7. Tijani on the significance of the addition in the Adhan, “‘Ali Wali Allah”

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7. Tijani on the significance of the addition in the Adhan, “‘Ali Waliullah”


Tijani recalls his interaction with al Sayed Baqir al Sadr. He says:


I asked al Sayed al Sadr about Imam Ali and why they testify for him in the Adhan [the call for prayers] that he is “Waliy Allah” [the friend of Allah]. He answered me in the following way:

The Commander of the Believers, Ali, may Allah’s blessings be upon him, was one of those servants of Allah whom He chose and honoured by giving them the responsibilities of the Message after His Prophet. These servants are the trustees of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, since each prophet has a trustee, and Ali ibn Abi Talib is the trustee of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

We favour him above all the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam because Allah and the Prophet favoured him, and we have many proofs of that, some of them are deduced through logical reasoning, others are found in the Qur’an and al Sunnah [the Tradition of the Prophet Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam], and these proofs cannot be suspect, because they have been scrutinized, and proven right, by our own learned people (who wrote many books about the subject) and those of the Sunni Mazahibs. The Umayyad regime worked very hard to cover this truth and fought Imam Ali and his sons, whom they killed. They even ordered people, sometimes by force, to curse him, so his followers – May Allah bless them all started to testify for him as being the friend of Allah. No Muslim would curse the friend of Allah in defiance of the oppressive authorities, so that the glory was to Allah, and to His Messenger and to all the believers. It also became an historical land mark across the generations so that they know the just cause of Ali and the wrong doing of his enemies. Thus, our learned people continued to testify that Ali is the friend of Allah in their calls to prayer, as something which is commendable. There are many commendable things in the religious rites as well as in ordinary mundane dealings, and the Muslim will be rewarded for doing them, but not punished for leaving them aside..[1]


Our comment:

The claim that testifying to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the adhan and iqamah is a legally recommended (mustahabb) act requires evidence. The technical definition for a Mustahab act is, “An action encouraged by the Shari’ah whose omission does not warrant reproach,”[2] or, in other words, “Its recommendation is proven in the Shari’ah without obligation.”[3] This definition is in harmony with the understanding of the term Mustahab within the Twelver Shia framework as well. Jamal al Din al Hilli defines a recommended action in his book, Mabadi’ al Wusul ila Ilm al Usul, wherein he defines the various legal rulings:


If his action is preferable in the Shari’ah then it is Mustahabb, and Mandub, and Nafl, and Tatawwu’, and Sunnah.[4]


We learn from the definitions of both legal frameworks that an act will only be considered Mustahab if it is supported by evidence which recommends it from the Legislator. The absence of any such evidence means that it cannot be considered Mustahab.

The next question is to request the proof from the Shari’ah for the recommendation of including the testimony ‘Ali as Waliullah in the adhan and the iqamah. In the absence of any proof this testimony ought to be considered an innovation [Bidah] in the Shari’ah and impermissible to act upon.

The translator of Tijani’s original text has economised on detail. The original Arabic attributes a statement to al Sayed al Sadr wherein he denies that the testimony of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being Waliullah is part of the original Adhan and Iqamah. Instead he justifies the action based on the good sentiments of the Mu’adhdhin who gives expression to his love for ‘Ali though it is not part of the original Adhan. He goes on to say that if these two expressions are chanted as part of the adhan it would be invalidated. His statement, however, stands in stark contrast to the opinion of Ayat Allah al ‘Uzma al Sayed Muhammad al Shirazi, who writes in his book al Masa’il al Islamiyyah:


The preponderant view is that the words, “I testify that ‘Ali is the wali of Allah,” is part of the adhan and the iqamah. Indeed, I have indicated towards that in the narrations in general.[5]


There appears to be some inconsistency within the tradition which had to be taken only from ‘infallibles’ because the potential for error was too great if knowledge was transmitted from fallible Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. On the one hand al Sayed al Sadr claims that there is no evidence and this statement is the personal announcement of the Mu’adhdhin which would invalidate the Adhan and Iqamah if uttered as words of the Adhan and Iqamah. On the other hand is Ayat Allah al Uzma al Sayed al Shirazi who considers these words part of the Adhan, the utterance of which is Mustahab.

This leaves us in a conundrum since if it is to be considered Mustahab there ought to be evidence, though we cannot find such evidence. If these words are said as part of the Adhan, despite the lack of evidence to proof their status as Mustahab, they are considered Bid’ah. Al Sadr says they are not part of the Adhan and Iqamah, whilst al Shirazi says they are. Oh why is this so confusing?

Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi has commented on this issue in his book Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih. He begins by citing a narration:


Abu Bakr al Hadrami and Kulayb al Asadi narrate from Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) that he related to them the adhan and said:


اَللّهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللّهُ أَكْبَرُاَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللّهُ أَكْبَرُ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَّا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللّٰه أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَّا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللّٰه أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدً رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدً رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ حَيَّ عَلَى الصَّلَاةِ حَيَّ عَلَى الصَّلَاةِ حَيَّ عَلَى الْفَلَاحِ حَيَّ عَلَى الْفَلَاحِ حَيَّ عَلٰى خَيْرِ الْعَمَلِ حَيَّ عَلٰى خَيْرِ الْعَمَلِ اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللّٰهُ.

(He said) This is how the adhan is said. As Taqiyyah there is no problem in saying:

اَلصَّلَاةُ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ النَّوْمِ

After the words, (Hayya ‘ala Khayr al ‘Amal) in the adhan for the Fajr Prayer.[6]


Then he comments:


This is the correct adhan! Nothing should be added or subtracted from it! The Mufawwidah, may Allah curse them, have fabricated ahadith and added to these words to the adhan (Muhammad and the family of Muhammad are the best of creation, twice). In some of their narrations after the words (Ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah) they add the words (Ashhadu Ann ‘Ali Waliullah, twice).

Some of them narrate instead of that the words (Ashhadu Ann ‘Ali Amir al Mu’minin Haqqan, twice). There is no doubt in ‘Ali being the Wali of Allah, and there is no doubt that he is truly Amir al Mu’minin, and there is no doubt that Muhammad and his family are the best of the creation. However, that (narration) refers to the original adhan. I only mentioned that so that those suspected of Tafwid, who deceive amongst us, may be identified.[7]


No amount of bias or prejudice can help Tijani out of this rut.


NEXT ⇒ 8. The proof for self-flagellation during the commemoration of Hussain’s murder

[1]Then I was guided, p. 42-43.

[2]Al Burhan fi Usul al Fiqh by Imam al Haramayn, vol. 1, p. 214.

[3]Al Hukm al Taklifi fi al Shari’ah al Islamiyyah by Muhammad al Yanuni, p. 162.

[4] Mabadi’ al Wusul by Hilli, p. 83.

[5]Al Masa’il al Islamiyyah by al Shirazi, p. 281, Mas’alah no. 928.

[6]  Ponder about the meaning of Taqiyyah according to them!

[7]Man La Yahduruhu al Faqih by Ibn Babuwayh al Qummi, vol. 1, p. 290, Bab fi al Adhan wa l-Iqamah wa Thawab al Mu’adhdhinin, Dar al Adwa publishers, Beirut; Refer also to vol. 1, p. 188, Tehran Publishers.

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