Anonymous asked in Society & CultureHolidaysRamadan · 1 decade ago

Why did the Shia change the Athan when it is cleary stated by their Imams to be Sunnah?

The head of the state has unavoidable duties. In fulfilling these duties many times he will need to use his authority to interpret or adapt some of the rules of Shariat in new circumstances.

To give you an example from Shia context: The late Imam Khomeini, one of the most influential leaders of the Shia of our time says in one of his speeches that governance is the most important of all divine ordinances and it takes precedence over secondary divine ordinances. Not only does the Islamic state permissibly enforce a large number of laws not mentioned specifically in the sources of the Shari'ah, such as the prohibition of narcotics and the levying of customs dues; it can also suspend the performance of a fundamental religious duty, the hajj, when this is necessitated by the higher interest of the Muslims. (Sahifa-yi Nur, XX, pp. 170-71).

In one of his other speeches he says that the Walye Faqih (i.e. religious leader) even has the authority to suspend the primary divine ordinances like obligatory prayers if he finds that this is necessitated by the higher interest of Muslims. (Unfortunately I do not have the exact reference for this part but it is well known by all Iranian Shia brothers who used to follow the developments at the time).

Not the same but relevant to the above, are some practices of Shia brothers that are approved by Shia scholars. Adding a statement about Ali in Azan and Iqama, considering mourning and beating oneself as a religious practice, doing the five prayers in three times rather than five separate times, celebrating the birthday of Shia Imams as a religious duty, allowing people to make golden shrines for some of the scholars who pass away and seeking cure and intercession from them are some of the well established practices of Shia brothers that are added to the Shariat. In the more recent times we can see more newly arrived practices like sending greetings to the Prophet three times after hearing the name of Imam Khomeini, organising congregational (Jama'at) Itikaf, reading a certain prayer in groups on Thursday nights, organising and performing political rallies during Hajj and shouting slogans in Friday prayers in support of the political statements of the Friday Imam, etc.

Please note that here I do not intend to criticise any of the above or to argue if these practices are allowable in Islam or not. All I am saying is that it is strange to see that a Shia brother, with such background, is criticising one of the great companions of the Prophet for (supposedly) adding a sentence to the Azan or for interpreting a Shariat rule.

It is also clear from various reports that any addition that is deemed appropriate with reference to the circumstance can also be made in the words of this call for prayer.

Al-Tahzib by Al-Toosi, Vol. 2, No. 14: "Imam Jafar says: ... Al-Taswib (i.e. the statement of 'Al-Salat Khayron Min Al-Nawm') in Iqama is part of the Sunnat.

Al-Tahzib by Al-Toosi, Vol. 2, No. 15: "Imam Baqir (RA) says: My father (i.e. Ali Ibn Alhusayn (RA) used to say 'Al-Salat Khayron Min Al-Nawm,' in his Azan at home...'

Wasa'el Al-Shia, No. 6998: "Imam Jafar (RA) says: When you are in morning prayer say 'Al-Salat Khayron Min Al-Nawm' after 'Hayye Ala Khayr Al-Amal'[1] in Azan but don't say it in Iqama.

According to the Shia scholar, Majlesi in his book Bihar Al-Anwar, Vol. 81 P. 150 certain Shia scholars of old times had allowed saying the sentence in the morning prayers. These are Ibn Al-Junayd and Al-Ju'fi.

I do appreciate that the majority of the ahadith in Shia collections and almost all their scholars do not allow this sentence in Azan or Iqama. However I wanted to establish the fact that by the prejudice approach, almost for anything, some evidences can be found.

I hope by the above elaboration on brother Hashmi's reply you can now appreciate that firstly it is not easy to conclude with a reasonable degree of confidence that the sentence was added by Umar. Secondly that even if for the sake of discussion we agree that the sentence was added by Umar, there are no rooms for criticising him about it, in particular by our Shia brothers. This is the result of a "research approach" to the issue rather than a "prejudice approach."

You asked about the content of Azan in the books of Bukhari and Muslim:

In the book of Bukhari (as far as I have seen) there are no mentions of the content of Azan. In the book of Muslim (as far as I have seen) there are only two places where the content of Azan is mentioned:

Hadith number 572: The narrator says that the Prophet has taught him how to say Azan. The sentences of Azan are then mentioned and the statement about prayer being better than sleeping is not included.

Hadith number 578: Here the narrator asks what should we say after hearing the sentences of Azan and the Prophet explains what is to be said after each sentence. The statement about prayer being better than sleeping is not mentioned.

Please no

2 Answers

  • M S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    salam alikum

    avoid such topics son

    Sunni Imam

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  • Paula
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Those of you who live after me will see great disagreement. You must then follow my Sunnah and that of the Rightly Guided Caliphs [i.e. Abu Bakr, `Umar ibn Al-Khattab, `Uthman ibn `Affan, and `Ali ibn Abi Talib]. Hold to it, and stick fast to it. Avoid novelties [in matters of religion], for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error. (Abu Dawud)

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