Is there a ḥadīth that encourages us to recite mā shāʾ Allāh after the muʾadhdhin says ḥayya ʿalā ’l-falāḥ, as some people practise?
The practice of reciting mā shāʾ Allāh after the muʾadhdhin says ḥayya ʿalā ’l-falāḥ is found in a statement of Ibn Jurayj, as his student ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Sanʿānī recorded in his Muṣannaf. The text is as follows:
عبد الرزاق، عن ابن جريج قال: «حدثت أن ناسا كانوا فيما مضى كانوا ينصتون للتأذين كإنصاتهم للقرآن، فلا يقول المؤذن شيئا إلا قالوا مثله، حتى إذا قال: حي على الصلاة قالوا: لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله العلي العظيم، فإذا قال: حي على الفلاح قالوا: ما شاء الله»
“I was told that people in the past used to become silent for [and listen to] the adhān just as they would become silent for [and listen to] the Qurʾān. The muʾadhdhin would not say anything except that they would repeat his words; until when he says ‘ḥayya ʿalā ’l-ṣalāh’, they would say ‘lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illā billāh’; and when he says ‘ḥayya ʿalā ’l-falāḥ’, they would say ‘mā shāʾ Allāh’.”
Since Ibn Jurayj was from among the successors of the successors, it is clear that he could not have heard this directly from a companion of the Prophet ﷺ. It is also not known whether Ibn Jurayj heard this from an authentic source or otherwise. Because he was not a successor, the statement of Ibn Jurayj does not reach even the controversial level of mursal. Rather, it is the statement of someone below the successors narrating from (or, in this case, about) the companions ؓ. Such a tradition, therefore, is munqaṭiʿ (broken) at the very least, which is unanimously graded weak by the ʿulamāʾ.
There are, however, numerous authentic narrations that encourages us to, instead, recite lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illā billāh. One such ḥadīth is that of ʿUmar ؓ, as recorded in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, that the Prophet ﷺ said:
«إذا قال المؤذن: الله أكبر الله أكبر، فقال أحدكم: الله أكبر الله أكبر، ثم قال: أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله، قال: أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله، ثم قال: أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله قال: أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله، ثم قال: حي على الصلاة، قال: لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله، ثم قال: حي على الفلاح، قال: لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله، ثم قال: الله أكبر الله أكبر، قال: الله أكبر الله أكبر، ثم قال: لا إله إلا الله، قال: لا إله إلا الله من قلبه دخل الجنة»
The gist of the above is that whoever repeats the muʾadhdhin’s words from his heart, he will enter Paradise. Two sentences have been excluded from the general rule. They are:
“[…] then [when the muaʾdhdhin] says ‘ḥayya ʿalā ’l-ṣalāh’, he says ‘lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illā billāh’; and when [the muaʾdhdhin] says ‘ḥayya ʿalā ’l-falāḥ’, he says ‘lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illā billāh.’ […]”
Therefore, this is the practice that ought to be adopted, as it is authentically recorded in the books of ḥadīth. As for saying ‘mā shāʾ Allāh’, it would not be permissible to practise upon it for two reasons:
- It is a weak narration (and contains no virtue).
- It contradicts the sound ḥadīths of the Prophet ﷺ.
We surely attest that Allāh ﷻ knows best.
Answered by Shahin-ur Rahman, Northampton.
Friday 12th Ramaḍān 1437 AH / 17th June 2016 CE.
Checked and approved by Shaykh Dr. Abul Hasan Hussain Ahmed, London.
 ʿAbd al-Razzāq in his Muṣannaf (1489).
 See al-Nawawī, Abū Zakariyyā, Tahdhīb al-Asmāʾ wa ’l-Lughāt, Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmiyya, Beirut, no date, vol. 2, p. 297, under the entry (991).
 Al-Suyūṭī, Jalāl al-Dīn, Tadrīb al-Rāwī fī Sharḥ Taqrīb al-Nawāwī, Muʾassasat al-Rayyān, Beirut (1430/2009), p. 165.
 Al-Ṭaḥḥān, Maḥmūd, Taysīr Muṣṭalaḥ al-Ḥadīth, Maktabat al-Bushrā, Karachi (1431/2010), p. 65.
 Muslim (385).