(100x) سُبْحَانَ اللهِ ، اَلْحَمْدُ للهِ ، اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ

Allah is free from imperfection. All praise be to Allah. Allah is the Greatest.

Subḥāna-llāh. Alḥamdu li-llāh, Allāhu akbar.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever says ‘Subḥānallāh’ 100 times before sunrise and 100 times before sunset, it will be better than 100 camels (which are sacrificed for the sake of Allah). Whoever says ‘Alḥamdullilāh’ 100 times before sunrise and 100 times before sunset, it will be better than 100 horses on which he sends 100 warriors (in the path of Allah). Whoever says ‘Allāhu Akbar’ 100 times before sunrise and 100 times before sunset, it will be better than freeing 100 slaves.” (Nasā’ī: al-Sunan al-Kubrā 10657)

Brief Commentary

سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ means to glorify Allah above any imperfection or deficiency i.e. Allah is free from all defects. Allah is the Most Glorified who has no partner or rival, who possesses every aspect of perfection, and whose actions are pure and free from evil.

The entire universe – including the angels, the mountains, and trees – praises and glorifies Allah. Allah says, “The seven heavens, the earth, and all those in them glorify Him. There is not a single thing that does not glorify His praises—but you cannot comprehend their glorification. He is indeed Most Forbearing, All-Forgiving” (17:44).

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ is an expression that encompasses both:

(1) Gratitude for what Allah has blessed us with e.g. īmān, life, health.

(2) Praise: Allah is worthy of every possible praise on account of His very existence, His mercy, beauty, generosity and all of His other noble Attributes and Names. All of His Attributes are perfect; be they of His majesty (jalāl) or beauty (jamāl). Even if none of His slaves praised Him, He would still be worthy of all praise.

Our praise of Him emanates from our love and reverence of Him. Our praise of Him is, in fact, a blessing from Him which deserves even more praise. Even if we were to spend our entire life praising Him, this would be insufficient. Whilst uttering اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ, we should reflect on the blessings of Allah and His Perfect Names.

اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ means ‘Allah is Greater than…’ By not specifying what He is Greater than, we are saying that He is Greater than everything. Allah is Greater than anything we can imagine, and His greatness encompasses all things: He is Great in His Essence, His Names, His Attributes and His Actions. Allah is Supreme and Transcendent above every limitation and deficiency that is inherent in created beings.

Our limited minds are unable to comprehend the Greatness of Allah. However we can attempt to appreciate His Greatness by pondering over His creation. When we ponder on the greatness of Allah’s creation such as the heavens, the earth, His Kursī and His Majestic Throne, and then realise our own inability to comprehend them due to their greatness, we arrive at the most important realisation: how Great must their Creator be!

Action Points

• Always repeat these three powerful statements, with the presence of your heart. Reflect on their meanings, and feel your love and awe of Allah increase.

• Don’t belittle deeds due to their ease, as simple statements can be a reason for you to have immense rewards.

سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ (tasbīḥ), اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ (taḥmīd), and اَللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ (takbīr) are amongst the most beloved statements to Allah. Though easy to utter with our tongues, on the Day of Judgement, they will be heavy on the scales. They wipe away sins and lead to unparalleled reward. They cultivate the trees and plants of Paradise, and are a protection from the Hell-Fire.

• The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “I met Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) on the Night of al-Isrā’ (the Night Journey), and he said to me, ‘O Muḥammad, convey my greetings to your ummah, and tell them that Paradise has pure soil and sweet water, and it is a flat treeless plain. Its plants are: سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ وَلَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَاللهُ أَكْبَر. ’”

• The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Indeed what you remember of Allah’s Glory (by uttering) tasbīḥ, takbīr, tahlīl and taḥmīd, gather around the Throne of Allah, buzzing like bees, mentioning to Allah the person who uttered them. Do you not wish to have someone who mentions you by Him?” (Ibn Mājah).

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