What is the Origin of the Athan?

When the Muslims arrived at Medina, they used to assemble for the prayer but not all the Muslims were sure about the time for prayer. Prophet () and the sahabas wanted to put a process into practice where all Muslims would know the time for the prayer by some familiar means.

Prophet (ﷺdecided to consult all the sahabah and call a Shura. A Shura can be best described as conducting a brainstorming session to think of a solution. The Prophet () would conduct Shuras regularly when he wanted to find a solution to a problem. It was a great way to get a diverse range of opinions to ultimately find the best course of action.

The Prophet () gathered everyone together and asked if they had any ideas for a way to call Muslims to prayer.

Living in Madinah exposed the sahabah to the ways of the Ahlul Kitab, the Jews, and Christians.

One sahabah suggested using bells as the Christians did. The Prophet () paused a bit. Another sahabah suggested using a trumpet as the Jews did. The Prophet () again didn't give approval to the idea. The Prophet () always wanted to differentiate Muslims from the other Ahlul-Kitab.

Not having reached a solution, they ended the meeting and returned home. 

That night, one of the sahabah, Abdullah ibn Zayd, had a dream. In his dream, he saw a man wearing two green garments. He was holding a clapper in his hands. Abdullah ibn Zayd asked him how much it was. The man in the dream asked why he wanted it. Abdullah ibn Zayd said he wanted the clapper because he would use it as a way to call people to salah.

The man in the dream said, “Let me show you a better way.” He then recited the Athan as we know it today. 

The next day, Abdullah ibn Zayd (RA) excitedly told the Prophet () about his dream. The Prophet () approved. He then selected Bilal (RA) to give the Athan, giving him the honor of being the first to do so. 

While Bilal (RA) was reciting it from the top of the masjid, Umar ibn Khattab frantically came out of the house. In shock, he said, “Ya Rasulullaah, verily I heard the same thing in my dream!”

Strangely enough, both Abdullah ibn Zayd and Umar Ibn Khattab had the same dream about athan. They both witnessed an angel in their dreams provide a way to call people to prayer. The same words were said in both of their dreams and the same words are recited in the athan hundreds of years later.


Unless we live in a Muslim country or a country that has granted permission for public athans, we most likely do not have the pleasure of hearing the Athan in our homes. Having an Athan clock in homes and offices is a good way to ensure that the athan times are announced regularly; allowing the opportunity to connect to our Lord. And for this reason and many others, the Athan Frame (The Next Generation Athan Clock) is a must-have for any Muslim household.

Next Generation Azaan Clock

Back to blog