Is it Permitted to give the Adhan Collectively?

Is it Permitted to give the Adhan Collectively?

Question:

I recently visited Damascus. It was quite strange for me to see three Mu’adhins giving the Adhan together in the great Umayyad Mosque. Is this practice correct according to the Hanafi School? What do the major Deobandi Hanafi scholars say about this?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

From amongst the classical Hanafi scholars, the renowned Hanafi jurist (faqih) Imam Ibn Abidin (may Allah have mercy on him) states in his magnificent Radd al-Muhtar ala ‘l-Durr al-Mukhtar – the primary reference for Fatwa in the Hanafi School across the lands, including the Subcontinent and the Deobandi institutions:

“Imam Suyuti (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions that the giving of Adhan by two people simultaneously was first introduced by the Umayyads (Banu Umayya). Imam Ramli states in his commentary of al-Bahr, “I have not come across a clear text stating whether giving Adhan collectively, known as Adhan al-Jawq in our lands, is a good innovation (bid’a hasana) or a reprehensible innovation (bid’a sayyi’a)….. However, in regards to the first Adhan [of Jumu’a], it is clearly stated in al-Nihaya that, “this has been practiced for centuries….. because for centuries they have been giving the Adhan collectively in order to make the Adhan reach various parts of the city.” The above proves that this practice is not disliked (makruh), for a continually-practiced act (mutawarath) cannot be Makruh… hence it will be considered a good innovation, since “What the Muslims consider good is also considered good by Allah”. (Radd al-Muhtar 1/390)

Imam Ibn Abidin, in the above text, is implying that although giving Adhan by a group is not explicitly established through the Sunna, the continual practice in some regions since the time of the Umayyads without opposition indicates its permissibility. Moreover, there is nothing specific in the Sunna denoting the impermissibility of such a practice, and as such, due to the need of enabling people in distant places to hear the Adhan, it would be permitted to have it given by more than one person.

From amongst the recent Deobandi Hanafi jurists, the late grand Mufti of India Shaykh Mufti Mahmud Hasan Gangohi (may Allah have mercy on him) also concurs with this viewpoint. He states in response to a question posed to him regarding the permissibility of three people giving the Adhan collectively:

“In case of need [of enabling the Adhan to be heard in distant areas], it is permitted for a few people in one Mosque to give the Adhan collectively.” (Fatawa Mahmudiyya 5/396, Jami’a Faruqiyya print)

As such, if there is a need, it would be permissible for the Adhan to be given by more than one person simultaneously, according to the Hanafi jurists.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

Question #: 6097
Published: 09/06/2009