The New International Encyclopædia/Muezzin
MUEZ'ZIN, or MUED'DIN (Ar. mu‘adhdhin, one who calls to prayer, from ‘adhdhana, to call to prayer, from ‘adhina, to hear). The Arabic name of the Mohammedan official attached to a mosque, whose duty it is to announce the different times of prayer. His chant (‘adhān) consists of these words, repeated at intervals: “Allah is great [four times]. I testify that there is no God but Allah [two times]. I testify that Mohammed is the apostle of Allah [two times]. Come to prayers [two times]. Come to salvation [two times]. There is no God but Allah.” The Shiites also say “Come to good works,” and “Prayers are better than sleep” is added before the early morning prayer (fajr). Besides these regular calls, two more are chanted during the night for those pious persons who wish to perform special nightly devotions. In small mosques the ‘adhān is chanted by the imam, and, when the mosque is provided with a minaret, the muezzin ascends it for his chant; in smaller mosques, the chant is made at the side. The office of muezzin is considered a meritorious one, and insures the holder's admission into Paradise.