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adhan

/ˌaˈðaːn/
noun
1.
(Islam) a call to prayer
Word Origin
changed from Arabic adhān, literally: announcement
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for adhan

(Arabic: "announcement"), the Muslim call to Friday public worship and to the five daily hours of prayer. It is proclaimed by the muezzin, a servant of the mosque chosen for good character, as he stands at the door or side of a small mosque or in the minaret of a large one. The adhan was originally a simple "Come to prayer," but, according to tradition, Muhammad consulted his followers with a view to investing the call with greater dignity. The matter was settled when 'Abd Allah ibn Zayd dreamed that the faithful should be summoned by a crier. The standard Sunnite adhan can be translated as: "Allah is most great. I testify that there is no god but Allah. I testify that Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. Come to prayer. Come to salvation. Allah is most great. There is no god but Allah." The first phrase is proclaimed four times, the final phrase once, and the others twice, the worshipers making a set response to each phrase

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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