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Adhaan (the call for Prayer): an incredible medium for the proclamation of Tawheed (Oneness) of Almighty Allah and Risalah of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alahi wasallam, the sound of which constantly echoes around the globe.
Amazing though it sounds, but fortunately for the Muslims of the world, it is an established fact. Have a look at a map of the world and you will find Indonesia (an Islamic country) right on the eastern side of the earth's central land mass. Indonesia consists of numerous small islands, the principle ones amongst them being Java, Sumatra, Borneo and Celebes, all of which are well known. It is the largest Islamic country in the world, with 180 million inhabitants. The number of non-Muslims here is negligible.
As soon as dawn breaks, on the eastern island of Celebes, at approximately 5:30 am local time, Fajr Adhaan begins. Thousands of mu'azzin in eastern Indonesia commence proclaiming the Tawheed (Oneness) of the Almighty, Omnipotent and Omniscient Allah and Risaalah (Universal Apostleship) of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam.
The process then continues and advances towards the western islands of Indonesia. The time difference between the eastern and western islands of Indonesia is one and a half hours. Hence, one and a half hours after the adhaan has been completed in Celebes, it echoes in Jakarta on Java island. Sumatra then follows suit and before this auspicious process of calling adhaan ends in Indonesia, it has already begun in Malaysia. Burma is then next in line, and within an hour of its commencement in Jakarta, it reaches Dacca, the capital city of Bangladesh. No sooner the calling of adhaan ends in Bangladesh, it has already prevailed in western India, from Calcutta to Srinagar. It then advances towards Bombay and the environment of entire India resounds with this august proclamation.
Srinagar and Sialkot (a city in north Pakistan) have the same timing for adhaan. The time difference between Sialkot, Kota, Karachi and Gowadar (a city in Baluchistan, a province of Pakistan) is forty minutes, and within this time, Fajr Adhaan is heard throughout Pakistan. Before it ends there, however, it has already begun in Afghanistan and Muscat. The time difference between Muscat and Baghdad is one hour. Adhaan resounds during this one hour in the environments of Hijaaz-e-Muqaddas, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq.
The time difference between Baghdad and Alexandria in Egypt is again one hour. Adhaan continues to resound in Syria, Egypt, Somalia and Sudan during this hour. Alexandria and Istanbul (the principle city of Turkey) are situated on the same geographical longitude. The time difference between eastern and western Turkey is one and a half hours, and during this time it is echoed with the call to prayer.
Alexandria and Tripoli (the capital city of Libya) are located at an hour's difference from one another. The process of calling adhaan thus continues throughout the whole of Africa. Therefore, the proclamation of the Oneness of Allah and the Apostleship of Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wasallam that had begun in the eastern islands of Indonesia reaches the eastern shore of the Atlantic Ocean after nine and a half hours.
Prior to the adhaan reaching the shores of the Atlantic, the process of Zuhr Adhaan has already commenced in eastern Indonesia, and before it reaches Dacca, 'Asr Adhaan has started. This has hardly reached Jakarta one and a half hours later, then the time of Maghrib becomes due, and no sooner has Maghrib time reached Sumatra, then the time for calling 'Ishaa Adhaan has commenced in Celebes! When the mu'azzin of Indonesia are calling out Fajr Adhaan, the mu'azzin in Africa are calling out the Adhaan for 'Ishaa.
If we were to ponder over this phenomenon seriously and studiously, we would conclude the amazing fact that there is not a single moment when thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of mu'azzin around the world are not proclaiming the Oneness of Almighty Allah and the Apostleship of the noble Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam on the surface of this earth! Insha'allah, this universal and continuous calling of the adhaan shall not cease until the Day of Judgment, and we should all continue to make du'aa for the same. Ameen.
Reproduced from the monthly journal Riyadul Jannah, translated from Taameer-e-Hayaat (Urdu) by the late Haafiz Ghulam Muhammad Bora.