahid W.



   It is related by ‘Abdur-Rahmân ibn Abi Laylâ on the authority of Bilâl  that the Messenger of Allâh  said, “Do not do make tathweeb for any of the prayers except for the Fajr prayer.” [Recorded by Imâm Tirmidhi in his Jâmi’. A similar narration recorded also in Sunan Ibn Mâjah specifically prohibits tathweeb during the ‘Ishâ prayer.]

   As explained by Imâm Tirmidhi himself and by commentators on his collection, the literal meaning of the word tathweeb is ‘an announcement (repeated) after (a prior) announcement.’ In the usage of the Sharî’ah, this word has two technical meanings: one is to say the phrase ‘as-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm’ (‘the prayer is better than sleep’) after the two ‘hayya ‘ala’s of the adhân. This is limited to the Fajr prayer only and is not permissible in the adhân for other prayers, as mentioned by the hadîth above. (Although Imâm Tirmidhi mentioned weaknesses in the chain of the above hadîth, this ruling is well-supported by more authentic ahâdîth which are quoted below.)

   The second technical meaning of tathweeb is to make a separate call between the adhân and iqâmah, saying something like,

   i.e. “The prayer is gathering! Come to the prayer! etc.” According to the majority of ‘ulamâ, such a practice of making a call besides the adhân and iqâmah is makrűh (reprehensible) and a bid’ah (innovation). Such a practice is not established from the time of the Holy Prophet . However, Imâm Yűsuf mentions that for those who are extremely busy in the affairs of the religion, such as a sultân (leader), mufti, or di (judge), it is permissible to remind them when the time for prayer approaches. In fact, such a practice of reminding someone about the prayer in between the adhân and iqâmah is mubâh (allowed) in itself because the proofs of the Sharî’ah neither forbid it nor order it. However, in some places, people become so particular about this practice that they begin to consider it as having some specific basis in the sunnah, at which point the ‘ulamâ rule it as being an innovation. Thus, there is no harm if due to some necessity, and with the understanding that it is not a particular sunnah, such a form of tathweeb is engaged in.

   As for the first technical meaning of ‘tathweeb’, more ahâdîth establishing the practice are quoted below:


   On the authority of Anas  who said, “It is from the sunnah that when the mu’adhdhin says in the adhân of Fajr, ‘Hayya ‘ala-salâh; Hayya ‘alal-falâh’ he (should then) say ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm.’” [Recorded by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahîh and by Daruqutni and Bayhaqi in their Sunan and Bayhaqi says its chain is authentic (sahîh).]



   On the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allâh be pleased with both of them), “The call after ‘Hayya ‘alal-falâh’ (in the Fajr prayer) is ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm.’” [Recorded by Tabarâni and Bayhaqi with a good (hasan) chain and Ya’muri said its chain is authentic (sahîh).]



   On the authority of ‘Â’ishah (may Allâh be pleased with her), she said, “Bilâl came to the Prophet  to call him for the morning prayer and he found him sleeping so he said, ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm’ (i.e. ‘the prayer is better than sleep’). Then it (that phrase) was instituted (i.e. under the approval of the Prophet ) in the adhân of the Fajr.” [Recorded by Tabarâni in his Awsat.]


   These are a few of the narrations in this regard as listed in I’lâ-us-Sunan by Muhaddith Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmâni.


   It should be clear from the above that the practice of adding the phrase ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm’ in the adhân of Fajr is soundly established to be a part of the sunnah of the Holy Prophet . There remains the allegation that it was an innovation of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattâb . This is based upon a misunderstanding of a hadîth recorded by Imâm Mâlik in his Mu’atta:



   On the authority of Mâlik that it reached him that the mu’adhdhin came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattâb to call him for the morning prayer and he found him sleeping, so he said, ‘As-salâtu khayrum-minan-nawm.’ Thereupon, ‘Umar ordered him to put it (i.e. that phrase) in the call for the morning (prayer).

   As discussed by the commentators on this hadîth: There is some difficulty on understanding this statement of ‘Umar  because the inclusion of this phrase in the morning adhân has been established by numerous narrations from the Holy Prophet  and, being a continuous, common practice from that time onwards, it is not possible to think that ‘Umar  would have not known about it. The most reasonable explanation is that he (‘Umar ) meant that the proper usage of this phrase is only in the adhân for the Fajr, not at the ameer’s door. (The practice of tathweeb in the second technical meaning discussed at the beginning had become prevalent in the time of ‘Umar’s  khilâfah.)

   And Allâh knows best.




   Dars-e-Tirmidhi (commentary on Jami’ Tirmidhi). Maulânâ Muhammad Taqi ‘Uth­mâ­ni.


   Ma’ârif-us-Sunan (commentary on Jami’ Tirmidhi). Muhaddith Muhammad Yűsuf al-Binnori.


   I’lâ-us-Sunan. Muhaddith Allâmah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmâni.

bullet   Awjaz-ul-Masâlik ilâ Mu’atta’ Mâlik. Shaykh-ul-Hadîth Maulâna Muhammad Zakariyyâ (Kandhalvi) Muhâjir-e-Madani.



Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756