If the adhaan is given from a cassette recorder, or from the radio, or from one place and conveyed by mechanical means to other mosques, this is an innovation (bid’ah).
The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked:
Is the adhaan Sunnah for the prescribed obligatory prayers, and what is the ruling on giving it from a cassette recorder if there is no muezzin who can do it properly?
The adhaan is fard kifaayah (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 adhaan 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.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi and Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan. They were also asked:
I have heard that some people in Muslim countries record the adhaan from the Two Holy Sanctuaries and broadcast that by loudspeaker instead of the muezzin giving the adhaan. Is the prayer permissible (if this is done)? Please quote evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah, with simple commentary.
It is not sufficient for the adhaan which is prescribed for the obligatory prayers to be given by means of a tape on which the adhaan is recorded. Rather the muezzin has to give the call to prayer himself, because it was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) commanded that the adhaan be given, and the basic principle concerning a command is that it is obligatory.
Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 6/66, 67
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 adhaan 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 adhaan as prescribed in sharee’ah. The Muslims must give the adhaan 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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) until the present.
And Allaah knows best.