IRSYAD AL-FATWA SERIES 119: THE RULING OF ABLUTION DURING ADHAN

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Question:

Assalamualaikum S.S Datuk, what is the ruling of performing ablution during adhan?

 

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. 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.

In answering this issue, we divide it into several situations:

Performing Ablution Before and After the Adhan

Scholars have specified the situations where a sunnah action is prioritized over an obligatory action when they are explaining about the ruling of ablution before and after adhan. They state, it is sunnah to perform ablution before adhan, while it is obligatory after adhan.

Al-Imam Ibn al-Subki Rahimahullah said:

Ablution before the time for prayer is sunnah and prioritized compared to (ablution) after the prayer time. This is the opinion of al-Qammuli in al-Jawahir and ablution is an obligation when the time for prayer begins.” Refer Al-Asybaah wal-Nazhair, al-Suyuthi (1/272).

The Ruling for Answering the Adhan

The commandment to answer the adhan is from a hadith of the Prophet PBUH, where he said:

إِذَا سَمِعْتُمُ النِّدَاءَ فَقُولُوا مِثْلَ مَا يَقُولُ الْمُؤَذِّنُ

“When you hear the call (to prayer), repeat what the Mu'adhdhin pronounces.”

Sahih Muslim (383)

Based on the above hadith, some fuqaha ruled it obligatory to answer the adhan. The reason is, the command came from the Prophet PBUH himself, where he said: “Repeat…” is a command word in the Arabic language which indicates compulsory (wajib) according to usul al-Fiqh.

However, other fuqaha hold the opinion that answering adhan is sunnah mu’akkadah (encouraged sunnah). They presented another hadith from Anas bin Malik R.Anhu, he said:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُغِيرُ إِذَا طَلَعَ الْفَجْرُ وَكَانَ يَسْتَمِعُ الأَذَانَ فَإِنْ سَمِعَ أَذَانًا أَمْسَكَ وَإِلاَّ أَغَارَ فَسَمِعَ رَجُلاً يَقُولُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ خَرَجْتَ مِنَ النَّارِ

“The Messenger of Allah () used to attack the enemy when it was dawn. He would listen to the Adhan; so if he heard an Adhan, he stopped, otherwise made an attack. Once on hearing a man say: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, the Messenger of Allah () remarked: He is following al-Fitra (al-Islam). Then hearing him say: I testify that there is no god but Allah. there is no god but Allah, the Messenger of Allah () said: You have come out of the Fire (of Hell).”

Sahih Muslim (382)

According to the above hadith, the Prophet PBUH would listen to adhan but he did not answer or repeat the adhan called by the muezzin. This shows that it is sunnah to answer or repeat the adhan according to the majority of fuqaha.

The Ruling of Performing Ablution During Adhan

Ablution during adhan is permissible because there are no prohibition or restriction in syarak on this. However, even while someone is performing his ablution, he should try to answer the adhan following the command of the Prophet PBUH:

إِذَا سَمِعْتُمُ النِّدَاءَ فَقُولُوا مِثْلَ مَا يَقُولُ الْمُؤَذِّنُ

“When you hear the call (to prayer), repeat what the Mu'adhdhin pronounces.”

Sahih Muslim (383)

Conclusion

Lastly, in our opinion the ruling of performing ablution during adhan is permissible. However, it would be best to take your ablution before the adhan for it is prioritized. Performing ablution before adhan would also give us an opportunity to answer the adhan when it is being called. Thus, we would reap greater rewards from Allah SWT. Hopefully this explanation will give understanding to all of us. Ameen.

Wallahua’lam.

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