سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ ، عَدَدَ خَلْقِهِ ، وَرِضَا نَفْسِهِ ، وَزِنَةَ عَرْشِهِ ، وَمِدَادَ كَلِمَاتِهِ
Allah is free from imperfection and all praise is due to Him, (in ways) as numerous as all He has created, (as vast) as His pleasure, (as limitless) as the weight of His Throne, and (as endless) as the ink of His words.
Subḥāna-llāhi wa bi ḥamdih, ʿadada khalqih, wa riḍā nafsih, wa zinata ʿarshih, wa midāda kalimātih.
Juwayriyyah b. al-Ḥārith (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhā) reported: “The Prophet ﷺ left (my home) in the morning as I was busy in performing the dawn prayer. He came back in the forenoon and found me sitting there. He ﷺ asked: ‘Are you still in the same position as I left you?’ I replied in the affirmative. Thereupon the Prophet ﷺ said: ‘I recited four phrases three times after I left you. If everything that you have said today was put in the scales, [the above] would outweigh it.’” (Muslim 2140, Abū Dāwūd 1503)
• We begin this dhikr by saying ‘Subḥānallāh’, a phrase which glorifies Allah through negating any deficiencies in Him.
• We follow this up by saying ‘wa bi-Ḥamdih’. Through this phrase, we praise Allah in a complete manner which encompasses praising Him for (1) all His perfect qualities, and (2) for all His blessings which He showers upon us.
• We then combine the tasbīḥ and ḥamd with four phrases ― each one increasing the magnitude of this tasbīh and hamd in terms of: (1) quantity (2) quality and (3) weight.
“As numerous as all He has created”
• When we say we glorify Allah and praise Him by the quantity of His creation, we are not saying that we are praising Allah this many times, as it is inconceivable that someone can say I am praising Allah x number of times without actually doing so an x number of times. Rather we are saying that He deserves to be glorified and praised in this quantity and more, because His creation is constantly increasing. In other words, He deserves to be glorified and praised an infinite number of times.
“(As vast) as His pleasure”
• “(As vast) as His pleasure” refers to the quality of the praise. We are praising Allah not only by an amount (quantity) befitting Him, but also in a manner pleasing to Him (quality).
• Allah is the Most Noble, and He only accepts and is pleased with good things. Therefore, when we glorify Allah and praise Him by His pleasure, we are saying that He deserves to be glorified and praised in the best manner possible as He is only pleased with that which is good.
“(As limitless) as the weight of His Throne”
• As the Throne of Allah is the heaviest and greatest of Allah’s creation, we are saying that Allah deserves the largest and weightiest form of glorification and praise.
• The Prophet ﷺ said, “The heavens (universe) in comparison to the footstool (Kursī) are but like a ring in an empty desert; and the example of the footstool (Kursī) in comparison to the Throne of Allah is like this ring in the empty desert” (Ibn Ḥibbān 361).
“(As endless) as the ink of His words”
• “As numerous as all He has created” dealt with the quantity of this praise; “(As vast) as His pleasure” dealt with the quality of this praise; and “(As limitless) as the weight of His Throne” dealt with the weight of this praise, so Allah deserves to be glorified and praised in the largest, best way possible, an infinite number of times.
• The “(As endless) as the ink of His words” encompasses all three aspects as Allah’s words are infinite, they are the best of words, and they carry the most weight. Allah describes their greatness in the Qur’ān: “If all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), refilled by seven other oceans, the Words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely Allah is Almighty, All-Wise” (31:27).
• This particular dhikr is very short yet carries immense rewards. Although Juwayriyah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhā) was remembering Allah for a long duration, the Prophet ﷺ said this one dhikr outweighed everything she had said. The difference between the two is that this dhikr powerfully highlights the greatness that Allah deserves. It opens up the heart to contemplate over Allah, through His Attributes, Words, Creation, and specifically His Throne. This deep reflection enables the dhikr to emanate not only from the tongue but also from the depths of the heart.
• The more present your heart is when remembering Allah, the greater the reward will be.
• Never miss out saying this dhikr three times every morning, and ensure you always say it with contemplation to maximise the rewards and benefits you receive. Feel awe in your heart as you praise the Lord of the Throne and the worlds.
• This ḥadīth teaches us the importance of why we should hold on tightly to the Sunnah adhkār. Juwayriyah (radiyallahu ʿanhā) remembered Allah for a long duration, but the four phrases specified by the Prophet ﷺ would ensure far greater reward than the dhikr she had been engaged in all morning, even though they require much less time to utter.