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Salat ut-Tasbih and the Saying of Some Scholars Regarding it

There are various opinions of the honourable scholars with regard to the name of this blessed salah. Some of them called it Salat ut-Tasabih. Others called it Salat ut-Tawbah. Yet another group called it Salat ul-Ghufran (prayer for forgiveness).

Whatever its name may be, it refers to one prayer and its purpose is one. Verily it is a great prayer for expiating the sins, forgiveness for the sins and mistakes. It is a cleansing for whoever wants to be cleansed, success for whomsoever seeks salvation.

The renowned scholar 'Abdul-'Aziz ibn Abi Rawad{qluetip title=[1]}He is 'Abdul-'Aziz ibn Maymun al-Azdi, a great Imam and worshipper. Ibn Al-Mubarak said: "He was from those who used to worship Allah the most." He died 159H, As-Sir (184-7){/qluetip} said, "Whoever desires Paradise should take to Salat ut-Tasabih."

Abu 'Uthman Sa'id ibn Isma'il al-Hiri{qluetip title=[2]}He is the Imam and admonisher An-Nisaburi (220-298H), As-Sir (14-62){/qluetip} said, "I have not seen anything for removal of calamities and afflictions like Salat ut-Tasabih."

As-Subki{qluetip title=[3]}He is Tajuddin Abu an-Nasr 'Abdul-Wahhab ibn 'Ali as-Subki, he died in the year 771H. He said this in his book At-Tashrih li Salathit-Tashih{/qluetip} said, "Indeed I have spoken at length about this because of the objection of An-Nawawi on it and the reliance of the people of this era on him. Thus I was afraid the people who be deceived by that. Thus it is befitting that one endeavours to do it."

The one who hears of the great reward contained in it and then is heedless of it, is no more than someone who is carefree with regards to his din, not plentiful in doing righteous actions and he should not be considered from the people or resolve - and we ask Allah for safety.

Ibn 'Abidin said, "The hadith pertaining to it is reliable because of its many chains, and those who consider it weak then it is mere conjecture from them. It contains in it a reward which should not be abandoned, and based on this, some of the muhaqqiqin {qluetip title=[5]}(Translator:) This term refers to those scholars who weigh up all the various opinions concerning an issue and then give their verdict according to the opinion found to be closest to the evidences{/qluetip} say, 'No-one hears of its great blessing, and leaves it except that he is negligent with regard to his religion.' "{qluetip title=[6]}In his Al-Hashiyyah (2/27){/qluetip}

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr said in his Amali, "'Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak used to pray it and it has been handed down from the righteous."{qluetip title=[7]}Natayj ul-Afqar quoted from Al-Athar al-Marfu'ah (p. 131){/qluetip}

Thus, in this, is a streghtening of the hadith and the earliest person from whom is reported this action is Abu Jawzah ibn 'Abdullah al-Basri.{qluetip title=[8]}Abu Jawzah is Aws ibn 'Abdullah ar-Rabi'i, one of the major tabi'in and most famous worshippers and he was from those who stood up against Al-Hajjaj. It is said that he was killed on the day of Jumajinn. As-Sir (4/371){/qluetip}

Many of the scholars have stated it as being recommended, from the Shafi'iyyah like ash-Shaykh Abi Hamid and Al-Muhamali and Al-Juwayni and his father Imam Al-Harmayn and Al-Ghazali and Al-Qadhi Hussayn and Al-Baghawi and Al-Matuli and Zahir ibn Ahmad ar-Radi and Rafi'i in Ar-Rawdah and then he mentions the affirmation of Imam Ahmad and the mistake of those who declared it to be fabricated.

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Salat ut-Tasbih and the Saying of Some Scholars Regarding it

There are various opinions of the honourable scholars with regard to the name of this blessed salah. Some of them called it Salat ut-Tasabih. Others called it Salat ut-Tawbah. Yet another group called it Salat ul-Ghufran (prayer for forgiveness).

Whatever its name may be, it refers to one prayer and its purpose is one. Verily it is a great prayer for expiating the sins, forgiveness for the sins and mistakes. It is a cleansing for whoever wants to be cleansed, success for whomsoever seeks salvation.

The renowned scholar 'Abdul-'Aziz ibn Abi Rawad{qluetip title=[1]}He is 'Abdul-'Aziz ibn Maymun al-Azdi, a great Imam and worshipper. Ibn Al-Mubarak said: "He was from those who used to worship Allah the most." He died 159H, As-Sir (184-7){/qluetip} said, "Whoever desires Paradise should take to Salat ut-Tasabih."

Abu 'Uthman Sa'id ibn Isma'il al-Hiri{qluetip title=[2]}He is the Imam and admonisher An-Nisaburi (220-298H), As-Sir (14-62){/qluetip} said, "I have not seen anything for removal of calamities and afflictions like Salat ut-Tasabih."

As-Subki{qluetip title=[3]}He is Tajuddin Abu an-Nasr 'Abdul-Wahhab ibn 'Ali as-Subki, he died in the year 771H. He said this in his book At-Tashrih li Salathit-Tashih{/qluetip} said, "Indeed I have spoken at length about this because of the objection of An-Nawawi on it and the reliance of the people of this era on him. Thus I was afraid the people who be deceived by that. Thus it is befitting that one endeavours to do it."

The one who hears of the great reward contained in it and then is heedless of it, is no more than someone who is carefree with regards to his din, not plentiful in doing righteous actions and he should not be considered from the people or resolve - and we ask Allah for safety.

Ibn 'Abidin said, "The hadith pertaining to it is reliable because of its many chains, and those who consider it weak then it is mere conjecture from them. It contains in it a reward which should not be abandoned, and based on this, some of the muhaqqiqin {qluetip title=[5]}(Translator:) This term refers to those scholars who weigh up all the various opinions concerning an issue and then give their verdict according to the opinion found to be closest to the evidences{/qluetip} say, 'No-one hears of its great blessing, and leaves it except that he is negligent with regard to his religion.' "{qluetip title=[6]}In his Al-Hashiyyah (2/27){/qluetip}

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr said in his Amali, "'Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak used to pray it and it has been handed down from the righteous."{qluetip title=[7]}Natayj ul-Afqar quoted from Al-Athar al-Marfu'ah (p. 131){/qluetip}

Thus, in this, is a streghtening of the hadith and the earliest person from whom is reported this action is Abu Jawzah ibn 'Abdullah al-Basri.{qluetip title=[8]}Abu Jawzah is Aws ibn 'Abdullah ar-Rabi'i, one of the major tabi'in and most famous worshippers and he was from those who stood up against Al-Hajjaj. It is said that he was killed on the day of Jumajinn. As-Sir (4/371){/qluetip}

Many of the scholars have stated it as being recommended, from the Shafi'iyyah like ash-Shaykh Abi Hamid and Al-Muhamali and Al-Juwayni and his father Imam Al-Harmayn and Al-Ghazali and Al-Qadhi Hussayn and Al-Baghawi and Al-Matuli and Zahir ibn Ahmad ar-Radi and Rafi'i in Ar-Rawdah and then he mentions the affirmation of Imam Ahmad and the mistake of those who declared it to be fabricated.

How the Salah is Performed

Ibn 'Abbas radhiallahu 'anhu said that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"O 'Abbas, O uncle. Should I not grant you? Should I not bestow upon you? Should I not award you? Should I not do with you? Ten things if you were to do them, Allah would forgive you of your sins, its first and its last, its old and its new, whether it is done intentionally or mistakenly, its small or large, hidden or open. The ten are

that you pray the four raka'at,

reading in every rak'ah Al-Fatihah and another surah

and when you have have finished reading in the first rak'ah you say whilst standing, 'How Perfect is Allah and All Praise belongs to Allah and there is no diety worthy of worship except Allah and Allah is the Greatest,' fifteen times

and then you bow into ruk'u and say the same whilst bowing, ten times

and then you raise your head from bowing and say it ten times

and then you go down into prostration and say it whilst in prostration ten times

and then you raise your head from prostration and say it ten times

and then you go down into prostration and say it ten times

and then riase your head from prostration and say it ten times.

So if your sins were equal to the froth on the sea or sand of 'Alij, Allah will forgive it for you. If you are able to pray it every day then do so. If you are not able to do so then once every So that is seventy-five times in every rak'ah and you do that in each of the four raka'at.

Jumu'ah (Friday). And if you are not able to then once every month. And if you are not able to then once a year. And if you you are not able to then once if your lifetime."

[Abu Dawud, eng trans vol. 1, no. 1292, Ibn Majah and others.]

So, is there somebody who wants to make this connection with his Lord?

Is there anyone who wants to clean himself of his sins?

Is there anyone distressed, so it (the prayer) relieves him from his grief, by the permission of his Lord?

Verily, it is bathing for one who intends to cleanse himself, and purifies he who desires purification.

It is a lesson from the lessons of patience and a favour from the Kind and the Generous and a guidance from the merciful Messenger sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, a favour from the Lord and a present from the Beloved.

So will you refuse the King's favour?

And return the present of the Beloved?

So what is the matter with us that we turn away from it?

Lazy in its performance.

While the Generous forgives by it all of the sins, its first and its last, its old and its new, its small and its big, whether done intentionally or mistakenly.

So is there bounty after this bounty?

Is there any generosity after this generosity?

So embark upon it with fervour and enter into the Mercy of the Gracious by it.

So the resolute ones who seek nearness do not fail to do it once every day.

While the worshippers, good doers, do not fail to do it once a week.

And the God-conscious believers do not faily to do it once a month.

So do not let Shaytan deceive you away from it by the world and by your saying, 'I shall do it soon' thereby putting it off. For there is nothing more destructive to mankind than this - your saying, 'I shall do so (later), I shall do so (later)', while time passes by and days are spent, his youth expires and he becomes old and feeble and he still says, 'I shall do so (later), I shall do so (later).'

Let not those people who make (the hadith) weak prevent you from it, for verily it is reported from eleven Companions and more than thirty Imams have authenticated it and many of our Pious Predecessors have acted upon it.

Rulings Concerning Salat ut-Tasbih

I followed up the sayings of the People of Knowledge with regard to some of its rulings and their proofs - for example:

  • Does it have a favoured time?
  • Does it have a particular reading from the Qur'an?
  • It is prayed in two sets of two, or four joined?
  • Does it have a particular du'a which ones makes after the sitting?
  • And other such rulings.

So I say, I followed up all of that and I did not find from them anything, except the opinions of individuals - there being no proof from the Book or the Sunnah.

Therefore I say, that this Salah should be prayed as four raka'at connected with one taslim, according to what is reported in the text of the hadith and in every rak'ah, seventy-five tasbihat.

It has no particular or favoured time, nor a particular reading. Rather, he reads whatever is easy for him and it is prayed at any time.

If he forgets the number of tasbihat, it is said that he should repeat that part of the prayer with its tasbihat and it is said that he should repeat the rak'ah altogether and it is said that he could prostrate for forgetfulness and then in his prostration make the tasbih of Allah in accordance to the number of tasbihat which he forgot. And perhaps the last opinion is the nearest to the truth, and Allah knows best.

The Excellence of Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) and Tasbih Aside from Salah

Verily the Remembrance of Allah has a far-reaching effect in the education of the Muslim and his purification. It purifies the soul from dirt, silences his tongue from indecency, it beautifies his character, polishes the heart of its rust and removes its anxiety and its grief and banishes his worries ...

It is the nourishment of the heart and the strength of the soul and its cure from all of the physical illnesses and mental diseases.

By it, one overcomes one's anxieties and stregthens one's resolve and is victorious over one's enemies.

It is a nearness to Ar-Rahman and a dispeller of the whispers of Shaytan.

Allah diminishes with it the mistakes and removes calamaties with it.

Not to say what the individual receives from the great reward and the most appropriate fulfilment.

Allah, the Most High, says:

"Verily in the Remembrance of Allah do hearts find tranquility."
[Al-Qur'an 13:28]

and:

"The men and the women who remember Allah much (with their hearts and tongues), Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward."
[Al-Qur'an 33:35]

The Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"Shall I not inform you concerning the best of your actions and the most pure in the sight of your Master, and which will raise you in the ranks the most? It is better for you than spending gold and money, and it is better for you than meeting your enemy - so that you strike their necks and they strike yours." They said, "Certainly." He sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "The remembrance of Allah."

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"Is one of your unable to earn a thousand rewards every day? If he glorifies Allah a hundred times, Allah writes for him a thousand good deeds and removes from a thousand sins because of it."
[Sahih Muslim, eng. trans. vol. 4, no. 6517]

The Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"Verily 'All praise is due to Allah, how Perfect is Allah, there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah and Allah is the Greatest', causes the sins of a servant to fall just as the leaves of this tree fall."

And in another narration:

" ... sheds the sins just as a tree sheds her leaves."
[Sahih al-Jami', no. 160]

And the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:

"Whoever says one hundred times in the morning and one hundred times in the evening, 'Glory be to Allah and praise be to Him', his sins shall be forgiven even if they are greater than the foam on the sea."
[Sahih at-Targib wa't-Tarhib]

I say, if this is the excellence of dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) and at-tasbih outside of the Salah so how will it be if it is combined with the Salah?

Verily, it is a gathering of light upon light and reward upon reward.

For this reason, Salat ut-Tasbih has this great position and plentiful reward.

Its Proof (of Authenticity)

Salat ut-Tasbih has been narrated from more than ten Companions radhiallahu 'anhum ajma'in. And here we will just mention three of its chains of narration.

  • Firstly, the hadith of 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas radhiallahu 'anhu

It is narrated from him in many chains, the most important of which is what is narrated by Abu Dawud (no. 1297, eng. trans. vol. 1, 292), Ibn Majah (no. 1387), Al-Hakim (1/308) and others, by the chain of narration of Musa ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz from Al-Hakam ibn Abban from Ikrimah from Ibn 'Abbas and this chain of narration is hasan (reliable).

As for Musa ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz, Ibn Ma'in declared him to be trustworthy and An-Nasa'i said, "There is nothing wrong with him." He has been spoken about (badly) but without any proof.

While, with regards to Al-Hakam ibn Abban, the majority of thew scholars have agreed upon him being trustworthy from amongst them the outstanding Imams Ibn Ma'in, Ibn Al-Madani and Ahmad ibn Hanbal and they in themselves are enough for you.

Ikrimah is the famous, trustworthy and well-known tabi'i, the slave of Ibn 'Abbas.

  • Secondly, the hadith of 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn Al-'As radhiallahu 'anhu

The hadith of 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr has been reported through different narrations all having Abi Al-Jowza'i within the chain.

The first is from Muslim ibn Ibrahim, from Al-Mustamir ibn Ar-Rayyan, from Abi Al-Jowza'i, from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr and collected by Abu Dawud (2/30, eng. trans, vol. 1, 1293). Its narrators are all by consensus trustworthy and just.

The second is from Muhammad ibn Sufyan, from Hibban ibn Hilal from Mahdi ibn Maymun from 'Amr ibn Malik from Abu Jowza'i, from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar to the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

This is collected by Abu Dawud (2/30, eng. trans. vol. 1, 1293), and Al-Bayhaqi (3/25). The narrators in this chain of narration are all thiqat (trustworthy) except for Muhammad ibn Sufyan who is a truthful person (saduq).

  • Thirdly, the hadith of Ansari.

This is collected by Abu Dawud (1299, eng. trans. vol. 1, 1294) and also by Al-Bayhaqi (3/25).

Abu Tawbah said: Muhammad ibn Muhajir narrated to us, who said that 'Urwah ibn Rawim said that Al-Ansari narrated to me - and then he mentions the hadith.

The narrators in this chain of narration are the narrators used by Al-Bukhari and Muslim with the exception of 'Urwah, who is trustworthy. And Al-Ansari is a Companion. Therefore, this chain is Sahih (authentic) and the two narrations which precede it from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr, then one of them is Sahih and the other is hasan (reliable).

The aforementioned hadith of Ibn 'Abbas is at its very least hasan.

So one can use any of these three chains of narrations as a proof - even if it was the only narration about this Salah, so how is it when there are more than ten different chains of narration reported?

I am still astonished after of this at those who declare this Salah to be da'if (weak) - from amongst those who have not researched this issue thoroughly, nor followed up all of its chains of narration but sufficied themselves by imitiation of those who declared it weak, despite the fact that the vast majority and the most knowledgeable of the Imams of hadith and fiqh have declared it authentic and many of the Imams of Islam performed it.

So amongst those who performed it; Abu Al-Jawza'i and he is a well-known tabi'i and worshipper, the great Imam and mujahid 'Abdullah ibn Al-Mubarak and other than them.

Amongst those who declared it sahih or hasan are; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Dawud, Al-Hakim, Abu Musa al-Madani, Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Ibn As-Salah, Al-Baghawi, Al-Mundhiri, An-Nawawi in Tahdhib al-Asma wa'l-Lughat and Al-Adhkar, Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani, As-Suyuti and lastly, the muhaddith of our time, Shaykh Al-Albani - may Allah grant them all forgiveness.

The claim of some of them that this is against the common appearance of Salah is an incorrect one after one pays consideration - for it is complete like other prayers but is contains an increase in tasbih and tahmid and verily, the Prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said concerning Salah, "Verily it is for at-tasbih and at-takbir." {qluetip title=[9]}Muslim, eng. trans, vol. 1, 1094 (in a long hadith){/qluetip}

So what is disagreeable about its appearance? And whoever wishes further eloboration then he should refer to the origin{qluetip title=[10]}This has been omitted by the publishers for brevity{/qluetip} in which I explained clearly its position and I also refuted the doubts concerning it - and Allah is the granter of all good - O Allah, send your peace and blessings upon Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, his family and his Companions.

From the book The Three Abandoned Prayers by 'Adnan Aali 'Urur, translated by Faraz Abul-Harith and published by Call to Islam Da'wah Centre, 1997. Minor editing has been made to the text by SunnahOnline.com.

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