The makeshift park is so serene. Its surrounding feels soothing as the clouds filter only sufficient light of the full moon which produces opaque shadows around the bench where I sat idly. The Mosque adjacent to the park gives call for night prayer which blends the scene with spirituality and mystery while drawing a weird link between these visual and audible observations.
The message implicit in the surreal beauty of place is that; the Adhan, moonlight and sky are the same ever since the high rank companion of Muhammad (pbuh), Bilal ibn Ribah (RA) first announced the call for prayer. On the other hand, a lot has changed for the person announcing Adhan, the muezzin, and the way people treat it.
About 1400 years ago, Bilal (RA) would invite people towards the obligatory prayer with his deep and resonant voice and everyone would respond reverently, discontinuing all the mundane matters. Although the piety of that time may not be replicated today, there are many flaws in our understanding of faith which cannot be justified merely as an inevitable outcome of time. For instance, many Muslims would judge muezzin’s school of thought before walking towards the Mosque. This is one of the many consequences of deep-rooted sectarian divide within Ummah. Particularly in Pakistan, religious groups are always at the verge of clash in Muharram which is the first month of Islamic year and should instead reinforce peace and harmony.
Violence and hatred never stem from difference of opinion but rather from the aggressive narratives and divisive rhetoric. As long as the ideological basis is intact, varying interpretation of secondary commandments may not cause serious implications. This is no coincidence that same Muslims have lived in relative peace till the 20th Century. Quran says in the verse no. 64 of Surah Ali ‘Imran, “Say, O’ People of the Scripture, come to the common terms between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah”. Our faith should encourage us to foster unity and peace otherwise; we may not be following Islam in its true essence.
So how does Adhan signify peace and unity? Adhan’s core message appeals us to stick to foundational of Islam as it starts with supremacy of Allah, witness that there is no God but Him and Muhammad (pbuh) is His messenger, followed by call for prayer. By and large, all sects adhere to these concepts. It will not be wrong to confess that the glorious call is subject to sheer neglect today and no longer receives a distinction from other sounds. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said, “Whenever you hear the Adhan, say what the Muezzin is saying” (Sahih Bukhari, Book of call to prayers). Another tradition quotes “Everybody, whether a human or a jinn, hearing the voice of adhan will witness in favor of that muezzin on the Day of Judgment”. There are other narrations promising rewards for those who respond to Adhan and recite a supplication afterwards. Being unaware, if not totally ignorant, of the importance of Adhan surely means that worldly affairs have taken a more solid control of our priorities over religious requirements.
Muslims living in a Non-Muslim society deeply miss the virtuous call to prayer. Once, a friend of mine who lives abroad requested me not to hang up the phone so he could listen to Adhan. I am sure many others would have similar emotions for Adhan which we tend to take for granted.
Just like Moonlight and sky, the sublime message of Adhan has not undergone any change and pleads us to revive the real essence of Islam which is peace and harmony.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.