I would like to ask; why didn’t the Prophet PBUH himself call for adhan?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Indeed, there are discussions among the scholars on why didn’t the Prophet PBUH call for adhan, but only lead the prayer (imam). The scholars also said that the Prophet PBUH did not call for adhan as well as the khulafa’ al-rasyidin after him as explained by Imam al-Nawawi:
بِأَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ثُمَّ الْخُلَفَاءَ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَمُّوا وَلَمْ يُؤَذِّنُوا، وَكَذَا كِبَارُ الْعُلَمَاءِ بَعْدَهُمْ
“Indeed, the Prophet PUH as well as khulafa’ al-rasyidin lead the prayer, but never called for adhan, the same goes for prominent scholars after them” (See: al-Majmu’, 3/86).
In answering the question on why the Prophet PBUH and the khulafa’ al-rasyidin did not call for adhan, it is because the Prophet PBUH and khulafa’ after him held a massive role on handling the problems of the Muslims which is more important, and these tasks are impossible to be done by other people. So, their time is so precious in fulfilling the needs of the people, unlike being an imam because prayer is wajib, and surely they will attend it. Imam al-Nawawi relate this hujjah with the words of Saidina Umar RA:
" لَوْ كُنْتُ أُطِيقُ الأَذَانَ مَعَ الْخِلافَةِ لأَذَّنْتُ "
“If I am able (to fulfill the duty) to call for adhan while at the same time (fulfilling the tasks) for khilafah, I will call for adhan”
Narrated by al-Baihaqi (1858)
The other jurists also did not miss out to discuss on the wisdom behind this question, which is why didn’t the Prophet PBUH call for adhan.
Firstly, Imam Izzuddin Abdul Salam said, among the reasons the Prophet PBUH did not call for adhan because indeed, when the Prophet PBUH did something, he will be steadfast (istiqamah) in doing so. However, as mentioned above, he was fully occupied with the affairs of the people that he had not no time to be committed to call for adhan. (See Ahasin al-Kalam, 3/125)
Secondly, al-Hattab states the wisdom behind this is, if the Prophet PBUH called for adhan, in which there is an imperative clause to perform the prayer on the saying:
حي على الصلاة
“Hasten to the prayer”
While in fact prayer has its extensive time, in which it can be performed during its whole time, like Zuhr which may be performed as long as it is not Asr yet. However, when the one who call for adhan is the Prophet PBUH himself, it becomes a wrongdoing to refuse the call or command of the Prophet PBUH as mentioned by Allah SWT in the Quran:
لَّا تَجْعَلُوا۟ دُعَآءَ ٱلرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَآءِ بَعْضِكُم بَعْضًا ۚ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ ٱللَّـهُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنكُمْ لِوَاذًا ۚ فَلْيَحْذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِۦٓ أَن تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Do not make [your] calling of the Messenger among yourselves as the call of one of you to another. Already Allah knows those of you who slip away, concealed by others. So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet's order, lest fitnah strike them or a painful punishment.
Surah al-Nur (63)
So, it is clear from the above statement of Allah SWT, that it is sinful to hear the call of the Prophet PBUH, but does not oblige. (See Mawahib al-Jalil, 1/422).
Thirdly, Imam al-Naisaburi also stated the wisdom behind this question that testifying to the Prophet PBUH is also part of the adhan itself. So, it is not right for him to testify upon himself. (See Nur al-Absor, 49).
However, even though the Prophet PBUH did not call for adhan to call for prayer, there are evidences stating on the position of a muezzin or a person calling for adhan. Among them,
Allah SWT’s saying:
وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّـهِ
And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah
Surah Fussilat (33)
The Prophet PBUH’s saying through hadith narrated by Malik bin Huwairith RA that the Prophet said:
فَلْيُؤَذِّنْ لَكُمْ أَحَدُكُمْ وَلْيَؤُمَّكُمْ أَكْبَرُكُمْ
and one of you should pronounce the Adhan for the prayer when its time is due and the oldest one amongst you should lead the prayer.
Sahih al-Bukhari (628)
The virtues of the muezzin can clearly be seen when the Prophet PBUH prayed specifically for them as mentioned in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA where the Prophet PBUH said:
اللَّهُمَّ أَرْشِدِ الأَئِمَّةَ وَاغْفِرْ لِلْمُؤَذِّنِينَ
O Allah! Guide the Imams and pardon the Mu'adh-dhins
Sunan Abu Dawud (517)
Besides, there is a hadith which states on specific reward for the muezzin as narrated by Ibn ‘Umar R.Anhuma where the Prophet PBUH said:
مَنْ أَذَّنَ ثِنْتَىْ عَشْرَةَ سَنَةً وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الْجَنَّةُ وَكُتِبَ لَهُ بِتَأْذِينِهِ فِي كُلِّ يَوْمٍ سِتُّونَ حَسَنَةً وَلِكُلِّ إِقَامَةٍ ثَلاَثُونَ حَسَنَةً
"Whoever calls the Adhan for twelve years, he will be guaranteed Paradise, and for each day sixty Hasanat (good deeds) will be recorded for him by virtue of his Adhan, and thirty Hasanat by virtue of his Iqamah."
Sunan Ibn Majah (728)
Based on the above discussion, indeed, everything done or not done by the Prophet PBUH contains massive wisdom and secret. Every actions of the Prophet PBUH will give effect to his nation.
May Allah SWT give us understanding in His Shari’a. Ameen.