Question # 126: Is it correct to make the Adhan using a tape recorder?
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: It is not sufficient for the adhan which is prescribed for the obligatory prayers to be given by means of a tape. Rather the muezzin has to give the call to prayer because it was proven that Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) commanded that the adhan be given, and the basic principle concerning a command is that it is obligatory. Moreover, adhan is an act of worship and an act of worship requires an intention.
Long Answer: The scholars of the Standing Committee said: “The adhan is fard kifayah (a communal obligation), in addition to it being an announcement that the time for prayer has begun and an invitation to come and pray. It is not sufficient to play a recording of the adhan when the time for prayer comes. The Muslims in all areas in which regular prayer is established have to appoint one of their number who can do it properly when the time for prayer begins.”
According to Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi and Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyaan: “It is not sufficient for the adhan which is prescribed for the obligatory prayers to be given by means of a tape on which the adhan is recorded. Rather the muezzin has to give the call to prayer himself, because it was proven that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) commanded that the adhan be given, and the basic principle concerning a command is that it is obligatory.” (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah)
The Islamic Fiqh Council of the Muslim World League issued a statement, during its ninth conference in Makkah al-Mukarramah in 1406 AH, as follows: “Broadcasting the adhan from the mosques when the time for prayer begins by means of a recorder and the like is not sufficient and is not permissible with regard to this act of worship. This does not count as the proper adhan as prescribed in shari’ah. The Muslims must give the adhan directly for each and every time of prayer, in each mosque, in the manner that has been passed down from generation to generation among the Muslims from the time of our Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) until the present.” (Islamqa.info)
Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih Al- “Uthaimeen said: “Making the Adhan with a tape recorder is not correct, because the Adhan is an act of worship and an act of worship requires an intention.” (Fatawa Arkanul-Islam)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.