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Adhan (أَذَان) is the Islamic call to prayer. It is broadcasted daily preceding each of the five daily prayers to announce that window of time dedicated to each of them has begun. The root of the Arabic word Adhaan means "to hear" or "to be informed".
In modern times, loudspeakers have been adopted for the use of broadcasting the call to prayer publicly so that, in Muslim-majority nations, a person living within or near any city or population center is able to hear the adhaan from within their home, five times a day.
Generally, the adhaan is recited melodically.
The Shias add one verse about Ali and they utter the last sentence 2 times.
|4x||ٱللهُ أَكْبَر||Allahu Akbar||Allah is the greatest||He is greater than the other gods worshiped by polytheists in Mecca in the 7th century.|
|2x||أَشْهََدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللهُ||Ashadu an la ilaha illa Allah||I testify that there is no god but Allah||Muslims testify Allah exists.|
|2x||أَشْهََدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رُسُولُ ٱلله||Ashadu an Muhammad rasul Allah||I testify that Muhammad is a messenger of Allah||Muslim today testify about Muhammad.|
|2x||أَشْهََدُ أَنَّ عليا ولي الله||Ashadu Anna Aliyan wali-ullah||I testify that Ali is a vicergent of Allah||This is recited only by Shia Muslims.|
|2x||حَيَّ عَلَىٰ ٱلصَّلاة||Hayya 'ala salah||Hasten to prayer||Missing a prayer is considered a major sin.|
|2x||حَيَّ عَلَىٰ ٱلْفَلاَح||Hayya 'ala falah||Hasten to victory||Practicing Islam gives you victory in this world (over the disbelievers) and in the next life (paradise full of virgins).|
|2x||ٍٱلصَّلاَةُ خَيْرٌ مِنَ ٱلنَّوم||As-Salatu khayrun min an-nawm||A prayer is better than sleep.||This is recited only in the early morning prayer as a warning for Muslims who would rather sleep instead.|
|2x||الله أكبر||Allahu Akbar||Allah is greater||This phrase is repeated again here, and is also repeated at regular intervals as part of the Salah litany, generally signaling the transition from one prayer pose to another (e.g. standing -> prostration)|
|1x||لا إله إلا الله||La ilaha illa Allah||There's no god but Allah||It is often said to mean "There is no other god, worthy of worship, than Allah". Shias say this two times.|
What is Falah?
The word falah (فلاح) is derived from the root f-l-h (فلح). There are a lot of words derived from this root in the Quran. It means success or victory.
The Quran talks about falah in the context of jihad. Those who do jihad (physical fighting) against disbelievers are better than those who remained home and refused to participate in the Islamic imperialism.
They preferred to be with those who remained behind, and a seal is set on their hearts so they do not understand.
But the Messenger and those who believe with him strive hard (جَاهَدُوا, jaahadoo) with their property and their persons; and these it is who shall have the good things and these it is who shall be successful (الْمُفْلِحُونَ, al-muflihoon).
The word jaahadoo is from the same root as jihad and the word muflihoon is from the same root as falah. So the promised success (falah) is not only the paradise with virgins, but also the spoils of war.
Sunnis maintain that a companion of Muhammad's named Abdullah ibn Zayd had a dream wherein the words of the adhaan were revealed to him by God. After sharing the dream's contents with his friends, the news of ibn Zayd's dream reached Muhammad, who then endorsed it.
Seen in this light, the revelation of the adhaan is believed to be one of many instances where the ideas of Muhammad's companions are confirmed, or perhaps re-imagined, by Muhammad as the revelations from God. Other famous examples of this include: Muhammad took Omar's idea for the hijab and confirming it as revelation upon Omar's insistence, and an instance where Muhammad incorporated the suggestions of his scribe into the Qur'an as he dictated some verses.
Shi'ites maintain that the adhaan was revealed directly to Muhammad and that his companions made no contributions to it whatsoever.