Sunnah of Calling the Athan when Praying Alone

عَنْ عُقْبَةَ بْنِ عَامِرٍ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- يَقُولُ : يَعْجَبُ رَبُّكُمْ مِنْ رَاعِى غَنَمٍ فِى رَأْسِ شَظِيَّةٍ بِجَبَلٍ يُؤَذِّنُ بِالصَّلاَةِ وَيُصَلِّى فَيَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ انْظُرُوا إِلَى عَبْدِى هَذَا يُؤَذِّنُ وَيُقِيمُ الصَّلاَةَ يَخَافُ مِنِّى فَقَدْ غَفَرْتُ لِعَبْدِى وَأَدْخَلْتُهُ الْجَنَّةَ .

Uqbah ibn Amir said,: “ I heard the messenger of Allah (sallahu alayhi wa salim) say: “ Your lord is amazed with a shepherd high in the mountains who calls the Athan for the prayer and prays. Allah says: “ Look at my slave, he calls the Athan and Iqamah for prayer and fears me. I have forgiven my slave and admitted him to paradise.”


Collected by Abu Dawud (1205) and An-Nisa’I (666) and ibn Hibban (260) graded as being Saheeh by

Shaykh Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on him)


Benefits for this topic:

Shaykh Al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on him) said : “  Among the issues of Fiqh understood from this hadeeth is it’s Sunnah to call the Athan for the person praying alone. This is the way An-Nisa’I titled it in his Sunnan. Additionally there are other narrations which mention the Iqamah as well, like the hadeeth about the man who prayed incorrectly. Therefore, it not suitable to ignore calling the Athan and Iqamah when praying alone. [ Silsilah Saheehah 41]

Shaykh Muhammad Adam Al-Ethiopi (may Allah preserve him) said: “ Amazed is an attribute of Allah that the Prophet (sallahu alayhi wa salim) affirmed for Allah in the hadeeth. This attribute is affirmed to Allah in a manner that befits His Majesty. This is similar to all the other attributes that are attributed to Allah in His book. i.e Pleased, Loves, Laughs, Descends, Above His throne and others. Each and every single one of these attributes are confirmed to Allah in a manner which befits His Majesty. We mustn’t affirms these attributes of Allah in resemblance of the creation. Reason being, if that was the case we would say His Amazement is like ours, Allah being Pleased with someone is the same way when we are pleased, and so forth. So when we affirm Allah’s attributes the way He has affirmed them for Himself, we don’t have to understand these attributes  for Him  similar to His creation. He says, “ There isn’t anything like him. He is the All Hearing and All Seeing.”[ Ash-Shura 11]

  • When a person calls the Athan alone every Jinn, human and everything else that hears it will bear witness for him on the Day of Resurrection.[ An-Nisa’I 645]
  • When a person calls the Athan and Iqamah and prays alone the Angels join him in prayer.[ Al-Bayhaqi in Kubura 1/406]
  • “ Allah says: “ Look at my slave…” This is said to the Angels to get them to be amazed as well.


  • It’s legislated to call the Athan for the person who’s praying alone even if no one hears it. Furthermore this hadeeth refutes those people who say the athan is only called for the congregation.
  • The Athan is a reason to have past sins forgiven and enter Jannah.
  • This hadeeth affirms Allah’s attribute, “ Amazed “
  • The superiority of doing worship alone away from the people.
  • “ A shepherd high in the mountains…” refers to a person who stays away from the affairs of the people. Also it carries the meaning during the times of Fitnah. He flees away from the people during the Fitnah with his religion.[ Sharh Sunnah An-Nisa’I vol 8/ 111-112]
  • Translator’s note: It’s permissible for a woman to call the Athan and Iqamah in the comfort of her own home. Moreover it’s established that Aisha (Radi Allahu An ha) called the athan and Iqamah. Hence the women can practice this sunnah. For more detail refer to[ Muhallah by Ibn Hazm, Al-Mughani by Ibn Quddamah, Rawadahtun Nadeeyah by Siddeq Hasan Khan]

 قال طاووس كانت عائشة تؤذن وتقيم

               **  Tawous said “ Aisha (radi Allahu Anha) used to call the Athan and

[Iqamah” [ Musanaf Abdur Razzaq Isnad Hasan] **

Prepared by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Published May 27, 2011

Doha, Qatar ©

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