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Meaning of Adhaan by Sheikh Alaa Elsayed

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By Alaa Elsayed

There was a companion who was chopping wood with an axe and as he was striking down on the wood, he heard

ٱللهُ أَكْبَر (Allah is Greater) and let go.

We have to learn to let go of whatever is in our hand as soon as we hear ٱللهُ أَكْبَر (Allah is Greater) because if we don’t what we are saying to Allah through our deeds and behaviour that Allah is not greater; that match is greater or that movie is greater.

The companion said, ‘That strike is not blessed’ because at that moment nothing is greater than Allah. Who is more important than Allah? If you want to know where you stand with Allah, ask yourself where does Allah stand with you? Does He come first or when I have time? When you hear ٱللهُ أَكْبَر (Allah is Greater) realise nothing is indeed greater than Allah.

The process of attaining khushu (submissiveness) is that when you say ٱللهُ أَكْبَر (Allah is Greater) you mean it, and when we listen to the adhan we understand that. The only thing that is repeated 4 times is ٱللهُ أَكْبَر (Allah is Greater), telling you and I that is greater. Greater than whom? Allah is greater than your boss, than your job, than your business, than your wealth, than your health, than your spouse – than anything else.

ٱللهُ أَكْبَر (Allah is Greater) is repeated four times, and if you missed it listen to that which follows. أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله    (I bear witness that there is no deity to be worshipped but Allah). Do you truly testify to that and declare there is no God but Allah? If so, why are you worshipping the dollars and the pounds? Why are you worshipping your boss instead of worshipping Allah?

Who have the keys to heaven and hell? Who means more to you? Who will you need more? Who will come to your aid? Who is in control of your destiny? You want to run away so fast but in the process, you’ve forgotten that while you are trying to run away from the prayer to get the job, you forget that the One you’re leaving is the One who has control of getting you the job. So how can you leave someone that oversees your worldly affairs?

Be smart and when you say ٱللهُ أَكْبَر  (Allah is Greater) mean it. Just like you leave your shoes as you enter the masjid leave your worldly affairs outside because this is the Dunya which literally means the lower level.

If you fail to hear ٱللهُ أَكْبَر  (Allah is Greater) and أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله  (I bear witness that there is no deity to be worshipped but Allah) you will hear أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱلله (I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah). Is this the Ummah of the Messenger of Allah? Is it possible we declare Muhammad as our messenger yet we stay away from his Sunnah? How is that possible?

The caller reminds us bluntly هيا عَلَى ٱلصَّلَاة (Come to Prayer) and if that is not sufficient for us we are reminded of the true success هيا عَلَى ٱلْفَلَاح (Come to Success) in this life and the hereafter.

Before the end, we are reminded again ٱللهُ أَكْبَر (Allah is Greater) and لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله (There is no deity to be worshipped but Allah).

So when you say ٱللهُ أَكْبَر (Allah is Greater) mean it.