Monday 17 Muḥarram 1444 - 15 August 2022
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Iqamah: How Is It Done?

Question

I am from Bangladesh. Here we practice iqamah two times each; words like as adhan. I found this is done only once in many Arab countries. What is the real evidence for this iqamah?

Summary of answer

Two forms of the iqamah have been narrated from Prophet Muhammad (peaceand blessings be upon him); one form has 11 phrases and the other has 17 phrases.

Praise be to Allah.

Forms of Iqamah 

Several forms of the iqamah have been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). 

The first form (eleven phrases) 

Allahu akbar, Allah akbar; ash-hadu an la ilah ill-Allah; ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah; hayya ‘ala al-salah, hayya ‘ala’l-falah; qad qamat il-salah, qad qamat il-salahAllahu akbar, Allahu akbar; La ilaha ill-Allah

(Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great,. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Come to prayer, come to success. Prayer is about to begin, prayer is about to begin. Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, there is no god except Allah) 

The evidence for this version is the hadith narrated by Ahmad (15881) and Abu Dawud from ‘Abd-Allah ibn Zayd, who said:  

When the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered that a bell should be made so that it could be struck to call the people to prayer, a man walked around me whilst I was sleeping [i.e., in a dream], carrying a bell in his hand. I said, “O slave of Allah, will you sell this bell?” He asked, “What will you do with it?” I said, “We will call the people to prayer.” He said, “Shall I not tell you of something better than that?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Say: Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, Allahu akbar, Allah akbar; ash-hadu an la ilah ill-Allah, ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah; ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah, ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah; hayya ‘ala al-salah, hayya ‘ala al-salah; hayya 'alal-falah, hayya ‘alal-falah; Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar; La ilaha ill-Allah

(Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, I bear witness that there is no god except Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Come to prayer, come to prayer; come to success, come to success. Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, there is no god except Allah).” Then he went a short distance away from me and said: “And when the prayer is about to begin (iqamah), say:

Allahu akbar, Allah akbar; ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah; ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah; hayya ‘ala al-salah, hayya ‘alal-falah; qad qamat il-salah, qad qamat il-salah (prayer is about to begin); Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar; La ilaha ill-Allah

The following morning, I went to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and told him what I had seen. He said, “This is a true dream, in sha Allah. Get up with Bilal and teach him what you saw, for he has a more melodious voice than you.” So I got up with Bilal and taught him, and he gave the call to prayer. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab heard that in his house and he came out, dragging his lower garment and saying, “By the One Who sent you with the truth, O Messenger of Allah, I saw the same as he saw!” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “To Allah be praise.” (Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawud, 469)

This version was favoured by the majority of scholars, including Imam Malik, Imam al-Shaaf’i and Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on them), but Malik said that the phrase Qad qamat il-salah (prayer is about to begin) should be said only once. 

The second form (seventeen phrases) 

Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, Allahu akbar, Allah akbar; ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah, ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah; ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah, ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah; hayya ‘ala al-salah, hayya ‘ala al-salah; hayya 'alal-falah, hayya ‘alal-falah; qad qamat il-salah, qad qamat il-salah;  Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar; La ilaha ill-Allah

(Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, I bear witness that there is no god except Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Come to prayer, come to prayer; come to success, come to success. Prayer is about to begin, prayer is about to begin. Allah is most Great, Allah is most Great, there is no god except Allah). 

The evidence for this version is the hadith narrated by Abu Dawud (502), al-Tirmidhi (192), al-Nasai (632) and Ibn Majah (709) from Abu Mahdhurah who said:  

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught me the adhan with nineteen phrases and the iqamah with seventeen. The adhan is: 

Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar; ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah, ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah; ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah, ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah. Then go back and say out loud:

Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah, ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah; ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah, ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah; hayya ‘ala al-salah, hayya ‘ala al-salah; hayya 'alal-falah, hayya ‘alal-falah; Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar; La ilaha ill-Allah.

And the iqamah is seventeen phrases:

Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, Allahu akbar, Allah akbar; ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah, ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah; ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah, ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-Allah; hayya ‘ala al-salah, hayya ‘ala al-salah; hayya 'alal-falah, hayya ‘alal-falah; qad qamat il-salah, qad qamat il-salah;  Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar; La ilaha ill-Allah. (Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Abi Dawud, 474)

This version was favoured by Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him). 

These two versions were proven in sound narrations from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Whoever does either of them is following the Sunnah. 

Reciting Iqamah with the same number of phrases as Adhan

Shaykh Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: is it permissible to recite the iqamah with the same number of phrases as the adhan? 

He said: 

“That is permissible, rather that is one of the Sunnahs in pronouncing the adhan , because that was proven in al-Sahih, from the hadith of Abu Mahdhurah (may Allah be pleased with him), when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) taught him the adhan and iqamah in al-Masjid al-Haram at the time of the Conquest of Makkah. 

It is permissible to mention the phrases of the iqamah once only, apart from the phrase Qad qamat il-salah (prayer is about to begin) and the takbir (Allahu akbar), as Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) used to do in the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), in his presence and and according to his instructions. It is narrated in al-Sahihayn that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Bilal used to say the phrases of the adhan twice and say the phrases of the iqamah once in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” (Majmu’ Fatawa wa Maqalat Mutanawwa’ah, 10/366) 

But in the case of acts of worship for which several ways of doing them have been narrated, it is better for the Muslim not to adhere to one particular way and ignore the rest. Rather the Sunnah is to do everything that has been proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). So one time he can say the iqamah of Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him), and another time he can say the iqamah of Abu Mahdhurah (may Allah be pleased with him). 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: 

“The correct view is the view of Ahl al-Hadith and those who agree with them, which is to accept everything that has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and not to disapprove of any of these narrations, because the variations in the adhan and iqamah are like the variations in the recitation and tashahhud etc. No one has the right to disapprove of anything that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has prescribed for his ummah. 

In order to follow the Sunnah completely we should do it one way one time and the other way another time, this way in one place and the other way in another place, because forsaking what was narrated in the Sunnah and adhering to something else may lead to regarding what is Sunnah as bid’ah and regarding something that is mustahabb as obligatory, and that would lead to division and disputes if others do it the other way.” (Al-Fatawa al-Kubra, 2/43-44)

For more about iqamah-related issues, please see these answers:  146674 , 9360 , 26332 , 70298 , and 98517 .     

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A