Is Wudu Necessary to Give the Call to Prayer (Adhan)?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Umer Mian

Question: Assalam’aleykum

Is wudu necessary to give the call to prayer (adhan)?

Answer:Wa alaikum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

It is stated in al-Durr al-Mukhtar and al-Fatawa al-Hindiyyah, two authoritative references of Hanafi jurisprudence, that the position of the Hanafi madhab is that it is not makruh (disliked) for a person to make adhan without wudu. That is, wudu is not required for adhan.

Imam al-Sarakhsi, one of the greatest Hanafi jurists, states in his Mabsut, one of the greatest works of Hanafi jurisprudence, the following support for this ruling:

1) It has been reported that Sayyidna Bilal, the mu’adhin of the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam), used to occasionally make adhan while not being in a state of wudu.

2) Adhan is a great form of dhikr (remembrance) of Allah, just like the Qur’an. Hence, just as it is permissible to recite the Qur’an without wudu (i.e. from memory, without touching the mushaf), it should also be permissible to make adhan without wudu. This is a type of qiyas (analogical deduction).

In addition, Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah records in his Musannaf that the following great Imams held this view (i.e. that calling adhan without wudu is acceptable and not disliked): Ata ibn Abi Rabah, al-Hasan al-Basri, Qatadah, and Ibrahim al-Nakha’i. These are some of the greatest imams of the Tabi’een (students of the Sahabah), and they are authorities in the religion.

Finally, it should be noted that while calling the adhan without wudu is permissible without being disliked, calling the iqaamah (i.e. the start of the prayer) without wudu is disliked (makruh). This is because the iqaamah is called immediately before the prayer starts. Hence, one who is not on wudu at this time would have to go make wudu, and would either miss the congregational prayer or at least be late for it.

Umer Mian