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Question: Should a person call adhaan while praying salaah by himself?

There is nothing in the Islamic sources that makes it a must for anyone praying alone to call adhaan, for adhaan is an announcement about the upcoming prayer intended to gather people. Since there is nothing in the sources explicitly making it obligatory, scholars and jurists of Islam have held different views about it. Some scholars consider it recommended. They base their view on the hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari, which states, on the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, that the Prophet, peace be on him, told him, “I see you love the sheep and hillside. So if you were with your sheep or on the hillside, and you happened to call adhaan, you should call it loudly; for a muadhin’s voice reaches no one among the species of the jinn and mankind, without he acting as a witness for him on the day of resurrection.” Abu Sa’eed said, “I heard it directly from the mouth of the Messenger of Allah.” Imam Ibn Hajar, the great scholar of hadith, and a Faqih, comments on this hadith: “this hadith shows that it is recommended to call adhaan even if one were all by himself in a desert, and he expects no one to attend the salaah, for if he were to miss the supplication of other worshippers, he would definitely not miss the testimony of others (i.e. other creatures) who may have heard him.” On the other hand, there are other scholars who do not consider adhaan necessary when a person is praying alone. This view has been attributed to Imam Shafi. He bases his view on the fact that adhaan is simply a call to let people know about the upcoming Salaah.

Having quoted both views, we should conclude by saying that no one should argue over this issue. Since adhaan is a dhikr, it is good if a person calls it. However, if one does not call it -- while praying alone, it is not a sin either, since we can only impose on people what the Lawgiver has imposed; no more, no less.

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