Q&A with Shaikh Ahmad Kutty
I received an email requesting Muslims to make a collective adhan:
“Due to the constant rise of COVID-19 and its deadly impact on several Canadians, Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC) requesting all Muslim brothers to call collective ADHAN in their own homes across the country at the same time. If you have open area at your house like balcony or backyard or front yard then go there to call ADHAN. If you don’t have any open area just open the door or window of your house / apartment and call ADHAN. This ADHAN should be performed across the entire country at Muslim houses at the same time.
Please do not use any sound system or recorded ADHAN. A person should call ADHAN and make sure you do not disturb your neighbours with loud voice. Don’t forget to make Wudhu before making ADHAN.
Therefore, at 5:30PM (PST) which corresponds with 6:30PM (MST), 7:30PM (CST), 8:30PM (EST), 9:30PM (AST) and 10:00PM (Newfoundland) all brothers call Adhan. Please continue doing this on daily basis until the threat of COVID-19 reduces significantly. May Allah remove this dangerous pandemic from the planet earth and heal everyone who is suffering from it. Amen.”
I would like to know if this is recommended or is it something of an innovation that we should not be doing?
Answer by Shaikh Ahmad Kutty
The Adhan was instituted by the Prophet to announce the time of the Salah. Therefore, its original intent was to notify the people to join the congregational prayer in the Mosque.
All the schools of jurisprudence concur on this point. Imam Shafi said, “Adhan is an announcement of the arrival of the time for Salah.”
When, in exceptional cases, because of floods or heavy rain, people could not come to the Mosque, the Prophet told the Mu’adhin to add the following words, “Pray in your homes.”
Muslims have gone through similar crises involving cholera and other contagious diseases and massive floods and invasions by bloodthirsty tyrants. Yet, no one has ordered people to make collective Adhan from their homes at the same time as a protective spiritual device to prevent the spread of such diseases.
The Prophet taught us to offer Qunut al-Nazilah and offer Dua’s imploring Allah to avert the calamities.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also prescribed Du’as for is to read for healing.
Istighfaar and turning to Allah in repentance individually and collectively is an excellent means of invoking the mercy and help of Allah when faced with calamities and tragedies. That is the lesson we learn from the following story of Imam Hasan al-Basari: “Imam Qurtubi (the author of the world-renowned Tafsir of the Qur’an) reports from Ibn Subayh: ” A man came to Hasan complaining about famine. He advised him to implore the forgiveness of Allah. Another person came and complained to him about poverty. He told him also to seek forgiveness from Allah.
A third person asked him to pray for him for an offspring. He told him: seek forgiveness of Allah. Still, another person came complaining that the water in his orchard has dried up. Again, his advice was: Seek forgiveness of Allah.
Rabi (who witnessed these incidents was pleasantly surprised and so) asked Hasan: Different people came to you complaining of various tests they face in life, and yet you advised every one of them to seek forgiveness of Allah!
Hasan replied, “Yes; it is so. But I never made it up myself. Allah, the most exalted, says in Surah Nuh (narrating the story of Nuh that he said): “My preaching to them was: Seek forgiveness of your Lord, for He is the Most Forgiving. Should you persist in doing so, He will send down rain pouring from the skies; and bless you with wealth and offspring and gardens and rivers (flowing with water).” (Qur’an: 71: 10-12)”
Therefore, we don’t see any such precedent for calling people to do a collective Adhan, as described above.
As our great imams have ruled: Islam does not allow us to fix specific rituals in this way without the sanction of the Lawgiver as it would be akin to instituting innovations in religion. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give on him peace) said: “Whoever innovates something in our religion without our sanction, one ought to shun it.” (Reported by Bukhari on the authority of Aishah, the beloved wife of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)